Auburn Women Heading to the Big Dance—Again!
Auburn Coach Terri Williams- Flournoy will be taking her Tigers to their fourth postseason trip (photo: Auburn Media file)
It’s been eleven anxious days for the Auburn women’s basketball team since exiting the SEC Tournament in the second round. After losing to Georgia, the Tigers were one of the teams on the bubble for making the NCAA Tourney. Last evening the ladies got the news they have been waiting for —they were awarded their second straight berth to the Big Dance under Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy.
One of the last teams to be announced on the ESPN selection show, the Tigers learned they will be playing No. 6 seed North Carolina State (22–8) in the first round this Friday in Austin, Texas. Auburn (17–14) was seeded 11th, and host Texas is No. 3.
Senior Brandy Montgomery probably gave the best description of how the long wait felt. “I was shaking,” said Montgomery. “I kept looking at my teammates, my stomach was in knots. But what an amazing feeling it was when I saw ‘Auburn’ come up on that screen.” All the anticipation and anxiety abated at that moment and the Tigers exploded in to a jubilant celebration.
Terri Williams-Flournoy said, “We felt so much disappointment in ourselves because of the way that we finished the season. [However,] our RPI and our strength of schedule were unbelievable, we went out there, and we played some of the toughest teams in the country. I think the committee rewarded us for doing exactly what they want teams to do … You want to be in the mix at the end, you’ve got to play a tough schedule. Some we won, some we didn’t, [but] we played some tough teams.”
The women are often overshadowed by the men’s program, especially since the hiring of popular showman, Bruce Pearl. However, Terri Williams-Flournoy is deserving of far more credit than she gets in the press. This will be the fourth postseason trip under Williams Flournoy in her five year tenure on the Plains. She also took teams to the NIT in 2013 and 2014.
In addition to taking her second consecutive Auburn team to the NCAA’s, it will mark the Tigers’ 20th all-time appearance in the event. Auburn was national runner-up in 1988, 1989 and 1990. Maybe this could be the year Auburn makes some other team No. 2.
Go Tigers Beat the Wolfpack!
The NC State game will be broadcast by ESPN2 with tipoff scheduled for 11:00 a.m. CT.