BYU earns No. 6 seed in NCAA Tournament to face Villanova
PROVO, Utah – BYU women’s basketball heard its name called for the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, earning an at-large bid as a No. 6 seed, facing off against No. 11 seed Villanova on Saturday, March 19, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
"We are really excited to have a chance to get to the tournament and be able to play," BYU head coach Jeff Judkins said. "We knew this year we were in and through our hard work in the whole season we got ourselves into a good position to have this opportunity."
Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. EDT at the Crisler Center. The game will be televised on ESPN News and also broadcast on BYU Radio SiriusXM 143 and 107.9 FM, the BYU Radio App and BYU Cougars App.
This is the 11th appearance for the Cougars in the NCAA Tournament under head coach Jeff Judkins and 15th overall. The No. 6 seed tops the program’s previous high mark of a No. 7 seed, reached three different times (2019, 2016, 2006).
BYU has won at least one game in the NCAA Tournament five times and advanced to the Sweet 16 twice (2014, 2002). Last year as a No. 11 seed, BYU beat No. 6 seed Rutgers 69-66 before falling to No. 3 seed Arizona 52-46 in the second round.
"When you get into the tournament it's not really so much about where you are seeded but the matchup," Judkins said. "I know a little bit about Villanova and they are a good team that controls the ball and really works at it. It will be a big challenge for us but I am excited. I think we are in a bracket where we can do some damage if we play our game."
Villanova finished second in the Big East, with an overall record of 23-8 and 15-4 in the league. The Wildcats are coming off a 70-40 loss to Connecticut in the Big East championship game. BYU and Villanova have met one time previously, with the Wildcats winning a 61-58 neutral site game in December of 1995.
This year, BYU is 26-3 and won the West Coast Conference regular-season title with a 15-1 league record. Its No. 15 ranking in the AP Top 25 is the highest mark in program history.
For the second-consecutive year, Judkins was named the WCC Coach of the Year and Shaylee Gonzales won WCC Player of the Year. Judkins is a semifinalist for the Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year Award while Gonzales earned second-team All-America honors from The Athletic and is a finalist for the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Award.
The 2022 championship will be the first to have 68 teams. First Four games will be played on Wednesday, March 16, and Thursday, March 17, at four of the top-16 host sites. First- and second-round games will be played Friday, March 18, through Monday, March 21, at the top-16 seeds.
Regional games will be played March 25-28, with Greensboro, North Carolina (Greensboro Coliseum) and Spokane, Washington (Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena) hosting regional semifinal and final games on March 25 and 27, while Bridgeport, Connecticut (Webster Bank Arena) and Wichita, Kansas (INTRUST Bank Arena) will host March 26 and 28.
The 2022 Women's Final Four will be played April 1 and 3 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The semifinals will be at 7 and 9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. The championship game will be played at 8 p.m. on ESPN.