After a disappointing 47-61 loss to Utah in the title game of the MWC Women's Championships in Las Vegas, BYU's women's basketball team got some great news after arriving at the Salt Lake City Airport, on Sunday. They were joining March Madness as one of 64 women's teams selected in this year's NCAA Championships.
The Cougars, who finished the year with a 22-8,10-4 record, will play Oklahoma in the East sub-regional First Round Saturday hosted by Purdue University. BYU will play the Sooners who finished their season with a 23-7, 13-3 record tied for first place in the Big 12 Conference. Purdue and Dartmouth are the other teams playing at West Lafayette, Indiana next weekend.
In just his third year at the helms of BYU's women's basketball program, Trent Shippen is elated with the news. "We're so excited to be in this year's tournament. It will be an awesome experience for the girls," said Shippen. "This is great news for our program and I know our team has worked very hard for this opportunity. I know that once you've been there, you always want to go back."
The Cougars were in the NCAA Championships during the1992-93 season where they lost in the first round to UCSB 79-88, finishing the year with a 24-5, 13-1 record and ranked 33rd. BYU's previous appearances in the NCAA tourney were in 1984 and 1985 where they lost in first round action both times.
After last year's 16-13, 9-5 season, BYU participated in the WNIT losing to Colorado 53-70 in first round action.
The University of Utah is the other women's team from the Mountain West Conference who made the 64 team roster.