Syracuse women’s basketball in NCAA Tournament as No. 8 seed

first_imgSyracuse (22-8, 10-6 Atlantic Coast) is in the NCAA Tournament as a No. 8 seed and will face No. 9 seed Oklahoma State (20-10, 11-7 Big-12) in Starkville, Mississippi, on Saturday afternoon. This is SU’s sixth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance.With a win, SU would most likely get a rematch with one-seed Mississippi State, who the Orange fell to 76-65 in December.Prior to the bracket release, the biggest unknown for SU was seed line and opponent with an at-large bid seemingly locked up.The Orange opened the season hot, winning 11-straight by an average of nearly 15 points. Despite starting four new players, SU hummed along, led by point guard Tiana Mangakahia, who finished the season averaging a nation-leading 9.9 assists per game to go with 17.8 points per game.After the 11-0 start, the Orange dropped three of its next four, with two of the losses coming to then-No. 5 Mississippi State and then-No. 2 Notre Dame.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSU started relatively strong in ACC play, knocking off then-No. 11 Florida State at home but falling to Virginia and Miami on the road. Eventually, Syracuse was sitting at 5-6 in the ACC with five games to go when head coach Quentin Hillsman said the Orange would need to win five-straight to feel comfortable about NCAA Tournament at-large hopes.SU did just that, including knocking off then-No. 17 Duke at home, before falling in the first round of the ACC Tournament to Virginia Tech. That was the most recent game SU played.The previous two seasons, Syracuse has run into — and lost to — Connecticut in the NCAA tournament, in the national championship game in 2016 and the round of 32 in 2017. In each of the two seasons before, SU fell in the round of 32. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 12, 2018 at 7:36 pm Contact Andrew: aegraham@syr.edu | @A_E_Grahamlast_img read more