MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The West Virginia University women’s basketball team (19-11) opens play at the NCAA Tournament when they take on Arizona in the round of 64 on Friday, March 17. Tipoff inside the XFINITY Center in College Park, Maryland is set for 12 p.m. ET.
The contest against Arizona will be broadcast on ESPN with Tiffany Greene and Jimmy Dykes on the call. The game also can be heard on the Varsity Network app, with Andrew Caridi on the call. Live stats and game notes will be available on WVUsports.com.
The matchup marks just the second time the two programs have met. Arizona claimed the first and only meeting in 1983 by a final score of 65-61.
Plitzuweit, who led South Dakota to a Sweet 16 appearance last season, becomes the first coach in WVU history to guide the Mountaineer women to the NCAA Tournament in her first season.
The bid is West Virginia’s 14th overall bid since 1989, and its sixth since joining the Big 12 Conference in 2013. WVU is 11-13 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
Head coach Dawn Plitzuweit’s 19 wins mark the most in a single season for a first-year head coach at WVU. West Virginia finished with the fourth-best record in the Big 12 regular season at 10-8.
Fifth-year senior guard Madisen Smith has produced four straight 20-point scoring performances, making her the first player to accomplish the feat since Kysre Gondrezick in 2021. Smith is the program’s all-time leader in minutes played (4580).
Sophomore guard JJ Quinerly and Smith lead WVU in scoring as the pair both average 14.3 points per game. Smith averages a team-high 3.0 assists while Quinerly adds 2.1 steals, both team-highs. Senior guard Jayla Hemingway and redshirt sophomore guard Kyah Watson attack the glass, averaging 5.8 and 5.0 rebounds per game.
Arizona heads to College Park on a three-game losing streak with losses to Oregon, Oregon State and UCLA. The Wildcats finished this season with a 21-9 overall record and in a three-way tie with UCLA and USC for fourth place in the Pac-12 standings.
WVU is second in the Big 12 in scoring defense, 88th nationally, holding opponents to just 61.0 points per game. The Mountaineers lead the league in turnover margin (6.14) and steals per game (9.6), which is No. 8 and No. 41 nationally. WVU is second in the league and No. 25 in the NCAA in turnovers forced per game (19.6).