USC Women Score No. 9 Seed Into 2014 NCAA Tournament
March 17, 2014
The USC women's basketball team has captured a No. 9 seed into its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2006. The Women of Troy (22-12) will make their 16th overall trip to the tourney with a six-game win streak in their sails following a historic run to the 2014 Pac-12 Tournament Championship.
With an unprecedented four wins in four days, the Trojans upset three other NCAA-bound teams to leave no doubt of their return to the NCAA scene. What's more, the Women of Troy have also popped up in the national rankings this week for the first time since preseason 2011. In this week's AP poll, USC weighs in at No. 25 in the nation. The last time the Trojans were ranked was at No. 23 on Nov. 11, 2011.
Under the guidance of head coach Cynthia Cooper -- who won two national championships during her playing career as a Trojan -- USC has scored a trip to Knoxville, Tenn., to open its 2014 NCAA campaign against No. 8 seed St. John's (22-10) at 6:30 p.m. ET on Saturday (March 22) with a shot at facing either No. 1 Tennessee (27-5) or No. 16 Northwestern State (21-12) in the NCAA Second Round at Monday (March 24).
This is the Trojans' 16th trip to the NCAA Tournament
USC captured an automatic berth in this year's NCAA Tournament by way of the Trojans' first-ever Pac-12 Tournament Championship. The Trojans were the first team ever to play four games in the conference tournament and won all four, upsetting Arizona State, #4 Stanford and Oregon State along the way.
The 2006 Tournament was USC's last trip to the NCAA tourney. USC was a No. 8 seed that year, beating South Florida 67-65 in the first round before falling to No. 1 seed Duke 85-51 in the Second Round in Norfolk, Va.
Head coach Cynthia Cooper -- in her first season as head coach of her alma mater -- has made two previous trips to the NCAA Tournament as a coach. As head coach of Prairie View A&M, Cooper and Panthers reached the NCAA First Round in 2007 and 2009.
As a player at USC, Cooper won back-to-back NCAA Championships with the Women of Troy in 1983 and 1984. In four trips to the NCAA Tournament as a player, she went 13-2 overall with her only NCAA losses coming to Tennessee in Knoxville (1982 Mideast Regional Final) and Texas (1986 NCAA Final). Cooper and the Trojans beat Tennessee to win the 1984 NCAA title in Westwood.
The Trojans have accumulated a 22-12 overall record, doubling their total win count from last season.