Oct. 26, 2010
NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma will be one of 16 institutions hosting preliminary rounds of the 2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee announced Tuesday.
The first and second rounds will be played March 17 and 19 or 18 and 20 at the Lloyd Noble Center.
"This bid award is a reflection of the track record of success that our program has enjoyed," OU Head Coach Sherri Coale said. "It is also, however, a reflection of the hard work of our administration in presenting a first-class experience for all who have competed in NCAA tournament games at the Lloyd Noble Center in the past. And yet, when all is said and done, it is perhaps mostly a reflection of our remarkable fan base.
"The NCAA committee wants teams who earn the right to participate in the tournament to have a special experience; and a large part of that experience for student-athletes is playing in front of a lot of people. Our women's basketball attendance numbers over the past decade speak volumes. But it's actually much more than sheer numbers. It's the passion of Oklahoma basketball fans that keeps bringing the NCAA tournament back to the Lloyd Noble Center."
Joe Castiglione, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Programs and Director of Athletics said OU’s commitment to the event has made Norman a model venue.
"We’re excited and grateful to be hosting the first and second rounds of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament once again, he said. “Our coaching staff and administrative staff have worked tirelessly to consistently present and promote our community in Norman, Oklahoma, and the Lloyd Noble Center as a first-class venue for this special event. We’re grateful for the confidence in our program demonstrated by the NCAA Committee’s selection of our bid. It also validates our commitment to providing championship experiences for student athletes and fans while making a positive contribution to the local and state economy."
The NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship has been a staple of the OU postseason schedule and the 2012 event will mark the seventh occasion the University of Oklahoma has hosted tournament games.
Last season, Oklahoma hosted the NCAA Women’s First and Second Rounds, totaling the third highest average attendance among 16 sites nationally.
OU also hosted the preliminary rounds when sites were determined by seeding in 1986, 2001 and 2002. When the tournament was revised to include predetermined sites, OU was awarded first and second rounds in 2003 and a regional championship in 2004.