Conference title, check. Pac-12 tournament champions, check. Highest NCAA tournament seeding ever. CHECK! The OSU women’s team learned Monday that they will be the No. 2 seed while hosting a regional, meaning they could play two games in the friendly confines of Gill.
This is OSU’s third straight tournament appearance and the second year in a row they are hosting a regional. Last season, the Beavers beat South Dakota State in their opener before being eliminated by a Gonzaga team featuring Ellie Tinkle, the daughter of OSU men’s coach Wayne Tinkle.That early exit fueled the Beavers this season en route to another amazing performance under Scott Rueck, who has turned a team left in shambles into one that’s a national powerhouse.
And while Friday’s game will undoubtedly be a battle, on paper it appears as if the Beavers have a favorable path to the Sweet 16, needing to get past Troy and then the winner of the Oklahoma State/St. Bonaventure game to make the final 16. Their previous best is also a Sweet 16 appearance in 1983.
The Beavers have the talent, depth, leadership, and heart to go far in this year’s tournament. It would be a great send off for the team’s five seniors — and continue to send a message that the Beavers are a force to be reckoned with on the national scene.
Oh and fun fact, part two… OSU is the only Pac-12 school to have both its women’s and men’s teams playing in the tournament this season. Who would’ve thought? Talk about a double whammy of March Madness.
It’s a DAM great time to be a Beaver! (RW)