Atlantic Coast Conference Showcases Six in 2009 NCAA Tournament
March 16, 2009
GREENSBORO, N.C. - For the seventh-straight year, the Atlantic Coast Conference will be represented by at least six teams in the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Field of 64. The ACC is one of only four leagues to place six or more teams in the Big Dance.
Maryland, which won the school's first ACC Tournament crown since 1989, finished 28-4 and earned a No. 1 slot for the second consecutive year. Joining the Terrapins as a No. 1 seed are the Duke Blue Devils, who concluded the season 26-5 overall and own eight wins against ranked opponents. Joining Maryland and Duke as representatives of the ACC are Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Virginia.
No. 1 seed and 2006 NCAA Tournament Champion Maryland earned a No. 1 seed for the third time in program history and will be making their 18th NCAA appearance. The Terrapins, who play host in the first and second rounds, face No. 16 seed Dartmouth in College Park. The winner advances to face either No. 8 seed Villanova or No. 9 seed Utah.
In her second season as head coach of the Blue Devils, Joanne McCallie guided Duke to a 26-5 finish and advanced to the finals of the 2009 ACC Tournament. The Blue Devils earned a No. 1 seed in the Berkeley region of this year's NCAA Tournament and will face No. 16 seed Austin Peay, the Ohio Valley Conference automatic qualifier in first-round action. The winner will advance to face either No. 8 seed Middle Tennessee or No. 9 seed Michigan State, where McCallie spent seven years at the helm.
In the Trenton region, Sue Semrau's Florida State Seminoles make their ninth NCAA Tourney appearance and fifth straight. The `Noles wrapped up the regular season at 25-7 and were co-regular season champions with a 12-2 league finish. As a No. 3 seed, FSU will face No. 14 seed North Carolina A&T, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champions. The first-round contest against the Aggies, will take place in Duluth, Ga. The winner will face either No. 6 seed Arizona State or No. 11 seed Georgia.
Georgia Tech, which won 21 games, just two shy of the school record, claimed a No. 9 seed in this year's NCAA Tournament. In the Oklahoma City region, the Yellow Jackets will face No. 8 seed Iowa, a Big Ten at-large selection. The winner of the Yellow Jackets and the Hawkeyes will advance to face top-seeded Oklahoma or No. 16 seed Prairie View.
North Carolina, which finished 27-6 overall and 10-4 against ACC competition this season, earned a No. 3 seed and will face No. 14 seed University of Central Florida (UCF), Conference USA's tournament champion, in the Oklahoma City region. The winner of the Golden Knights and the Tar Heels will face No. 6 seed Purdue or No. 11 seed Charlotte in second-round action in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Rounding out the list of ACC contestants is No. 5 seed Virginia, which earns its 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance, a mark that only four other schools have attained. The Cavaliers, who finished 23-9 overall, will face No. 12 seed Marist, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference's automatic qualifier. The winner will face No. 4 California or No. 13 Fresno State to advance to the Trenton regional.
First- and second-round games will be played at 16 sites Saturday, March 21, Monday, March 23, Sunday, March 22, and Tuesday, March 24. The 16 second-round winners will advance to the four regional sites. The Berkeley Regional and the Raleigh Regional will be Saturday, March 28, and Monday, March 30, while the Oklahoma City Regional and the Trenton Regional will be held Sunday, March 29, and Tuesday, March 31. The four regional winners will meet in the NCAA Women's Final Four, April 5 and 7, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.