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2018 Women’s NCAA Tournament: Virginia faces California in first round action

Hoos play Cal in the Round of 64 in Columbia, SC

NCAA Womens Basketball: Virginia at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

While the men’s basketball team will be playing their opening round game against UMBC tonight, the women’s basketball team will be opening up their NCAA Tournament run about an hour south in Columbia, South Carolina.

Opponent: Cal Golden Bears
Where: Colonial Life Arena, Columbia, SC
When: 5 P.M.

This is the first appearance for the storied Virginia women’s basketball program since 2010 and the first appearance under Coach Joanna Boyle.

The NCAA got cute with this matchup as Boyle came to Charlottesville in 2011 from Cal, where she had spent the previous six seasons, making four NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Sweet 16 run in 2009.

The Golden Bears enter the tournament with a 21-10 overall record, including an 11-7 record in the Pac-12. Two weeks ago, they went 1-1 in the Pac-12 Tournament defeating Washington 71-68 in the opening round, before falling to UCLA 77-74 in the quarterfinals.

That 21-10 record earned Cal the No. 44 RPI (UVa’s is 33) and a 7 seed in this year’s tournament. They are lead by Kristine Anigwe and Asha Thomas, who averaged 16.7 and 12.7 points per game this season, respectively.

The winner of tonight’s Cal-Virginia game will advance to face the winner of No. 2 South Carolina and No. 15 North Carolina A&T. In short, the winner will advance to play South Carolina on Sunday.

While you wait for tip off, check out Coach Boyle and some of the Wahoos meeting with media before today’s game: