March 16, 2003
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Irish hoopsters are headed to Manhattan and Indianapolis.
Notre Dame’s women’s basketball team (19-10), seeded 11th in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament, takes on sixth-seeded Arizona (22-8 as at-large from Pacific 10 Conference) at 6:06 p.m. CST (7:06 p.m. EST in South Bend) next Sunday (March 23) in a first-round game in Manhattan, Kan., at the Bramlage Coliseum (capacity 13,500) on the Kansas State University campus, based on NCAA pairings released Sunday night. The Notre Dame – Arizona contest will be shown live on ESPN2.
If the Irish win that one, they would move on to play Tuesday (time TBA) in the second round and face the winner of the Kansas State (seeded third at 28-4 as at-large from Big XII Conference)-Harvard (Ivy League champion with 22-4 record, seeded 14th) game from the first round.
The Irish men (22-9), seeded fifth in the West Region (Notre Dame’s highest seed since coming in fifth in 1987), face 12th-seeded Horizon League Tournament champion Wisconsin-Milwaukee (24-7 and making its first NCAA appearance) Thursday in a first-round game at aproximately 9:40 p.m. EST at the RCA Dome (capacity 37,004) in Indianapolis.
If Notre Dame advances, the Irish Saturday would take on the Illinois-Western Kentucky winner in a second-round matchup at either 1:10 or 3:40 p.m. EST. Big Ten Tournament winner Illinois (24-6) is the fourth seed in the West – Sun Belt Tournament winner Western Kentucky (24-8) is the 13th seed in that region. The top three seeds in the West are Arizona, Kansas and Duke. This marks the first time in history Notre Dame has appeared in the West Region. All NCAA men’s games are televised by CBS Sports.
This marks the third year in a row (and only the third time in Notre Dame history) both the Irish men’s and women’s teams have competed in the NCAA Tournament in the same year.
Last season, the men defeated Charlotte in the first round in Greenville, S.C., before falling to Duke in the second round. The women eliminated New Mexico in the first round in Knoxville, Tenn., and then lost to homestanding Tennessee in the second round.
In 2001, the men defeated Xavier in the first round in Kansas City, Mo., before dropping a second-round game to Ole Miss. Meanwhile, the Irish women claimed the 2001 NCAA title after defeating Connecticut and Purdue in St. Louis in the Final Four.
This marks the 10th NCAA appearance (17-8 record) for the Notre Dame women, all of them under current head coach Muffet McGraw – and all of them within a 12-year period. The Irish are making their eighth consecutive NCAA trip, with the highlights coming in ’97 (Notre Dame’s first-ever Final Four appearance) and ’01 (the NCAA title).
Notre Dame’s men are making their third straight NCAA visit and the 27th in school history (27-30 record). The Irish played in the Final Four in 1978.
Notre Dame receives an allotment of 550 tickets for the NCAA men’s games in Indianapolis, with a limited number of those expected to be available for students. There is no anticipation of any public sale. Tickets for Indianapolis games are on sale to the public through TicketMaster (call 317-239-5151) for $105 and $135 (includes both Thursday and Saturday sessions).
Notre Dame is guaranteed 200 tickets for the women’s games in Manhattan. There will be a limited number of those on sale to the general public beginning at 9:00 a.m. EST Monday at the Joyce Center ticket windows (second floor, enter Gate 1) and by phone by calling 219-631-7356 (VISA, MasterCard, American Express accepted, with $7 fee for mailing). Tickets are $36 each (includes both Sunday and Tuesday sessions).