Duke women earn No. 2 seed
DURHAM ó If Duke is going to go to the Final Four this year, its path likely includes powerhouse Connecticut.
The Blue Devils received a No. 2 seed for the second straight year Monday night and were placed opposite No. 1 overall seed UConn in the Philadelphia Regional.
The Huskies routed Duke by 36 points in January to spoil the Blue Devilsí 20-0 start.
ěItís easy to look ahead and think about wanting that rematch (with UConn) because we can play so much better, but we canít get there if we donít win the games up until then,î guard Jasmine Thomas said. ěI think my team is a great team. Weíve gotten better and weíve grown in so many areas.
ěBut you canít let what other people think get to you,î she added. ěThis team will only go as far as we motivate ourselves to go. We canít rely on people to try to fire us up. Weíre excited to prove ourselves right.î
Atlantic Coast Conference champion Duke (29-3) is hosting one of 16 four-team subregionals and will play 15th-seeded Tennessee-Martin on Saturday at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The other teams coming to Durham this weekend are No. 10 seed Marist and No. 7 seed Iowa State.
The Blue Devils are seeded No. 2 for the fourth time since 2000 and havenít been seeded lower than No. 3 in that span. They were at No. 6 in the final Top 25 poll released earlier Monday.
Duke locked up the ACCís automatic spot in the 64-team bracket after winning its second straight league tournament title, and had long since known it wouldnít have to leave home until next week because Durham had been named a first- and second-round host.
Getting into the tournament hasnít been a problem for the Blue Devils, who are in the field for the 17th straight year and 18th time in program history.
But Duke hasnít been to the Final Four since 2006, when it was beaten by ACC rival Maryland in the championship game a year before Gail Goestenkors left for Texas and Joanne P. McCallie left Michigan State to replace her.
McCallieís third Duke team last year came the closest to advancing to the tournamentís final weekend, but lost to Baylor 51-48 in the regional finals.
Heels seeded fifth
CHAPEL HILL ó North Carolina is back in the NCAA tournament. And once again, the Tar Heels have a long way to go to get there.
Coach Sylvia Hatchellís team received the No. 5 seed in the Spokane Regional when the 64-team field was announced Monday night. Theyíll play 12th-seeded Fresno State in the first round on Saturday in Albuquerque, N.M.
Fourth-seeded Kentucky and 13th-seeded Hampton are the other teams in that four-team subregional.
Last year North Carolina was sent to Seattle and lost to Gonzaga in the first round.
The Tar Heels (26-8) were No. 14 in the final Top 25 released Monday, and advanced to the ACC title game before losing to rival Duke.
North Carolina is in the NCAA tournament for the 18th time in 20 seasons.