ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- The NCAA announced its brackets for the women's basketball tournament Monday night and rewarded Navy with a No. 14 seed in the championship. The Midshipmen will face No. 3 DePaul Saturday afternoon at the Bryce Jordan Center on the Penn State campus in University Park, Pa.
The Navy-DePaul game will be the second half of a doubleheader in Happy Valley. The first game will feature the host and No. 6 seeded-Nittany Lions playing host to No. 11 Dayton. The first game will tip at 11:10 a.m. EDT, with the game between the Mids and the Blue Demons following 30 minutes after the conclusion of the initial contest. Both games will air on ESPN2.
The winners of Saturday's pair of games will meet Monday for the right to advance to the semifinals of the Philadelphia Regional.
Navy (20-11) is making the program's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Midshipmen qualified for the field of 64 teams thanks to winning the school's first Patriot League championship this past weekend.
The Blue Demons posted an overall record of 27-6 this season and tied for second place in the Big East Conference with a league mark of 13-3. DePaul is making its ninth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament and the program's 16th overall. The Blue Demons were ranked ninth nationally in the March 7 Associated Press Top-25 Poll and 12th in the same week's ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
Saturday's game will be the first between the Midshipmen and the Blue Demons.
Ticket information for Navy fans wishing to attend the game will be announced Tuesday.
The Navy team watched Monday's NCAA Tournament Selection Show from Federal House Bar and Grill in downtown Annapolis. Some thoughts from the players and coaches follow:
Head Coach Stefanie Pemper
"I wanted the players to come out of this evening with an identity, and to crave this in the future. I hope they realize what hard work, buying in and being unselfish can do for you. They feel closer tonight, and that is the goal for every team. It is neat to have them watch alongside so many members of the Annapolis community who are here tonight. Tonight and during the Patriot League Tournament they have had the chance to meet many new fans, as well as many long time fans. They can realize what a special identity within the Naval Academy and Annapolis they can have. There are so many little kids who respect the the players and look up to them. They are lucky to have that opportunity to impact people. That is a special feeling."
"I think it will be easy to set aside all of this Tuesday and get back to business. We are going to treat it like any other week. We will watch film and try and find some matchups for us and develop a strategy. Our focus is now on beating DePaul. Everything else will take care of itself."
Senior team captain Angela Myers
"I think my heart stopped beating there while waiting for Navy to appear on the screen. It was so exciting. I was still surprised when Navy popped up there. It is great we are at No. 14 seed. I feel we were given a lot of respect for what we had acomplished up until now. It shows that there is a reward for all of the hard work we put into getting here."
Senior Cassie Consedine
"It is amazing to think how far we have come together, especially myself and Angela. To go from a team that won seven games when we were freshmen to the NCAA Tournament is hard to believe. There has been a lot of smiles for us."