#2 Lady Vols Host Oral Roberts In NCAAs

March 18, 2013


Familiarity in the Postseason for the Lady Vols

By Brian Rice
It is often said that everything old is new again. The Lady Vols have that feeling of familiarity heading into the 2013 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament.

Tennessee finds itself in the Oklahoma City region, a site they last went through in 2008, where the team knocked off Notre Dame and Texas A&M en route to the Final Four in Tampa. The Lady Vols' first round opponent that season was Oral Roberts, a team that awaits another first round date with UT on Saturday.

"I hope that's a sign of good things to come," Tennessee head coach Holly Warlick said of the series of coincidences that the bracket featured. "It's something new for us, just having this team in the tournament, and just knowing who you're going to play in the tournament is huge."

The new part is what is most difficult to deal with in the postseason, but knowing the opponent after Monday night's selection show allows the team and the coaches to get ready for the opening weekend.

"I believe our coaches are going to come in big with this," sophomore Cierra Burdick said. "They're going to pull up film and we're going to have to figure out who they are and what they do and focus on us and getting us better." Burdick said the team does not have time to worry about the potential trip to Oklahoma City or another familiar opponent, Baylor, that may loom there.

"It's a new year," Burdick said. "We have the same goal as we did last year and that's to get to a Final Four. We're going to play with the cards we're dealt. Baylor is in our way, but we have to win three games to get there. It's a matter of continuing to get better as a team, continuing to regroup and refocus after every victory. We're doing all we can do to make sure we make some noise in this tournament."

Tennessee assistant Dean Lockwood summed up the feeling best getting on the elevator to depart the team's viewing party in the East Club at Neyland Stadium.

"Well," he said. "Here we go!"

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship bracket was unveiled Monday night on ESPN, and No. 2 seed Tennessee will meet No. 15 seed Oral Roberts on Saturday at approx. 1:30 p.m. in an Oklahoma City Region First Round game at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Syracuse and Creighton will meet in the other NCAA First Round game at 11:20 a.m., with the winner advancing to play the winner of the UT-ORU contest in the second round at 7 p.m. on Monday. ESPN2 will televise all three contests in high definition.

The winner of the NCAA Second Round game advances to the regional round in Oklahoma City, Okla., on March 31 and April 2. The Final Four will be held in New Orleans, La., on April 7 and 9.

Tennessee, 24-7 overall and the SEC's regular-season champion, is making its 32nd all-time appearance in the NCAA Championship and is the only school to earn a berth every season of the tourney's existence. The eight-time NCAA champion Lady Vols are 112-23 in NCAA play, posting the most victories and games in tourney history as well.

The Big Orange women are 48-1 all-time in NCAA First or Second Round games, including a 38-0 record (19-0 in first round/19-0 second round) at home. The Lady Vols last hosted the NCAA First & Second Rounds in 2011, defeating Stetson (99-34) and Marquette (79-70).

Tennessee and Oral Roberts also played in the 2008 NCAA Tournament first round with the Lady Vols posting a 94-55 win on March 23 at West Lafayette, Ind.

All-session tickets to the NCAA First and Second Rounds in Knoxville include a ticket for all three games. First Session tickets include both First Round games on March 23, while Second Session tickets are for the Second Round game on March 25. Single-game tickets also are available for either day.

Tickets are available for purchase online at UTTix.com or by calling the Tennessee Ticket Office at 865-656-1200 or 800-332-8657. Tickets also may be purchased in person at the Tennessee Ticket Office, located in the northwest corner of Thompson-Boling Arena directly off Phillip Fulmer Way.

For more information about the NCAA First/Second Rounds in Knoxville, please go to www.utsports.com/ot/13ncaa/.





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