Princeton University’s women’s basketball team heads into NCAA tournament undefeated

It’s been a season of records for Princeton University’s women’s basketball team. The Tigers went 30-0 this season to win their fifth Ivy League title in six seasons.

“To go 30 and 0 is a remarkable feat for any team,” said Joe Younes, a producer with sports radio 97.5 FM, The Fanatic.  “The Ivy League has never seen a team like this.”

The Tigers earned a spot in this year’s NCAA Division 1 Tournament, which begins this week. They will play the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay team in College Park, Md. on Saturday at 11:05 a.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN-2 TV and WPRB-FM.

In the NCAA women’s tournament, 64 teams start in the first round which is separated in four divisions. Princeton is one of 16 teams in the Spokane regional bracket. Each of the 16 teams is ranked by NCAA from best to worst. Princeton was assigned a number 8 ‘seed’ which means they’re in the middle. 

See full NCAA Div 1 Women’s Basketball tournament bracket

Younes said he was shocked by Princeton’s 8th seed ranking. He says he expected the women’s basketball team to be give a number 4 or 5 seed. Although Younes said he does not expect the ranking to affect the team, he was disappointed as a fan. “I absolutely think there’s a bias against Ivy League teams.” 

Coach Banghart

Princeton Tigers Coach Courtney Banghart’s game plan going into Saturday’s game is pretty straightforward. “Our goal is to play with discipline and toughness,” she said.

Banghart says the Tigers don’t have a bona fide superstar who carries most of the games, as a result that responsibility is on the entire team. “We are a true team and so it requires everybody to bring their best every night,” she said. “I think our biggest asset is how versatile we are,” noting that four of the team’s players were named best player of the week during the season. 

Team member Michelle Miller, a chemistry major from Pasadena, Ca., says Coach Banghart was one of the reasons she chose Princeton. “She’s very good at building a team.”

The Tiger’s perfect season still hasn’t quite sunk in yet for team member Annie Tarachkian, a psychology major from West Hills, Ca. “It feels unreal to have finished the season undefeated.”

Sports radio’s Younes says he expects the Princeton women to win the first game against University of Wisconsin. But game two is going to be harder. The winner from Saturday’s match-up will likely face the number 1 seed for Spoken regional division the University of Maryland. Despite the challenge, Younes said he thinks Princeton will give fans an exciting performance. 

“They know how to win. They’re winners,” Younes said. He attributes much of the team’s success to its strong defense, and says he was very impressed by their performance in the final game of the season against the University of Pennsylvania.  

Rutgers University and Seton Hall’s women’s basketball teams will also be competing in the tourney. In fact, they will battle each other Saturday 6:30 p.m at the Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn.

 

The NCAA Division 1 Men’s tournament is also being held this week. Round 1 begins Thursday, March 19.  

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