Monday, March 14, 2011

James Madison at JPJ; Hampton gets "The Pit"

James Madison doesn't have to travel far. Hampton has to travel really far.

The Dukes (26-7)  notched the 11th seed in the Dayton region of the NCAA Tournament, which pits them against No. 6 Oklahoma (24-8), a Final Four participant in 2002, 2009 and 2010. The good news is JMU nation should fill the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville. Game time is 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be televised on either ESPN or ESPN2.

The winner of that game meets the winner of No. 3 Miami vs. No. 14 Gardner-Webb. The Big South champion Runnin' Bulldogs upset Liberty by a point in Sunday's final.

JMU will have to contend with Danielle Robinson (18.4 ppg) and freshman guard Aaryn Ellenberg (16.5 ppg), who makes for an enticing matchup against Dawn Evans.

MEAC champs Hampton (25-6) earned a trip out west to "The Pit" in Albuquerque, N.M. The Lady Pirates, a 13 seed in the Spokane Region, will meet No. 4 Kentucky (24-9), an at-large SEC selection on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The winner of that game will play the winner of the day's earlier first-round game between No. 5 North Carolina and No. 12 Fresno State.

Kentucky's big gun is SEC Defensive Player of the Year Victoria Dunlap, a 6-2 forward who led the conference in scoring (17 ppg), field-goal percentage (.433) and steals (3.2).

Don't know if you're up for the plane ride to New Mexico, but if so call (800) 955-HOWL  for tickets.

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