March 10, 2002
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Irish are headed to Knoxville and Greenville.
Notre Dame’s women’s basketball team (19-9), seeded seventh in the Midwest Region of the NCAA Tournament, takes on 10th-seeded New Mexico (22-8) Friday in a first-round game in Knoxville, Tenn., in the Thompson-Boling Assembly Center & Arena (capacity 24,535) on the University of Tennessee campus, based on NCAA pairings released Sunday night.
If the Irish win that one, they would move on to play in the second round at 7:06 p.m. EST Sunday and face the winner of the Tennessee (seeded #2 at 25-4)-Georgia State (seeded 15th) game from the first round. That second-round game will be televised by espn2.
The Irish men (21-10), seeded eighth in the South Region, face ninth-seeded Charlotte (18-11) Thursday at 7:40 p.m. EST in a first-round game at the BI-LO Center (capacity 14,322) in Greenville, S.C. The Bi-Lo Center (opened in Sept. 1998) is home to the Greenville Grrrowl of the East Coast Hockey League, the Carolina Rhinos (Arena Football2) and the Greenville Groove of the National Basketball Developmental League. If Notre Dame advances, the Irish Saturday would take on the Duke-Winthrop winner in a second-round matchup. Duke is the top seed in the South – Winthrop is the 16th seed in that region. Tip-off for that game is slated for 3:36 p.m. EST.
This marks the second time in successive years (and only the second 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 Xavier in the first round 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 ninth NCAA appearance (16-7 record) for the Notre Dame women, all of them under current head coach Muffet McGraw – and all of them within an 11-year period. The Irish are making their seventh 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 second straight NCAA visit and the 26th in school history (26-29 record). The Irish played in the Final Four in 1978.
Notre Dame receives an allotment of 450 tickets for the NCAA men’s games in Greenville, with a limited number of those expected to be available for students. There is no anticipation of any public sale.
Notre Dame is guaranteed 200 tickets for the women’s games in Knoxville, with an option to purchase additional seats if needed. There will be a limited number of those on sale to the general public beginning at 9:00 a.m. EST Tuesday at the Joyce Center Gate 10 ticket windows and by phone by calling 219-631-7356 (VISA, MasterCard, American Express accepted).