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Local WBB teams happy to be dancing

St. John's guard Eugeneia McPherson (22) shoots in

St. John's guard Eugeneia McPherson (22) shoots in front of Oklahoma guard Whitney Hand, right, in the first half. (March 20, 2012) Credit: AP

For the St. John's women, it will be the fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and the second straight for coach Joe Tartamella. Fordham will be in the dance for the first time since 1994, while Marist will be a part of the post season for the ninth straight year.

There is also Army, which is back in the tournament for the first time since the late Maggie Dixon led the program there in 2006.

Eighth-seeded St. John's (22-10) will play No. 9 USC (22-12) in a first-round game in the Nashville region in Knoxville on Saturday at 6:30. Fordham (25-7), a 10th seed in the Nashville region will take on California (21-9) on Saturday at 4 p.m. in Waco.

No. 13 Army (25-7) will play fourth-seeded Maryland (24-6) on Sunday at 12:30 in College Park.

Said Tartamella: “We continue to rewrite history. Going there two years in a row as a head coach is obviously exciting, but also for our program, five years in a row is such a great testament to the players that have come through here and the coaches and staffs that have guided them. This is something that has been our goal all year, so we’re excited to get back in there and face USC.”

You can add Stony Brook (24-8) and Seton Hall (18-13) to the post season, too, as both will be a part of the WNIT. Iona (26-5) and Princeton (20-8) also earned WNIT bids.

The Gaels wil play Harvard (21-7), while Princeton will host VCU (22-9) on Friday. Rutgers (22-9), which was surprisingly snubbed by the NCAA, hosts Delaware (20-9) on Friday in a WNIT first-round game.

The Seawolves, in an odd twist, will play at Michigan (18-13) on Friday. Michigan is coached by former St. John's coach Kim Barnes Arico, Floyd HS graduate. Barnes Arico, in her second season leading the Wolverines, played at Stony Brook before transferring to Montclair State.  

Seton Hall (18-13) will host American (22-9) on Thursday.


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