FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The University of Arkansas women's basketball team received an at-large bid and faces Dayton in College Station, Texas, in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, the NCAA announced Monday.
The first round game is scheduled for Saturday, March 17, with a 3 p.m. tip followed by game two at 5:30 p.m. Arkansas enters the tournament as a sixth seed facing the 11th-seeded Flyers. This is the third time Arkansas has been the sixth seed (1995, 2002). Arkansas was a three seed in 1991.
The Razorbacks played their way into the NCAA Tournament by virtue of a good 2011-12 "resume" that included wins over four ranked opponents, eight consecutive Southeastern Conference regular season wins, a program-best 10-6 record and tie for fourth place in the league and a 23-8 overall record. Arkansas had a strong schedule and finished No. 33 in the NCAA RPI released before the selections.
Dayton enters the NCAA Tournament with a 22-6 record and a 12-2 mark in conference play. The winner of the Arkansas/Dayton game faces the winner of defending national champion Texas A&M and Albany on the Aggies home floor. That game is scheduled for Monday, March 19, at 8:30 p.m. central.
The trip to the NCAA Tournament is the first for current head coach Tom Collen at Arkansas. Collen is making his eighth appearance in the tournament in 14 years as a head coach. He guided Arkansas to a pair of WNIT appearances with the Razorbacks reaching the quarterfinals last season.
The NCAA Tournament appearance is the first for this year's five-member senior class and the first since the 2003 season when the Razorbacks reached the second round. That senior class includes Ashley Daniels, Lyndsay Harris, Julie Inman, C'eira Ricketts and Jamesha Townsend.
Ricketts was a first-team All-SEC selection joining second-team pick junior Sarah Watkins and all-freshman team selection Calli Berna. Inman was named to the SEC Community Service Team.
As a program, the Razorbacks are 12-9 all-time in the NCAA Tournament with the best finish coming in 1998. That season, the Razorbacks reached the Final Four becoming the lowest seeded team (No. 9) to reach the semifinals.
This year's tournament field of 64 teams features eight teams from the SEC. Tennessee earned the conference's automatic bid after defeating LSU in the finals of the SEC Tournament last week. Also in from the SEC are Kentucky, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Vanderbilt. The Razorbacks defeated Tennessee, LSU, South Carolina, Florida and Vanderbilt during the regular season.