Special Jennings and the Musketeers are headed to Seattle to take on Gonzaga.
March 16, 2009
CINCINNATI - The No. 20/18 Xavier University women's basketball team will be making its third-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament as the Musketeers earned a No. 5 seed in the Oklahoma City Regional. The Musketeers, who will play No. 12 Gonzaga (25-6, 12-2 West Coast Conference) on Saturday, March 21, enter the NCAA Tournament with a 25-6 overall record and won the Atlantic 10 Regular Season Championship with a 13-1 mark. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. PDT at the University of Washington's Bank of America Arena in Seattle.
The No. 5 seed is the second-highest seed XU has ever attained. Xavier was a No. 4 seed in 2001.
This marks the eighth NCAA appearance all-time for Xavier and the 11th time in the last 12 seasons that the Musketeers have reached national postseason play. The program currently carries a 4-7 record all time in the tournament and the last trip was made by last year's squad, which received a No. 9 seed in the Spokane Regional. XU fell 61-58 to No. 8 seed Nebraska in College Park, Md. in first round action of the 2008 NCAA Championship
The Musketeers have never played the Zags and the team is 4-0 from teams currently playing in the WCC. XU's last win in the NCAA Tournament came in 2001 when the Musketeers made a run to the Elite Eight, as the No. 4 seed, Xavier would take out No. 13 Louisville in the first round, No. 5 Clemson in the second round and No. 1 Tennessee in the Regional Semifinal before falling to No. 3 Purdue in the Regional Final in Birmingham, Ala.
XU won its first outright A-10 Regular Season crown since 2001 and is led by sophomore center Ta'Shia Phillips. Phillips, the A-10 Player of the Year, averages team highs with 13.5 points and 11.9 rebounds per game. She was recently nominated for Women's Basketball Coaches Association All-America honors and is still in the running for the Naismith and Wooden Awards.
For ticket information, please call the Xavier Ticket Office at (513) 745-3411 ext. 7 starting Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.
Please continue to check back for the latest updates on XU's trip to the NCAA Tournament right here on GOXAVIER.com.
Xavier Head Coach Kevin McGuff
On the team's success
"I'm really proud of our team. You look at where we were in October, and where we are right now we've made a lot of great progress. It's a real testament to our team and our players"
On playing in the NCAA Tournament
"Gonzaga is a very well-coached team and they've had a lot of success. They had 26 wins this year, so I know it's going to be a challenge for us. Our team is excited because we haven't played in a while, between the A-10 Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. It's great to have an opponent ... at this point in the year you face tough opponents"
On first whole year on the team
"My role this year is pretty much the same as last year. Last year was a little different because we did come in at the end of the season, but we fit in"
On the tournament field
At this point in the year everybody is good one through 64."
On watching ESPN tonight instead of CNN
"It was good, it was a good feeling, I can make an exception tonight"
On getting a 5 seed
"We were pretty much hoping to get a five seed. We know Gonzaga is a good team. We were actually hoping for a four but we are very happy with the five.
Atlantic 10 Tournament lost to Dayton
"It was a heartbreaker, but it doesn't take away anything we have done during the season. It was tough watching that game because we had it right at our fingertips.
On Amber Harris
"She is a large part of the team. She couldn't hurt us, she could definitely help us going in playing against good teams. We don't know about her situation, it's still up in the air."
What a first round win would mean to the team
"It would be huge this year, for this team with our style of play. It is always huge for any program"
On playing on the West coast
"Seattle is a little different. They get a little more rain than California. I can prep [the team] for the plane ride though."