It was announced late Monday afternoon that the NC State women’s basketball team was awarded the No. 3 seed in the East region of the NCAA Tournament.
For the second year in a row, the Wolfpack (26-5, 12-4 ACC) will host a regional at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh and get a chance to play the first two rounds of the tournament at home.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” head coach Wes Moore said. “What they’ve done is not easy.”
In NC State’s region are No. 6 Kentucky, No. 11 Princeton and No. 14 Maine. The Wolfpack will take on Maine in the first round and with a win will play the winner of Kentucky versus Princeton.
The Black Bears (25-7, 15-1 America East) are in the tournament as the auto-bid from the America East conference. Maine rolled through the America East Tournament, winning its three games by an average of over 22 points per game, and is currently on a 14-game winning streak. NC State played Maine earlier in the season, beating the Black Bears 84-46 at Reynolds Coliseum in December.
“They’ve played ACC teams well,” Moore said. “So we’re going to have to show up and play well [ourselves].”
In the matchup opposite the Pack, the sixth-seeded Wildcats (24-19, 11-5 SEC) were selected as an at-large bid from the SEC after winning seven of their last nine games and enter the tournament riding a wave of big victories. The 11th-seeded Tigers (22-9, 12-2 IVY) hail from the Ivy League, where they won the conference championship and are in the middle of a 12-game winning streak.
NC State rode a historic 21-0 start to a third-place finish in the ACC and a trip to the ACC semifinals, where the Pack fell to Louisville in a hard-fought game. The Wolfpack’s resume consisted of three wins over ranked teams (Syracuse, Miami, Florida State), 13 wins in ACC play (including the ACC Tournament) and an undefeated run in its non-conference play.
After using home-court advantage in the first two rounds to earn a Sweet Sixteen berth, the Pack is excited to repeat history.
“I’m looking forward to playing in front of our fans again,” said junior guard Aislinn Konig. “They supported us like crazy throughout the year and to be able to give them one last show is really special.”
In an address to the NC State fans who attended the team’s Selection Show watch party, Moore echoed Konig’s excitement about playing in front of a home crowd for at least one more game, and had a message for Wolfpack Nation.
“Spread the word,” Moore said. I’m expecting to see a whole lot of red and white here [at Reynolds Coliseum].”
The Wolfpack will begin action in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Reynolds Coliseum, and the team is focused on the tournament, and only the tournament.
“Now it’s a new season,” Moore said. “Everybody is 0-0.”