Good morning, all-
Hope you are well. Some plaudits are due Tech’s women’s basketball team, which Monday night earned its third consecutive NCAA tournament bid. It’s the first time in school history the team has done that. In fact, the Jackets had only made one NCAA tournament prior to coach MaChelle Joseph becoming head coach in 2003.
The story in today’s paper was written by Peter Cox.
If you’re wondering why Georgia can be a No. 11 seed and play a virtual home game at the Gwinnett Arena while Tech earned a No. 9 seed and has to go out to play to Iowa City to play Iowa on its home court, here’s why.
There are 16 sites for first- and second-round games, the arena in Duluth being one of them. Georgia is the host school for the games in Gwinnett. The NCAA’s policy, as was explained to me by Tech’s women’s basketball publicist, Dan Goldberger, is that if a host school makes the tournament, it automatically gets sent there.
The women’s tournament is in a place where it needs fans and will create situations that don’t seem very fair for the higher-seeded teams. There are a handful of other situations like that. For instance, if No. 8 seed Iowa beats Tech this coming Sunday, it would likely play No. 1 seed Oklahoma on its home court.
So the only way that Tech could have played there would have been if Georgia hadn’t made the tournament, and even then it wouldn’t have been a sure thing.
If you’re wondering, Iowa tied for second in the Big Ten and is a senior-heavy team. Point guard Kristi Smith has been named first-team all-Big Ten two years in a row. As such, the most important matchup for Tech will likely be Jacqua Williams, Tech’s point guard and its best defensive player.
“All season long, we’ve sort of gone as Jacqua Williams has gone,” assistant coach Teri Moren said. “As she plays, we play. When she wants to be, she can be one of the best defenders in the country.”
A year ago, Tech played Iowa in Iowa City and won 76-57. With Williams in the lineup, Smith scored five points with two assists and three turnovers.
I have to apologize for not doing the Q&A with Derrick Morgan as I said I would. I got busy doing ACC tournament stuff, and then Tech is on spring break this week. We will get to him when spring practice starts next Monday. If you’re wondering, the practices will be at 3:30 and open to the public. I imagine we’ll be writing a good bit off of the practices.
I have some ideas already about what we think we’ll write about. Who is challenging whom for spots, how is the passing game developing, who is getting reps on the defensive line.
Is there anything in particular you’re looking forward to, or that you’d want us to check into?
Your thoughts on that, or the women’s team.