The wait was more stressful than they thought it would be. A month ago, it seemed fairly settled that Arizona women’s basketball would host the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since head coach Adia Barnes was a senior in college. A run of bad losses and an injury to leading scorer Cate Reese threw that into turmoil.
The turmoil is over. The Wildcats will get to host the opening rounds of the tournament as the No. 4 seed in the Greensboro, NC regional. For one member of the team, it will be a family affair.
Arizona’s first-round opponent is No. 13 seed UNLV. Jade Thomas, the younger sister of super senior Sam Thomas, is a sophomore guard for the Lady Rebels.
There are homecomings in the offing, as well. Tucson native Alyssa Brown, a standout at Sahuaro High, is a freshman forward for UNLV. The team also features Khayla Rooks, the daughter of former Wildcat standout Sean Rooks.
If the Wildcats defeat UNLV, they will face the winner of No. 5 seed North Carolina and No. 12 seed Stephen F. Austin. Eventually, they would likely run into No. 1 overall seed South Carolina.
The Pac-12 put a total of six teams in the tournament. Joining Arizona is Spokane No. 1 seed Stanford, Wichita No. 5 seed Oregon, Spokane No. 7 seed Utah, Greensboro No. 7 seed Colorado, and Bridgeport No. 8 seed Washington State,
The Wildcats will begin play on Saturday, March 19.