Woman Vols dance (and win) their solution to No. 4 seed

The brutal non-conference schedule and performances in February and March within the SEC sealed one of many high 16 seeds for Tennessee and the best to host.

“For the Woman Vols, they haven’t misplaced to anybody apart from South Carolina since February 6, they usually actually challenged themselves within the non-conference,” mentioned Lisa Peterson, the chair of the NCAA Division I Girls’s Basketball Committee. “I feel their energy of schedule was 4 total, they usually had struggles to start with with their number of lineups however with the way in which they’re enjoying proper now and moving into that convention event, we thought that that was what made them deserving of internet hosting.”

Tennessee reached the SEC tourney title recreation after defeating LSU within the semifinals, handing the Tigers solely their second lack of the season. Of Tennessee’s 11 losses, 10 have been to groups presently ranked within the AP Prime 25. The Woman Vols solely loss to an unranked crew got here in double extra time on the street in opposition to Mississippi State on Feb. 6, a recreation through which Jordan Horston spent more often than not in foul bother.

The Woman Vols are the one Division I faculty to earn a bid in all 41 tournaments because it began in 1982 and have an all-time document of 128-32 in NCAA play.

Rickea Jackson, who performed three seasons at Mississippi State, will partake within the first NCAA tourney of her profession. Jackson and freshman Justine Pissott initially reacted in shock when Tennessee Tech appeared on the display as a No. 16 seed earlier than the Woman Vols’ spot was unveiled as a result of they didn’t see the Tech a part of the title.

“All I noticed was Tennessee … as a result of I don’t even understand how these things works, the way it seems,” Jackson mentioned. “Me and Coach Kellie have been speaking after observe the opposite day and I’m similar to, ‘What is that this? How does it work? Are we multi function huge place just like the SEC event? Will we go locations? That’s simply me not figuring out, by no means enjoying on this event. My coronary heart stopped a bit bit, however I’m glad that wasn’t us.”

The response introduced a smile to Harper’s face.

“They haven’t completed this, proper?” Harper mentioned. “They didn’t know when to carry their breath. A number of of the veterans and clearly the employees and also you guys all knew when to activate the document button.”

Harper is proud of the No. 4 seed, beginning at residence and with the ability to witness Jackson, among the best gamers within the nation this season, get to expertise the game’s largest postseason stage.

“She’s so excited,” Harper mentioned. “She was truly asking me about a few of the particulars the opposite day and did remind me that she hasn’t completed this. When it’s your job, when it’s your life, you simply assume everybody understands all of the little particulars and nuances that’s the NCAA Event and yearly we’re reminded that they’re younger they usually don’t all the time know, particularly people who haven’t been in, and so it’s actually cool. She’s so enthusiastic about this chance. She’s an unbelievable participant.”

Jackson loved each little bit of the occasion and livestreamed it, led the dancing with Horston and even rated Harper’s potential to bounce.

“I must give Coach Kellie a stable seven,” Jackson mentioned. “She has rhythm, however the vitality. She had it, however she simply wants a bit bit extra umph. She’s bought it. She’s bought it, although. She generally is a 10 by the tip of this event.”

Coach Kellie Harper dances with the crew. (Photograph: Brianna Paciorka/Information Sentinel )

Harper, who has loads of NCAA expertise as a participant and coach, deadpanned: “Pay attention, I’m holding again on with Rickea. She doesn’t understand how good I’m but. I’ll put it on the market after I have to put it on the market. I can get to 10 by the tip of the event.

“I used to be attempting to make her look good. I’ve rhythm, and I simply needed to downplay every thing else. You don’t wish to steal their thunder. They have been fairly enthusiastic about their dance alternative.”

The NCAA tourney has a two-site format in 2023 for the regionals with two groups popping out of every area in Greenville, South Carolina, and Seattle for the slots within the Closing 4 in Dallas. The No. 1 seeds are South Carolina, Indiana, Virginia Tech and Stanford with the latter two assigned to Seattle. A full bracket is on the market HERE.

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