Women’s Basketball | Jumbos to kick off NCAA Championship at home
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 02:02
The women’s basketball team will this weekend host first-and-second round games in the NCAA tournament for its second straight season. On Friday, the No. 11 Jumbos will face off against St. Lawrence at Cousens Gymnasium, with No. 17 Babson College taking on New Paltz State immediately after. The winners of the two games will play on Saturday night for a place in the Sweet 16.
Despite a disappointing exit from the NESCAC tournament in the quarterfinals, the NCAA still rewarded Tufts for its 23-2 record, giving them at least two guaranteed games at home, where the Jumbos are 22-3 over the past two seasons, and placing them among the highest-ranked teams. A potential Sweet 16 matchup with conference rival Amherst awaits the Jumbos if they can make it that far.
Tufts has gone as far as the Elite Eight, during the 2007-2008 season, and made the Sweet 16 last season, losing to St. Thomas, 50-47.
St. Lawrence, Tufts’ first-round opponent, also received an at-large bid from the tournament committee after their perfect 16-0 regular season conference record was soiled by a 79-75 loss to Vassar College in the Liberty League championship game. Amherst, the pair’s only mutual opponent, beat the Saints by 30 early in the season.
On the other side of the pod, the 25-2 Babson Beavers will take on the 24-3 New Paltz State Hawks. Both teams played the majority of their games within their own conference, with Babson winning all 20 games against NEWMAC opposition, while New Paltz went 16-2 in the regular season before winning the SUNYAC title. The Beavers suffered a 20-point loss to Williams, but also carry an impressive non-conference victory over tournament-bound Smith College.
Times for the games will be announced by the athletic department later in the week. Check out Friday’s Daily for a full preview of the weekend’s games.