NCAA Tournament 2001 - La. Tech will host East Region opener



La. Tech will host East Region opener


RUSTON, La. – Louisiana Tech will start at home in the NCAA women's basketball tournament, while LSU travels to West Lafayette, Ind., and Tulane heads to Ames, Iowa.

"We've worked very hard this year to have a record good enough to be considered to host a subregional," said Tech coach Leon Barmore, whose team was 28-4 and is seeded third in the East Region. "I'm very happy. I think we should have been rewarded, and we were. Now we just have got to take care of business."

Tech will play 16th-seeded Georgia State (24-6) on Saturday. The subregional's other first-round game has Penn State, seeded sixth at 19-9, against No. 11 seed Texas Christian (24-7).

Tech, the Sun Belt Conference champion, and Conference USA champion Tulane (22-9) won automatic bids. LSU (19-10) was a wild card after losing to Vanderbilt in the second round of the Southeastern Conference tournament.

The Tigers, seeded sixth in the Mideast Regional, will play No. 11 seed Arizona State (20-10) in the first round, while host and third seed Purdue (26-6) plays UC Santa Barbara (22-8), the 14th seed in the region.

LSU coach Sue Gunter said LSU's schedule was strong enough that she had hoped, with a bit of luck, to be seeded fifth.

"I'm not very disappointed. There are a whole lot of teams out there that would love to be sitting where LSU's sitting right now," she said.

Tulane (22-9) is the 10th seed in the Midwest Regional. The Green Wave plays seventh-seeded Florida State (18-11). Subregional host and regional No. 2 seed Iowa State (25-5) plays 15th-seeded Howard (22-9).

"It's nice not to have to play the home team on their court the first night," Tulane coach Lisa Stockton said.

Tulane's only upperclassmen are three seniors, all of whom start, and one junior.

"We're still relatively young and it's going to be a great experience ... It's going to be a lot of fans and a lot of excitement," Stockton said.

None of the coaches knew much about their first-round opponents.

Stockton said she knew only that Florida State has a good group of seniors and played well in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

"We're feverishly at work right now trying get some scouting reports and videotape" on Arizona State, Gunter said. "By this time tomorrow we should know a little bit more."

Barmore was looking forward to the same sort of study about Georgia State.

"Certainly they would not be in the 64-team field if they were not a very good basketball team, and we will certainly respect them as that."

The home crowd will help, Barmore said.

"It's huge. We draw a great crowd. These subregionals are very difficult to win."

TCU won the Western Athletic Conference championship, and Penn State beat Louisiana Tech in last year's playoffs, he noted.

Gunter noted that the Mideast Region includes Tennessee, ranked No. 1 overall. But she's not looking that far ahead.

"We don't really have to worry about anything but Arizona State, because it's one and done from this point on."

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They're No. 1: UConn, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Duke