March 14, 2011
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QUEENS, N.Y. - For the second-straight season, the St. John's women's basketball team earned an At-Large bid to the NCAA Tournament as the Red Storm was picked to face Texas Tech as the No. 9 seed in the Spokane Region, as announced by the Selection Committee on Monday night on ESPN.
The Red Storm will play the Red Raiders on Saturday, March 19 in a 4:20 p.m. (ET) tip off in Stanford, Calif., at the Maples Pavilion. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 with Dave Pasch and Mary Murphy on the call.
The last time the Red Storm competed in back-to-back NCAA Tournaments was 1983 and 1984. With the men's basketball team earning an At-Large bid to the Big Dance on Sunday, it is the first time since 1988 that both the men's and women's programs will be going dancing in March. It is the first time the women have been selected as a No. 9 seed.
"We're really excited to have the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament," remarked St. John's head coach Kim Barnes Arico after St. John's was selected in the Spokane Region. "It's the greatest tournament in America and we feel privileged to be one of the top teams in the country and to be still playing. Texas Tech is going to be an incredibly difficult matchup. They're a Big XII program that really had a tremendous year this year. That's going to be a tough game and if we have the opportunity to be fortunate enough to move on then we'll look further ahead to Stanford."
Barnes Arico has made three trips to the NCAA Tournament during her nine-year tenure with St. John's. Barnes Arico is 2-2 in the NCAA Tournament, taking the Red Storm to the Second Round in both 2006 and 2010. With the At-Large bid in 2010, Barnes Arico's Red Storm boasted a No. 6 seed, the highest ever in St. John's women's basketball history. With the No. 9 seed in 2011, she is the only Red Storm coach to take the women's basketball team to two-straight tournaments since then-head coach Don Perrelli.
St. John's has made six appearances in the NCAA Tournament with its first bid in 1983. St. John's has an overall record of 3-5 in the Big Dance. The Red Storm has made it to the Second Round three times (1988, 2006, 2010).
In 2011, St. John's (21-10) continued its successes from last season, as the Red Storm was ranked for 16-straight weeks in the Associated Press Poll (including the 2009-10 season); with its highest ranking at No. 17 on Dec. 27. In the ESPN/Coaches Poll, St. John's was ranked for 18-straight weeks and continues to receive votes in the latest poll released March 14. The Red Storm was ranked 14/16 in the preseason editions of the polls. According to the most recent RPI data, St. John's boasted an RPI of 32 and a strength of schedule rating of 33. The Red Storm finished seventh in the BIG EAST with a 9-7 record and had its second-consecutive 20-win season.
Texas Tech, the No. 8 seed, has not been in the NCAA Tournament since 2005, but has previously garnered 18 appearances in the Big Dance. The Red Raiders (22-10) ended their season at the semifinals of the Big XII Championship, as then-No. 21 Oklahoma defeated Texas Tech, 71-69 on March 9. However, on Feb. 19, the Red Raiders defeated the No. 1 seed in the Dallas Region, Baylor, 56-45. Texas Tech boasts an NCAA Tournament Record of 30-17.
It is the first-ever meeting between the Red Storm and Red Raiders.
The winner of the St. John's-Texas Tech match up will face either No. 1-seed Stanford (29-2), the automatic qualifier from the Pac-10 or No. 16-seed UC-Davis (24-8), the automatic qualifier from the Big West, who will be making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Stanford and UC-Davis will play each other on Saturday, at approximately 6:30 p.m. (ET).
The Second Round game will be played on Mon., March 21, at 9:30 p.m. (ET).
Nine teams from the BIG EAST Conference were named in the tournament field -- the most of any of the 31 league's represented.