Texas head coach Karen Aston and the Longhorns will travel to Eugene, Ore. for first- and second-round NCAA Tournament games. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Women's Basketball

Headed to Eugene: Texas draws Indiana in NCAA women’s tournament opener

Oregon is the No. 2 seed in the Portland regional and will host games

Posted March 18th, 2019

Advertisement

Texas was delighting to learn its women’s basketball season will continue, but the Big 12 cannot be happy about getting just four teams into the dance on Monday.

The Longhorns (23-9), seeded seventh, will play 10th-seeded Indiana (20-12) in the Portland Regional at 6 p.m. Friday in Eugene, Ore. Host Oregon will play Portland State in Friday’s second game. It will be televised by ESPN2.

As expected, Baylor will be a No. 1 seed in the tournament. Iowa State is seeded third and will play host to first- and second-round games in Ames. Kansas State will represent the conference as a No. 10 seed.

Advertisement

TCU and West Virginia had hopes of cracking the 64-team field but were left out of the bracket.

Texas forward Jatarie White will continue her career at least one more game while TCU missed the NCAA cut. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Indiana is a curious first-round opponent. The Hoosiers were 8-10 in the Big Ten and finished 10th in the conference. By comparison, TCU and West Virginia finished with 11-7 marks in the Big 12.

Texas and countless other teams across the nation had their watch parties spoiled when ESPNU accidentally revealed the women’s bracket early in the afternoon. ESPN, which was scheduled to broadcast the bracket show at 6 p.m., decided to televise it at 4 p.m. instead.

ESPN issued the following statement: “In working with the NCAA to prepare for tonight’s Women’s Selection Special we received the bracket, similar to years past. In the midst of our preparation, the bracket was mistakenly posted on ESPNU. We deeply regret the error and extend our apology to the NCAA and the women’s basketball community. We will conduct a thorough review of our process to ensure it doesn’t happen in the future.”

About 200 fans — roughly half of a normal turnout — joined the Longhorns at their watch party when ESPN rebroadcast its selection show at 6 p.m.

Before the show, UT coach Karen Aston asked the fans who didn’t know the Longhorns were going to play. Only three people raised their hands.

As for the team, Aston said, “The one thing I’m really proud of, is how resilient they’ve been.”

While Texas can look forward to more competition, West Virginia coach Mike Carey’s team will stay home. And he’s not happy about it.

On Twitter, Carey said the following: “11 wins in the Big 12, the 3rd Best RPI rated conference in the country. That’s all that needs to be said #HailWVU….. this is a joke.”

TCU coach Raegan Pebley was more diplomatic: “I love our team. I love who we have become and who we will continue to be. I respect these women, their body of work, their grit, their toughness. We know who we are and will continue to represent TCU and the Horned Frog Family.”

Texas A&M is a No. 4 seed in the Chicago Regional and will play host to first- and second-round games Friday and Sunday in College Station.

Comments