Women’s basketball will face Arizona State in the NCAA Tournament.
Heading into Monday night’s selection show, the women’s basketball team was confident in its ability to secure a high seed in the NCAA Tournament. But after the team found out it was only a No. 10 seed, it was relieved just to have gotten in.
“We were sitting here thinking that we’re pretty much set, but the fact that we got a No. 10 seed means that we were pretty much on the bubble,” coach Tonya Cardoza said. “We’re excited to have gotten in and to keep the tradition alive of playing in the NCAA Tournament.”
Temple will be making its eighth-straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament by facing No. 7 seed Arizona State at the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. Both teams received at-large bids but have not met since 2008 when the Sun Devils sent the Owls packing in another first-round showdown.
“This was my first time being involved in the NCAA selection show, so I’m really glad we got in. I’m excited to play Arizona State,” redshirt-junior guard Shey Peddy said. “I’ve never been to Salt Lake City, but I’m excited to go.”
While the matchup with the Sun Devils will be a new experience for Peddy, who leads the team in scoring this season after transferring from Wright State, it will be a shot at redemption for senior guard Qwedia Wallace.
“I saw the No. 10 seed, and I was honestly a little disappointed because I feel like it’s a misrepresentation of how we’ve played this season,” Wallace said. “I don’t know much about [Arizona State], but honestly, I’m kind of scared. When [we] played them my freshman year, it didn’t go so well.”
Led by Wallace and Peddy, the Owls finished the regular season 23-8 overall, receiving a No. 2 seed in the Atlantic Ten Conference tournament, but the team was upset by No. 6 seed Dayton in the semifinals last week.
Arizona State also suffered an early upset in its conference tournament by falling to California in the Pac-10 Conference tournament quarterfinals last weekend. The Sun Devils are 20-10 overall this season behind redshirt-senior guard Dymond Simon, who leads the team with 13.5 points per game.
“To be honest, I thought we would be a higher seed,” junior forward Kristen McCarthy said. “We’ve worked very hard to come to this point, but like I said, I thought we would be a higher than a No. 10 seed. It’s still no worry to us because we feel that with our defense and us just playing together, we’ll be fine.”
Last season, Temple received a No. 8 seed and defeated No. 9 seed James Madison in the first round but fell to defending champion Connecticut in the second round. If the Owls can get another first-round win against Arizona State, they will face either No. 2 seed Notre Dame or No. 15 seed Utah, the home team, in the second round.
“We’re very excited about the possibilities that lie ahead,” Cardoza said.
Jeffery Janiczek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.