Western Kentucky University will host East Carolina at E.A. Diddle Arena Thursday night in the first round of the 2013 Women's National Invitational Tournament. It's the 26th postseason bid for the Lady Toppers in the last 30 seasons.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. central time.
WKU is one of four Sun Belt Conference teams to reach the NCAA Tournament or WNIT this postseason. They faced six teams on nine occasions during the 2012-13 season that reached one of the two tournaments. The Lady Toppers are 29-27 in postseason play in the school's history, owning a winning record all-time in both the NCAA Tournament and in WNIT play.
East Carolina is 22-9 on the year and finished 11-5 in their Conference USA. The Pirates have four players averaging between 9.6 and 12 points per game this season.
The Marion County Lady Knights came into the season hoping to finish what they started last year. They ended up doing that, plus making history.
Marion County beat Notre Dame 52-36 Saturday night to win the 2013 Kentucky girl's high school basketball championship. The Lady Knights were perfect on the season, 39-0, becoming only the third girl's team in state history to go a season without a loss.
The Lady Knights were open all season about their goal: to win the state title after losing in the championship matchup last year to Louisville DuPont Manual.
Miss Basketball finalist Makayla Epps was named Sweet 16 MVP, twenty years after her father, Anthony Epps, was named MVP of the boy's Sweet 16. Anthony Epps led Marion County to the 1993 championship and has had a front-row seat to his daughter's exploits, serving as an assistant coach to the Lady Knights.
Saturday night's attendance of 6,259 at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green was a record for a girl's final at WKU.
It will be Marion County vs. Notre Dame for the Kentucky girl's basketball championship Saturday evening.
Notre Dame, from northern Kentucky, upset the defending state champion, DuPont Manual, 64-60 in Saturday's second semifinal at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green.
In the day's first game, undefeated Marion County had no trouble with Anderson County. The #1 Lady Knights won 72-49, and will have a chance to win a state title and become just the third Kentucky girl's team to ever finish a season without a loss.
Two schools from our listening area—including the state’s number-one ranked team—are still alive in the Girl’s Sweet 16 high school basketball tournament in Bowling Green.
The tournament-favorite Marion County Lady Knights take on Montgomery County in Friday's first quarterfinal. And Friday evening, the Owensboro Catholic Lady Aces play defending state champs DuPont Manuel of Louisville.
The day’s other two quarterfinals feature Anderson County versus Shelby Valley, and Marshall County against Notre Dame. Today’s winners play in two semifinal games tomorrow morning, with the champion crowned Saturday night.
The Owensboro Catholic Lady Aces are on to the second round of the Kentucky Girl’s Sweet 16 basketball tournament.
Owensboro Catholic beat Lincoln County 66-55 Thursday afternoon at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green.
Owensboro Catholic’s Rebecca Greenwell scored 32 points and had 12 rebounds. The Duke-bound senior is one of the highest-ranked players in the state, and is reportedly playing with a torn meniscus in one of her knees.
The Lady Aces will next play defending state champ duPont Manuel of Louisville, who beat Mercy Thursday 74-60. The Owensboro Catholic-Manuel game is Friday at 6:30 p.m. central.
Kentucky's top-ranked girl’s basketball team is off to an impressive start in the Sweet 16 basketball tournament. The Marion County Lady Knights beat Bowling Green 64-to-43 Wednesday afternoon in the opening game of the tournament at WKU’s E.A. Diddle Arena.
The Lady Knights will next take on Montgomery County Friday afternoon in the tournament quarterfinals.
Marion County is now 36-0 on the year and is trying to become just the third Kentucky girl’s team ever to go an entire season undefeated.
Another team from the WKU Public Radio listening area, the Henderson County Lady Colonels, lost their first-round game Wednesday. Anderson County beat the Lady Colonels 65-54.
The Owensboro Catholic Lady Aces face off against Lincoln County Thursday afternoon.
The WKU men's basketball team received a hero's welcome Tuesday afternoon after their trip home from the Sun Belt Conference championship. Monday night's win in the title game means WKU will play in the NCAA tournament for the second straight year.
After being congratulated by fans outside E.A. Diddle Arena, sophomore forward and Bowling Green native George Fant said he wasn't thinking about what tournament seed the Hilltoppers will receive this Sunday.
"I don't know what we deserve. I don't really want to get into that. I'm just happy with the fact that we're there. For a team that was supposed to be the seventh-best team in our conference, to do this two years in a row is unbelievable," said Fant, who scored 17 points and had 13 rebounds in Monday night's win over Florida International.
Sophomore guard T.J. Price also refused to predict what seed he thought WKU would receive. The Louisiana native says he can't wait to experience the excitement of the NCAA tournament again.
"Just the feeling...when you step out on that court there's no better feeling ever. I remember last year how I felt, and I've always said I wanted the same feeling again, and now I get that chance," Price told WKU Public Radio.
A pep rally will be held outside the U.S. Bank Entrance at E.A. Diddle Arena upon the team's return to campus at approximately 4:00 PM (CT). Fans are welcome and encouraged to attend and welcome home the 2013 Sun Belt Conference Tournament champions.
In addition, WKU will be hosting an NCAA Tournament Selection Show watch party on Sunday to see where the Hilltoppers will be playing in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Doors open at 4:00 (CT), and the Selection Show begins at 5:00 (CT) and will be broadcast on the video boards inside the arena.