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SALT LAKE CITY - The No. 9 seeded Utah women's basketball team will head to College Park, Md., to face No. 8 seed Villanova in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, it was announced today on ESPN's Women's Basketball Selection Show.
The game will be played on Sunday, March 22, at noon ET (10 a.m. MT) and aired live on ESPN2. Utah is in the Raleigh Regional.
Should the Utes win, they would play the winner of No. 1 seeded Atlantic Coast Conference champion Maryland (28-4) and No. 16 seeded Ivy League champion Dartmouth (18-10) on March 24.
"We're really ready to go," head coach Elaine Elliott said after the selection. "We had a great [conference] tournament. This team is excited. They're really happy to have their chance to just keep playing. It wouldn't have mattered [what seed] we were at or where we were going, I can honestly say that these kids are just excited for their next chance. We're really looking forward to the trip out east.
"We have a lot of film already available right away [to start scouting Villanova]. The work starts tonight."
Utah is making its 16th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its fourth in the last five years. The Utes are 8-15 overall in the tournament.
Villanova heads into the NCAA Tournament with a 19-13 overall record after going 10-6 during regular season BIG EAST games and finishing fourth in the conference. The team is led by senior forward Laura Kurz, who was a first-team All-BIG EAST selection. She is averaging 17.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Villanova is making its first NCAA appearance since 2004.
Villanova and Utah have never faced each other in women's basketball.