PARK, Pa. - The bracket is set for the 2013 NCAA Women's Basketball
Championships and below is all of the information that you need to get ready
for the Baton Rouge Subregional that will begin the Lady Lions quest for a trip
to the Final Four in New Orleans.
Selection Monday never gets old, no matter how many times you have put your dancing shoes, and that was summed up nicely by Penn State head coach Coquese Washington.
"No matter how many times you make it or when you know you are in the field, this day still brings those bubbles to my stomach," said Coquese Washington. "That is what March Madness is about."
After falling in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament the Lady Lions find themself pegged as the No. 3 seed in the Spokane Regional and head to the Baton Rouge in the first and second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season. Joining Penn State will be host and No. 6-seed LSU, No. 11-seed Green Bay of the Horizon League and No. 14 seed Cal Poly from the Big West.
Get all of the updated coverage at the Penn State NCAA Tournament Central Page by clicking here.
RPI and Strength of Schedule rankings from WarrenNolan.com
No. 3 Seed - Penn State Lady Lions (25-5, 14-2 Big Ten)
AP Ranking - 8; RPI - 5; Strength of Schedule - 13
Top Scorer: Maggie Lucas, 20.5 ppg
Top Rebounder: Nikki Greene, 8.2 rpg
The Lady Lions learned their fate on Monday night as the NCAA selection committee sent them to Baton Rouge, La. for the second straight season. A 25-5 record and their Big Ten regular season championship earned the Lady Lions the No. 3 seed in the Spokane Region and a date with Cal Poly (21-10), the Big West champions, in the opening round of the 2013 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament.
It will have been two full weeks of rest and preparation for the Blue and White between their loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament and their first round game vs. the Mustangs. The Lady Lions have never faced Cal-Poly, but did defeat a member of the Big West earlier this season when they topped Cal-State Northridge to win the Radisson Chatsworth Thanksgiving Tournament.
Lucas has been on a scoring tear with 20 or more points in six of her last
seven games, including an impressive 23 points in the Lady Lions loss to
Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals. The junior ranks 13th
nationally with 20.5 points per game and her 47.5 three-point field goal
percentage is fourth in the NCAA. Not to be outdone, fellow guard Alex Bentley
sits sixth nationally in in steals per game (3.5) to go along with 3.6 steals
and 14 points per contest .
Nikki Greene will take another step into Penn State lore when she starts her 130th career game on Sunday vs. Cal Ploy. The senior will tie Kelly Mazzante for most games started by a Lady Lion in school history. The Diboll, Texas native is already the only player in school history with 1,000 points, 900 rebounds and 200 blocks in a career and with 30 more rebounds can become just the fourth player in school history to have 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career.
No. 14 Seed - Cal Poly Mustangs (21-10, 13-5 Big West)
AP Ranking- NR; RPI - 75; Strength of Schedule - 103
Top Scorer: Molly Schlemer, 13.0 ppg
Top Rebounder: Molly Schlemer, 7.2 rpg
The Mustangs earned their first trip to the NCAA Tournament by winning the Big West Tournament title as the No. 2 seed, defeating top-seeded Pacific, 63-49, to earn the berth. Their resume includes a pair games against teams that made field of 64 this season. They dropped their season opener to Oklahoma State, 90-59, before falling to Cal, 87-61, on Nov. 19.
Center Molly Schlemer was the Big West Tournament MVP and leads the team in scoring (13.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.2), but their guard play has been stout, as well. Ariana Elgado scores 12.3, which is second on the club, while handing out 3.4 assists per game. The tandem of Kayla Griffin and Jonae Ervin are handing out 3.5 and 4.4 assists per game, respectively, and CPU averages 16.1 assists per game as a team to rank 21st in the NCAA.
No. 6 Seed - LSU Tigers (20-11, 10-6 SEC)
AP Ranking - RV; RPI - 33; Strength of Schedule - 21
Top Scorer: Theresa Plaisance, 17.4 ppg
Top Rebounder: Theresa Plaisance, 8.3 rpg
LSU saw its seven game winning streak snapped vs. No. 12 Georgia in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, but the Tigers are a battle tested team. The host of the first and second round games, LSU has played nine NCAA Tournament teams and owns a 6-6 record against them.
This marks the second straight season that Penn State and LSU will host the Lady Lions in the postseason, with Penn State claiming a 90-80 decision in last year's second round game at the Maravich Center on the LSU campus to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
The Tigers are paced in the scoring column and on the boards by forward Theresa Plaisance's 17.4 points and 8.3 rebounds. The junior is shooting is connecting on 45 percent of her shots from the floor and effects the oppositions offense on the other end with 82 blocked shots.
Four players in the LSU starting five average 10-plus points, with Adrienne Webb, Danielle Ballard and Bianca Lutley all pouring in better than 10 points to lead the NCAA's 8th ranked scoring offense at 68.9 points per game. Jeanne Kenney facilitates that offense and ranks 28th nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio with a 2-to-1 ratio.
No. 11 Seed - Green Bay Phoenix (29-2, 16-0 Horizon)
AP Ranking - 20; RPI - 21; Strength of Schedule - 131
Top Scorer: Adrian Ritchie, 14.2 ppg
Top Rebounder: Adrian Ritchie, 5.1 rpg
The Lady Lions are no stranger to the head coach of the Horizon League champion Phoenix, as Kevin Borseth was the sideline boss at Michigan for the last five season. While with the Wolverines, Borseth compiled an 87-73 record, including a 3-7 mark vs. Coquese Washington's Lady Lions, before returning to Green Bay where he coached from 1998-2007.
Green Bay is riding a 24-game winning streak, which stands as the fourth longest active streak behind Baylor, Notre Dame and Delaware, which is in large part to their second-ranked scoring defense that allows just 48.1 points per game. The Phoenix also rank among the top-10 nationally in seven other categories, including assist to turnover ratio (fourth), field goal percentage (ninth) and turnover margin (10th).
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