Brianna Campbell / The Collegian
Nerves and anticipation filled the Josephine Theater in the Duncan Building this afternoon as the women’s basketball team sat waiting to hear what the final verdict for the NCAA Tournament pick.
Two brackets were announced live from ESPN before the women’s basketball team received word that they would be competing in the tournament. Watching live from ESPN, the girls had to sit anxiously through commercials and commentary before seeing the final picks.
When the verdict came for the four seed and the 13 seed matchup, the room was taken over by cheering and congratulations. The team and local support watched the screen as they saw a matchup between four seed Baylor (23-9) and Fresno State (27-6) seeded 13.
Head coach Adrian Wiggins took the stage and thanked everyone who came out and the athletic administration for putting on the selection viewing show.
“We play a game sometimes that is called high-low,” Wiggins said. “The high would obviously be being on the bubble and being the first time ever in the history of women’s basketball here [Fresno State] to be selected as an at-large bid. The low would be that I almost died sitting over there waiting for this. Let’s not do that again.”
Players smiled from ear to ear as friends and family in the community congratulated them.
Fresno will face Baylor once again, the same team that they faced their first year going into the NCAA Tournament in 2008.
“We were a freshman class, a couple of our seniors weren’t even playing yet,” starting guard Jaleesa Ross said. “This is a brand new team and we have definitely learned from these last two experiences in the post season.”
The Bulldogs will prepare for their last chance capturing a tournament title after losing the automatic bid to Louisiana Tech at the Western Athletic Conference Tournament Saturday.
“We have learned that rebounding is what it takes to win,” Ross said. “We definitely have a lot of confidence, coach Wiggins always tells us it is hard to deal with success but we usually have no problem dealing with failure and being able to bounce back and come back hard.”
Wiggins informed the crowd that there is no time to waste, “Tomorrow we are going to get up and practice.”
Support the Bulldogs as they travel to Berkley, Calif. to take on Baylor at the Haas Pavilion Saturday at 7:30 p.m.