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HomeSports#18 Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball to face Belmont at NCAA Tournament

#18 Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball to face Belmont at NCAA Tournament

#18 Tennessee (24-8) vs. Belmont (23-7)
Monday, March 21st, 2022 | 6:00pm CT
Knoxville, TN | Thompson-Boling Arena | TV: ESPN

UT Lady VolsKnoxville, TN – No. 18/17 Tennessee women’s basketball (24-8) will play host to in-state opponent Belmont (23-7) in an NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Second Round game on Monday night.

The No. 4 seed Lady Vols and No. 12 seed Bruins are slated to tip-off at 6:00pm CT at Thompson-Boling Arena, with the winner advancing to the Wichita Regional on March 26th and 28th at INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas.

Tennessee advanced by overturning a five-point second-quarter lead by Buffalo to race by the Bulls, 80-67, on Saturday afternoon on The Summitt. The Lady Vols put four players in double figures to remain a perfect 24-0 in NCAA First Round home games and give head coach Kellie Harper a victory in her first-ever home tourney game in 18 seasons guiding four different schools as a head coach.

In-game two on Saturday, Belmont knocked off No. 5 seed Oregon in double overtime, 73-70, behind a trio of double-figure scoring Bruins. BU trailed by two at the half and by four entering the final quarter before outscoring UO 17-13 in the last 10 minutes to force the additional frames necessary to secure a berth in the second round.
UT, which moved on to the second round for the second year in a row under Harper, will be looking to punch its ticket to its first NCAA Sweet 16 since 2016 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and 35th all-time. Harper will be looking to make her second career Sweet 16 appearance after moving to that round in 2019 with Missouri State.
Belmont, meanwhile, is eyeing its first-ever NCAA Sweet 16 berth.

Broadcast Information

Eric Frede (play-by-play) and Tamika Catchings (analyst) will have the call for ESPN.

All of the games included in the ESPN package (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU) will be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 or Xbox One to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.

The contest also can be heard on Lady Vol Network radio stations and by audio stream, with Mickey Dearstone behind the microphone for his final regular-season home game. He will be joined by studio host Bobby Rader.

A link to the live audio stream can be found on each game’s Hoops Central page or the Lady Vol schedule on UTSports.com.

For a list of Lady Vol Network affiliates, please click on the Fans tab at the top of UTSports.com, select Vol Network and then click on the Vol Network Affiliates tab.

Air time for games on the Lady Vol Radio Network generally occurs 30 minutes prior to tip-off.

The contest also will be available on satellite radio on  SiriusXM channel 133 or 201 and on the SXM app on channel 964.

Get Your Tickets

Tickets to the NCAA First and Second Rounds in Knoxville may be purchased at AllVols.com.

Current UT students will receive a free ticket for the 1st and 2nd rounds of the NCAA Women’s Tournament for the session(s) in which UT is playing. Students must show a current UT ID at the Gate B Ticket Office window starting two hours prior to tip-off.

Free parking and shuttle from the Ag Campus in parking area CF (across from Brehm and Food Science).

Fans with a current valid accessible placard or license plate may park on the Ag Campus in lot CF (across from Brehm and Food Science) and take the shuttle, which is fully accessible for those with disabilities (purple star).
Limited $10.00 parking is available in G-10 (Neyland Drive or Phillip Fulmer Way entrances), G3, G4, G5-30, and Staff 30-A (Peyton Manning Pass entrance).

Tennessee’s NCAA Tournament History

As mentioned, the Lady Vols are making their 40th appearance in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, and UT is the only program to appear in all 40 tournaments.

Tennessee was an at-large qualifier for the NCAA Tournament, finishing third in the SEC regular season for the third-straight season and bowing out in the semifinal round of the league tourney to No. 7 seed Kentucky, the eventual champion. 

UT earned a No. 4 seed for only the second time ever and has a 4-1 record in that role after defeating Iowa, Georgia, and LSU before falling to USC in the NCAA Final Four semifinals in 1986 in Lexington, KY, and adding a first-round win over Buffalo in 2022.

The Lady Vols are 127-31 in NCAA Tournament play, and they rank first in games played (158) and victories (127) in NCAA tourney history. 

Tennessee is second behind UConn in winning percentage at .804 in tourney play.

UT is 2-1 in NCAA play under Kellie Harper, making its first appearance with her at the helm in 2021 after the tourney was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) global health pandemic.

UT has advanced to the NCAA regional round on 34 occasions, posting a 28-6 record in the Sweet 16. 

The only seasons UT did not make the regional level were in 2009 and from 2017 to 2021. UT lost its opening-round contest as a No. 5 seed to No. 12 Ball State in Bowling Green, Ky., in 2009. No. 5 seed UT lost its second-round game at No. 4 seed Louisville in 2017. No. 3 seed UT lost its second-round game to No. 6 seed Oregon State in Knoxville in 2018. No. 11 seed Tennessee fell to No. 6 seed UCLA in the first round at College Park, Md., in 2019. No. 3 seed UT dropped a 70-55 second-round decision to No. 6 seed Michigan in 2021. 

UT has made the Elite Eight 28 times and in five of the past 10 tournaments, posting an 18-10 record in that round.

The Lady Vols have seen their season ended in the regional championship game in five of the past 10 years (2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016).

UT has advanced to 18 NCAA Final Fours and won eight of them (1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2007, 2008), ranking second to UConn.

Tennessee has finished second in the nation five times and third on five more occasions. 

In facing Buffalo and then Belmont, UT will be playing its 89th and 90th different opponents during all rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

UT In First and Second Rounds

Tennessee is making its 40th appearance in the NCAA First/Second Rounds, and it owns a 60-5 record during games played in those rounds.

The UT Lady Vols are 32-2 all-time in the NCAA First Round and 28-3 in the NCAA Second Round.

The only blemishes are a first-round loss to Ball State, 71-55, in Bowling Green, KY, on March 22nd, 2009, a second-round setback to Louisville, 75-64, in Louisville, Ky. on March 20th, 2017, a second-round loss to Oregon State, 66-59, in Knoxville, on March 18th, 2018, a first-round ouster by UCLA, 89-77, on March 23rd, 2019, in College Park, MD, and a second-round loss to Michigan, 70-55, in San Antonio, Texas, on March 23, 2021.

In NCAA First/Second Round play, Tennessee is 46-1 at home, 4-2 away, and 10-2 at neutral sites.

The breakdown for that is 24-0 home/0-1 away/8-1 neutral for the first round and 22-1 home/4-1 away/2-1 neutral for the second round.

Tennessee vs. The NCAA Field

Tennessee has played 17 games vs. 15 different teams in the 2022 NCAA Tournament field, including Buffalo.

The Lady Vols are 11-6 vs. those opponents.

Tennessee was 6-2 vs. non-conference NCAA Tournament-qualifying foes this season, defeating Kansas, South Florida, Texas, UCF, Virginia Tech, and Buffalo (NCAA First Round), and falling to Stanford and UConn.

The Big Orange had a 5-4 record vs. SEC teams that made the NCAA Tournament, defeating Arkansas (twice), Georgia, Kentucky, and Ole Miss, while falling to Florida, Kentucky, LSU, and South Carolina.

The SEC placed eight teams in the tournament, which tied for the most of any league (with the ACC).

The SEC’s teams going dancing in 2022 include Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss South Carolina and Tennessee.

Lady Vols vs. In-State Foes

The Tennessee women are 256-61-1 all-time vs. four-year college teams from the Volunteer State, and Kellie Harper is 12-0 in those match-ups in her third season on Rocky Top.

The Lady Vols are 5-0 this season (wins vs. Tenn. Tech, East Tennessee State, Chattanooga at home and vs. Vanderbilt on the road and at home) and were 3-0 in 2020-21, with wins over ETSU, Lipscomb, and Middle Tennessee, with two games on the schedule vs. Vandy (home and away) canceled.

UT has won 12 in a row over schools from within the state border and 28 of the last 29, with the lone setback during that run being a 76-69 loss to Vanderbilt in Knoxville on Feb. 28, 2019. 

Harper NCAA History As A Coach

Kellie Harper is making her seventh overall NCAA Tournament appearance as a head coach and second with UT. She also went to the tourney four other times as an assistant coach.

Last year’s Lady Vol squad was a No. 3 seed, marking her highest seeded team in the NCAA Tournament. That group advanced to the NCAA Second Round before exiting. This year’s seeding is the second highest of her career.

Kellie Harper is 4-6 all-time in the NCAA Tournament as a head coach, including 1-0 at home, 1-2 away and 2-4 at neutral sites.

She is 3-4 in NCAA First-Round games (1-0 at home/0-2 away/2-2 neutral), 1-1 in NCAA Second-Round games (0-0 at home/1-0 away/0-1 neutral) and 0-1 in the Sweet 16 (0-0 home/0-0 away/0-1 neutral).

After the 2020 tourney was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Harper led Tennessee to the tournament a year ago, finishing 1-1. The Lady Vols beat Middle Tennessee, 87-62, in the opening round in Austin, Texas, before falling to Michigan, 70-55, in the second round in San Antonio. 
During the 2018-19 NCAA Tournament, Harper piloted #11 seed Missouri State to the Sweet 16, beating #6 seed DePaul and #3 seed Iowa State before falling to #2 seed Stanford by nine en route to 2019 Kay Yow National Coach of the Year acclaim.
Harper’s previous entries fell in first-round match-ups: #16 Western Carolina at #1 Tennessee in 2005, #13 Western Carolina vs. #4 Vanderbilt in Albuquerque in 2009, #9 NC State vs. #8 UCLA at Minneapolis in 2010, and #13 Missouri State at #4 Texas A&M in 2016.

Recapping The Last Game

No. 18/17 Tennessee advanced to the NCAA Second Round on Saturday, defeating Buffalo in Thompson-Boling Arena, 80-67.

With the win, Tennessee improves to 32-2 all-time in NCAA First Round games and keeps the Lady Vols’ record a perfect 24-0 when playing in Knoxville.

Graduate forward Alexus Dye turned in a double-double for fourth-seeded UT (24-8), tallying 18 points and 11 rebounds, as did junior center Tamari Key, who finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Senior guard/forward Rae Burrell was the high scorer for UT with 19 points, and graduate guard Jordan Walker added 13.

The 13th-seeded Bulls (25-9) were led by Dyaisha Fair, who managed a game-high 25 points, while Georgia Woolley was also in double figures with 15 on the day.

UT Notables From Last Game

Harper At Home

Tennessee head coach Kellie Harper has taken four different teams to the NCAA Tournament during her 18-year tenure as a head coach, but the win over Buffalo marks the first time she’s played an opening-round game in her home arena. The win moves her record at UT to 2-1 in NCAA play.  

Postseason Snoop

Since entering postseason play, Alexus Dye has racked up three straight double-doubles, averaging 20.0 ppg. and 11.7 rpg. over the last three contests.

Cleaning The Glass

The Lady Vols out-rebounded the Bulls 55-37, marking the 14th time this season UT has grabbed 50+ boards. Twenty-four of those boards came on the offensive end, marking the second-most O-boards recorded by UT this season. Tennessee’s season-high of 26 offensive rebounds was set against Georgia State on Dec. 12 and tied against ETSU on December 20th.

Cashing In At The Line

Tennessee shot a solid 72.4 percent from the free-throw line against Buffalo, scoring 21 points from the charity stripe. Twenty-one made free throws ranks third on the season behind 24 against Georgia State and 23 at Arkansas.

Tennessee-Belmont Series Notes

The Bruins lead the all-time series with Tennessee, 6-4, but the Lady Vols have won the past two meetings and three of the past four.

Tennessee is 1-0 in postseason play vs. Belmont, defeating the Bruins, 94-53, in the opening game of the Tennessee College Women’s Sports Federation tourney in Knoxville on March 1, 1979.

In their only meeting since 1979, UT defeated BU, 84-76, in Knoxville on Dec. 30, 2018.

This will mark Kellie Harper‘s first game coaching against Belmont.

UT is 57-21 all-time vs. schools from the Ohio Valley Conference, including 5-0 in NCAA play.

In addition to toppling Oregon, Belmont knocked off a talented Ole Miss squad, 62-50, in Oxford on November 11th this season.

The Bruins also played common UT opponents Chattanooga, UCF, Arkansas and Auburn and Tennessee Tech, defeating UTC and losing to the other schools. 

Tennessee assistant Samantha Williams and Belmont head coach Bart Brooks worked together as assistants on Doug Bruno’s staff at DePaul during the 2006-07 season.

Lady Vols Sara Puckett and Karoline Striplin played in the same Nike Girls’ EYBL program (AL Southern Starz) as Belmont’s Conley Chinn, Tuti Jones and Destinee Wells. 

Local sports anchor/reporter and SECN+ color analyst for Lady Vol games Madison Blevins Hock is an alum of the Belmont women’s basketball program.

About The Belmont Bruins

The Belmont attack is paced by three players averaging double figures in points, including Destinee Wells (16.6), Madison Bartley (11.7), and Tuti Jones (11.0).

The Bruins love the long ball, averaging more than eight makes per game and canning 12 vs. Oregon on Saturday night. 

Five BU players have hit 30 or more treys this season, led by Jones with 62.

Belmont enters Monday night’s tilt on a 13-game winning streak.

About Belmont Head Coach Bart Brooks

Bart Brooks is in his fifth season at the Nashville school, fashioning an impressive 123-33 record.

He has guided Belmont to OVC regular-season and tournament championship sweeps three times (2017-18, 2018-19, 2021-22) and added a regular-season title in 2019-20 and a tourney trophy in 2020-21.

Belmont’s Last Game

No. 12 seed Belmont University women’s basketball defeated fifth-seeded Oregon, 73-70, Saturday night in the 2022 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship first round at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville.

It marks the second consecutive year Belmont has advanced to the Round of 32 as a No. 12 seed after defeating Gonzaga in 2021.

Tuti Jones led three Bruins in double figures with 22 points, six rebounds, and four steals. Destinee Wells added 16 and Conley Chinn tossed in 10.

Last Time These Teams Met

No. 10/10 Tennessee led by as many as 18 points before holding off a late rally to secure an 84-76 victory over Belmont in front of a season-best crowd of 8,546 on December 30th, 2018, at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The Bruins (7-4) rallied from a 16-point halftime deficit to take their first lead since the opening minutes of the game with a 22-6 run in the second half. The Lady Vols (11-1), however, closed out the game on a 19-10 run to earn the victory.

Evina Westbrook led four Lady Vols in double figures with 20 points, while Ellie Harmeyer matched Westbrook’s total to pace four Bruins scoring 10 or more.


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