Lincoln - The University of Nebraska was awarded one of four regional host sites for the 2014 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, announced by the NCAA on Wednesday, Oct. 9.
The Huskers will host the four-team regional at Pinnacle Bank Arena in downtown Lincoln, March 29 through April 1.
"We're excited that Lincoln was selected to host its first NCAA basketball tournament action since 1993," Nebraska Executive Associate Athletic Director Marc Boehm said. "We believe it is an amazing opportunity to show off the Pinnacle Bank Arena and showcase Nebraska basketball and the city of Lincoln."
Pinnacle Bank Arena will be the home of Nebraska men's and women's basketball for its inaugural season in 2013-14. The $179 million arena is located in the historic Haymarket district in downtown Lincoln, just steps away from the University of Nebraska campus.
With a capacity of more than 15,000, the arena has sold out for Husker men's basketball for 2013-14 and season ticket sales for women's basketball are up 50 percent from a year ago. Women’s basketball fans can still purchase season tickets now starting at just $80 for 20 games in Nebraska’s first season at the arena by visiting Huskers.com/Arena.
Nebraska women’s basketball season ticket holders will get the first opportunity to buy NCAA Regional tickets when they are made available for sale. Game dates, times and ticket prices have not yet been announced, but tickets for preliminary NCAA Tournament rounds are expected to be available for purchase no later than Nov. 16.
"It's an exciting time to be a part of the Nebraska women's basketball program, and the NCAA Regional announcement just keeps that building," Coach Connie Yori said. "We've got a long way to go as a team before we can even think about the possibility of getting back to the Sweet 16 this year, but it is certainly a great opportunity for men's and women's basketball fans to have a chance to watch college basketball being played at a really high level at the end of March in Lincoln."
Yori, who has led Nebraska to five NCAA Tournament bids in the past seven years, including a pair of NCAA Regional trips, was the 2013 Big Ten Coach of the Year and the 2010 Big 12 and National Coach of the Year.
"The city of Lincoln and the entire state of Nebraska have a reputation for coming out and supporting big-time events," Yori said. "An NCAA women's basketball regional to cap the first season at Pinnacle Bank Arena is certainly a big-time event. Sports fans of all kinds all across the state of Nebraska can start making their plans now."
The last time the University of Nebraska served as a host for the an NCAA men's or women's basketball tournament came on March 17, 1993, when the Husker women defeated San Diego, 81-58, in the first round at the Bob Devaney Sports Center. It is the only game the Nebraska women's basketball team has ever played on its home court in the NCAA Tournament.
In 1993, Nebraska featured Wade Trophy winner and first-team All-American Karen Jennings. In 2013-14, the Huskers feature senior Jordan Hooper, who was named one of 25 preseason candidates to the Wade Watch List, on Oct. 8. The 6-2 forward from Alliance, Neb., is a two-time honorable-mention All-American and a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection. She will be joined by returning starters Emily Cady, Hailie Sample and Rachel Theriot in trying to power the Huskers back to the regional round in 2014.
Nebraska earned a trip to the NCAA Regional in Norfolk, Va., in 2013. The Huskers advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 by knocking off Chattanooga in the first round and home-standing Texas A&M at Reed Arena in the second round. The Huskers earned a No. 6 seed in last year's tournament and finished the year with a 25-9 overall record that included a 12-4 Big Ten mark. It marked the second time in the past four seasons
The other three NCAA Regional sites are Louisville, Ky., Notre Dame, Ind., and Stanford, Calif. The 16 NCAA first- and second-round locations are Baylor, Duke, Iowa, Iowa State, Kentucky, LSU, Maryland, North Carolina, Penn State, Purdue, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Toledo, UConn, UCLA and Washington.
The NCAA Women's Final Four will be held at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., April 6-8.