March 28, 2014
No. 23/21 DePaul - No. 15/14 Texas A&M
Making its twelfth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament, seventh-seeded DePaul (29-6) advanced to the Sweet 16 for the third time in program history and first since 2011. The Blue Demons will aim for their first Third Round win (0-2) when they face No. 3 seed Texas A&M (26-8) on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. (ET) in the Lincoln Regional Semifinal. The Aggies are making their sixth appearance in the Sweet 16, having won a conference championship or advanced to the Sweet 16 in every season since 2006-07.
DePaul and Texas A&M have faced off once previously on Nov. 26, 2005 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Blue Demons won that game, 84-71. The Aggies have played against one other BIG EAST team this season, with St. John's earning a 72-70 win at Madison Square Garden in the Maggie Dixon Classic on Dec. 22, 2013. BIG EAST squads are a combined 3-6 this season against schools from the Southeastern Conference, with victories over Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and most recently Missouri (Creighton in the WNIT First Round).
BIG EAST Teams In The NCAAs
BIG EAST teams are a combined 232-125 (.650) in NCAA Tournament action, including a 3-1 mark this March. In Regional Semifinal play, the conference has gone 32-25 (.561), having at least one squad play in the Sweet 16 since 1990, and at least one BIG EAST team has advanced to the Elite Eight in 20 consecutive seasons. BIG EAST teams have gone 5-1 over the past two seasons in the Regional Semifinal. DePaul is 12-18 (.400) all-time in NCAA Tournament games, including its two wins so far in the 2014 installment. The Blue Demons are 0-2 in Regional Semifinal action, with setbacks in 2011 and 2006.
Saturday's showdown will feature two of the biggest names in women's college basketball in 30th-year head coach Doug Bruno of DePaul and Texas A&M's Gary Blair, who has been on the sidelines for 29 seasons.
Bruno on Blair: "Well Coach Blair is a hall of fame coach ... I think he is in that other locker room working really hard with his players to keep the score down. They can score points. I know they can, and they like to get out and run. I think he is really going to try and squeeze us."
Blair on Bruno: "First, as I have said before my thoughts are always on the head coach first. I know Coach [Doug] Bruno really well ... Bruno I think has been in 13 out of 15 of the last NCAA Tournaments or some streak like that. Give him credit for what he is doing ... He coaches them up. He does a great job. He is like the mayor of Chicago."
How To Follow
The game will be televised live on ESPN at 7 p.m. (ET), and can also be streamed on the Watch ESPN app or ESPN3.com. Pam Ward, Carolyn Peck and LaChina Robinson will have the call. For more on the Lincoln Regional, click here.