Phoenix celebrate Selection Monday
GREEN BAY - For the second straight year, the Green Bay women's basketball team had to wait for the final region to be announced to learn their NCAA Tournament fate.
"I almost wish we didn't have to wait so long but that's part of the exciting," junior forward Jessica Lindstrom said.
The defending Horizon League champions earning a No. 8 seed and will travel to Notre Dame to take on No. 9 Purdue in their first round matchup.
The Boilermakers are a Big Ten foe they bested just two seasons ago, 81-78 in double overtime at Mackey Arena.
"We're excited it's in driving distance, so our fans can come and that's exciting for us," junior guard Allie LeClaire said. "But to just see our name is great and we're ready to win some games."
"We're just a small school, from a small conference going to the dance and we're excited," head coach Kevin Borseth said.
The Phoenix hung with Tennessee and Princeton on the biggest state in the past two seasons and hope they're a year better to pull off the upset.
"We've got to put ourselves in a position to be successful at the end of the game, whether that's valuing possessions or making shots," senior forward Mehryn Kraker said.
"We have a great group coming back and we're excited."
"It's just about not making it too big, to play our game," Lindstrom said. "It is really big but it's just a matter of doing what we do. We're good enough to do that."
A couple minor adjustments on the biggest stage, and this "mid-major" could be primed for another showdown with Notre Dame. In November, Green Bay nearly knocked off the No. 2 team in the nation, falling 71-67.
While that's the ultimate goal, their first step is another quality opponent from Indiana.
"Purdue is a team with great history and we're excited," Kraker said.
"A couple of our teams have advanced beyond the first round and that's very hard to do," Borseth said.
"I don't think people understand how hard it is. Certainly it's obtainable because we do that every time we step on the court but we'll have to put it all together because Purdue is a very good team."