On Monday night, all we were waiting for was ESPN to announce where and when Marquette women’s basketball would be playing their first round game. We had to wait for the third region, but we finally found out that Carolyn Kieger and the Golden Eagles earned a #8 seed in the Lexington region. That gives them a first round matchup against Dayton, and that game will be at 1:30pm Central on Friday, March 16th.
I appreciate the very business-like manner that was the majority reaction. Marquette knows that they left work unfinished in last year’s three point loss to Quinnipiac in the first round of the NCAA tournament, and that will motivate them to push just a little bit harder this time around.
This is the second straight appearance for Marquette, and the first time that the Golden Eagles have reached the NCAA tournament in back to back seasons since a four year stretch that ran from 1997-2000. It’s also the second overall appearance for Kieger in her four year tenure at Marquette.
The Golden Eagles enter the tournament with a record of 23-9 and as regular season co-champions in the Big East. MU reached the Big East tournament championship game, but fell to fellow co-champion DePaul. The Blue Demons also made the NCAA tournament, as did Villanova and Creighton.
Dayton holds a record of 23-6 on the season after going 15-1 in Atlantic 10 action. The Flyers won the regular season championship by two games, but fell in their regular season finale to spoil their shot at a 16-0 season as well as in the A-10 tournament semifinals, thus requiring them to earn an at-large bid to the tournament. With two losses in their past three games and only those two losses since facing South Florida in late December, you can’t help but wonder where the Flyers’ mindset is right now. This is the second straight NCAA appearance for Dayton and the eighth in the last nine seasons.
The winner of the Marquette/Dayton clash will stay in Louisville to face the #1/#16 game winner, which will most likely be the hosting Louisville Cardinals. I suppose it’s possible that Boise State could pull the upset, but it certainly seems unlikely.
Marquette’s game will be broadcast on ESPN2, but will be subject to local coverage depending on where you are.
You can check out the full bracket right here.