Lady Vols to get marching orders, but where to?

As one of 16 sites hosting first- and second-round NCAA tournament games, Chattanooga couldn't be more enticing to the Tennessee women's basketball team.

Yet past brackets indicate that the city might as well be on another planet. Twice before Chattanooga has hosted games - first- and second-round in 2004 and a 2005 regional. Both times, the Lady Vols were routed elsewhere.

Can hope triumph over history? The Lady Vols will find out when they gather at coach Pat Summitt's home for the ESPN selection show at 7 tonight.

Tennessee's marching orders traditionally have been the pressing tournament question. In many years, it's been the only real unknown for a team that's been a No. 1 seed 19 times. The location question has been more interesting since the tournament went to pre-determined sites in 2003. This year, it's more compelling than ever for a 22-10 Tennessee team that won't stand out in the 64-team field.

Two projected brackets (ESPN and Collegerpi.com) have UT opening in Los Angeles and Seattle, respectively.

The Lady Vols want to stay closer to home and their supportive fan base. Summitt all but campaigned for a trip to Chattanooga during her weekly teleconference last Wednesday. She referred to her reasoning as "wishful thinking."

"I do think for a young team like we have, every advantage we can try to get, we want,'' she said. "There's not many ways you can get an advantage other than bringing it yourself and play at a different level or have the backing, the fan support that will help inspire you when you need it. I think, for us, it would be a positive (to play in Chattanooga)."

Attendance, or lack thereof, is a big reason why the tournament returned to 16 sites for the opening two rounds, rather than sending eight teams to one location. Unlike 2004, the Chattanooga site will be without a host team this year. The Chattanooga Lady Mocs were knocked out of the Southern Conference tournament and are pointing for the WNIT.

Present circumstances don't change the backstory, however. The Lady Vols were the SEC regular-season champion five years ago, and they were sent to Tallahassee, Fla. Conference tournament champion Vanderbilt went to Chattanooga.

"We're right here and Tennessee fans would certainly come out and support this team if they sent us this year,'' Summitt said. "I'm not sure what, in the end, is going to be the deciding factor."

Other than Chattanooga, the closest sites to Knoxville for first- and second-round games include a trio of possibilities. Only one has a built-in host.

Duluth, Ga.: With host Georgia not likely to make the field, the site is wide open. Auburn, the SEC regular-season champion, figures to be a strong consideration.

Bowling Green, Ky.: Louisville is close and should be a high seed (No. 2 or No. 3). If the Cardinals are sent here, Tennessee is a questionable fit, unless it's a six seed.

Columbus, Ohio: Host Ohio State (RPI 13) could be a No. 3 seed or possibly slip to No. 4. Depending on the Buckeyes' seeding, Tennessee might be a consideration.

As for regional placement, UT's season makes anything possible. The Lady Vols have never been routed through a far-West regional. This year's regional is based in Berkeley, Calif.

It will be interesting to see if Tennessee is placed in the same regional with Connecticut, the overwhelming favorite. The Huskies are likely to be pointed toward the Trenton, N.J., regional.

The other regional sites are Raleigh, N.C., and Oklahoma City.

Notebook: Freshman forward Glory Johnson has suffered a jammed middle finger on her right hand and will visit Dr. Rebecca Morgan, the team physician, this morning.

Johnson already has a cast on her left hand to protect a sprained thumb ligament.

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Comments » 24

elizabethtonvol72 writes:

Here's hoping the Ladies fair better than the men!! Go Lady Vols!!

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

my guess is they will get slammed as well. my theory is they will put the LV's into Geno-ville, both to appease Geno, and to ittitate Pat. Also, it will be a big TV draw if it happens.

This whole sports year has been a pit, from the Braves returning to last place to the Vols in football, men's basketball, and women's basketball. I thought we where having a little sunshine on our butts for a bit, but the men playing like iditos settled that.

I've posted this about a MILLION times: when Tyler Smith looks to pass firts, we win. Wehn he looks to drive for HIS shot, we lose.

Back to the LV's, don't look for any favoars. this is 'get the vol' year, I think.

WeLoveTennesseeVols writes:

in response to elizabethtonvol72:

Here's hoping the Ladies fair better than the men!! Go Lady Vols!!

Quit being so negative, some of you people just live your lives on the bubble! Gosh, the deck is always going to be stacked against you, unless it isn't! Grow up! Go keep company with Job's wife!

peerless1 writes:

every freakin' year UCONN gets to play its 1st round games and sometimes 2nd round in Connecticut so excuse us if we think somethun fishy is goin' on(ESPN located in Conn.) L.Vols get shifted to another site. Go L.Vols!!!

CTOWNICON writes:

Wherever they send the lady vols they will be ready to play. I hope they can get sent to the Chattanooga region. I hope Glory is ok and is available for action. All I can say is come out in this tournament and give it all you got every night regardless of who's region you are placed in. After all, don't forget, you are Tennessee! There is history in that name, now live up to it.

xvolx writes:

they were 5th in the conference and blown out in semi tourn.. A five seed gives them what they didn't earn. Take what you can get.

queens2183#661836 writes:

xvolx writes:
they were 5th in the conference and blown out in semi tourn.. A five seed gives them what they didn't earn. Take what you can get.

They also have the #2 SOS and #7 RPI and 7 of their 10 losses came to higher ranked teams that were favored to beat them. IMO, they should get a #5 or #6 seed. Taking into account the makeup of the team and all the circumstances surrounding them, I think they did a pretty good job and deserve no lower than a #7.

BigRMan writes:

I think Charlie Creme has the LV's as a number 5 seed in one of the regions, which seems rather accurate considering the record. I do feel the committee may want to force a possible UT-UCONN match up for TV ratings as someone else mentioned. That is something I really do not look forward to, as an LV fan or for anyone affiliated with the LV program.

Hughvette81 writes:

My comment is as I watched the Women's SEC tournment in N.Little Rock.I saw that the stands where not full.And I did have a chance of gettinng 2 tickets behind the lady vols bench;buut I did buy them.I was wondering just how bad was attendants at the tournmnet and if they will have the tournment somewhere else next year

bmaples writes:

selfishly, I hope they get sent to Bowling Green, so I could go cheer for both them and the Lady Cards. More selfishly, I hope they get a good path to the Sweet Sixteen. That's my goal for this post-season -- keep that streak alive.

We'll know tonight, and I'll be watching! Go Lady Vols!!

Bruce in Louisville

volball7222 writes:

Look for the Lady Vols in an 8 seed in the same region with UCan't. Would not be a big suprise.

ladyvolmaniac writes:

now now Mike....you were being nice at some point back in the blogs.....what happened? I like your nice and reasonable words.
Attendance looked poor at MANY of the women conference tournaments.....Pat sort of brought attention to in her teleconference regarding Little Rock...that there was a lot of Tenn orange and lucky that we played thru Sat. or maybe stands would be mostly empty....
In our economy today lets put aside all but those intentions that help Womens Basketball...period!

GOJO writes:

in response to Mike_From_Connecticut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

CHECK WHERE YOUR SO-CALLED KING GENO GOT TO PLAY FOR THE LAST FEW TOURNAMENTS. THERE IS AN INVESTIGATION NEEDER ALLRIGHT -- OH I FORGOT, ALL GENO HAS TO SAY IS "WE DIDN'T KNOW."

reachkim00 writes:

in response to elizabethtonvol72:

Here's hoping the Ladies fair better than the men!! Go Lady Vols!!

They already have so far...
Lady Vols 24-10
Men 21-12
GO LADY VOLS!!!!!

BigRMan writes:

in response to Mike_From_Connecticut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

With the reputation he has and the recruiting tactics he uses, he should be the last person to cry for an investigation. King Geno makes King subs, at the Royal Farm Store

ps11824 writes:

I feel compelled to offer an esoteric response here on a slow thread as we all await the seedings for our Lady Vols. I will agree we have shown little evidence of a team worthy of special favors this season. We've had our moments of glory (no pun intended) with our courageous comeback against Rutgers. We were not favored as defending champions to defeat the Cardinal, but we did.

You people who slobber over the current #1-ranked team seem negligent to recall the splendiferous spanking of then #1 and undefeated same old-same old 12 years ago. Perhaps the reason being is many who claim to be genius were crawling or riding their big wheel at the time. Some simply illiterate then and now.

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE PAT SUMMITT IN MARCH!!!!!!!! That is carved in tablets of stone somewhere. Believe it! Shout it from the rooftops. Need we go back to last year's thread and make an I-told-you-so list? I've conveniently forgotten but were the trolls present then?

BigRMan writes:

98: You've got that positive energy vibration pumping. Hope you can work that Karma for the LV's to get at least to the sweet 16 to preserve the streak. One very refreshing aspect of this forum is the refined civility that Tennessee based posters show in the expression of views and common courtesy. It's only when certain interlopers who do not know how to win and celebrate, on their own, with their own fans, that the natural order of things are disturbed. This reflects poorly on their upbringing. Hopefully, the LV's can use at least a measure of success in the beginning of this NCAA Tourney to forge a basis for buiding towards greater success in the next 3 years of this Freshman Class

LadyVolFanForever writes:

I think we will probably get a 5 seed and be headed to the west coast. Whatever, it is way too late to have any control over that destiny.

But we do have control over how we close out this postseason. From all accounts regarding practice since Arkansas, we are focused and motivated. I hope to see all out effort and steady bench play. Even if we lose with effort and pride, it will be a stepping stone to next season. These "late bloomers" may have a run in them, we know how Coach Summitt and her staff rise to the occasion each postseason. Go Lady Vols.

adimatteo#261830 writes:

cheer up people, I know its been 11 months, but we just won TWO NCAA championships in a row, TWO...
Who cares where they sent us last year or two years ago...
Season was not as not like we planned, or hoped, injuries, and poor kids having to stop playing..
but we have had one great program, and while we might not get to boast the best team again, it aint over, this program will continue, ...
cant be great forever, not in a sport that we hope continues to grow, etc...
Ladies BB has grown, and while that may not be good for UT, it is great for the sport
Go VOLS and LADY VOLS

ps11824 writes:

Go Lady Vols!

CTOWNICON writes:

in response to Mike_From_Connecticut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You of all people to request an investigation in something. First lets investigate how that slimebucket Geno recruits. That is your homework you big mouth dummy! It should keep you busy for years because I am sure Maya wasn't the first player he has bribed. Investigate that!

mississippi writes:

in response to CTOWNICON:

You of all people to request an investigation in something. First lets investigate how that slimebucket Geno recruits. That is your homework you big mouth dummy! It should keep you busy for years because I am sure Maya wasn't the first player he has bribed. Investigate that!

I want to be the head investigator on this committee. I will make Maya and all these others confess that gino is a slick slimebucket who cheats to get an advantage

xvolx writes:

in response to Mike_From_Connecticut:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm just pleased to see you use lose and your team in the same sentence.

cdtnladyvols931#663910 writes:

Why Mike fron Connecticut would you think the Lady Vols should not play close to home? You ARE A SLIMEBALL too. Just like GENO. The Lady Vols just got cheated. They should have got a much better seat. Look what the Committiee did to Stanford they gave DUKIE a #1 seat...they didn't deserve a #1 seat. Those people are a bunch of crooks too. Geno plays his first games at home every year. They must be afraid of him. I hope some team out there beats him...I don't care which one either. I am so sick hearing about that team. Of course if the refs. don't call the game to suit him...then he will get a good rub down. GOOD NIGHT MIKE.

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