Syracuse, N.Y. — As has emerged as his lifestyle, Syracuse girls’ basketball train Quentin Hillsman made some welcoming remarks to the fanatics gathered at Manley Field House on Monday night for the NCAA Tournament selection display.
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Hillsman expressed his gratitude for assist of an application that had reached that postseason for five instantly seasons.
“Every 12 months we’ve got this occasion, it way fulfillment,” Hillsman stated of the watch party. “There changed in a time where this wasn’t this way. But with all that, our personnel have accomplished, and the gamers, and to follow in the footsteps of some of our former exquisite players, we’re at this level. And now this event is an every year event.”
Then, as a final warmup, he added a shot of that Hillsman self-belief.
“And now, without a similar ado, let’s see who we are going to move beat inside the first spherical,”
The Orange needed to wait for an excruciatingly lengthy stretch of time, but it got a buzzer-beating answer to that query: Oklahoma State.
Or, at least, that’s the plan for now.
Syracuse is the No. 8 seed and could face No. 9 Oklahoma State (20-10) in a first-spherical recreation in the Kansas City region. The sport can be at three:30 p.M. Saturday in Starkville, Miss.
While there appeared to be little doubt that Syracuse (22-8) would get an invite, SU’s bracket turned into announced close to the end of the only-hour selection display.
“It’s always agonizing. You assume you’re in … However, until you get your name called, you by no means know,” Hillsman said.
“It becomes traumatic,” said SU ahead Miranda Drummond. “I bet we had been simply so apprehensive awaiting our name to pop up. Happy it did.”
Syracuse protects Tiana Mangakahia, seated subsequent to shield Gabrielle Cooper, needed to be reassured by her teammate that each one would stop properly.
“I’m now not very familiar with the brackets and all of that,” stated Mangakahia, a local of Australia. “I become getting a touch bit worried in my stomach. And then as quickly as we noticed Syracuse, I simply jumped up. It became sort of like a relief. I was very excited and happy.”
Now with that mystery solved, Syracuse needs to wade into the celebration towards a group that it is aware of absolutely not anything approximately. The Orange has in no way met Oklahoma State in ladies’ basketball.
“I suppose it will likely be true for us that we do not know their recreation and we can see something a touch bit extraordinary,” Mangakahia said.
“Zero,” Hillsman said while asked approximately his knowledge of that foe. “I recognize that they’re a superb basketball crew. I do recognize they play speedy. They have a truly balanced attack. Anytime you are in that eight-9 matchup, you’re playing against a very good crew. So we are looking forward to the opposition.”
Hillsman stated he turned into OK with the Orange’s seeding.
“For what we’ve carried out, to have a younger crew like this, and for this to be a rebuilding yr, and to get an eight seed, 9 seed, something we were, you take it,” he stated. “You need a risk to win a countrywide championship. And you can not win a national championship in case you’re not in the game. And we’re in the sport. So we’re satisfied approximately that.”
If the Orange topples Oklahoma State, it’d likely meet No. 1 seed Mississippi State at the Bulldogs’ home court in the second spherical. Mississippi State (32-1), the 2017 national runnerup, beat Syracuse 76-sixty five earlier this season.
“We lost the primary time. But I’m happy we get any other hazard to hopefully play them,” Drummond said.