AUSTIN (KXAN/AP) — The Texas women are going to the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year. The Longhorns (22-10) are the 5th seed in the Albany, New York Regional and will face 12th-seeded Western Kentucky (30-4) on Friday at 4 p.m. in Berkeley, California.
The winner of the Texas-WKU game will face the winner of No. 4 Cal vs No. 13 Wichita State. Top-ranked Connecticut is the No. 1 seed in the regional and will be the likely Sweet 16 opponent for the team that advances out of Berkeley.
Texas is led by Sophomore Kelsey Lang who averages 11 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. The Longhorns lost their top scorer and rebounder Nneka Enemkpali to a season-ending knee injury against Baylor on Jan. 19. Including that loss to Baylor, Texas dropped six out of seven games. The Longhorns regrouped to win seven of eight games before losing to Baylor in the Big 12 tournament championship game.
Texas lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament last year to Maryland after beating Penn in the first round.
A closer look at the pod
No. 4 California (22-9)
- Cal earns its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament bid behind the play of senior All-American duo Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray.
- Boyd is Cal’s do-it-all player with an NCAA-leading two triple-doubles this season and is the only player in the country with career numbers of 1,400 points, 700 rebounds, 600 assists and 300 steals.
- Gray was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year.
No. 12 Western Kentucky (30-4)
- Western Kentucky won the Conference USA Championship after winning three games by combined eight points.
- Led by Conference USA Player of the Year Chastity Gooch, the Lady Toppers enjoyed a record setting regular season with 27 wins in their first season as member of Conference USA, including reaching finals of Preseason Women’s NIT.
- The Lady Toppers have reached the NCAA Tournament for 18th time in history and for second straight season under third-year head coach Michelle Clark-Heard, who became 10th coach in AP Poll history to lead alma mater in rankings as both player and coach earlier this year.
No. 13 Wichita State (29-4)
- Wichita State won its third straight Missouri Valley Conference tournament.
- Alex Harden, the tournament’s MVP, scored 27 points in an 85-71 win over Missouri State.
- Harden is the second Wichita State women’s basketball player in school history to be named the MVC Player of the Year. She is the Shockers’ all-time career scoring leader.