Women prep for NCAA Tournament

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For the first time in two decades the Ohio women’s basketball team is going dancing in the NCAA Tournament. The ‘Cats will be heading West as they were placed in the Greensboro Region after cutting down the nets at the Quicken Loans Arena. The next test for the Ohio Bobcats (27-4) is a Pac-12 opponent, the Arizona State Sun Devils (27-5).

The committee placed the Bobcats as the No. 14 seed in their respective region, lining them up in Tempe, Ariz., against the third-seeded Sun Devils. Arizona State finds themselves ranked as one of the top 10 teams in the nation plus, like many other teams, they also hold the size advantage over the ‘Cats.

Arizona State will not only have the home court advantage, but they also play a brand of team basketball that the ‘Cats haven’t seen this year. The Sun Devils have made their mark with their wealth of depth on their roster. Head coach Charlie Thorne has made a habit of spreading the wealth, as the Sun Devils have used at least eight players in every game they have participated in this season.

Sophie Brunner leads the scoring for the Sun Devils, averaging just under 12 points per game and close to eight rebounds a contest. Not far behind Brunner are teammates Katie Hempen and Promise Amukamara, whom both average around 11 points, respectively.

Defensively, Arizona State boasts an impressive resume, as they led the Pac-12 in scoring defense as well as 3-point defense. Not only did their scoring defense lead the conference, the Sun Devils’ defense is ranked in the No. 25 in the nation.

The Sun Devils won’t only have the advantage on paper, as they plan on capitalizing on their home-court advantage. “The Curtain of Distraction” will reportedly make an appearance behind the Bobcats’ basket for added effect.

Ohio is looking to continue rewriting the history books as no 14-seed has ever defeated a No. 3-seed in the first round of the NCAA Women’s tournament in history.

Coach Bob Boldon and company will need to find their rhythm early if they expect to hang with the Sun Devils. The Bobcats started the season jumping out to early leads while they concluded the season by bringing pressure late in games. If Ohio wants to continue its historic season, they will certainly need to put together a full 40 minutes of basketball.

Boldon’s motto all season has been taking it one game at a time, but for the ‘Cats, this is the only game on the radar. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcasted live on ESPN2.