March 17, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. --- The #12 seeded New Mexico Lobos will host the #5 seeded West Virginia Mountaineers Saturday at 6:30 p.m. MT during the first round of the NCAA Tournament held inside The Pit. The Lobos who will play in their seventh consecutive NCAA Tournament and are one of three Mountain West Conference schools participating in the event. UNM enters the tournament with a 20-12 overall record, while No. 18 WVU is 24-7 under Mike Carey. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN 2 Saturday with Bob Wischusen handling play-by-play and Jimmy Dykes will be the color analyst.
UNM will compete in the Spokane regional with a chance to advance to the national championship contest on April 8 in Tampa Bay, Fla. The Lobos are one of only 13 schools in the nation to play in the last seven consecutive NCAA tournaments and one of three non-BCS schools. UNM received the automatic bid to the dance after winning the Mountain West Conference Championship on March 15 in Las Vegas.
Seniors Dionne Marsh and Brandi Kimble lead the Lobos. Marsh, who is the schools all-time scorer, was named the MVP of the MWC Championship on Saturday, while Kimble led UNM in scoring during the championship game. The 2008 NCAA Tournament marks the fourth time Kimble and Marsh have reached the dance.
West Virginia finished third in the Big East Conference and has been ranked nationally throughout the year. The Mountaineers have seven seniors on the roster and return to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year. WVU is led by senior Meg Bulger who is averaging 12.8 points per game and senior center Olayinka Sanni. Sanni leads the team with a 16.5 scoring average and is one of four Mountaineers averaging double figures.
WVU won the only previous meeting between the two schools on Jan. 9, 1982 in Morgantown, W.Va., 71-56.
Lobos In the NCAA Tournament:
This will be the Lobos eighth appearance in the NCAA Tournament, seventh consecutive appearance. UNM advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in 2003 and the Second Round in 2006. UNM advanced to the Tournament in 1998 and began the current appearance streak in 2002.
UNM is one of 13 teams in the 2008 tournament field to have appeared in the last seven NCAA Tournaments, including 2008 - Connecticut, Duke, Georgia, LSU, North Carolina, Norte Dame, Oklahoma, Old Dominion, Purdue, Stanford, Tennessee, Vanderbilt.
It will be the third time the Lobos have started the NCAA Tournament in Albuquerque - 2003, 2004, and 2008. UNM will host the first and second rounds again in 2009 and 2010.
The Lobos are 3-7 in NCAA Tournament action.
The Lobos are representing the Mountain West Conference with the league's automatic bid for the fifth time in the last six seasons. UNM earned an at-large bid from the MWC in 2002 and 2006. The 1998 bid was an automatic to represent the Western Athletic Conference.
UNM has advanced to national post-season tournaments for 11 consecutive seasons, including three WNIT appearances in 1999, 2000, and 2001.
Albuquerque is the home of the first and second rounds of the NCAA tournament. The Pit will host four games including two sessions on Saturday. The final two second round games are slated for Monday at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Full Schedule -
Session 1, Saturday, March 22
12:00 p.m. #3 Baylor vs. #14 Fresno State
2:30 p.m. #6 Pittsburgh vs. #11 Wyoming
Session 2, Saturday, March 22
6:30 p.m. #5 West Virginia vs. #12 New Mexico
9:00 p.m. #4 Vanderbilt vs. #13 Montana
Tickets are available for the first and second rounds of the women's NCAA Tournament held inside The Pit on March 22-24. Call the UNM ticket office at (505) 925-LOBO for tickets or visit www.GoLobos.com.