Mizzou women’s basketball earns NCAA bid, will play BYU

All of the problems of the season seemed to disappear as the arena erupted in celebration and embrace.
Missouri women’s basketball teammates and supporters anxiously await the announcement of the bracket for the NCAA women’s tournament March 14 in Mizzou Arena.

For the first time in a decade, coach Robin Pingeton and her team are going dancing.

The bracket for the NCAA Women's Championship Tournament was unveiled Monday night, putting to bed a roller-coaster regular season that had everything from blowout wins and close losses to a record start and a losing finish.

Thirty minutes before the announcement, fans from across mid-Missouri filled Mizzou Arena and huddled around the Tigers. At the same time, discussion and insights into Mizzou’s possible opponents filled the arena’s space, along with talk of UConn’s inevitable championship.

The team, coaches and staff gathered alongside their fans and supporters to be recognized for their season, which saw the defeat of the No. 22 and No. 7 teams in the country and boasted the SEC Freshman of the Year in Sophie Cunningham. But it was still a successful season that ended in losing three of the last four games.

Still the Tigers reminisced and patiently awaited their announcement, watching Notre Dame, Baylor, South Carolina and UConn take the No. 1 seeds across the bracket. The hour-long selection show seemed to last into the night as almost every SEC team eligible was picked before the Tigers’ names flashed on the board.

However, when the time came, the Tigers were booked as the No. 10 seed in the Bridgeport Region, taking on No. 7 seed BYU in Austin, Texas. All of the problems of the season seemed to disappear as the arena erupted in celebration and embrace. All of the good and bad faded as the team embraced in one moment of relief.

A breath of fresh air painted the stadium in renewed faith and belief among everyone in attendance. The season isn’t over.

Monday started the next chapter in the minds of these women as they finally get to dance.

Edited by Alec Lewis | alewis@themaneater.com

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