Three Big Ten Teams Prepare for NCAA Regionals

March 26, 2009

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Big Ten Teams Continue March to the Arch 
Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue all continue their “March to the Arch,” advancing to the Sweet 16 of the 2009 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. The Big Ten is one of just four conferences with multiple representatives in the regional round, joining the Big 12, Big East and Pac-10. The Spartans and Buckeyes look to lengthen their tournament stays in the Berkeley Regional, while Purdue continues its quest in Oklahoma City.  

How Sweet It Is
At least one Big Ten team has advanced to the Sweet 16 in 24 of the last 25 years. Purdue has advanced to regionals in three of the last four years, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2007. The Boilermakers have the most regional appearances of any Big Ten team with 12. This year marks the 12th overall that multiple conference teams have advanced to regionals and the eighth time since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1994. This is the second time that Ohio State and Purdue (2003), Ohio State and Michigan State (2005) and Michigan State and Purdue (2006) have advanced to the Sweet 16 in the same year. It is the first time that all three squads have advanced to regionals in the same season.

Knockin’ Off No. 1
Michigan State defeated No. 1-seeded Duke on Tuesday, becoming the first No. 9 seed since 1998 to knock off a top seed in the second round and just the third No. 9 seed to ever advance to the Sweet 16. The regionals appearance is Michigan State’s third overall, all of which have come in the last five years.

Lucky No. 13
With its win over Charlotte in the first round of the NCAA Championship on Saturday, Purdue advanced to the tournament’s second round for the 13th consecutive year. With the ensuing win against North Carolina on Monday, the Boilermakers advanced to their 12th Sweet 16 in program history and their third in the last four years.

Buckeyes Back in the Habit
Ohio State is making its eighth overall Sweet 16 appearance and the program’s first since 2005. It is the Buckeyes’ third Sweet 16 appearance under head coach Jim Foster

With wins on Sunday, Indiana and Wisconsin each moved on to the third round of the Postseason WNIT. Advancing on a last-second tip-in from Kim Roberson to Whitney Thomas, the Hoosiers are making their first third-round appearance since 2007. With a four-point victory against Kentucky, the Badgers are also in the third round of the tournament for the first time since 2007, the season in which they advanced to the event’s title game.

From One Tournament to Another
Recent history has shown that winning in the Big Ten Tournament equals success for conference teams in the NCAA Tournament. Since 1995 and including this year, the teams that have won the Big Ten Tournament have combined to post a 32-13 (.711) record in the NCAA Championship. Recently, Purdue made the Big Ten’s last Elite Eight run in 2007 after winning the conference tournament and 2009 Big Ten Tournament Champion Ohio State is making its first Sweet 16 appearance since 2005.

Making the List
Ohio State sophomore Jantel Lavender was named one of 12 finalists for the 2009 State Farm Wade Trophy, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced on Tuesday. Lavender is one of just two sophomores on the award list that recognizes the national player of the year in women’s college basketball.

Regional Recognition
Ohio State head coach and Big Ten Coach of the Year Jim Foster was recently named the Region 6 Coach of the Year by the WBCA. Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender and Purdue’s Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton were named regional finalists for the NCAA Division I State Farm Coaches’ All-America Basketball Team and on Thursday, were named among the 40 overall finalists for the honor.