Ohio Women’s Basketball Headed To Tempe For NCAA Tournament< < Back to
“OU OH YEAH” was the chant Ohio Women’s basketball players and fans screamed when hearing the Bobcats will be traveling to Tempe, Arizona for their first game of the NCAA Tournament- something that hasn’t happened in over a decade. After claiming the 2015 MAC Tournament Title for the first time since 1986, the Ohio Women’s basketball team earned an automatic spot and will be playing in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1995.
The announcement was made Monday night during the official NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Special presented by Capital One. The 27-4 Bobcats earned a 14 seed and will play No. 3 Arizona State in the first round slated for Saturday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2. Fans decked out in the green and white gathered at the Buffalo Wild Wings on W. Union Street for an official viewing party. According to Coach Bob Boldon, “hot” is the wing sauce he uses to describe the Bobcats successful 2014-2015 season.
“I think we’re playing really good basketball right now. I think we’re hot,” said Boldon. “They play with a lot of intensity, they play hard and I think they’re kind of ‘full steam ahead’ players.”
After finishing 9-21 last season and 6-23 the year before, the Bobcats turned it around for the 2014-2015 season.
“We got a late start last year with the coaching change, so I think all the hard work everyone put in over the summer and us playing together and knowing the rules, has really propelled us to where we are,” said Mariah Byard, a senior Ohio guard.
Byard says many things contributed to their success as a team this past season.
“It’s probably a lot of combinations of things but most importantly I think we all came together,” she said. “We all started to play together as a team and we all bought into our coach’s system.”
It’s been quite a ride for Ohio Women’s Basketball fans who have been watching this historic season. One fan and honorary team member had to leave the watch party to get home because it was a school night. Adyn Bucher, a fifth grader at Alexander Elementary School was diagnosed with spinal muscular dystrophy at a young age, has been an honary member of the Ohio Women’s basketball team for about a year.
“School doesn’t wait for selection parties, ” said Brian Bucher, Adyn’s dad.
“Yes it does!” said Adyn.
“She got to come to the championship game, and got a hat, she got a shirt, and she got to celebrate with us tonight which I thought was really cool,” said Mariah Byard.
Bucher sat in the front row with the team at the official watch party Monday night and traveled all the way to Cleveland to watch the Bobcats make history, winning the MAC Tournament Title for the first time since 1986.
“It was really fun and I’m very glad that they won, ” said Adyn.
She said her favorite part of the season was their winning in Cleveland, where she got to sit right behind the bench, and received a medal, hat and t-shirt.
“It’s pretty awesome, Adyn’s dad said. “She’s never really been on a sports team before, and to have the experience of being on a team in general is a pretty valuable experience- let alone a team that is filled with players who have really embraced her and really gone out of their way to make sure that she feels welcome.”
“She’s really fun to be around. She’s awesome,” said Mariah Byard.
Adyn and her family were prepared to drive to watch the Bobcats in the tournament if they were going to play somewhere relatively close, but they said Tempe is a little out of their range. The Bucher’s, like many, will be cheering the Bobcats from home.
“We will watch it at home or if there is a viewing party,” said Adyn’s mom Lucy.
“It’s been a pretty awesome experience,” Brian Bucher said. “We’re looking forward to watching them win this Saturday.”
The Bobcats will continue to make history when they make their tournament appearance this Saturday. They play the Arizona State Sun Devils and tip off is set for 6:30 p.m. ET. It will be broadcast on ESPN2.