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IU women’s basketball headed to NCAA Tournament


The IU women's basketball team huddles March 31, 2018, with the WNIT trophy after defeating Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The 2018 women's basketball season ended with a win March 31. Ty Vinson

The IU women’s basketball team was selected for the NCAA Tournament, as was announced Monday evening.

IU will be making its first trip back to the tournament since the 2015-16 season. The Hoosiers will be a No. 10 seed in the Portland region.

"It's difficult to convince your kids that there's nothing quite like this when they've never experienced it," IU Coach Teri Moren said. "This is the reason why we do what we do. This is the reason you're at Indiana."

IU’s first round matchup will be Friday against the University of Texas in Eugene, Oregon. 

"I don't know a whole lot about them," Moren said. "They're in the Big 12, and there's tradition there. In the past, they've been a mainstay in the tournament."

The bracket was leaked early on ESPNU and forced ESPN to move its selection show to 5 p.m. instead of 7.

"I was actually about to get some food," sophomore guard Bendu Yeaney said. "I looked on Twitter and saw that the bracket had leaked. I looked and it said Oregon, and I was like 'ooo, hold up.'"

For Yeaney it will finally be an opportunity to play close to home as she is a native of Portland, Oregon.

"It's going to be crazy because this is my first time going back home since being at Indiana," Yeaney said. "My phone has been buzzing since the bracket was leaked."

Senior forward Kym Royster will be the first IU player to make multiple NCAA Tournament appearances in her career since 1995. In 2016, Royster scored four points in the first round win against the University of Georgia and 10 in a second round loss against the University of Notre Dame.

"It's kinda like déjà vu in a way because I've been here before," Royster said. "It takes me back. Since we made it that first year, Coach Moren has emphasized the work it's going to take to get back to that point. To see it finally pay off for my last year, it's great to see."

IU finished the season 20-12 and 8-10 in the Big Ten before losing to Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. Texas was 23-9 on the year, which includes a win in the Gulf Coast Showcase against Michigan.

Included in IU’s section of the bracket is the University of Oregon as No. 2 seed that IU could face in the second round. Mississippi State University is the top seed in the region.

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