For the first time in eight years, the USC Trojans are going to the Women’s NCAA Tournament following last weekend’s Pac-12 Tournament title. The Women of Troy grabbed a No. 9 seed and their road to the Final Four in Nashville will begin against 8th seed St. John’s, just down the way in Knoxville on Saturday. The game will tip-off at 3:30 p.m. Pacific.
The St. John’s Red Storm sit at 22-10 and finished second in the Big East with a 13-5 record, before losing to DePaul in the Big East Tournament Final. Before a four-game losing streak at the end of February, the Red Storm were tops in the Big East and ranked as high No. 22. Their biggest win of the season came against the Texas A&M –currently ranked 15th in the nation– at Madsion Square Garden back in the December.
USC is 22-12 overall, following a 11-7 Pac-12 season that saw the Women of Troy finish fifth during the conference’s regular season. In the Pac-12 Tournament, USC was the first school to ever finish wins over all four days of the tournament, highlighted with an upset win over heavy-favorite Stanford.
Looming in the second round of the Louisville region for the winner of USC-St. John’s is a potential matchup with No. 1 seed and 27-5 Tennessee on their home court at Thompson-Boiling Arena. Neither team has a mutual opponent, and they look to be an even matchup in a tilt for the right to play Tennessee.
The Trojans have won the tournament twice, both of which with Cynthia Cooper on the court in the 1983 and 1984. Since the elite days of the 80′s, it’s been a bumpy ride for the Women of Troy. Last week’s Pac-12 title was the first since 1994, when the Cheryl Miller coached Trojans reached the Elite Eight.
The NCAA tournament’s rounds of 64 and 32 while kickoff this Saturday, followed by regional finals March 29-April 1st. The women’s Final Four in Nashville begins on April 6th and concludes with the National Championship game on Tuesday, April 8th.
All games of the tournament will be aired on the ESPN family of networks.