Monday, March 18, 2013
- by B.B. Branton
"I am excited for our players that we are a No.11 seed which I believe we deserved and also am thrilled that we don't have to play a high seed on their home court in the first round."
UTC Women's Basketball Coach Wes Moore after the NCAA D-I Women's Tournament Brackets were announced earlier tonight.
For the UTC Lady Mocs basketball team, a great season got better Monday night a few minutes before 8 p.m.
UTC (29-3) was awarded an excellent seed - No. 11 - and will play an NCAA first round tournament game on a neutral court - Reed Arena on the Texas A&M campus in College Station, Texas - against No.6 Nebraska (23-8).
The Blue and Gold takes its No.11 seed and flies a charter fight to Texas to face the Cornhuskers Saturday at 6:30 p.m. (EDT) with the winner facing the No.4 Texas A&M-No.13 Wichita State winner, Monday night, also in College Station.
"I felt we deserved a No.11 or 12 seed as our kids have worked hard this season and had some big wins," said UTC coach Wes Moore who takes a Lady Mocs squad to the Big Dance for the first time in three years and ninth time during his tenure as head coach at UTC.
"Who Says You Can't Go Home .." The Bon Jovi-Jennifer Nettles video smash hit from 2006 (Grammy winner) should be Coach Moore's theme song this week as the Texas City, Texas native returns to the Lone Star state with a resume that would make any mother smile - 558 wins at three different NCAA schools and 16 trips to the NCAA tournament, including nine at UTC.
UTC is 1-0 vs. Nebraska having beaten the Cornhuskers 79-64 on Nov.21, 1979 in Maclellan Gym.
"I got goose bumps when they called our name and gave us a No.11 seed," said a smiling Ashlen Dewart who was part of a large UTC hoops crowd watching the ESPN Selection Show at Big River Grille downtown.
"I am extremely happy with our seed and I think we have a real good chance to make a statement in the tournament."
Worthy of a No.11 Seed: The Mocs have the season resume to support that mind set to gain some national recognition as UTC has tied a school record for wins in a season, won is 14th Southern Conference tournament title, is in the midst of a 19-game winning streak - tied the seventh longest in the nation - and also opened the season with a home court win against Tennessee who is a No.2 seed in the tournament.
UTC in the NCAA: Chattanooga is 1-10 in its 10 NCAA appearances. The Lady Mocs defeated Rutgers 74-69 in 2004 at McKenzie Arena. Current assistant coach Katie Galloway Burrows was a member of that team.
This is the Lady Mocs second-highest seed in school history. They were a No. 10 in 2004 and have been a No. 12, seven times. UTC was also a No. 13 in 2002 and in its last trip in 2010.
Second NCAA Trip For UTC Seniors: UTC's Kayla Christopher and Kylie Lambert were freshman the last time UTC played in the NCAA tournament. The Lady Mocs lost to Oklahoma State, 70-63, in Tempe Ariz. Mar. 20 2010.
"I am really, really excited about playing again in the NCAAs and was not expecting a No,11 seed which is great for our team," said Christopher.
"The anticipation was brutal as we were watching the selection show waiting for our name to show up on the screen," Lambert stated.
contact B.B. Branton at William.firstname.lastname@example.org