FAIRFIELD, CT (March 12, 2012) - The 2012 Northeast Conference Sacred Heart Pioneers punched their ticket Monday night for the 2012 NCAA Tournament and are headed to Chapel Hill, NC to take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. The Pioneers are the #13 seed in the Des Moines Regional and will be joined by #5 seeded Georgetown and the #12 seed Fresno State on the other half of the bracket.
The Pioneers and Yellow Jackets will take the court on Sunday, March 18th and tip-off at 2:30 pm from Carmichael Arena at the University of North Carolina. Sacred Heart is 0-4 all-time against the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and has never face Georgia Tech. The Pioneers are 0-2 against Maryland, losing to the Terps in their first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2006, and 0-2 against Boston College since the Eagles joined the league.
Sacred Heart enters the tournament field with a 25-7 overall record and coming off their third NEC Championship in the last seven seasons. Head Coach Ed Swanson's team features the NEC Player of the Year on senior Callan Taylor (Overland Park, KS) and NEC Rookie of the Year Gabrielle Washington (Mesa, AZ). Swanson led his Pioneers to their sixth 20-win season this year.
The Yellow Jackets are coach by MaChelle Joseph, in her ninth season on the bench. Georgia Tech earns a school sixth-straight NCAA Tournament at-large berth and are ranked 15th in this week's Associated Press poll and 13th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Yellow Jackets are 24-8 overall and won a program-best 12 ACC games on their way to the conference championship game.
The Pioneers made their NCAA debut in 2006 as a #15 seed. SHU fell at the hands of the eventual National Champion Maryland Terrapins, 95-54, in the opening round at Penn State University. SHU's made a return appearance in the "Big Dance" in 2009 after a perfect 21-0 run through the Northeast Conference. The Pioneers drew a #14 seed in the Berkeley Regional and fell to #3 seeded Ohio State, 77-63.
All 63 NCAA Tournament Games on ESPN, ESPN2 & ESPN360.com
For the 10th consecutive year, the ESPN networks will combine to present all 63 games from the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship.