If Texas takes care of business at home, the Longhorns’ potential journey to the Final Four of the NCAA Women’s Tournament will take the Longhorns through Bridgeport, Conn.
Yes, in UConn’s regional.
Before the Longhorns can look ahead to the Sweet 16, though, they will have to win a pair of games at the Erwin Center. Texas opens the NCAA Tournament against Alabama State at 8 p.m. Saturday. If the Horns prevail, they will play either BYU or Missouri on Monday.
“We need to take care of our own business at home before we start worrying about the next round,” Texas coach Karen Aston said. “The players need to enjoy this because they put so much effort into this season. This shows that we have become one of the top programs in the country.”
Texas is making its 29th all-time appearance in the Tournament and holds an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 35-27. UT is hosting the first and second rounds for the first time since 2010 and the sixth time since 1997. Texas is 19-9 all-time in NCAA Tournament games played at home.
“Hosting just shows that we’re on the right path to bring back women’s basketball with prominence back to Austin,” senior center Imani Boyette said. ”It’s fun and it validates all our hard work this season.”
The Longhorns are a No. 2 seed for the fifth time in program history (1983, 1984, 1989, 2003) and are 10-4 all-time as a No. 2 seed. It is Texas’ best seeding since earning a No. 1 seed in 2004.
Texas has posted one of the finest regular seasons in program history, notching a 28-4 overall record and a 15-3 mark in Big 12 Conference play. The Longhorns have recorded their most overall victories since the 2003-04 season and tied the 2002-03 club with the most Big 12 Conference wins (15) in school history.
The Longhorns are 6-4 this season against teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. Texas also has a pair of top-10 victories to its credit this year. The Longhorns have been ranked among the nation’s top-15 teams the entire season, including ranking among the AP top-10 every week since Nov. 23. Texas spent six weeks ranked in the AP top-five.
Earlier Monday, the Texas women’s program reached a historic milestone in the Associated Press poll. The Longhorns have made 500 all-time appearances in the AP poll for women’s basketball since it began in 1976.
Texas, which ranks seventh in this week’s AP poll, has joined Tennessee and Georgia as the only women’s basketball teams to appear in the weekly poll 500 times.