By: Tim Wilmes
The Xavier women’s basketball team is set to play its first-ever NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament game today against Clemson University.
The Musketeers achieved the historic feat after winning the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (MCC) Championship and earning an automatic bid to the tournament as a No. 12 seed.
The Xavier women’s team went 21-8 (11-5 MCC) in the 1992-93 season, the highest winning percentage of any women’s basketball team at XU since the 1975-76 team went 13-2 under head coach Tony Brueneman.
Current head coach Mark Ehlen tasted redemption earlier this month when the team won the MCC Championship, pushing it into its first ever NCAA Tournament bid.
Ehlen saw his team finish in first place in the MCC last year with a 19-10 (9-3 MCC) record, only to suffer defeat in the MCC Tournament.
This year, the Musketeers finished the regular season in second place, but finally seized the elusive title of MCC Champions.
Now, Xavier looks to record its first-ever NCAA Tournament victory against the No. 5 seed Clemson Tigers (23-8, 9-7 ACC).
The Musketeers will take on the Tigers in Nacogdoches, Texas, today as a part of the first-round action within the Midwest Regional of the tournament.
A win today for Xavier would propel the team to a second-round matchup with No. 4 seed Stephen F. Austin who received a bye in the first round. No. 1 seed Vanderbilt (30-3, 9-2 SEC) looms as a favorite in the Midwest Regional and has momentum on its side after winning the SEC Tournament.
Xavier, however, has momentum on its side, too. If the Musketeers can pull off a first-round upset against Clemson today, perhaps they can also harness some Cinderella-like magic.