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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Women’s basketball to host first and second round of NCAA Tournament

Freshman+Chennedy+Carter+comes+down+the+court.
Photo by Photo by Brandon Holmes

Freshman Chennedy Carter comes down the court.

The NCAA women’s basketball tournament selection show aired Monday night on ESPN as the Texas A&M women’s basketball team anxiously awaited to see whether they would host a regional in College Station or be forced to travel somewhere else.
In the women’s tournament, the top four seeds in each regional get to host the first two rounds of tournament play, and the Aggies were lucky enough to grab the four seed in the Spokane regional.
“I’m excited,” head coach Gary Blair said. “Thirteen straight NCAA Tournaments. The consistency in this program is unmatched and I’m just proud to be a part of it. We’ve never lost at home when we’ve played here in the first round, but we’ll have to worry about the second round later.”
The College Station pod has the fourth-seeded Aggies matched up with the 14-seed Missouri Valley Conference Champion, Drake Bulldogs along with the fifth-seeded DePaul Blue Demons and 12-seed Oklahoma Sooners. The top three seeds in the Spokane regional include Notre Dame, Oregon, and Ohio State in respective order.
“I’m so excited, I have no words,” senior center Khaalia Hillsman said. “I know it was senior night, but I had a feeling in my soul that I was going to be able to put on the uniform and go out on that court one last time. Hopefully we’ll last past the second round because I’m tired of losing in the second round.”
This season marks the 13th consecutive NCAA Tournament that the Aggies have qualified for, making them one of only eight teams to have accomplished that feat. The Aggies have hosted the first and second rounds five out of the last seven years.
The last time the Aggies hosted was the 2016 tournament in which A&M defeated 13-seed Missouri State before losing to fifth-seeded Florida State in the second round. The Aggies haven’t made it out of the second round since 2015 when they lost in the Elite Eight to perennial powerhouse UConn.
“We’re happy to be able to host and play Friday,” freshman point guard Chennedy Carter said. “It was really a blessing for us to see our name called on the screen and I’m just happy to be able to play at home with my teammates.”
The Aggies will take on the Drake Bulldogs on Friday at Reed Arena in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.

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