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NCAA women’s tourney to return to Pitt in 2010

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Pitt’s Petersen Events Center will play host to the NCAA women’s basketball tournament first and second rounds in 2010, the NCAA announced Tuesday.

It will mark the second time in four years Pitt has played host to the NCAA women’s basketball tournament, after the first two rounds were played at the Pete last year. Pitt beat James Madison in the first round, then lost to eventual NCAA champion Tennessee in the second.

“What a great day for Pittsburgh, for the University of Pittsburgh, for our women’s basketball program, and for women’s basketball all throughout Pennsylvania,” Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said in a statement. “We are fortunate to have the Petersen Events Center, the finest basketball facility in the country, which is capable of attracting these great events. We are proud to host this NCAA Tournament and excited that the rest of the nation recognizes the growing success of our program.”

Pittsburgh will host March 20-23 with actual dates and times to be announced later, and will be one of 16 sites for the first and second rounds, in which the 65-team field will be split into four teams at each location.

There will be two first-round games and a second-round game played at Petersen Events Center. The second-round winner will advance to the regional semifinals, to be played in Dayton, Ohio; Memphis, Tenn.; Kansas City, Mo.; or Sacramento, Calif. The Final Four in 2010 will be played at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

“Hosting again in 2010 is a recognition of the success of the coaching staff and team at Pitt,” Pitt senior associate athletic director Carol Sprague said. “But more importantly, this city embraced the 2007 tournament and that is a major reason they returned to Pittsburgh. We would like to thank the community and welcome everyone back for the tournament in 2010.”

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