SU Women Make 2017 NCAA Tournament
By KJ Vaughn SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse Women’s basketball team is heading to Storrs, Connecticut for the NCAA Tournament. The Orange will be an 8 seed and face off against the region’s 9 seed, Iowa State, on Saturday, March 18.
The women found out their first round destination on Monday night at a watch party held at Manley Field House. Addressing the media afterwards, Head Coach Quentin Hillsman expressed how impressed he was with the turnout for the watch party.
“To have people come out … and watch where we are going and watch our seed, to see the excitement in the room, it means a lot for our players.” he said. “It means a lot for our program, so we are very happy with where we are.”
Members of the community got a chance to come out and mingle with the women and Coach Q before the party moved into the football auditorium right before 7 p.m. The crowd did not have to wait long to hear Syracuse’s name, as they were the second matchup announced in the Bridgeport region, which was the first region to be revealed.
Some people were surprised with the Orange’s seed, considering the fact they finished ranked in the AP Poll Top 25. One of those who thought the team would be seeded a bit higher was senior point guard Alexis Peterson.
“I was very surprised, I thought we would be a 6 seed, but obviously with conference tournaments shaking out the way they did [an 8 seed] is kind of to be expected,” she said.
The road back to the national championship could be a tough one for the ‘Cuse, as defending champions UConn and ACC Tournament runners-up Duke are the region’s 1 and 2 seeds respectively. If Syracuse advances out of the first round, there is a potential rematch of last year’s national championship game with the Huskies on Monday, March 20.
However, Syracuse will have plenty of big game experience under its belt for the start of this tournament. The women return four starters from last year’s team that lost to UConn in the big dance.
The Orange will tip-off against the Cyclones at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday in Storrs, Connecticut.