Women Headed to Basketball's Big Dance

BYU and MWC Co-Player of the Year Ambrosia Anderson look to defeat Iowa in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The No. 20 BYU women's basketball team was all smiles as the Cougars earned the No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the selection committee announced Monday evening. BYU (25-5) will play the No. 10 seed Iowa (17-11) on Saturday.

A victory, in its seventh invitation in program history and third for Judkins, would put BYU head-to-head with either No. 2 seed Oklahoma or No. 11 seed Pepperdine on Monday.

"These girls have worked their whole lives for a chance to go to the NCAA Tournament," head coach Jeff Judkins said. "You've got to get up for games like this. We have a week to prepare for Iowa. It is a great team and will be a great challenge."

Sophomore guard Mallary Gillespie is excited with BYU's position as a No. 7 seed, which is the highest seed BYU has ever been placed in the tournament.

"I'm just so excited," Gillespie said. "It's going to be tons of fun. I'm so glad we made it. It's a great honor to go no matter what your seed. I think our chances look good at this point."

Having already played a total of 11 games against six other teams making NCAA Tournament appearances, the Cougars feel prepared for this weekend.

"I'm so excited to be going to Denver," Ambrosia Anderson said, who was the Co-MWC Player of the Year. "It's very exciting. We know the Pepsi Center well and have played a lot of great teams, so hopefully we'll see a lot of wins."

BYU has a 7-4 record against NCAA Tournament teams this year, winning games against UC Riverside, UCLA, Utah and New Mexico, as well as tallying three victories over TCU. The Cougars also lost to NC State and New Mexico, while dropping two to Utah. New Mexico, Utah and BYU are all currently ranked in the Top-25.

Game times and ticket prices will be announced at a later date.

Two victories this weekend would send the Cougars to San Antonio for the Sweet 16 next weekend.