Akron women to play Purdue in first-ever NCAA Tournament game

Published:

Staff and wire report

AKRON -- The University of Akron women's basketball team punched its ticket to go dancing on Saturday afternoon with a 79-68 victory over Ball State in the Mid-American Conference Tournament championship game at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

After one day to celebrate, the Zips convened on Monday to watch the selection process for the NCAA Tournament.

It will be the first Big Dance the Zips women's program has ever experienced.

And it will take them to West Lafayette, Ind., where they will face Purdue in the South Bend Regional inside the Mackey Arena. The game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Akron (23-9) earned the No. 13 seed in the tournament, while the Big Ten's Boilermakers (21-8) are the 4 seed of the regional.

The winner of Saturday's game will advance to face the No. 5 Oklahoma State-No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast winner. That game will be played on March 24.

Purdue finsihed the season ranked 17th in the country in the final Associated Press poll.

It is the Boilermakers' fourth consecutive tournament appearance and 24th in school history. They lost in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament 87-80 to Iowa.

Meanwhile, the Zips enter the dance having won 16 of their last 17 games.

While some thought Bowling Green's resume would be enough to receive the MAC's first-ever at-large bid, the selection committee left the Falcons out of the tournament.

Bowling Green had been ranked in the top 25 for a large portion of the season, but lost to Ball State in the MAC tourney semifinal.

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