Brendan Keany

#10 UB Women Set to Play #7 Rutgers

"We're going to take it one game and one quarter at a time."

March 18, 2019 - 10:53 pm

BUFFALO (WBEN - Brendan Keany) - On Sunday, it was the UB men's team that learned their seeding in the NCAA Tournament. On Monday, the women had the chance to celebrate their back-to-back birth in college basketball's big dance.

However, most of the drama was taken out of their celebration thanks to a blunder by ESPN.

ESPN accidentally leaked the brackets hours before their scheduled reveal on the Selection Show, so the 10-seeded UB women already knew they would be traveling to Storrs, CT, to take on the 7-seeded Rutgers Scarlet Knights at 4:30 on Friday. That didn't dim their excitement to be heading back to college basketball's biggest stage, though.

"A lot of people underestimated us this year, and a lot of people didn't think that we'd be able to do it, but we really proved them wrong," said sophomore guard Hanna Hall. "We're excited and we're going to take it one game and one quarter at a time, but we're super excited."

Senior Cierra Dillard, one of the best to ever put on the Bulls uniform, said that March Madness is all about the women in the locker room and much less about the opponent.

"We just have to continue to play Buffalo basketball," she said. "We've got to continue to focus on ourselves; I think that's the biggest thing with going into March - there's a lot of players and a lot of teams that play their best basketball, so you have to focus on yourself."

Hear full audio from Dillard below:

That was also the message that came from Head Coach Felisha Leggett-Jack.

"It's so about what we are going to do, and with a young team, I'm really trying to focus on just us," said Leggett-Jack. "I don't know much about Rutgers other than they're in the Big 10, [Head Coach> Vivian Stringer is a legend, they play great defense...but I know a lot about who we are - that we are very, very aggressive about growing as a team and as a family."

The Bulls will be underdogs heading into this matchup, but in last season's tournament, they pulled off two sizable upsets in marching to the first Sweet Sixteen appearance in the program's history. This year would be considered an even taller task, because if the Bulls get through Rutgers, they'll more than likely have to deal with arguably the most dominant program in college sports over the last 15 years - the University of Connecticut Huskies.

However, Hall noted that the key to tournament play is simply accomplishing the task in front of them, and that attitude carried the Bulls to a MAC Tournament Championship.

"Rutgers is a great team, they're a very, very well-coached team, they're a quick tempo team, but again, all that matters is us," said Hall. "That's what we did for three games, we locked in on ourselves instead of who we were playing, and we're just going to keep doing the same thing because clearly it worked out pretty well for us."

Hear full audio from Leggett-Jack below:

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