No. 2 seed Lady Vols open with Oral Roberts; Baylor is No. 1 seed

Tennessee players from left, Jasmine Phillips, Isabelle Harrison, Nia Moore, Jasmine Jones, Ariel Massengale, Bashaara Graves, Andraya Carter, and Meighan Simmons watch highlights of their season broadcasted during the Selection Show on Monday, March 18, 2013. Tennessee earned a No. 2 Seed and will play in the Oklahoma City Region. 

(Saul Young/News Sentinel)

Photo by Saul Young, 2013 Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee players from left, Jasmine Phillips, Isabelle Harrison, Nia Moore, Jasmine Jones, Ariel Massengale, Bashaara Graves, Andraya Carter, and Meighan Simmons watch highlights of their season broadcasted during the Selection Show on Monday, March 18, 2013. Tennessee earned a No. 2 Seed and will play in the Oklahoma City Region. (Saul Young/News Sentinel)

Lady Vols react to being named No. 2 seed in NCAA tournament

In one direction, downtown Knoxville spread out before them. In the other, Neyland Stadium consumed the horizon.

These panoramas — no matter how compelling — weren’t distracting the Tennessee Lady Vols from the view directly before them.

The NCAA women’s basketball tournament field was unfolding on a large sectional television screen Monday night at the stadium’s East Club. The process yielded an all-too-familiar sight. The Lady Vols (24-7) were awarded a No. 2 seed and placed in the same Oklahoma City (Okla.) Regional as top-seed Baylor, the prohibitive tournament favorite.

“It’s interesting, three out of four years, it’s very interesting,” UT assistant coach Dean Lockwood said. “One thing I learned a long time ago is to not spend a lot of mental energy on things you don’t control and that’s beyond our control.”

The two teams were given the same seedings last season and placed in the same regional (Des Moines, Iowa). The Lady Bears beat the Lady Vols in the regional final, 77-58, and eventually won the national championship. The other tournament meeting to which Lockwood referred was a 77-62 Baylor victory in the 2010 Sweet 16 in Memphis.

Tennessee’s tournament path begins at Thompson-Boling Arena against No. 15 seed Oral Roberts (18-12) at approximately 1:30 p.m. Saturday (TV: ESPN2). No. 7 Syracuse (24-7) and No. 10 Creighton (24-7) play at 11:20 a.m. in the opener of a first-round doubleheader.

Saturday’s winners play at 7 p.m. Monday.

“Everyone knows Baylor and knows they’re a great team,” UT forward Taber Spani said. “But we have to believe in who we are and what we can do.”

The consensus opinion was to focus first on the task at hand. Tennessee’s seeding was a reward for winning the SEC regular-season championship and going 9-5 against the 64-team NCAA field. On the other hand, it was achieved in spite of a stunning 80-63 loss to Missouri last month as well as two losses in its last three games.

“Right now, we want to focus on the next game,” forward Cierra Burdick said. “You can’t

look at six games, you have to look at one. I think that’s the big thing right now. We just have to take it day by day and game by game.”

Oral Roberts won the Southland Conference tournament championship Saturday with a 72-66 victory over Sam Houston State. Kevi Luper led the Golden Eagles with 26 points and was named the tournament most valuable player.

Luper, a 5-foot-10 senior guard, was the conference player of the year. She won the same honor with ORU in the Summit League the previous three seasons.

Tennessee and Oral Roberts opened the 2008 tournament with Tennessee winning 94-55 in West Lafayette, Ind.

Tennessee’s tournament prospects have been buoyed by the return of Isabelle Harrison. The sophomore center has participated in the last two practices, wearing a brace to protect her right knee. She missed the past three games after suffering an injury to the medial collateral ligament in her right knee.

“She doesn’t look like she’s had any problems,” UT coach Holly Warlick said. “It’s huge for us. She hasn’t played in many of our big games.”

Lady Vols head coach emeritus Pat Summitt was unable to attend Monday’s event. Warlick said Summitt was doing a book signing in Nashville and wasn’t able to return in time.

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Comments » 104

jt45 writes:

Congrats to Coach Warlick on the 2 seed pick, I hope to see another banner a TBA in the near future. Not a bad bracket with UCLA being the biggest threat to an Elite eight appearance this year. Not too shabby considering all the injuries and first year coach Warlick have faced.

Well Done !

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Great news. Actually, Holly even predicted a no. 3 seed for the Lady Vols.

Unless somebody surprises Baylor, it's a going through the process procedure for the Lady Bears.

After Griner, Diggins etc are gone, next year it's back to a level playing field for women's basketball.

Loved those sweeps by N D over U Conn however.

What is going to help the Lady Vols is getting Izzy back, hopefully.

Looking forward to some great games.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

Pleasant surprise at our lady Vols getting a #2 seed. Congrats Coach on getting your young ladies to a #2 seed in your first year. Let's make a incredible run this year and build on the momentum.
Rebecca Lobo just mentioned Basharra as being her pick as FOY. Let's make a statement. #makeBaylorsweat

Razor784 writes:

Awesome coaching job for Holly and the staff, for a team picked to finish 5th in the SEC. I was really surprised they were a 2 instead of a 3. I'm not sure if we can get by UCLA and former Vol Alyssa Brewer.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

I'm surprised we got a two but that's what a hard schedule does for you. Kinda bittersweet for me. I would have preferred a #3 seed in the same bracket as ND and Duke. I think it would be a tough task but both teams I think we could beat. Beating Baylor will be a miracle.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

We take of business we will beat UCLA in a rematch from last year and meet the Bears in the Elite 8.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Good luck, LV's..

tobytyler writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Volinflan writes:

Hey let's not start thinking about Baylor. Lets think about Oral Roberts. That should be a good game. The bracketing is awesome, well except for the Baylor between us and the final four. We CAN beat any of the other 14 teams in that region. Let's start pulling for April 2, Baylor and Tennessee.

I hope we get a chance to watch the Lady Vols play UCLA.

Surprise, surprise, surprise. North Carolina a a 3 seed? Sure got me there. I'm glad to see that Penn State is a 3 seed. Strength of schedule?

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

Wait, what??
You people think this is "good"??

This is the 3rd time in 4 years the LV's have gotten Baylor, right?? Or is it 3 for 3??

This is god##m horsecr#p.

standfast#211788 writes:

We can either fold our tents or we can figure out how we are going to beat Baylor. Someone needs to decide.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

Yeah, it's 3 out of 4.

So, it's coinkey-dink that we get Baylor in the NCAA's 3 of 4 seasons.

Interesting.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

in response to standfast#211788:

We can either fold our tents or we can figure out how we are going to beat Baylor. Someone needs to decide.

@stand.
Baylor is better than UT at nearly every position on the floor.

Not a matter of "folding" anything, it's a matter of running a horse race with horses, not with mules.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

The sports gods are still angry with UT.

The men get snubbed, the women get in Baylor's bracket for the 3rd time in 4 years.

I keep thinking some time we'll trend back up.

Not happening yet.

ModelMaker writes:

in response to standfast#211788:

We can either fold our tents or we can figure out how we are going to beat Baylor. Someone needs to decide.

I think we need to figure out how we are going to beat Oral Roberts & Syracuse rather than even thinking about Baylor. Syracuse finished 24-7 and finished third in the big East losing to Notre Dame by 11 at Notre Dame and to Uconn 64-51 in their last game. Syracuse has a very good team.

SoddyVol writes:

in response to maxvolfan#217855:

I'm surprised we got a two but that's what a hard schedule does for you. Kinda bittersweet for me. I would have preferred a #3 seed in the same bracket as ND and Duke. I think it would be a tough task but both teams I think we could beat. Beating Baylor will be a miracle.

The first problem is to win 3 games to get to Baylor. If the top seeds win after the 1st two games, then I agree Tenn might have a better chance getting to the final 4 as a 3 seed. However, as it is, they may now be more likely to make it as far as the elite 8 than if they had to go through Duke.

golfman1975 writes:

Hope we are healthy for the tournament. It would be nice to have all the bullets in our gun!

I noticed...again this year there is only one regional site below the Mason-Dixon line and it's in Oklahoma City. UConn gets to play basically at home until the final 4. How are these sites determined?

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

in response to SoddyVol:

The first problem is to win 3 games to get to Baylor. If the top seeds win after the 1st two games, then I agree Tenn might have a better chance getting to the final 4 as a 3 seed. However, as it is, they may now be more likely to make it as far as the elite 8 than if they had to go through Duke.

@soddy
Politely disagree on the last item.

UT, can, I think at this point play with anyone in the country EXCEPT Baylor.

I'm not saying win, but have a chance to win. UConn would be the next hardest, because of Dolson's skills.

Duke I'm not afraid of.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

in response to ModelMaker:

I think we need to figure out how we are going to beat Oral Roberts & Syracuse rather than even thinking about Baylor. Syracuse finished 24-7 and finished third in the big East losing to Notre Dame by 11 at Notre Dame and to Uconn 64-51 in their last game. Syracuse has a very good team.

@mr.
The irony....
My kid was being recruited by ORU, but didn't like the campus culture.

Anyway, I think there is one positive for this bunch:
They don't take anyone for granted.

I had kinda hoped they would end up getting a second go at ND or Stanford.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to golfman1975:

Hope we are healthy for the tournament. It would be nice to have all the bullets in our gun!

I noticed...again this year there is only one regional site below the Mason-Dixon line and it's in Oklahoma City. UConn gets to play basically at home until the final 4. How are these sites determined?

Golfman,

Yes, we need the bullets. Izzy would be a huge help if we can get her back on the floor. Plus, taking care of the ball will be huge.

U Conn? There are those who decide the sites that are in love with them. Playing the Big East championship in Hartford??????????

Only problem with that was Notre Dame. Sweet.

What the Lady Vols need is to at least see how far they can go.........and use that as a spring board to next season. Losing only Williams and Spani.........the future looks very bright.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

LSU gets Green Bay...
Ouch. GB is tough.

Also....
what do you think about SoCar and ND??
Carolina can't shoot the damn ball, but they are athletic and tough defenders at times.

They could give ND a hard time until the refs bail out ND. Maybe 10 minutes into the game.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

Baylor could face a stumbling block in Purdue or Louisville.

Before you say "ah, no way"...sometimes all it takes is a bad break, a tough shooting day, or a team to catch fire from the 3 arc.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

Where the hell is everyone??

The LV's are the one UT major sport team to accomplish ANYTHING this year, and no following??

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

Well hard to swallow the fact we got Baylor AGaiN! What a crock! I was really hoping we would have a chance to face ND or Duke. Figuring out a way to stop Griner and co. would mean throat punching her and Sims ( sorry had to throw that in there. Identity theft was funny) Anyway teams have been trying to find out for 4 yrs how to stop Baylor. Finally after this year we will ne back on.level playing fields. So I say cheer our girls on with great support and see what happens. For me as long as Uconn loses is all I can ask for until we stretch our lead in Natl championships in the next coming years. I personally think Uconn has two more years until they start descending into a downward spiral. Scandal has finally caught up with them I think and you know what Pat's book may have a hand i that. I just think schools are getting better in recruiting good kids and coaches. The power schools are still power schools but we are starting to see schools like Chatt and Green bay and smallers schools come up and compete.

golfman1975 writes:

in response to emailnodata:

Baylor could face a stumbling block in Purdue or Louisville.

Before you say "ah, no way"...sometimes all it takes is a bad break, a tough shooting day, or a team to catch fire from the 3 arc.

Not to mention the possibility of injuries...

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

@max
You stop Griner by not stopping Griner:
-play her man-up, and don't foul...but don't let her pass to cutters or open 3's.
-box her off the offensive boards.
-guard the hell out of everyone else
-screen her, back pick her, etc.
-make her run around screens to even go up and down the court.

What you want: make her take every shot. If she can personally score 70 points, more power to her. I don't think she can.

lstbodeanvol writes:

Good luck lady vols hope Izzy is back to help out this group advance ....get rest and get healthy !!!!

vettefool writes:

LV's will be real lucky to get far enough to play Baylor the way they have been playing.

maxvolfan#217855 writes:

in response to emailnodata:

@max
You stop Griner by not stopping Griner:
-play her man-up, and don't foul...but don't let her pass to cutters or open 3's.
-box her off the offensive boards.
-guard the hell out of everyone else
-screen her, back pick her, etc.
-make her run around screens to even go up and down the court.

What you want: make her take every shot. If she can personally score 70 points, more power to her. I don't think she can.

I agree with you but many have tried and failed. She can easily dump 50 on you. Our only chance if we get that chance is to out score them. We will have to have 5+ players in double figures and I would love to have Spani get zoned in like the game she had 33pts. She can play as good as any player in the country when she's in her shooting zone. She plays like Kayla McBride or MKL (uconn). One game at a time but all roads lead to Baylor. If we make the rest of Baylors team work then we can score. Idk Holly bring in Jordan McRae for practice maybe Jarnell.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

in response to maxvolfan#217855:

I agree with you but many have tried and failed. She can easily dump 50 on you. Our only chance if we get that chance is to out score them. We will have to have 5+ players in double figures and I would love to have Spani get zoned in like the game she had 33pts. She can play as good as any player in the country when she's in her shooting zone. She plays like Kayla McBride or MKL (uconn). One game at a time but all roads lead to Baylor. If we make the rest of Baylors team work then we can score. Idk Holly bring in Jordan McRae for practice maybe Jarnell.

@max,
LOL w/Stokes.
Maybe McRae, he's skinny enough.

Yeah, Griner COULD lay 50....but I'd make her prove it.

Where I think everyone messes up is by focusing too much on her. UConn did not, but Dolson fouled too much.

Yep, long way to get to Baylor.

SummittsCourt writes:

The way to beat baylor is to get that 6'8" player in foul trouble and Burdick, Graves and Harrison can do that. Keep that player on the bench and that levels the playing field.

But that's getting ahead of ourselves.

Congrats to these overachieving Lady Vols who continue to impress me with their play and their heart.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

The way to beat baylor is to get that 6'8" player in foul trouble and Burdick, Graves and Harrison can do that. Keep that player on the bench and that levels the playing field.

But that's getting ahead of ourselves.

Congrats to these overachieving Lady Vols who continue to impress me with their play and their heart.

@summitt.
you cannot get her in foul trouble in this tourney.

The NCAAW wants a marquee matchup. Refs will be instructed to call NOTHING on Griner or Diggins this entire tourney. I feel sorry for any good team that plays ND.

That said, you have to make your own destiny and plan on YOUR girls being in foul trouble.

That is the nature of women's basketball right now.

totoiv writes:

To me its not stopping Griner, she is going to get her points. I think they have to stop Odyssey Sims their dynamic gaurd. She has killed us the last few times we have played them.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

@toto
Yep.
Plus anyone on the arc.

CaliVOL2 writes:

in response to tobytyler:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Brandon"? What are you, a fifteen year old? She is a human being, with feelings. She has lived with this type of ignorant, hillbilly denegration her entire life. Stop your bullying! Don't teach this behavior to your children. Oops, I'm sure you already have done so. If you haven't noticed, we've had our share of masculine ladies. Did you bully them as well? Don't think so. Cyber bullying is as impactful as face to face bullying. Stop it, redneck.

cdtnladyvols931#663910 writes:

in response to emailnodata:

@max
You stop Griner by not stopping Griner:
-play her man-up, and don't foul...but don't let her pass to cutters or open 3's.
-box her off the offensive boards.
-guard the hell out of everyone else
-screen her, back pick her, etc.
-make her run around screens to even go up and down the court.

What you want: make her take every shot. If she can personally score 70 points, more power to her. I don't think she can.

Right! Let Grin-Man do all the scoring and shut everyone elsedown!!!1 If Purdue plays a good game & hitting their shots they can give Grin-Man a game!!!

VolAlumbutBamaFootballFan writes:

What is it with you people. The LV are where they are because they earned it. On any given day any team can beat any team. One game at a time is what Coach Pat taught and Coach Holly was a great student or she wouldn't be where she is and where she has been all these years. Our girls will give it their all just as the other teams will. So enough of this bull, "Go Lady Vols."
SEMPER FI!

CaliVOL2 writes:

in response to cdtnladyvols931#663910:

Right! Let Grin-Man do all the scoring and shut everyone elsedown!!!1 If Purdue plays a good game & hitting their shots they can give Grin-Man a game!!!

Please see my post above, redneck. Stop cyber bullying. It kills

Theo writes:

Got to take it one game at a time. We lost to Mizzou. We could lose to any of the fist/second round teams. Great news to maybe have Izzy back.
But since everyone is talking Baylor. Did anyone think Chamique Holdsclaw and Kelly Jolly would not win the title their senior years after winning the previous two? Probably not too many. Don't count us out.
Go Lady Vols, so proud of all the team and staff has accomplished this year.
BTW, for all of you imbeciles who feel the need to take shots at BG. Grow the h*ll up. Jeez, doesn't the state of TN have enough image problems?

jryevols#222657 writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

CaliVOL2 writes:

in response to jryevols#222657:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I knew that once we were put in the same bracket with Baylor that the hillbillies would start these types of comments. If she were on our team and taking us to a chapionship would you be calling her a man? Think not. Stop cyber bullying. It kills. Now, go shave under your arms and get wax your mustache off.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

in response to Theo:

Got to take it one game at a time. We lost to Mizzou. We could lose to any of the fist/second round teams. Great news to maybe have Izzy back.
But since everyone is talking Baylor. Did anyone think Chamique Holdsclaw and Kelly Jolly would not win the title their senior years after winning the previous two? Probably not too many. Don't count us out.
Go Lady Vols, so proud of all the team and staff has accomplished this year.
BTW, for all of you imbeciles who feel the need to take shots at BG. Grow the h*ll up. Jeez, doesn't the state of TN have enough image problems?

hi Theo.
we're fans, we get to look ahead.

Holly won't, she knows each game is tough.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

They need to be smart with Harrison.

basically, limit her live practices.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

The placement of Baylor with UT the last 2 seasons...it's almost as if they want UT to not be in the Final Four.

Now, the "why" to that, I don't know. I don't go by conspiracy theories of UT-hate, but the NCAA definitely has had a final four in mind that does not include them.

frblalack writes:

Whomever named those in the picture should be excused from that duty. Totally wrong!

Anyway I LOVE my Lady Vols & if Bashara, Taber & Ms Meghan(on & off) Simmons play their best we can beat anybody!!! Ms Simmons is probably the BEST player in college basketball when she plays teamwork! I think we're looking at a final four team! Don't forget Spani & Graves!

Always Love my Tennessee Lady Vols!!!

ps. I remember when Holly Warlick was the best player in women's college basketball!!

Marcell Marciniak & Bridgett Gordon, & Chamique & Tamika & Sydney & Candace & Kara & the rest can only try to fill Holly's footprint. Holly was the embodiment of our Tennessee Lady Vols!!!
If our players will play with the intensity of Holly Warlick, we will WIN the National Championship!!!

OldVols68 writes:

I love the Lady Vols, but all the naysayers are correct. There is no way the Lady Vols get past Baylor UNLESS we do not have to play them. It is extremely unlikely that Baylor is going to lose before Oklahoma City regional finals are to be played, but it is possible I'll admit. But it would take an absolute miracle for the Lady Vols to beat Baylor...make no mistake about it --- Baylor has a lot more weapons than just a 6' 8" center...they are good at every position.

But yes first things first... the Lady Vols must get to Oklahoma City themselves as well...that is NOT a given. This is a very good Lady Vols team, but...they did lose a few, and they did not make the SEC finals even.

Giverny writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to Giverny:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Really? That's what you have to say? Man, you are really ignorant.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to CaliVOL2:

"Brandon"? What are you, a fifteen year old? She is a human being, with feelings. She has lived with this type of ignorant, hillbilly denegration her entire life. Stop your bullying! Don't teach this behavior to your children. Oops, I'm sure you already have done so. If you haven't noticed, we've had our share of masculine ladies. Did you bully them as well? Don't think so. Cyber bullying is as impactful as face to face bullying. Stop it, redneck.

Are you not doing the same thing with your comments?

Giverny writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

Really? That's what you have to say? Man, you are really ignorant.

Its one of many things I have to say and to the best of my knowledge its factual and timely. If my intelligence is being called into question rather than my sensibilities we can discuss that as well....assuming you can be civil and rational....

With that said I have no intention of getting in the mud with a pig...

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