View a related story: Tennessee's Lady Vols No. 2 in Baylor bracket
There was no in or out drama for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team Monday night. Gathered at Big River Grille downtown with more than 200 supporters, the Lady Mocs knew they would show up at some point during the NCAA tournament selection show on ESPN.
"We knew, but I was still a little nervous about where we were going and who we were playing," sophomore wing Ka'Vonne Towns said.
The wait was 23 minutes before UTC (29-3) learned its fate, prompting a roar and applause. The Southern Conference regular-season and tournament champion is an 11 seed and will face sixth-seeded Nebraska (23-8) in the first round Saturday at 6:30 p.m. EDT in College Station, Texas.
"I just wanted to go somewhere," UTC junior center Ashlen Dewart said giddily.
The Tennessee Lady Vols (24-7) are a No. 2 seed and will play No. 15-seeded Oral Roberts (18-12) on Saturday in Knoxville. Georgia (25-6) is a No. 4 seed and will face No. 13 Montana (24-7) on Saturday in Spokane, Wash.
Middle Tennessee State and UT-Martin also made the field from Tennessee.
The Lady Mocs clinched an automatic bid last Monday by winning the SoCon tournament. That left them a week to wonder where they might be headed, senior guard Kayla Christopher said.
"You know you're in, so you don't have to worry about if you're going to get in, but there's still anxiousness," she said. "It was a long week, for sure."
John Frierson is in his fifth year at the Times Free Press and fifth year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...