INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Pitt State women's basketball team is returning to the NCAA Division II National Tournament for the first time in 14 years.
The Gorillas (24-5) earned the No. 3 seed in the South Central Regional to be contested in Topeka and hosted by top-seeded Washburn Mar. 9-12.
Pitt State will face sixth-seeded Central Missouri (20-8) in first-round action Friday (Mar. 9) at Washburn's Lee Arena at Noon.
"We are excited to have an opportunity to compete in the national tournament, it's been a long time," PSU head coach Lane Lord said. "This is great for PSU and for the Pittsburg community. We are looking forward to getting back on the court and continuing our season."
The Gorillas are making their sixth all-time trip to the NCAA post-season — the Pitt State program's first appearance in the NCAAs since the 1998 season. The Gorillas are 0-5 in NCAA Tournament contests.
This will be the second time Pitt State plays an NCAA Tournament game in Topeka. The Gorillas dropped an 82-67 decision to MIAA rival Missouri Southern at Lee Arena on Mar. 12, 1993.
The contest also will mark the second time the Gorillas meet the Jennies in an NCAA game. UCM defeated Pitt State, 69-56, at Emporia, Kan., in the Gorillas' last trip to the post-season on Mar. 5, 1998.
"Central Missouri has a very strong program. We've had two great battles with the Jennies this season and expect the same thing in this match-up," Lord said.
Pitt State posted a school record 24 victories during the 2011-12 regular season, finishing one game behind Washburn in the MIAA standings with a 17-3 league mark. The Gorillas, the No. 2 seed in the MIAA Tournament, dropped an 83-77 decision to No. 7 seed Lincoln in the first round of the conference tournament Thursday (Mar. 2). Washburn claimed the tournament title with a 68-59 victory over Emporia State Sunday afternoon.
The Lady Blues will face the No. 8 seed West Texas A&M from the Lone Star Conference in first-round action. Tarleton State from the LSC will take on MIAA rival Emporia State, while independent – and future MIAA member – Northeastern State will battle Heartland Conference champion Newman in first-round action Friday.
Tickets for the NCAA Regional can be purchased the day of the game at the Lee Arena ticket office. Tickets are $5 per session for a general admission ticket or $3 for a general admission student ticket with a student ID.
Stay connected to pittstategorillas.com for additional information regarding the 2012 NCAA Division II National Tournament as it becomes available.
2012 NCAA Division II South Central Regional
Topeka, Kan. • Lee Arena • Mar. 9-12
Mar. 9 • First Round Action
No. 3 Pittsburg State (24-5) vs. No. 6 Central Missouri (20-8), 12 Noon
No. 2 Northeastern State (24-4) vs. No. 7 Newman (23-5), 2 p.m.
No. 4 Tarleton State (23-8) vs. No. 5 Emporia State (21-8), 6 p.m.
No. 1 Washburn (28-4) vs. No. 8 West Texas A&M (19-9), 8 p.m.
Mar. 10 • Semifinals
3/6 Winner vs. 2/7 Winner, 5 p.m.
1/8 Winnder vs. 4/5 Winner, 7 p.m.
Mar. 12 • Finals
Regional Final, 7 p.m.