NCAA Tournament, First Round
#4 Tennessee (23–8, 11–5 SEC) vs #13 Buffalo (25–8, 16–4 MAC)
Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, TN
Saturday, March 19, 2022, 3pm EDT
Radio: The BET 1520 AM
The UB Women’s basketball team will take the court today in the legendary Thompson-Boling Arena, home of a legendary coach (Pat Summit), the home of one of the legendary programs in women’s college basketball.
The Bulls will face a much taller team, including Tennessee’s 6–6 center Tamari Key, who just set the team’s single season blocked shot record, and is within 2 blocks of the career record held by Candace Parker. 6–1 guard Rae Burrell is second on the Lady Vols in scoring at 11.8 per game. Their top scorer, 6–2 guard Jordan Horston hasn’t played since mid-February and will not be available for today’s game.
The Bulls have certainly been playing well lately, as their front line has dominated recent games, and they have receive extremely strong play from their backcourt as well. Junior guard Dyaisha Fair told The Buffalo News: ““The biggest thing I see is, they’re just bigger than us. That, really, is the only thing I see that’s different.”
Buffalo coach Felisha Legette-Jack told the Buffalo News: “They’re way too good on paper, and they’re way too good on film, they’re way too good historically. We are just a team that’s trying to be like them, and it’s going to take some time for us to get to that ladder and take those steps up, as well. But I think it’s time for us to take another step up the ladder.”
Buffalo is 2–1 in first round NCAA Tournament games, and a MAC team (Ball State) defeated the Lady Vols in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in 2009 (while Pat Summit was coaching).
Notes: The Buffalo News quotes Legette-Jack describing the different times she met Pat Summit. Like just about everyone else, Legette-Jack has only very positive things about Summit.