March 18, 2009
• NCAA Tournament Central
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF women's basketball team has been on a whirlwind over the past week and a half since claiming the title at the Conference USA Women's Basketball Championship and the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament, where the Knights will face third-seeded North Carolina Saturday afternoon at noon in the first round of the Oklahoma City Regional in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The Knights have enjoyed a welcome celebration upon their arrival back in Orlando, taken a trip to the Magic Kingdom while also hitting the practice court hard in preparation for the Tar Heels. Amidst this excitement UCF has seen increased attention from both the local and national media.
On Tuesday, Tracy Schultz of SportsIllustrated.com featured sophomore Emma Cannon (Rochester, N.Y.) in her preview of the Oklahoma City Regional as the region's "best player you have never heard of."
Schultz wote of the UCF sophomore, "Cannon led UCF to one of the biggest turnarounds in C-USA history. Picked to finish 12th in the league, [UCF] took second in the regular season and won the conference tournament. Cannon ranks seventh in the nation with 11.5 rebounds a game. In the conference tournament, in which the Knights took four wins in as many days, Cannon improved on her stats, averaging 14.5 rebounds and 14.2 points while earning MVP honors. She found success outside C-USA, too: she put up 17 points and seven rebounds against Baylor."
The increased attention has also included radio appearances for UCF head coach Joi Williams, a feature article on Cannon in the Orlando Sentinel, articles on the team's recent success in numerous newspapers, a Williams' guest appearance on the WBCA's national podcast "Shootaround with Beth & Debbie" and spots on the local news.
Below are links to numerous media stories over the past week and a half featuring the UCF women's basketball team:
SportsIllustrated.com - feature on Emma Cannon (3/17/09)
Central Florida Future - A Long Time Coming (3/17/09)
OrlandoSentinel.com - ESPN analysts feature (3/17/09)
Central Florida Future - Just Dance (3/16/09)
Central Florida Future - Growth Spurt (3/16/09)
Orlando Sentinel - Emma Cannon (3/15/09)
WBCA Shootaround with Beth & Debbie - Joi Williams (3/11/09)
Orlando Sentinel - Our Time (3/11/09)
Orlando Sentinel - C-USA Champs (3/9/09)
UCF (17-16) enters the tournament riding a season-best six-game winning streak after claiming the Conference USA tournament title with four wins in four days from March 5-8. The Knights have not lost since Feb. 21 at Tulane, and at 17-16 overall sit above .500 for the first time this season. UCF has won 15 of its last 20 games overall.
The Tar Heels (27-6) will arrive in Chattanooga after defeating South Dakota 75-69 on Sunday in a non-conference game. UNC fell to Maryland on March 8 in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament.
The winner of the UCF-UNC contest will advance to Monday's round of 32 to face the winner of sixth-seeded Purdue and 11th-seeded Charlotte. Purdue and Charlotte will meet Saturday afternoon in Chatanooga following the UCF-UNC game.
For the seventh consecutive year, the ESPN networks will combine to present all 63 games from the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship. During the first two rounds, ESPN and ESPN2 will present the 48 games within 12 telecast windows in a whip-around format with home market protection. ESPN360.com will offer complete game telecasts of all 63 games, while ESPNU will offer select ESPN and ESPN2 early-round games in their entirety. The final 15 games (regional semifinals on) will have national telecast windows on ESPN or ESPN2. The complete schedule will be announced on a later date.
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.