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The latest on college sports in Florida

Florida women to face Ohio State in NCAA Tournament



The Florida women's basketball team is back in the NCAA Tournament.

The No. 9 seed Gators will play No. 8 seed Ohio State (25-6) Sunday in the first round of the tournament at the Stroh Center, in Bowling Green, Ohio. in the first round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament.

 Tihe game will be televised nationally on ESPN2 at 12:15 p.m. This is Florida's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2009.

"It's great,'' Florida coach Amanda Butler said about returning to the tournament field. "Like I said it's what you work for. For this team, especially with us being a veteran team, it's been what we've talked about all year long how each win or each loss or each practice could potentially impact what our NCAA resume would look like if we needed to get an at-large bid and obviously we did. For our kids to have put in as much work as they have, and really this is the hardest working team I've had since I've been here, they've done so much extra, everything that their coaches have asked and then some, this is absolutely what
they deserve and they earned it. I'm just happy for them. When things work out that way, as they should, you just have to know hard work pays off."

This is the 13th time Florida (19-12) has earned a bid to compete in the NCAA Championship. The Gators are 10-11 all-time in NCAA
play, with the best showing a Regional Final appearance in 1997.

Florida had to wait until deep into Monday night's nationally-televised selection show to hear its name, causing the players and coaches some anxiety.

"Sitting around waiting I was talking to my friends, there's a big difference between the top teams in the country who know they're in and how they feel watching that show and the teams sitting around crossing their fingers,'' senior guard Jordan Jones said. "It was the longest thirty-minute wait of my life and I can't even describe when our name came up across the board, I just jumped up. People were crying, happy tears
obviously. It's indescribable."

Sunday will be the first-ever meeting between the Gators and Buckeyes in women's basketball.

"We're ready to get that (rivalry) started,'' senior guard Deana Allen said. 




[Last modified: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 12:37am]


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