For the ninth time in program history and the first time since 2017, the Toledo women’s basketball team is heading to the NCAA Tournament. The No. 12 seed Rockets will face the No. 5 seed Iowa State in first-round action on Saturday, March 18 in Knoxville, Tenn.
The full bracket was unveiled on Sunday night on ESPN. A selection show event was held at Savage Arena where the team and many Rocket fans watched as Toledo learned its NCAA Tournament opponent.
Thompson Boling Arena will serve as the venue for both of Saturday’s first-round games. In addition to Toledo’s matchup vs. Iowa State, the No. 4 seed and host Tennessee Volunteers will face the No. 13 seed Saint Louis Billikens. The second-round contest between the winner of each game will take place on Monday, March 20. Game times are still to be determined.
The Rockets will bring a 28-4 overall record and a school record-tying 16-game winning streak into their first-round matchup vs. Iowa State.
“This is an exciting time. We’ve been waiting for this moment all year,” head coach Tricia Cullop said. “While we’re excited to be in the NCAA Tournament, we’re not just happy to be here. This team has a lot of pride. We beat a ranked team earlier this season, and we played a lot of good teams this year. We put together a schedule that prepared us for this moment, and now we have to capitalize on it.”
Toledo earned its spot in the NCAA Tournament after defeating Bowling Green, 73-58, in the MAC Tournament Championship Game on Saturday. UToledo opened the MAC Tournament with a 75-74 overtime win vs. Buffalo on Wednesday and defeated Kent State in the semifinals on Friday by a score of 65-58. Senior guard Quinesha Lockett was named MAC Tournament MVP after averaging a team-best 14.7 PPG. Junior forward Sammi Mikonowicz and sophomore forward Jessica Cook were also named to the MAC All-Tournament team.
Big XII Tournament champions Iowa State (22-9) is making its 14th appearance in the last 16 NCAA Tournaments and the 21st in program history. The Cyclones are helmed by a familiar face in former Rocket coach Bill Fennelly. A Varsity T Hall of Famer, Fennelly coached at Toledo from 1988-95 and led the program to three NCAA Tournament berths, including two trips to the second round. ISU assistant coach Jodi Steyer was an assistant under Fennelly for six seasons at UToledo, and Latoja (Harris) Schaben is one of the most decorated players in Rocket basketball history as well as a member of Toledo’s Varsity T Hall of Fame.
NCAA Tournament ticket information will be announced in the coming days.