Georgia secured its 29th invitation to 31st edition of the “Big Dance” since women’s basketball came under the auspices of the NCAA with the 1981-82 season. The Lady Bulldogs’ tally of NCAA berths ranks No. 2 nationally.
Georgia Tech earned its sixth straight at-large berth and will play Sacred Heart in the first round in Chapel Hill, N.C., Sunday.
Georgia will open NCAA action on Sunday, March 18 when the Lady Bulldogs face 13th-seeded Marist in Tallahassee, Fla. at noon. No. 5 seed St. Bonaventure will face No. 12 seed Florida Gulf Coast in Sunday’s other first-round matchup, with the two winners meeting on Tuesday at 7 p.m. for the right to advance to the Raleigh Regional.
Georgia is 2-0 all-time against Marist, defeating the Red Foxes 79-62 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on Dec. 21, 2004 and 75-60 in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament in Trenton, N.J.
“Marist is a very well-coached and disciplined basketball team,” head coach Andy Landers said. “We played them up there several years ago and had to play very, very well to win. We played them in the NCAA Tournament next season and it was a very hard-fought basketball game. They don’t beat themselves. You have to find a way to beat them. They’re very good.
The Lady Bulldogs are 22-8 overall and finished 11-5 and third in the Southeastern Conference this season. Georgia is currently ranked No. 17 and No. 21 ESPN/USA Today and Associated Press polls, respectively.
Georgia Tech will head to familiar territory as it was seeded in the Chapel Hill site, where Tech has won its last two games. First and second round games in Chapel Hill will be played at Carmichael Arena, where the Jackets have won their last two games, Sunday and Tuesday.
The fourth-seed is the highest the Yellow Jackets have earned, topping the five seed head coach MaChelle Joseph’s squad earned last season.
Georgia Tech is 24-8 this season and set school-records with 12 ACC wins and a tie for third in the conference. A win over Sacred Heart would set the single-season school record for wins.