WOMEN'S BASKETBALL | Lady Hoyas a No. 5 Seed, to Play Princeton in College Park
Georgetown seeded in Philadelphia region with No. 1 UConn
Published: Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Updated: Thursday, March 17, 2011 03:03
While the term "selection committee" might draw glares in some neighborhoods – Blacksburg, Va. and Boulder, Co. come to mind – the phrase is pretty popular in Georgetown this week.
The NCAA women's tournament committee awarded No. 22 Georgetown (22-10, 9-7 Big East) a No. 5 seed in the Philadelphia region. The Lady Hoyas will be matched up against Princeton, a No. 12 seed, this Sunday afternoon in College Park, Md.
The news – which came a day after the Georgetown men were named a surprising No. 6 seed – drew cheers from players, coaches and fans in the Leavey Center's Faculty Club Restaurant. The No. 5 seed matched most projections for the Lady Hoyas, and the general feeling was that the committee had done its job correctly.
"It's what we expected, anywhere from a four to a five seed," Head Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "We didn't end extremely well, so I know we probably could've been a four, but we'll take the five. At this point, we're just happy to be here."
As Williams-Flournoy mentioned, a late-season slide likely kept Georgetown from earning a higher seed. The Lady Hoyas beat four ranked teams this season – including No. 4 Tennessee – and had two separate six-game winning streaks. However, an early Big East tournament exit combined with losses in four of their last five regular season games dropped the Blue and Gray to the No. 5 seed.
While the seeding came as no surprise, the local site should provide the Lady Hoyas with an unexpected home court advantage in the first round. The hometown atmosphere is even stronger for senior guard Monica McNutt, who hails from nearby Suitland, Md.
"I like the seeding," sophomore guard Sugar Rodgers said. "Especially for Monnie because it's her senior year, and she gets to play right at home in Maryland."
"I've thought about it, I am [happy about the site]," McNutt said in reaction to her younger teammate. "But more importantly, I hope we can get some fans up to [the] Comcast [Center]. That'll be big for us, we love playing in front of crowds."
While the Sunday crowd at the 17,950-seat Comcast Center should be decidedly pro-Georgetown, a victory would pit the Blue and Gray against No. 4 seed Maryland on its home court in the second round.
However, Princeton will dominate the Lady Hoyas' minds for the time being. No. 5 versus No. 12 matchups are notorious upset hotbeds, and Georgetown cannot afford to lose focus.
Williams-Flournoy made sure her staff got a head start scouting the Tigers.
"My coaches are gone already," Williams-Flournoy said minutes after the announcement. "I know they've got four players averaging double figures – they actually average almost 70 points, I believe – so, once again, they're a team that we've got to make sure and continue to do what we do."
The Lady Hoyas lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament last year in their first berth since 1993 but are confident that they will prove themselves this year in spite of their late-season slip-ups.
"Coming off the Big East tournament and how we closed our season, we're ready to go again," McNutt said. "We're ready to continue to prove that we're a good team."