NCAA Women

Hoops Central: NCAA First Round: #24/RV Lady Vols vs. Saint Louis

Hoops Central: NCAA First Round: #24/RV Lady Vols vs. Saint Louis

No. 24/RV Tennessee (23-11), the No. 4 seed in the Seattle 3 Region, begins its 41st-straight NCAA Tournament journey at home, playing host to No. 13 seed Saint Louis (17-17) on Saturday in the first round at 1:06 p.m. ET at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The winner of that game will advance to Monday’s NCAA Second Round and face the victor of the other Knoxville Saturday first-round matchup between No. 5 seed #17/20 Iowa State (22-9) and Toledo (28-4).

The Lady Vols are serving as a host for the NCAA First and Second Rounds for the second year in a row, and this marks the 19th occasion UT has welcomed the NCAA First and Second Rounds to Rocky Top since that format was instituted in 1994.

The Big Orange women have won 19 of their past 25 games in 2022-23, with the only losses during that span coming at No. 3 Stanford (77-70), vs. No. 4 UConn (84-67), at No. 5 LSU (76-68), at Mississippi State (91-90 2OT), vs. No. 1/1 South Carolina (73-60) at home and vs. No. 1/1 South Carolina in the SEC Tournament championship game (74-58).

Head coach Kellie Harper led her squad through a gauntlet of a schedule. She patiently put the pieces of the 2022-23 Lady Vol puzzle together, helping talented returnees and newcomers find their roles for this team and guiding them through absences of key players (Horston, Jackson, Hollingshead, Franklin) and the loss of two more (Key, Suárez) for the season. Tennessee placed third in the SEC for the fourth-straight season, finished 13-3 for its highest league victory total since 2014-15 and advanced to its first SEC Tournament title game since 2015, with a 69-67 triumph over No. 4/3 LSU serving as a signature win.

Saint Louis, meanwhile, tied for third in the Atlantic 10 Conference in 2022-23 at 10-6 before winning the league tourney over UMass, 91-85 in overtime to punch its ticket for a first-ever NCAA bid.

UT and SLU will be meeting for the second time, with the Lady Vols standing 1-0 after defeating the Billikens at the 2002 San Juan Shootout in Puerto Rico.


  • Saturday’s UT-SLU game will be televised by ABC, with Pam Ward (PxP) and Stephanie White (Analyst) on the call.
  • All of the games included in the ESPN package (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU) will be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 or Xbox One to fans who receive their…

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