(16) Colgate (21-9) vs. (1) Tennessee (26-3)
Game Info: 11:00 am EST Sat Mar 20, 2004 - Leon County Civic Center (Tallahassee, FL)
Tennessee is undefeated in the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament.
The top-seeded Lady Vols will try extend that amazing streak when they face Colgate in the first round.
Tennessee has won 32 straight games in the first two rounds, and is an imposing foe for the first-time Raiders.
``Our players grew up watching (Tennessee coach) Pat Summitt and watching Tennessee,'' said Colgate coach Beth Combs. ``This is the culmination of all our hard work, to be able to play one of the best programs perennially in the country.''
Facing the Raiders for the first time, Summitt says she advised her team against taking its untested opponent for granted, mindful that any team can beat another, especially in tourney play.
``They play really well together,'' Summitt said. ``They do a good job of getting the ball inside and kicking out. They're very strong in their half-court offense, and that (kind of offense) has hurt us all season.''
Colgate (21-9) beat American 71-60 in the Patriot League title game to win its first conference championship. Now the Raiders are hoping to make the most of their first trip to the tournament.
``Having the chance to play Tennessee is like a dream come true,'' said Colgate senior co-captain Malissa Burke. ``Really, we have nothing to lose. If anything, Tennessee is the one who should be nervous. They don't want to lose to a team that's never been to the tournament before.''
The Lady Vols, looking to win their seventh national title and first since 1998, have a harder road than usual just to get to the Midwest Regional games in Norman, Okla.
For the first time, Tennessee is not hosting first- and second-round games even though it earned the top overall seeding. Instead of going to Chattanooga, about 100 miles south of Knoxville, the Lady Vols are off to Florida. Tennessee already has beaten eight teams this season that were placed in the Midwest.
``A lot of what postseason is about is playing your best basketball at the right time of the year,'' Summitt said. ``We are in store for some of the most exciting games in the history of our tournament.''
PROBABLE STARTERS: Colgate - F Milaina Lagzdins (7.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg), F Leandra Fuller (7.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg), G Emily Braseth (16.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg), G Chigozie Ozor (8.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg), G Burke (14.7, 3.4 apg). Tennessee - F LaToya Davis, (4.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg), F Shyra Ely (15.4 ppg, 8.4 rpg), C Ashley Robinson (8.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg), G Tasha Butts (10.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg), G Shanna Zolman (12.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg).
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Colgate - Automatic bid, Patriot League champion. Tennessee - At-large berth.
ALL-TIME TOURNAMENT RECORD: Colgate - First appearance. Tennessee - 80-16, 22 years.