Lady Tigers Get Green Bay in NCAA Opener

POSTED: Monday, March 16, 2009 - 11:11pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 11:57pm

For the 11th straight season, the LSU women’s basketball team has punched its ticket into “March Madness” as the Lady Tigers received a number 6 seed and will play host to 11th-seeded Green Bay in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. CDT Sunday in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

No. 3 seed Louisville (29-4) takes on No. 14 seed Liberty (24-8) approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of Game 1.

Tuesday’s second round game will be played at 8:30 p.m. CDT.

“It’s just unbelievable how far this team has come,” LSU head coach Van Chancellor said. “To be a six seed in any region at any time when I thought after the home Mississippi State game when we were 2-2 and 9-7 and then to climb into the tournament and to be seeded where we are is just truly a great accomplishment by this team.”

“LSU’s had Final Four teams. It’s done a lot of things, but I don’t know of any team at LSU has accomplished anymore than this young team has.”

LSU (18-10) received the No. 6 seed in the Raleigh Region that features top-seeded Maryland and No. 2 seed Baylor. The Lady Tigers will be facing Green Bay, the Horizon League champion, for the first time since the two teams met in the second round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament in Eugene, Ore.

Then-No. 1 seed LSU defeated the then-eighth-seeded Phoenix, 80-69, en route to a regional final appearance. Green Bay will come to Baton Rouge on a 21-game winning streak that included an automatic bid with a 65-41 win over Milwaukee in the Horizon League Championship game.

“I had Green Bay on television when I was working with TV,” Chancellor said. “They’re well-disciplined. They play a certain way. They’re not going to beat themselves. They’re not going to turn the ball over. They’re going to shoot it. This is a real challenge in my mind.”

LSU will begin its quest for a sixth straight Final Four, something no team in Division I women’s basketball history has ever done. The Lady Tigers and Connecticut were the only two programs to ever advance to five straight Final Fours. LSU is making its 19th overall tournament appearance.

LSU is playing host to the NCAA Tournament First and Second Rounds for the second straight season. The Lady Tigers are 12-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament play on their home floor with the only loss coming in 1987.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that playing at home helps,” Chancellor said. “The fans come in here. You sleep in your own bed. You play on your own courts. You practice on your own courts. I think that’s an advantage. It doesn’t win games. It just gives you a better shot at winning games.”

Louisville, an at-large selection, is making its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and 13th overall. The Cardinals set a school record with 29 wins and finished second to top-ranked Connecticut in the Big East Conference regular season standings.

Liberty won the Big South Conference title, 51-50, over Gardner-Webb. The Flames are led by Big South Player of the Year and tournament MVP Megan Frazee.