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Lady Vols Qualify for Record 28th NCAA Tournament
Pat Summitt

Pat Summitt

March 16, 2009

Selection Show Quotes Get Acrobat Reader

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee coach Pat Summitt spent Monday trying to keep herself from thinking too much about the Lady Volunteers' fate in the NCAA tournament bracket after a roller-coaster 10-loss season.

A practice, a workout, a nap and an afternoon in the kitchen later, Summitt and the Lady Vols found out they were a No. 5 seed -- the program's worst seeding ever.

"It doesn't really bother me," Summitt said. "A four seed? Yeah, that would have been good, but as I look at the bracket, I don't see where it's a big deal."

Tennessee (22-10) drew the Berkeley, Calif., regional and a first-round matchup against Ball State in Bowling Green, Ky., on Sunday. That region features five teams the Lady Vols faced this season, including two that beat them: sixth-seeded Texas and top-seed Duke.

The Lady Vols are the defending national champions in name only after graduating five seniors and replacing them with seven freshmen.

Monday was the first time the freshman participated in Summitt's selection day cookout. The team crowded into her pool house to watch the announcements, cheering at clips of themselves and falling silent at a clip of Summitt speaking of her frustration from the season.

A fixture atop the bracket since the first NCAA tournament in 1982, Tennessee has earned a top seed 19 times, a No. 2 seed four times and No. 3 seed three times. The analysts usually talk about Tennessee being among the teams to beat, but this time the talk was about the Lady Vols' off year.

"It just motivates us," said freshman Shekinna Stricklen, who leads the team with 13.1 points per game. "Some people like us and some people don't, and we're going to get there either way we go."

Tennessee, which is the only team to play in every NCAA tournament, has only been seeded as low as fourth once -- in 1986. The Lady Vols also hold an unblemished streak of reaching the regional semifinals in every NCAA tournament.

Tennessee took 10 losses into the NCAA tournament in 1997, earned a No. 3 seed and made an unlikely run to the title.

"I keep thinking about that. Ten losses, and now we're going to win it all," Summitt said.

Summitt had hoped a strong schedule and high RPI would help the Lady Vols make a strong case for a No. 4 seed, though she said she wasn't surprised that didn't happen. Tennessee and Oklahoma have alternately held the strongest schedule throughout the year, and the Lady Vols are currently seventh on the RPI list.

Lady Vols fans travel well, and Bowling Green is located only 155 miles from Knoxville. The team has played much better when they're fans are around. Eight of its 10 losses were on the road.

Bowling Green is also close to Summitt's childhood home of Henrietta, Tenn., and the Hall of Fame coach is already making plans for her entire family to come.

"I'm calling them tonight and telling them to start counting tickets," she said.

TENNESSEE'S NCAA TOURNAMENT NOTES

  • Tennessee's eight NCAA women's basketball titles are more than any other women's program in the country and second only to the UCLA men's program (11).
  • UT is 104-19 record all-time in NCAA Tournament games, including an 8-5 mark in NCAA Title games.
  • Tennessee has played in the most NCAA Toumament games (123)
  • Tennessee has recorded the most NCAA Tournamem wins (104)
  • Tennessee has the best winning percentage in NCAA Tournament games (.846)
  • Tennessee is the only team to appear in all 28 NCAA Tournaments
  • Tennessee's 18 Final Four appearances rank first among all programs.
  • UT's Chamique Holdsclaw is the NCAA's all time leading tournament scorer (1996-99). She played in 22 tournament games and scored 479 points {21.S ppg}.
  • Candace Parker finished her career ranked seventh on the all-time scoring list with 342 points (21.4) in just 16 NCAA games.
  • Five Lady Vois have been the tournament's leading scorer on 5 occasions -- Mary Ostrowski (1984), Bridgette Gordon (1987. 1989), Dana Johnson (1995). Chamique Holdsclaw (1997. 1998), and Tamika Calchings (2000).
  • Six Lady Vois have been the tournament's leading rebounder on six occasions -- Mary Ostrowski (1984), Sheila Frost (1987), Daedra Charles (1991), Chamique Holdsclaw (1998), Tamika Catchings (2000), and Gwen Jackson (2003)
  • Chamique Holdsclaw ranks second (1998-9.0), Nicky Anosike ranks fourth (165- 7.9) Sheila Frost ranks fifth (162-9.0), Tamika Calchings and Bridgette Gordon are tied for eighth (142-7.9/142-7.9), Candace Parker stands in ninth (140-8.8) and Gwen Jackson is 12th (133-6.7 rpg) among the toumament's all-time rebounding leaders.
  • Bridgette Gordon holds the record for the most free throws made in a tournament game (17-20 in the 1989 East Regional finals versus Long Beach State.
  • Alexis Hornbuckle finished her career tied for second for most steals in NCAA Toorna· memgames (56).
  • Candace Parker (40) and Nicky Anosike (37) finished in second and tied for 1lth respectively in NCAA Tournamemt games for career blocks.
  • The Lady Vols recorded the largest victory margin (74 points) in the NCAA Tournament with a 111-37 victory over N.C. A&T in 1994.
  • In the 1997 tournamemt, Kellie Jolly fled the record for the most assists in the Final Foor (20) with Texas' Kamie Ethridge in 1986 and established the mark for most assists in the title game (11).
  • Abby Conklin in 1996 and Kellie Jolly in 1998 each recorded the NCAA's highest three point field goal percentage in a game by hitting 4-of-5 shots from behind the arc for 80 percent.
  • A total of 95 Lady Vol team members have participated/played in the Final Four, which ranks first among all schools. Louisiana Tech is second with 65 participants all time.
  • Tennessee's 28-point victory over Arkansas in 1998 is the largest ever in a Final Foor semifinal game.

NCAA 1st/2nd Round
Overall: UT is 42-0
1st Round: UT is 21-0
2nd Round: UT is 21-0
In Knoxville: UT is 34-0
Away: UT is 1-0
Neutral: UT is 7-0
Overtime: 0-0

Tennessee's NCAA Seeding Through the Years
YearSeedRegionResult
1982#2MideastFinal Four (3rd)
1983#1Mideastlost in regional final
1984#3MideastFinal Four (2nd)
1985#3Mideastlost in regional semis
1986#4MideastFinal Four (3rd)
1987#2MideastNCAA Champions
1988#1EastFinal Four (3rd)
1989#1EastNCAA Champions
1990#1Eastlost in regional final (OT)
1991#1MideastNCAA Champions
1992#1Mideastlost in regional semis
1993#1Mideastlost in regional finals
1994#1Mideastlost in regional semis
1995#1MideastFinal Four (2nd)
1996#1EastNCAA Champions
1997#3MidwestNCAA Champions
1998#1MideastNCAA Champions
1999#1Eastlost in regional finals
2000#1MideastFinal Four (2nd)
2001#1Mideastlost in regional semis
2002#2MidwestFinal Four (3rd)
2003#1MideastFinal Four (2nd)
2004#1MidwestFinal Four (2nd)
2005#1PhiladelphiaFinal Four (3rd)
2006#2Clevelandlost in regional finals
2007#1DaytonNCAA Champions
2008#1Oklahoma CityNCAA Champions
2009#5Berkeley?????

Top Five Teams in NCAA Tournament History by Total Games Played
RankSchoolGamesW-LYears1st2nd3rd
1Tennessee123104-1927855
2Louisiana Tech8865-2325244
3Connecticut8065-1520504
4Georgia7348-2525023
5Stanford7252-2022214

 

 

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