Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Short-handed Hampton women draw No. 9 Duke as NCAA first-round foe

HAMPTON, Virginia -- Having successfully completed Mission: Improbable, the Hampton University women’s basketball team must now turn its attention to an assignment that more closely resembles Mission: Impossible.

The Pirates, unlikely winners of the MEAC tournament, on Monday received a daunting reward: a No. 15 seed in the NCAA tournament’s Bridgeport, Conn., Region and a first-round date with No. 2-seeded Duke.

That game will be played on Saturday at 9 p.m. in Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium.

“I sent the kids a text message (early Monday morning)”, said Pirates coach David Six. “I said, ‘Don’t let anything that happens tonight — not who we play, not where we play, not when we play — minimize what you’ve accomplished.’ I said, ‘Tomorrow we’ll go to work. Tomorrow we’ll begin to get ready. But not tonight. Tonight, I just want you to enjoy it.’”

There is much to enjoy. Hampton (20-12) was the only state team to get a spot in the NCAA tournament’s field of 64. The manner in which it did so was little shy of remarkable.


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