SPOKANE, Wash. — Jill Barta, Elle Tinkle and the Gonzaga women’s basketball team will be a No. 11 seed for the NCAA Tournament.
The Bulldogs will play Oklahoma, which earned a No. 6 seed, in the first round Saturday at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. (MST), and the game will be televised on ESPN2.
The Bulldogs are playing at the same site as Montana State, which enters the tournament as a No. 14 seed after winning the Big Sky Conference championship. The Bobcats play third-seeded Washington in the first round.
The Washington/Montana State and Oklahoma/Gonzaga winners will meet in the second round of the tournament on March 20.
Gonzaga earned the West Coast Conference’s automatic bid to the tournament after the Bulldogs won both the regular-season and tournament championships. Barta, who starred at Fairfield High School, scored a WCC-tournament record 37 points in the championship to earn tournament MVP honors.
Barta, a redshirt sophomore, scored her 1,004th career point in the WCC championship, becoming the fourth-fastest Bulldog to 1,000 career points, the second fastest since Gonzaga moved to Division I.
This is Gonzaga’s eighth tournament appearance in the past nine years. The Bulldogs are 10-8 all-time in the tournament, with seven of those wins coming as a No. 11 seed. They’re 5-3 all-time in the first round of the tournament and have never lost to a No. 6 seed, defeating Iowa (2011), Rutgers (2012) and George Washington (2015) in previous tournaments.
Gonzaga last made the tournament in 2015 and advanced to the Sweet 16, where it was eliminated by No. 2 Tennessee.