Surrounded by their fans in a jam packed Club Illusions at A.K. Hinds University Center on Monday night, the Lady Catamounts discovered their seeding in the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
The Western Carolina Women’s basketball team, drawing a WCU best 13th seed, will face No. 4 seed and the 14th ranked Vanderbilt Commodores at 8 p.m. Eastern this Saturday March 21 in Albuquerque, New Mexico at The Pit/Bob King Court.
The game will televised on ESPN2.
“I think getting a 13 seed is a big deal for this program,” said head coach Kellie Harper. “We felt like we had the resume if the selection committee did their homework. I am really proud for our kids. It’s a big step.”
This is the second appearance in school history by Western Carolina in the NCAA Tournament. In 2005, the Lady Catamounts were a 16 seed and faced No. 1 seed Tennessee, falling 94-43 in Knoxville.
Prior to finding out who the 2009 first round opponent would be, Harper told the fans at Club Illusions that her team would go to win. Following the announcement, Harper said she was still optimistic about winning and had a high level of respect for the Commodores.
“I can’t go into any game not thinking we’re going to win. I don’t have it in me. I’m going to work my tail off to get my kids the best scouting report they can have,” said Harper. “Vanderbilt is very, very intelligent. They’re extremely sharp. Their offense is near perfect.”
The Lady Catamounts (21-11), will go in the tournament having won 10 in a row, including a triple-overtime thriller last week in the Southern Conference tournament’s championship game.
The Commodores (24-8) are headed to New Mexico after defeating Auburn 61-54 in the SEC Tournament. This will be the first meeting between the two schools.
The winner of Saturday’s first round game will face either No. 5 seed Kansas State or No. 12 seed Drexel on Monday, March 23. One team will advance from the Albuquerque pod into the Raleigh Regional on March 28 & 30.