Bulls earn first-ever at-large bid to NCAA women’s tournament

Cierra Dillard jumps for joy when the women's basketball team was selected as an at-large team in the 2018 NCAA Tounament.

Junior guard Cierra Dillard jumps for joy at hearing the news that the women's basketball team had received an at-large bid to the 2018 NCAA Women's Tounament. Photo: Paul Hokanson


Published March 13, 2018

For the first time in program history, the UB women’s basketball team was selected as an at-large team for the 2018 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. The Bulls were picked as a No. 11 seed and will take on No. 6-seed South Florida in Tallahassee at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The game will air nationally on ESPN2.

The Bulls will be making their second trip to the NCAA Tournament in the past three seasons after falling in the MAC Tournament championship game last Saturday to Central Michigan, 96-91. The Chippewas earned the MAC’s automatic qualifying bid, while the Bulls earned the conference’s first at-large bid since 1996 when Toledo and Kent State both made the field and won first-round matchups.

The at-large bid is also just the second in the history of the Big 4 women’s basketball as St. Bonaventure earned an at-large in 2012 and advanced to the Sweet 16.

“We take the game for what it is. It’s a game,” UB head coach Felisha Legette-Jack told The Buffalo News. “And we believe that if you go on the court, anybody has an opportunity to win, and why not us and why not now. We’re fiery. We’re feisty and it’s never a good thing when you’re up by 5 or 7 against us because we’re going to continue to fight. If we get a lead, we’re going to pour it on.

“We really think this game is a microcosm of life and it’s not about the end result of a game; it’s how we position ourselves for the rest of our lives,” Legette-Jack said. “We take that very seriously. Our young ladies are very determined to become phenomenal women, and they want to show their progress and their prowess through the game of basketball.”

The Bulls enter postseason play following their most successful season in program history with a 27-5 overall record, setting a new school record for wins. The Bulls claimed their first-ever MAC East Divisional title while owning a perfect 12-0 record at Alumni Arena this season and collecting a school record 16 MAC wins.

South Florida is ranked 19th nationally and are 26-7 overall on the season after falling in the AAC championship game to UConn by the score of 70-54. The Bulls finished off the regular season with a 13-3 mark in AAC games.

This will mark the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

The South Florida-UB winner will face the winner of the game between third seed Florida State and 14 seed Little Rock on March 19 in Tallahassee.

With limited tickets available, seating priority will be given to UB students and Blue & White Fund donors based on loyalty points. Pricing for the tickets will be announced shortly. Fans must commit to purchasing tickets for both the first and second rounds, but will only be charged for second-round tickets if the Bulls advance.

Check back at UBBulls.com for more information.

Fans can follow the team on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. Use the hashtag #UBDancing.