No. 25 Middle Tennessee women’s basketball will be traveling to Durham, N.C. to start the Lady Raiders’ NCAA Tournament, as MTSU earned the No. 11 seed in the Seattle Regional 4 last Sunday.
This Saturday, March 18, MTSU will face off against No. 6 seeded Colorado, who ranked No. 20 in the final AP Poll of the season. No. 3 seeded Duke (AP No. 13) is the hosting institution for the opening two rounds of the host site, playing No. 14 seed Iona in the other first round game. The winners of the first round games will then play in the second round on Monday.
“We’re excited about where we’re going,” Head Coach Rick Insell said. “We’ll live out tonight, celebrate being in the tournament. We’re not going to practice tomorrow. But Tuesday, we’ll get back on the floor wide open and get ready to win that first game.”
The Conference USA Regular Season and Tournament champion Lady Raiders (28-4) will be facing Buffaloes (23-8) for the first time in program history. Colorado will be making their 15th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and the second appearance in a row as an at-large team after falling in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals to Washington State, 61-49. The Buffaloes 2022 NCAA appearance was the first NCAA Tournament appearance for the program since 2013.
The No. 11 seed MTSU earned is the best seed MTSU has earned since being a No. 8 seed in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. MTSU was a No. 13 seed the last time the Lady Raiders earned an NCAA Tournament berth for the 2021 Tournament.
“I have put this team in the fire all year,” Insell said. “I’ve asked them to do things that I didn’t know if they could handle. And in every situation, they’ve handled it. We’ve won in some places that a lot of people don’t win. We’ve beaten some teams that a lot of people don’t beat. They’re competitors and they’re not afraid of anybody or anything. There’s not a doubt in my mind they’ll come ready to play.”
Tickets are $19 and can be bought at GoBlueRaiders.com.