The nine days between the Miami women’s basketball team’s last game and Selection Monday were tense, nerve-racking and stressful, to say the least.
But the euphoric joy when the Miami women heard their name called – their ticket to the Big Dance punched? Well worth it.
Coach Katie Meier’s squad earned its fourth NCAA tournament in five years Monday night, an 11 seed that will travel to Iowa City to take on six seed Washington in the first round Friday at 12 p.m.
“Honestly, the past nine days, I have not been a fun person to be around,” said a relieved and overjoyed Coach Meier on a conference call after the selection. “I am so happy for this team, and these seniors. I was grabbing Ray [Suriya McGuire] every time they had a 10, 11 seed come up, with all we’ve been through. I’m so happy for them.”
Miami found itself on the tournament bubble, after dropping its last four games of the conference season to finish at 8-8, including a discouraging loss on the road at Wake Forest, who had only one win in conference play up to that point.
But the Hurricanes’ strength of schedules included a win over Notre Dame, who was number one in the RPI, and a late-season win over Syracuse on the road as well. With a win over Virginia in the ACC tournament, Miami was able to snag one of the last spots in the NCAA tourney.
If the Hurricanes can defeat Washington on Friday, they will take on the winner of the American–Iowa game to take place right after Miami and Washington.
Coverage of the game can be seen on ESPN2 and heard on WVUM 90.5 FM, the student station of the University of Miami.