Bill Ziskin

Women's Basketball Draws #1 Connecticut In NCAA Tournament

UAlbany Sports Information   03-13-2017

ALBANY, N.Y. – Three days after winning their sixth-consecutive America East title, the University at Albany women’s basketball program (21-11, 12-4 AE) gathered in the SEFCU Arena Hall of Fame Room and awaited their selection for the NCAA Tournament.  The team didn’t have to wait long, as their name was called in the first matchup revealed.  Their opponent will be top overall seed Connecticut (32-0, 16-0 AAC).

“It’s disappointing to get a 16-seed, but it’s exciting to play on such a big stage,” said head coach Joanna Bernabei-McNamee.  “The silver lining is our opponent is Connecticut.  I think every little girl who becomes a college basketball player either dreams of playing for UConn or dreams of beating UConn, and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

The game is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 18, and will be broadcast on ESPN2 and on the radio at 104.5 FM The Team.

“We know how good UConn is,” said Coach Mac.  “A good thing for us is that we’re a true underdog; we don’t’ really have anything to lose.  We’ll worry a lot about us and prepare like we would for any other team.”

The Huskies are in the midst of a 107-game winning streak, and have not lost since falling 88-86 in overtime to Stanford on November 17, 2014.  Additionally, UConn has won each of the last four NCAA titles, and six of the last eight.

UConn rolled through their regular season schedule, winning by an average of 32.8 points per game.  In the American Athletic Conference tournament, UConn defeated Tulsa, Central Florida, and South Florida to win the conference title.  Late in the regular season, the Huskies did face a scare, winning by three at Tulane.

UAlbany has won 12 of its last 13, and went 7-1 in the month of February.  The Great Danes defeated Vermont, Hartford, and Maine to win their sixth-consecutive America East title.  Last year, UAlbany upset Florida in the first round of the NCAA tournament, earning the program’s first ever tournament victory.

UAlbany will face UConn for just the second time in program history.  The first meeting, on December 29, 2005, saw the Huskies claim victory by a score of 78-44.  The winner of Saturday morning’s game will play the winner of the afternoon game between Syracuse and Iowa State.




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