Tennessee and Belmont head for NCAA Women’s Tournament

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The NCAA Tournament selection committee had both Tennessee and Belmont smiling on selection Monday.

The Volunteers earned a 3-seed while the Bruins were tabbed a 12.

For Tennessee that means a date with 14th seeded Liberty Friday at 1:30 p.m., but most important, it means playing in Knoxville. The Lady Vols (24-7) are home for the first two rounds if they advance and then would head just up the road to Lexington for the Sweet 16.

Lady Vols head coach Holley Worlick didn’t hide the importance of playing at home.

“It’s huge for us, getting a chance to play in front of your fans again. The opportunity to stay here and not have to travel, it’s awesome.”

If the Lady Vols advance they would face either 11th seeded Western Kentucky or 6th seeded Oregon State.

Meanwhile the Bruins earned a 12-seed and match-up with 5th seeded Duke Saturday morning at 10 a.m. in Athens, Georgia.

For mid-majors, moving up in the seeding can be difficult and Belmont guard Kylie Smith says it is a huge benefit for the Bruins.

“It’s awesome to be a 12-seed. Anytime you can get a 12-seed or lower, you know, you’re playing at a neutral site. So, we’re definitely excited about that and it should be great.”

The Bruins (31-3) are in the tournament for the third year in a row, but are still searching for their first tournament victory.

If they can advance they would face either 4th seeded Georgia or 13th seeded Mercer.