Lucky number 3
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 00:03
According to Texas A&M women’s basketball head coach Gary Blair, music sensation Alicia Keys’popular song “Girl on Fire”applies well to a group of players he’s developed throughout this past season —his women’s basketball team.
"You know that song that Alicia Keys sings," Blair said. "I think our girls are on fire right now."
Despite losing four of their final five regular season games, the No. 9 ranked women’s basketball team surged to Texas A&M University’s first-ever Southeastern Conference title on March 10, defeating Kentucky 75-67 in the league tournament championship game.
On Monday, though, the squad awaited their postseason fate at the Cox-McFerrin Athletic Center. The athletic department hosted a selection show watching party on the team’s practice gym floor and, with a packed house, patiently anticipated their NCAA tournament seeding.
Texas A&M, who will host the first and second rounds at Reed Arena, earned the No. 3 seed in the Norfolk Regional and were paired with No. 14 seed Wichita State to kick off the tournament. Big East and ACC tournament champions Notre Dame and Duke, respectively, were slotted as the first and second seeds in A&M’s region.
Texas A&M junior center Kelsey Bone said they are ecstatic about the tournament.
"We are excited to be in the NCAA tournament again," Bone said. "And we're excited that we're hosting it again."
The Aggies are only one of four teams to gain a No. 4 seed or higher for the past seven consecutive years. Led by Blair, A&M will be making its 10th all-time NCAA tournament appearance and hopes to bring home its second national title in three years.
Senior guard Adrienne Pratcher said she looks forward to seeing everyone come out and support them in the first and second rounds.
"I'd like to see all of you guys here for the first and second rounds and in Norfolk as we continue our journey,”Pratcher said to the crowd. “We hope to see you guys for our next six games because (seniors) Kristi (Bellock), Cierra (Windham) and I —we plan on playing six more games in our career."