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Texas A&M WBB a 5 seed in NCAA Tournament

The Women’s Bouncy Ball team is headed to LA

NCAA Womens Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Mississippi State vs Texas A&M
Curtyce Knox wants to take her daughter to Disneyland.
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

When the Women’s selection show started on Monday night, most Ags were thinking we’d be headed to Austin as a 6 seed in the Oklahoma City regional. But it was only a few minutes into the reveal when the crowd gathered at Cox-McFerrin for the selection show party saw Texas A&M go up on the screen in the first set of matchups. A&M will go to the City of Angels to play in the legendary Pauley Pavilion in a subregional hosted by our first football opponent: UCLA.

The good news: respect from the committee pushed us up to a 5 seed. The bad news: It’s in the Bridgeport regional, where undefeated UConn is the 1 seed. But the 1 seed doesn’t really matter; getting out of LA to the S16 would be an upset. FiveThirtyEight only gives the Ags a 16% chance of getting past the second round. Of course, this past year hasn’t been a good one for prediction models.

First Round

  • #12 seed Penn Quakers
  • Pauley Pavilion, UCLA
  • Saturday March 18, 2017 8 PM CDT
  • TV: ESPN2. This is probably whiparound coverage, as there are 4 games listed for ESPN2 at the same time. #15 Hampton vs #2 Duke, #15 Montana State v #3 Washington, and #9 Cal vs #8 LSU. I’ll be looking for streaming on Watch ESPN.

Oddly, although UCLA is hosting, the Bruins game vs the Boise State Broncos is up first.

Penn is 22-7 and won the Ivy League going away. They’re 0-1 vs the top 25 and 0-2 vs the top 50.

  • #43 6-3 Jr F Michelle Nwokedi leads the team in scoring (15.1 ppg), rebounding (9.4 rpg), and blocked shots (85 in 29 games). She can shoot the 3 (27-70). She was the Ivy league player of the year. Nwokedi is from Missouri City, Texas, where she was a McDonalds All-American nominee for St. Agnes Academy.
  • #13 6-3 Sr C Sydney Stipanovitch is the other player in double figures in scoring (10.6 ppg). She averages 8.7 rebounds/game and has blocked 53 shots. She was second team All-Ivy. Like Nwokedi, she was a McDonalds AA nominee coming out of high school.
  • #12 5-7 Sr G Kasey Chambers averages 6 ppg and is second on the team in assists. She leads the team in steals with 48. She’s the only player on the Quakers to foul out all season.
  • #10 5-9 Jr G Anna Ross was also second team all-Ivy. She averages 9.3 ppg, and is their assist leader with 4.13 per game. Ross had 17 points to lead the Quakers in the championship game of the Ivy tourney.
  • #14 5-8 Jr G Beth Brzozoski (4.9 ppg) took over as the starter when Lauren Whitlatch was lost to a knee injury in January.

Against Princeton, the Quakers went 7 deep with two backups getting 10 minutes each: 6-0 So F Princess Aghayere and 5-10 So G Ashley Russell.

Penn is coached by Ivy League Coach of the Year Mike McLaughlin. McLaughlin is a repeat winner of that award. He’s in his 8th year at Penn. Last season they also made the Dance and exited in the first round, losing to eventual Final Four team Washington. McLaughlin played 3 seasons of professional basketball as a member of the Washington Generals.