EMMITSBURG, Md. (WDVM) – Mount St. Mary’s women’s basketball punched it’s ticket to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday after winning it’s second straight Northeast Conference title.
The Mountaineers found out later Sunday night, that they were a 16 seed in this year’s tournament, and would be facing the Big South champion, Longwood, in the Bridgeport Region in the First Four round.
“Honestly, we were shocked because we thought we were going to play South Carolina or in like that region,” said Mount senior guard, and NEC Tournament MVP, Michaela Harrison.
This is Mount’s fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament, but it’s first time as the 16th seed, with being seeded at 13, 14 and 15 in previous trips. The Mountaineers are also making history this year as one of the inaugural First Four teams playing in the expanded field of 68.
“We’re excited about a new challenge and playing someone different,” said said Mount first-year head coach Antoine White
Mount was a 15-seed in last year’s tournament, where it faced, and fell, to Maryland 98-45 in San Antonio, Texas.
This year, Mount will travel to Raleigh, North Carolina, and reflected on what was learned from last year’s experience.
“It’s going to be a lot of travel and you gotta practice in a different arena and things of that nature, so for us, it’s just super important that we just take it day by day,” said White.
Mount will face the Longwood Lancers who are making their first-ever trip to the NCAA Tournament after winning the Big South regular season and championship.
“We actually watched their Championship game,” said Harrison. “They are a very, very talented team.”
White said on Sunday after the selection show that he didn’t know too much about Longwood, but that he will know them soon enough as he begins to get into the film.
“From what I understand, they’re a small roster, so I’m assuming they’re going to be running and gunning,” said White. “They average about 71 points a game and so our defense has been pretty locked in and it seems like that trend is going to have to continue for us.”
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 17, from Raleigh, N.C., and the game will be televised on ESPN2.