Athens, GA (Mar 17, 2009) - The NCAA has long had a practice, at least in the men's Division I basketball tournament, to protect the higher seeds by keeping them close to home. When it come's to the women, it looks like protecting ticket sales is more important. How else can you explain the 11th-seeded University of Georgia Lady Dawgs (18-13, 7-7 SEC) getting the "home court" at the Gwinnett Arena, forcing number 6 seed AND 19th-ranked Arizona State (23-8, 15-3 pac 10) to travel to the Atlanta area for this weekend's first and second round games?
much to smile about this year, but his Lady Dawgs are returning to the
NCAA Tournament for the 15th consecutive year.
Photograph courtesy of the University of Georgia Sports Communications Department.
By any measure, the Lady Dawgs, led by hall of fame coach Andy Landers (807-259) have had what can best be described as a mediocre season. In fact, they lost five out of their last eight games. But the NCAA knows that the only way to fill the seats is to have a local hometown favorite in the pod.
Of course if they really wanted to fill seats, the games would be played at Stegeman Coliseum on the University of Georgia campus, not 50 miles away in Dulth, GA
About Andy Landers
- 2009 State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame inductee
- 2007 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee
- Became the fourth major college women’s hoops coach to reach 750 career wins with UGA’s victory at Richmond on Dec. 21, 2006, joining Pat Summitt, Jody Conradt and C. Vivian Stringer
- Became the State of Georgia’s winningest college hoops coach with a Dec. ’06 win over Georgia Tech
- Four-time National Coach of the Year (1986, 1987, 1996, 2000)
- No. 4 with 682 wins since 1981-82 when women’s hoops came under auspices of NCAA (behind only Pat Summitt, Tara VanDerveer and Geno Auriemma)
- Graduation rate of 96.2 percent among four-year letterwinners at UGA
- Five NCAA Final Four appearances (1983, ’85, ’95, ’96, ’99)
- Bids to 25 of 26 NCAA Tournaments (second-best nationally)
- 7 SEC Championships (1983, ’84, ’86, ’91, ’96, ’97, 2000)
- 4 SEC Tournament Championships (1983, ’84, ’86, 2001)
- Three National Players of the Year (Katrina McClain, 1987; Saudia Roundtree, 1996; Kelly Miller, 2000)
- Two U.S. Olympians who have won a combined six Gold Medals
- 19 Players to the WNBA, including eight during 2008
- Eight WNBA first-round draft picks in the last eight years, including Tasha Humphrey in 2008