It's Penn-Texas and St. Joe's-Georgia in women's NCAAs

Posted: March 19, 2014

The suspense ended quickly and happily for Penn and St. Joseph's on Monday night during the draw for the NCAA women's basketball tournament.

Ivy League champion Penn (22-6) will face Texas on Sunday at 3 p.m. in College Park, Md.

There was concern that St. Joseph's (22-9) might be bypassed after a fifth-place finish in the Atlantic 10, but the Hawks saw their name at the top of the selection show on ESPN.

The ninth-seeded Hawks will play eighth-seeded Georgia (20-11) on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. in Storrs, Conn.

Defending national champion Connecticut (34-0) will meet Prairie View (14-17), the Southwestern Athletic Conference champion, in the other game in Storrs. The winners will meet next Tuesday night.

"I think it speaks to our resume of work during the season and how competitive the Atlantic 10 is," St. Joseph's coach Cindy Griffin said after her team was placed in the Lincoln (Neb.) Regional.

The Quakers didn't have to wait much longer after the Hawks learned their fate. As the 12th seed, they will meet fifth-seeded Texas (21-11), an at-large pick out of the Big 12 Conference.

It's the highest-ever seed for Penn and one of the highest ever for an Ivy League women's team.

The fourth-seeded Maryland Terrapins (24-6) will meet 13th-seeded Army (25-7), which won the Patriot League, in the other game in College Park. The teams are part of the Louisville Regional.

"I think it's great that we'll have friends and family being able to travel to College Park, 21/2 hours from here," Penn coach Mike McLaughlin said. "I don't think we could have asked for a better situation."

"It's so meaningful," senior star Alyssa Baron said of Penn's run. "There's been a lot of anticipation building to this day. I'm so happy to be able to go to the NCAA."

Penn State (22-7), seeded third in the Stanford Regional, gets to play at home Sunday at 12:30 p.m. against No. 14 Wichita State (26-6), the Missouri Valley Conference champion.

That means Germantown Academy graduate Maggie Lucas gets to play at least one more time, probably twice, in front of the Nittany Lions fans.

Rutgers (22-9) did not get a bid after finishing fourth in the new American Athletic Conference. However, Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer accepted a bid to the Women's National Invitation Tournament, which Drexel won last year.

In the first round, Villanova (22-8) will host Quinnipiac (21-12) on Wednesday night.

On Thursday night, Rutgers will host Delaware (22-10), meeting the Blue Hens for the first time since 1977, while Princeton (20-8) hosts Virginia Commonwealth (22-9).

Former Temple coach Dawn Staley's South Carolina squad (27-4) received a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Stanford Regional and will play No. 16 Cal State Northridge (18-14) in the first round.

Big Five Women's Hall of Famer Muffet McGraw's Notre Dame team (32-0) also received a top seed. The Irish will open against 16th seed Robert Morris (21-11) in the Notre Dame Regional.

Former St. Joe's coach Jim Foster will take his fourth school to the NCAA women's field after guiding Tennessee-Chattanooga (29-3) to the Southern Conference title. His 11th-seeded team will play sixth-seeded Syracuse (22-9) in the Notre Dame Regional.

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