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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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Women’s basketball to play Notre Dame in NCAA Tournament

Head coach Rhonda Rompola speaks to the media at Ten Sports Grill after ESPN announced that the SMU womens basketball team would be playing Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Lindsey Perkins
Head coach Rhonda Rompola speaks to the media at Ten Sports Grill after ESPN announced that the SMU women’s basketball team would be playing Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Head coach Rhonda Rompola speaks to the media at Ten Sports Grill after ESPN announced that the SMU women’s basketball team would be playing Notre Dame in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. (Lindsey Perkins)

The noise that erupted from the women’s basketball team as ESPN revealed the NCAA women’s basketball tournament bracket could have rivaled the screams of a national championship team.

Fans packed into Ten Sports Grill to witness the unveiling of who the Mustangs would play in the first round of the tournament. With bated breath, the players crowded around food-laden tables as they watched their name appear as the No. 12 seed alongside No. 5 Notre Dame in the Oklahoma City region.

The game will be held in West Lafayette, Ind. at Mackey Arena on the Purdue University campus on March 23 at 1:30 p.m.

SMU earned their spot in the tournament after crushing the University of Texas at El Paso, 75-57, for the Conference USA championship title.

Still down 2-1 against UTEP for the season, there is a chance the Mustangs will have to face UTEP again, but it would have to be for the National Championship.

Despite a 64-53 loss to No. 9 Pittsburgh for the Big East title, Notre Dame still earned a bid to the tournament after posting a 23-8 season total.

The Mustangs head into the NCAA for the first time in eight years. SMU is currently 24-8 overall and 11-5 in conference play.

The Fighting Irish and SMU have met twice before. Notre Dame beat SMU 76-60 in South Bend during the 1981-82 season. The Mustangs barely defeated Notre Dame 64-63 in Dallas in 1983-84. Should SMU defeat the Fighting Irish, they will take on either No. 4 Oklahoma or No. 13 Illinois in the second round of the tournament on March 25.

If the Mustangs keep winning, they will play in the Sweet 16 on April 1. If SMU can continue on its winning streak, it will compete in the Final Four in Tampa Bay, Fla., on April 6 before heading into the National Championship game on April 8.

The No. 1 teams for the brackets are Connecticut in the Greensboro region, Maryland in the Spokane region, North Carolina in New Orleans, and Tennessee in the Oklahoma City region.

This story has been edited from its original version.

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