March 12, 2012
SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- For the first time since 2002, the West Coast Conference will have two teams compete in the 2012 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, as the bracket was announced by the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee on Monday, March 12 on ESPN. BYU and Gonzaga will compete in the field of 64.
In its first season in the West Coast Conference, BYU (26-6 overall, 12-4 WCC) won its first ever WCC title by defeating top-seed Gonzaga 78-66 on Monday, March 5 in the Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championship game in Las Vegas, Nev. The Cougars earned a 10-seed in the Des Moines Region and will face No. 7 DePaul (22-10 overall, 9-7 Big East) in Chicago on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. CDT on ESPN2 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Led by WCC Player of the Year Kristen Riley, BYU is making its first NCAA appearance since 2007.
Gonzaga (26-4 overall, 14-2 WCC) will make its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and its fifth in the last six years. The Bulldogs earned their first ever at-large berth and the 11-seed in the Kingston region. The Zags will face No. 6 Rutgers (22-9 overall, 10-6 Big East) on Saturday at 1:15 p.m. PT on ESPN2 in Spokane, Wash. This is the second consecutive season that Gonzaga has hosted the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs made a historic run to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Basketball Championships last season before falling to Stanford in the NCAA quarterfinals.
MULTIPLE WCC TEAMS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
2012 - BYU, Gonzaga*
2002 - Pepperdine, Santa Clara*
2000 - Pepperdine*, San Diego
1999 - Saint Mary's, San Diego*
1997 - Portland*, San Francisco
1996 - Portland*, San Francisco
1995 - Portland*, San Francisco
1994 - Portland, Santa Clara*
* Indicates at-large selection