HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac women’s basketball team’s fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament will be a short one travel-wise as the ninth-seeded Bobcats will head to Storrs, Connecticut for a rematch with eighth-seed Miami (Fla.) in the opening round on Saturday at 1:30 p.m., it was announced this evening during the NCAA selection show.
The Bobcats are heading back to the NCAA Tournament one year after a dramatic run to the Sweet 16 at Miami, when they knocked off nationally ranked Marquette and the host Hurricanes for their first two NCAA wins in program history. Quinnipiac’s run eventually ended with a defeat to eventual national champion South Carolina, but not before capturing the attention of the nation as the lowest seed (No. 12) to advance to the Round of 16.
Quinnipiac punched its ticket to this year’s NCAA Tournament by winning the 2018 MAAC Championship with a 67-58 win over Marist in the title game on Monday, March 5, its second straight MAAC title. The Bobcats also completed a perfect season in the MAAC with a 21-0 record against conference foes (18-0 in regular season, 3-0 in tournament).
Junior forward Jen Fay was named the Most Outstanding Player of the MAAC Tournament, while junior forward Aryn McClure and senior guard Carly Fabbri were also named to the MAAC All-Tournament team. Fay and McClure were both first-team All-MAAC selections during the regular season, while Fabbri was chosen to the second team.
Quinnipiac will be making its fourth appearance in the NCAA Division I Tournament, after previously earning bids in 2013, 2015 and 2017. The 2013 and 2015 teams also reached the NCAAs with perfect conference records (2013 in the Northeast Conference and 2015 in the MAAC) before falling to Maryland and Oklahoma in the first round.
The Bobcats will enter the NCAA Tournament with a 27-5 overall record and a 22-game winning streak, which is tied for the fourth-longest in the nation. Quinnipiac hasn’t suffered a defeat since a road game at Michigan State on Dec. 18, while its other four losses have all come to teams in the top 30 of the RPI (Iowa, Missouri, Ohio State, Princeton). The No. 9 seed is the highest seed that the Bobcats have ever earned, surpassing the No. 12 seed it had a year ago.
The first game of the Storrs site will feature the No. 1 ranked and undefeated Connecticut Huskies against No. 16 seed Saint Francis (Pa.). The two winners will then meet on Monday night at Gampel Pavilion for the right to advance to the Sweet 16. If the Bobcats do get by Miami a second time and advance to play Connecticut, it will be the first time that the teams have met since Quinnipiac’s very first game at the Division I level in 1998-99.