FGCU women draw Washington State in 2023 NCAA tournament
The 68-team field for the women's NCAA basketball tournament, unveiled Sunday night, has the No. 23 FGCU Eagles (32-3) entering the First Round against the 22nd-ranked Washington State on Saturday.
A No. 12 seed in the Greenville 2 Regional, FGCU takes on 5th-seeded Cougars at Villanova, Pa., on Saturday.
Tip-off time from Finneran Pavilion on Villanova's campus will be determined later by ESPN. The FGCU-Washington State winner gets the winner of No. 4 Villanova vs. No. 13 Cleveland State in Monday's Second Round.
Washington State (23-10, 9-9) won the Pac-12 Championship with a 66-61 victory over UCLA and enters postseason play No. 30 overall in the NET Rankings.
The Cougars are No. 32 nationally with 4.4 blocks per game. Both 6-foot-3 senior center Bella Murekatete and 6-foot-2 sophomore guard Tara Wallack have both posted 40-plus blocks on the year.
Washington State is second in the Pac-12 in 3-point percentage defense, holding its opponents to 30.2 percent from deep.
FGCU has rich history playing in the Philadelphia area, as the 2012-13 Dunk City men's team advanced to the Sweet 16 from the City of Brotherly Love.
The Green & Blue are in the NCAA Tournament for a ninth time, joining squads from the 2021-22, 2020-21, 2018-19, 2017-18, 2016-17, 2014-15, 2013-14, and 2011-12 seasons.
All the NCAA Tournament games will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks. The games officially tip off March 15-16 with the First Four. The first round will be March 17-18, and there is no time to rest – as the second round starts right afterward on March 19-20.
FGCU earned its Big Dance ticket by defeating Liberty 84-60 in Saturday night's ASUN Tournament title game – the 10th ASUN Tournament crown for the Eagles in just 12 years of eligibility. In all, FGCU has earned an incredible 23 ASUN regular season and tournament championships in its 14-year Division I history.
The Eagles have won 14 straight games, and finished the 2022-23 home season with a 16-1 mark at Alico Arena. FGCU is now 56-7 all-time as a ranked team, 33-2 in ASUN tournament play – with six straight ASUN Tournament titles – and is 47-16 all-time in Division I postseason play. The 2022-23 squad entered Sunday's final day of nationwide conference title games at No. 36 in the NCAA Women's Basketball NET Rankings.
FGCU and Connecticut are the only active programs in the nation to win at least 25 games in 13 straight seasons. The Green & Blue joins South Carolina as the only two Division I programs to win 30 or more games in six of the last nine seasons.
The Eagles lead the nation in 3-pointers and 3-pointer per game – having made 413 triples for an 11.8 per-game average. FGCU has also tripled opponents' treys total, allowing only 132 this season. FGCU has led the nation in made 3s per game in each of the past three years and in four of the last five seasons.
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