Vanderbilt Happy With No. 2 Seed

Monday, March 12th 2007, 8:59 pm
By: News On 6

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Not a peep of complaint from the Vanderbilt Commodores on Monday night, not after they got the NCAA tournament seeding they felt they earned for winning the Southeastern Conference tournament.

The No. 7 Commodores (27-5), who moved into the Top 10 on Monday in the final Associated Press rankings, received a No. 2 seed in the Greensboro Regional and will take on Delaware State on Sunday in East Lansing, Mich.

"I was looking for a two seed and would have been disappointed if we didn't get it," coach Melanie Balcomb said.

Balcomb noted Vanderbilt's strong finish, which included victories over Georgia and LSU in the SEC tournament, and overall strength of schedule rated 15th in the country as factors too impressive to overlook. Their final RPI was eighth.

"I thought we'd be right there, and I thought the committee recognized those things," she said.

Balcomb acknowledged knowing little about Delaware State (20-12), which entered the NCAA tournament with an automatic berth after winning the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament.

The Commodores, who will make their eighth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and 20th overall, hasn't advanced beyond the regional semifinal since 2002. They lost on their own court last year to North Carolina in the second round.They are 6-4 in the NCAA tournament under Balcomb, including reaching the regional semifinals in 2004 and 2005. Vanderbilt's best performance ever in the NCAA tournament? Their lone Final Four appearance came in 1993.

Vanderbilt currently ranks first in the nation in 3-point shooting percentage (44.1) and second in field-goal percentage (50.6).

"We have more maturity this year," senior guard Caroline Williams said. "We've done this before. I think that can push us past the Sweet Sixteen. Before, maybe we didn't talk about going all the way, but now we think we have the team, the confidence and the maturity to do it this year."