"It is exciting to be back in the NCAA Tournament," head coach Jon Newlee said. "Playing the Louisville Cardinals, who are a top five team in the country, will be a huge challenge for us. But we are ready."
Idaho earned their second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament after defeating Seattle U, 75-67, in the Western Conference Tournament. Junior Stacey Barr scored 28 points in the game and 78 in the tournament on her way to being voted Tournament MVP.
"You want to play the best-of-the-best," All-Tournament selection Alyssa Charlston commented, "Going to the NCAA Tournament you cannot expect to play any weak team. We are going to give it our all."
The Vandals have made back-to-back NCAA Tournaments for the first time in school history. Last season, Idaho was a No. 16 seed and played against the eventual national champion UConn Huskies. This time around Louisville enters the tournament ranked No. 4 in the country by the Associated Press. The Cardinals are coming off a 75-52 loss to UConn in the American Athletic Conference championship.
"Being at a neutral court is going to be much better than being on a home floor like we had to at UConn," Newlee added. "I think that is good. We have played well on the road and look forward to us playing well at Iowa City."
This will be the third NCAA Tournament trip for the Vandal women. Idaho first made the tournament in 1984, after a 28-2 season.