Arizona Women's Basketball

Arizona women earn NCAA tournament berth, to play in First Four game against Auburn

Adia Barnes will coach Arizona in the NCAA tournament for the fourth year in a row (Andy Morales/

Playing in the most challenging conference, the Pac-12, got Adia Barnes’ Arizona team into the NCAA tournament.

The Wildcats (17-15) earned a berth into March Madness, in which it will be in a First Four game for the No. 11 seed in the Portland 3 Regional against Auburn (20-11) in Thursday at 4 p.m., Tucson time.

The winner of that game will play No. 6 Syracuse (23-7) in a first round game Saturday at 12:30 p.m. No. 3 UConn (29-5) plays No. 14 Jackson State (26-6) in the other first-round game at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Arizona beat UConn and legendary coach Geno Auriemma in the 2021 Final Four before losing to Stanford in the national championship game.

Arizona is one of the best stories of the NCAA tournament, entering the competition with seven scholarship players after defections and injuries reduced the size of the roster.

Leading scorer Kailyn Gilbert was the most recent personnel development, leaving the school entirely heading into the last week of the regular season.

Barnes added walk-on Brooklyn Rhodes of St. Louis before Arizona achieved its first sweep of the Bay area schools (Stanford and Cal) on Feb. 23-25.

Arizona has a No. 35 NET ranking largely because of its Pac-12 schedule.

The six other Pac-12 schools to make the NCAA tournament field of 68 include No. 3 Oregon State in the Albany 1 Regional, No. 2 UCLA and No. 5 Colorado in the Albany 2 Regional, No. 1 USC in the Portland 3 Regional and No. 2 Stanford and No. 5 Utah in the Portland 4 Regional.

More coverage involving the Arizona women in the NCAA tournament to come at

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