Post-Bracket Teleconference Transcript: Judy SouthardMarch 12, 2007

An Interview With:

JUDY SOUTHARD

JUDY SOUTHARD: Good evening, everybody. I'm glad to be with you this evening. I would like to tell you that we have had a grueling four days here in Indianapolis. It's quite a monumental task that we have just completed. We have several things that, of course, we're charged with as the Division I Women's Basketball Committee. But arguably the most important thing that we do as a committee is the selection seeding and bracketing process for the National Championship.
This year's task was, as I said quite monumental. We were dealing with a great deal of compression in the upper lines of the bracket, multiple teams from several conferences that complicated to some degree the bracketing piece of our job.
Additionally, we were dealing with in the middle levels of the selection, we were dealing with just a huge number of teams who had had very similar resumes. I would share with you that when we reached the process of selection and we were down to down to the point in the process where we were at the last four lines, we still had 18 teams on the board that we were diligently digging down to and trying so hard so differentiate just one or the two distinguishing factors that would separate someone out for selection.
To make that even more to magnify that even more, when we got down to the last slot, there was still nine teams on the board. So I want to I would like to thank our committee for all of the hours they put in, and the NCAA staff, who is still here and surrounding me this evening for everything they did for us during the four day process. It is a very arduous task. It is a very taxing and stressful task, but we were very, very pleased with the outcome and are very, very excited about this quest for the National Championship.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about Pittsburgh and them getting an 8 seed when probably they could have gotten a better seed and the Pittsburgh region having two No. 1s?
JUDY SOUTHARD: First of all, we had a lot of teams that had very, very similar resumes as I spoke of earlier tonight with ESPN and ESPN News. When we started the process, we had several teams that we felt like were deserving of 2 seeds which obviously those had to be pushed up into the 3 line, and that complicated the process as we went through the selection of the seed lines all the way down the list.
We had a lot of times that had very similar resumes, and we did spend a great deal of time trying to find out, find those one or two distinguishing factors that might help us with the seeding process.
Obviously Pittsburgh enjoyed an outstanding season with 22 wins, and they did well over their last ten games. And I think probably what I would say is that as we dove down and we started looking for what the distinguishing factors were, the decision to move them from the 8 line or to have them on the 8 line was very much controlled by what some other people did and they didn't do.

Q. I wanted to ask you about Conference 12 teams, A&M and Oklahoma, I was wondering if there was talk in the room about which one should get in the Dallas region; if both of them deserved it, or why A&M got Dallas and OU didn't.
JUDY SOUTHARD: When we start this process, we are bound by a set of principles and procedures for selection, as well as the seeding and the bracketing process.
The first part of the process, of course, being the bracketing and then the seeding. The S Curve is used as it relates to placing teams in the bracket. And we are bound by a series of principles and procedures that dictate where we can send teams. And probably the two principles that most greatly affected the location of teams throughout this bracket, but I think probably even maybe more noticeably in the first four or five, maybe six lines, is the principle that we have that states that the first three teams from any league must be separated and put into separate regions. And then the second principle that says that no teams from the same league can face each other until the regional finals. Now, having said that, in the Top 16 seeds, we have four teams out of the ACC, four teams out of the SEC and two each out of the BIG EAST, the Big 12, the Big 10 and the Pac 10.
So when you take that many teams and you compress them into a four line structure, it becomes a real science to try to move them around so that we are not having a situation where someone from the SEC has to play each other before the regional finals and it has a domino effect with the way everyone was placed in the bracket.
That is a long answer to your question, but that is exactly the reason why Oklahoma could not be placed in the Dallas location, and it was all because of the domino effect of the domino factor of placing the team in the bracket.

Q. And one other question about Texas, with them not getting in, how close were they or were they not close at all?
JUDY SOUTHARD: Well, as I said in my opening comments, when we started moving through the process, and there's a part of me that wishes that we had kept a tally of the total number of teams that we looked at and talked about. But we did reach a point that we knew, in fact, when we got down to the last four lines, we had 18 teams on the board.
And then again like I said, after sorting through all of the information and finding all of the differentiating things that would separate one from the other and we began moving some of the teams from the board, when we got to the last slot, we still had nine teams left, and I will tell you that Texas was in that conversation all the way until the bitter end.
You know, I was only told within the last few minutes when I did an ESPN interview that I understand Coach Conrad has announced her retirement, and certainly I would be remiss if I didn't say on behalf of the committee how much we miss her from the game. Several of us know Coach Conrad and all of us who have ever been associated with the women's game have a great deal of respect, and we admire so much what she has done for our game. And we will sorely miss seeing her on the bench next year.

Q. Wondering about where Rutgers fell into the seeding this year, as a No. 4 seed, they won the BIG EAST tournament, they won 12 of their last 14 games, I think they have the second toughest schedule ranking in the country right now. Just wondering about, you know, getting the No. 4 seed in the bracket with the top team in the country.
JUDY SOUTHARD: Sure, I think what you have to realize is that the we look at the entire body of work. So we have to go back and look at everything that a team has done from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. And that would obviously be inclusive of non conference scheduling as well as conference scheduling.
When we looked at Rutgers, and we were finding again, we were working very diligently to find those one or two differentiating factors that would help us in trying to separate out the teams that were so strong and arguably deserved; in some cases may have deserved a higher seed until we began to sort through and tried to attach reasons why one deserved a seed differently from the other.
And I would say that probably the two things that we did, that we did note in their resume, was the loss that they took to Pepperdine, I believe it was, and it was early in the year. But Pepperdine was in the lower 100, was at an RPI of 100 plus. And, you know, also, they had another loss in the Top 50; that at the point that we were comparing them with some other teams, we may have been looking at some teams that didn't even have didn't have those types of losses.

Q. Okay. And if I could just follow up very quickly, the part about them they have to go to East Lansing and play a lower seed Michigan State on their home court, on Michigan State's home court; is that unusual? Is that something that normally you try to avoid in the seeding?
JUDY SOUTHARD: Again, I go back to our principles and procedures for placing teams in the bracket. But what further complicates the process on the women's side is the fact that we are still allowing first and second round sites to be played on campus. We are bound on the principles and procedures that if a team gets in a tournament and they are hosting a first and second round site, then that team must play at their home site.
The situation with Rutgers, and this has happened to us in the past, we try very hard when we can to avoid that. And we would have done we would have tried to avoid that situation if we could have. But I go back again and refer to the compression that we had at the top of the bracket with the number of teams from the same league and trying to separate those out.
We had lengthy discussion about this situation as it relates specifically to Rutgers, and we tried every possible way we could think to keep that from happening, and as you know, it happens in another region, also. It's just one of those things that we did the best we could under the circumstances.

Q. I had a question about BYU being a inaudible Conference Finals and New Mexico inaudible they beat an 8 seed, I wonder how that fell out.
JUDY SOUTHARD: We took a hard look at BYU, and again, it kind of goes back and refers to the previous question. I don't want to repeat myself, but reminding everyone that we have to work so hard sometimes to dig down into a team sheet and finding the distinguishing factors that will separate one team from the other.
In the case of BYU, they had two losses to teams that had an RPI of 101 plus, and they also had three losses in the range of 51 100. So those were probably a couple of things that became the distinguishing factors that separated them out as to where we put them.
I would also say probably that they non conference schedule and I'm trying to pull that up right now. Their non conference schedule was not as strong. Their non conference schedule was not as strong as several of the teams that they were being compared against for higher seeds.

Q. I wanted to ask first if you could go to the 1 and 2 line on the S Curve and give us the 1 and 2 seeds in order?
JUDY SOUTHARD: I can't do that for you. I will tell you that I'll go back and repeat what I said about the S Curve. The function of the S Curve is for the distribution of the teams in the bracket, and based on the S Curve, that's how we placed teams in the bracket. Because there is such great misconception about the use of the S Curve and there's an absence of understanding about our principles and procedures, we feel that it's not fair to divulge the order of the seeds of any line except the No. 1 line.
And so having said that, I would tell you that Duke was the No. 1/No. 1. Tennessee was the No. 2/No. 1; North Carolina got the third No. 1 slot and Connecticut was No. 4.
Once those teams go in and we assign their site regionally by geographic proximity, and where they are, it begins the domino effect of making sure that we follow all of our principles in placing the rest of the team in the bracket.

Q. Okay. Fair enough. To follow up I guess on a slightly different path, as I look at the top of each of the four regions, the region, the Dayton regional has four teams with RPIs 8 or higher, but seems to be the toughest region of the four. Can you talk about, obviously the principles have some effect and the scheduling, the bracketing principles have some effect, but can you talk about in general just that particular region?
JUDY SOUTHARD: That's one of the things that I think we have to remind everyone of is the fact that the RPI is just one of many tools that we use. The RPI is a quantitative measure that does not really reflect what the quality of a team may be necessarily. 75 percent of the RPI is made up of what your opponent and your opponents' opponents do.
Having said that, what we do is we push the teams we push the teams, and I think I may be said something incorrectly was it's important to note that we use the true seeds when we're placing teams in the bracket, not the RPI. And this case, there would be several people that would probably argue the strength of each of the four regions as they are looking at the bracket. And I think I've answered your question, but let me know if you need me to go any further with that.

Q. The speculation, of course, was because the situation with Coach Chapman and LSU, that LSU could drop a seed, based on that, although there was no necessarily precedent for it, how do you guys obviously you didn't do that. How did you view it and were you attempting to were there any principles that you could apply to their situation?
JUDY SOUTHARD: The one thing that I would say, first of all, as a member of the committee and someone associated with LSU, as you are quite aware because you and I have had several discussions about how it is to serve on this committee, I actually had to leave the room.
And as I was out of the room for the entire time that LSU was discussed, I could have no role in the choice, the selection of LSU; nor could I be involved in any way or even present in the room while the seeding of LSU was discussed.
Now, having said that, just like the committee was considering injured and unavailable players, we also have to look at total makeup of a team entering championship play. And certainly we studied injured and availability players' lists. We looked for any unusual circumstance that may have happened during the year that could have affected the outcome of a game. All of those things are discussed and all of those things are looked at.
Certainly with the departure of Coach Chapman from the program at this time, it was something that the committee had to consider. And it was something that the committee based on the amount of time I was out of the room deliberated about for a length of time. I would say that the committee took the information they had, they carefully deliberated that matter and they determined that LSU deserved to be placed in the bracket and the seed that they were awarded.

Q. I have a follow up question about Louisiana Lafayette. They were a team that was on the bubble and a mid major, just what put them in the tournament, if you're able to talk about that.
JUDY SOUTHARD: I think there were several things. Again, this was a team that was in that mix that was that large mix of teams that were being discussed as we moved through the bracket. And not to say that they were one of the ones that were the last four in, but they obviously along with several other teams took a great deal of debate as we moved through the selection process.
Of course, the committee took note of the fact that they had 25 wins and 16 conference victories, but also had four wins in the Top 100, and they were 8 2 in their last ten games. I think that another thing that was very telling of them was that they went outside of conference, and they scheduled up and they did a great job of making a very strong showing against some very good teams.

Q. You've spoken about how difficult it's been for the last four teams in how long did the University of Hartford stay in the discussion for a little bit and what were the factors that ultimately differentiated them out of the group?
JUDY SOUTHARD: They were in the discussion and they were a part of our deliberations all the way down to the bitter end. The one thing that I do want to say, you know, I think the loss in their championship game yesterday had to be taken into consideration. They were a part of the last ballots that were cast. And as we just took 0 and really, again, and I continue to use this terminology, as we drill down through the team sheets that large number of teams that were on the board for those last few select spots, we simply could not find that one differentiating factor that allowed them to rise to the top and be selected for the tournament.

Q. So as much as the losses that they had, for instance, to Seton Hall and Hofstra probably played a part; they didn't have the non conference wins that might have put them in?
JUDY SOUTHARD: I don't think I wouldn't say necessarily that they I mean, you know, they did step out and play a couple of teams, several teams out of conference in the Top 100. Obviously the Brigham Young win was a nice win for them. But when you really studied their team sheet, they had three losses around 150 in the RPI, and those three losses were probably the one distinguishing factor that ultimately led us to choose someone higher.

Q. I have a similar question about the University of South Florida. When you talk about the differentiating factors and the nine teams that were left on the board when you filled that last spot, was the University of South Florida one of those teams, and can you talk about what went into them not making the tournament?
JUDY SOUTHARD: Well, I don't want to sound like I'm repeating myself, but in some regards, the choices that we had in front of us, the teams were so closely so closely mirrored one another that we just really dealt with a really, really tough decision. There were some factors that we felt like we could sort out that, if you will, kind of began to slide South Florida out of the picture.
And I want to say this. They were, again, they were one of the teams that was on the board all the way down to the very last ballot. But they did go 2 10 against Top 50 teams, and we had several teams that went in ahead of them that did considerably better than that, and they went 5 11 against the Top 100. And just those two factors along whatever small differentiating factors that our various committee members may have picked out probably was what made it difficult for our committee to feel like they were one of the ones deserving for the bracket.

Q. I'm a little puzzled how Old Dominion, which beat inaudible in the regular season and the conference inaudible conference in the country, has to go from one coast to the other and play Florida State, which also has to go from one coast to the other. I mean, not very fair to the team and not very fair to the fans, is it?
JUDY SOUTHARD: I'm not sure how long you've been on this call, and if you've been on since the beginning, you may have already heard my explanation about this.
We're dealing with a we're dealing with a set of principles and procedures that dictate how we place teams in the bracket; and those principles and procedures require that we separate teams out from different conferences; and we're not allowed to put the first three teams selected from any one conference all must be put in a different region; and we can't put any teams from the same conference in the same region and put them in a position that they would play each other before the regional finals. In the case of Old Dominion, the domino effect of trying to place the teams in the bracket was ultimately what put us in the position that we had to ship them out.
It's something that we don't like to have to do but it's just a fact of the matter that as long as we've listened to our coaches, we've listened to our student athletes; they don't want to replay conference tournaments in the championship event. They want as many safeguards in place as possible to be able to ensure that they don't see each other until they have had an opportunity to play in a regional championship.
And when you start going down through the bracket line for line, the more teams you start putting in, the more that domino effect starts to impact where people have to be sent to play.

Q. How much of the conference tournaments play into your guys' seeding? Purdue moved up to No. 2 after winning their conference; how much does that play for you in the women's side?
JUDY SOUTHARD: I think conference tournaments are viewed in a variety of ways depending upon the situation. You know, we take a long, hard look at the complete body of work, which includes non conference scheduling, as well as conference scheduling. I'm not sure that we place any type of premium on winning the regular season, as opposed to winning a conference tournament; or that we put ourselves in position to think that winning a conference tournament just completely outshines what anyone else has done during the regular season or over the course of the full body of work.
Now, having said that, I would say that we have a real interesting scenario. If you look real closely at the bracket, there are four regions obviously, and in each of those four regions, in the top four lines, in three of those four regions, there are three teams that have either won a regular season or a conference championship; and in the fourth, there are two teams that have done that.
So, you know, I think probably for some people, the performance in the conference tournament might be a trend to tell you how well a team is playing at the end of the year. But other than that, I can't tell you that it is an overriding factor in the decisions that we made in this particular bracket.

Q. Can you characterize the level of discourse and discussion about Oklahoma regarding them being a No. 2 seed, as opposed to a No. 3 seed?
JUDY SOUTHARD: Well, we were in a position with the 2 line as well as taking the turn at the S Curve end of the 3 line where we had arguably probably seven teams that could have in any given year with a different profile of a mix of teams been a 2 seed, and that made the decision very difficult as we moved through the process to try to take care of every one. And maybe the best way that they feel like and in some cases, we had great debate as a committee as to whether someone should be seeded higher than someone else.
But that compression at the top, the excellence of the teams that we have in this particular tournament in the top five lines, and even going part of the way into the sixth line, made it very, very difficult for us to try to really give everyone, you know, a seed that in any other given year, they might feel like they deserve, or that they have even deserved this year.
I think this is a very positive thing in a lot of ways. It speaks to the parity of our game. It speaks to the fact that our game more of the cream is beginning to rise to the top. You know, I think it's, to some degree, it's a good problem to have.

Q. I wanted to talk a little bit more with the Mountain West Conference with three teams in, just wondering what it was that kind of bumped TCU and Brigham Young into those spots and what kept Wyoming out.
JUDY SOUTHARD: Well, you know, again, and I feel like I'm saying the same thing over and over, but we took great pains to look very, very deep to the Mountain West. We looked very, very hard at all of the teams that brought a resume to the board for consideration.
And then once we got to that place, you know, the teams are not obviously are not judged based on conference affiliation. They are based singularly and solely on the full body of work from the beginning of the season to the end of the season. And as we drill down and as we compared teams one to the other, we were looking for all kind of things that might separate someone out, including how many times did a team go out and schedule out of conference; how many wins did they have against Top 50; Top 100; how many losses may they have had in the 101 or 150 plus RPI.
And as we sort through all of that information and as we compare all of that, and compare all of the teams one to the other, that's when the resume begins to build and some of the teams are beginning to sort themselves out in the process.

Q. What do you like about TCU?
JUDY SOUTHARD: What I like about TCU?

Q. What do you guys like about them?
JUDY SOUTHARD: First of all, I like because they went out and scheduled I think our committee was impressed with the fact that they did go outside of their conference and they scheduled up. And they did a they played some teams out of conference that were strong resume builders for them. The fact that they were up four of six in their last ten games and obviously did a nice job in the Mountain West Conference among lots of factors; they were 6 4 in their last ten, and I'm sure that was a factor that many of the committee members considered.

Q. When will you be available to speak on the LSU situation?
JUDY SOUTHARD: I am returning to Baton Rouge late tomorrow afternoon, and at that point in time I will be debriefed and updated. I have been in daily contact everyone on our campus, but I will be debriefed and updated on everything when I return. I would prefer not to even discuss that issue for sure until later in the week.

Q. I was just wondering how much Brandy Hoskins' injury influenced Ohio State's seeding. JUDY SOUTHARD: Well, there are several things that I would say about Ohio State. First of all, they had a very fine year. We took a long, hard look at Ohio State, and arguably, here we go again with the same answer I've given before.
Arguably, they were one of those teams that were in a mix of several teams that we were trying to filter through and to determine the 2 , 3 , 4 seeds and all the way down into the 5 seeds in the line.
I think probably that there are a couple of things that would have been distinguishing factors for them that might have helped us come with the decisions we made. Ohio State did not schedule a number of teams outside of league in the Top 25 and Top 50 that some of the other teams that were being considered for that spot did.
Now having said that, I would say obviously we did take into consideration the situation as it relates to injuries and the availability of players for the team. Each committee member has to make their own judgment on how they want to evaluate that and how they want to weight that. But I think it's fair to say that the fact that Ohio State has made it clear that Brandy Hoskins is not going to be available for the duration of the tournament; that factor was weighed and it was discussed by the committee.

Q. I wanted to ask you, you've run through this with several different teams, can you tell me what you like about Oklahoma State and why they got an at large bid?
JUDY SOUTHARD: Okay. Oklahoma State, of course, finished the regular season with three straight wins beating Texas, Kansas State and Nebraska. I think that was something that was probably impressive to the committee. They have won eight games against Top 100 teams and they were .500 or better in their last ten games. Those were all factors that I'm certain were considered, again, in comparing the resumes of various teams.
You know, different ones of us analyze the information in a lot of different ways. I would be remiss if I didn't remind everyone on the call who may still be on the call, the tremendous number of hours that we spent actually watching teams play. We all have access to the satellite and we watch hundreds of hours of games on TV, and I know because the Big 12 got great exposure this year. I know a lot of our committee members also did see Oklahoma State play several times.

Q. Last year there was a lot of debate among the coaches at the Cleveland regional that it was a real tough regional; how much was geography a factor when you were placing teams in each regional this year?
JUDY SOUTHARD: It was a huge factor. As a matter of fact, going back and repeating, once again, in the top three lines alone, or the top four lines, we've had four teams from the ACC and four teams from the SEC. And if you take the if you take it and break it down even to the 1 and 2 line, you can see the multiple teams that we were dealing with from the same conference.
We do have a points system that registers on our computer as we plug teams into the bracket, and the purpose of that is to tie to help us keep the brackets as balanced as we possibly can.
Now having said that, balance does not mean equal, but we do work very, very hard to try to keep the teams balanced as well as we can. Unfortunately because we are bound by those principles that dictate that two teams can't be was placed in the same region from the same conferences, the first three teams; and that principle I mentioned earlier about two teams from the same conference cannot meet until the regional final. It just does put us in a situation that the principles dictate that we have to ship some teams out and that we have to move people around.
And the more lines we start putting into bracket, the more challenging that becomes because again, using the expression I used earlier, it create a domino effect all the way down through the bracket.

Q. And what if the coaches and players told you that they felt those principles you were talking about, having made out the bracket, do you think that's a good idea, do you think that's good for the tournament to keep the teams spread out like that?
JUDY SOUTHARD: Well, I mean, we do evaluations every year. We have evaluation forms available and all of our student athletes who participate in the championship as well as our coaches and administrators are asked to forward that information back to us. Additionally the NCAA staff does a great deal of traveling in the off season in visiting with conference offices and going to women's basketball conference meetings to talk about the issues that are important to our coaches.
What we've received from that and what we get from that annual review seems to indicate to us that the coaches don't want to they don't want to play a conference tournament again until they have the opportunity to advance as far in the bracket as they can.
You know, the other part of this that I think is very important, our job is a lot more far reaching than just the selection, the seeding and the bracketing part. Part of our responsibility, also, is to do due diligence to help and grow the game. I think we all feel a great responsibility to do the best we can to give our teams the opportunity, particularly as they follow the seed line in seed order to place them as close to home as possible so that our game can be accessible to the fans.

Q. I just wanted to revisit a little bit on Louisiana Lafayette versus perhaps Texas and Southern California. You mentioned that Louisiana Lafayette had won four games against the Top 100, they were 4 7. Texas was 10 13 and Texas owned a win directly owned a win directly over Louisiana Lafayette. And Southern California also had more wins against Top 100 teams and didn't have a loss against a team outside of the Top 100. What were your thoughts on taking a bid away from two teams, both of which are hosting and giving it to a Louisiana Lafayette team that really didn't have a quality win, other than Western Kentucky all year?
JUDY SOUTHARD: First of all, I would say that I think I have to remind you that the issue of hosting the event has absolutely nothing to do with our decisions as it relates to selection of teams for the bracket.
The second thing I would say to you is that our people watch a lot of basketball, and they also study a lot of information that we have that helps us to make the decisions that we have to make. All three of these teams were teams that were in that mix going into the selection of the last four teams, and there was great debate had about these teams. Texas, as it were, was on the board until the very last until the very last decision was made. At this point each of our committee members analyzes the information to the best of their ability and they make their decisions accordingly.
Probably in this case this year, going back and saying repeating what I said earlier in the broadcast, to have in the interview process, to have 18 teams still on the board for the last four lines, it was as difficult a situation as it certainly was as difficult a situation as I've been involved with in the three years I've been on the committee. And in talking to the staff, there could not be a recollection of a time where they were dealing and most recently dealing with that many teams to try to sort through and understand.
In all honesty, I think probably Texas lost, I think it was seven out of their last ten games or 11 games; I'm not sure, I don't have it right here in front of me, but I think that probably was a factor that became a differentiating factor for Texas.

Q. And just a quick follow up, I realize that the committee has to use some kind of data, but it seems to get increasingly difficult because the RPI, you have three teams that were at large teams that were outside of the Top 50, and it seemed that beating a team that's in the Top 50 in the RPI is given more weight than beating a team that's outside of the Top 50 in the RPI, even though in the final decision, you make determinations that teams outside of the Top 50 are clearly better. Is there any thought of trying to either do away with the RPI or use other systems for ranking the Top 25 and Top 50 teams to make that more equitable?
JUDY SOUTHARD: Well, first of all, I would tell you, obviously, what I'm sure you already know, which is the RPI is a quantitative index. It is a tool that sorts and compiles information. It is not a quality indicator of a team.
To answer your question a little further, the committee has talked on an annual basis regarding the use of the RPI and how to use the RPI and what to do to the RPI to make it as effective a tool as it could possibly be for us. Quite frankly, there has been recent dialogue within the last year, and certainly and both the men's and women's committee convene together at our summer meetings in June this past year and had lengthy conversation of exactly regarding exactly what you're saying; and that is, is it time for us to really look at how we use the RPI and is it time to look at revamping it or doing away with it.
Now, there's no decisions made and it is still in the discussion stages and we will continue to revisit regarding that and we will continue that dialogue again this summer as well.

Q. Can you address the two No. 1 seed in the Pittsburgh?
JUDY SOUTHARD: The teams are placed in the bracket, you know, according to the order of the S Curve, and they are placed in the bracket first they are placed first in a region. Once we get the entire the entire listing in place, in other words, the entire we finish the seeding process and we started placing seeds in the bracket, we place them first in the region.
After we got all 16 teams that will be located in any given region, then what we do is we plug in close sites, and quite frequently when we hit that button on the computer and those host sites pop up, it just automatically dictates where other people are going.
And sometimes what happens is if we hit that button and it fills in all of the sites, you know, at other first and second round locations, it's just a matter of it's a dictation of, again, because of the principles and procedures that we're bound to use.

Q. Thinking about the Los Angeles site, and I understand that it's not a given for the host school to get in just because they are the host school, but is there going to be any kind of concern with this site being able to perform well with both ticket sales and getting media exposure without USC being in?
JUDY SOUTHARD: Well, certainly I think that we obviously do have to address those issues. And I would think though that what we hope is that our host sites have come to the table for us and wanted to host or made the decision to host because they are fans of the women's game and they want to support the women's game and they are excited about having the game played in their location.
So we would hope that all of the folks that are located in the Minneapolis area, all of the folks located in the Los Angeles area, and all of the folks that are located in the Austin area who are great fans of women's basketball will get out and see these teams play. This is a National Championship event and there are going to be some great there is going to be some great women's basketball played in all of these locations.

Q. I know you mentioned about three of the four teams in the No. 3 line, and Arizona State did not win its conference; can you talk about Arizona State a little bit?
JUDY SOUTHARD: You know, I think you have to take into consideration how Arizona State did in their full body of work. And the interesting thing when you look at them is of the teams that they went out and scheduled, four of their losses, or their four losses, I should say, are to two teams that are seeded on the well, Tennessee is seeded on the 1 line and Stanford is seeded on the 2 line.
They lost one game to Tennessee, and of course they lost all three to Stanford. But we just felt like they were one of the class teams in the league and that certainly they deserved the seed that they got.

Q. I don't know if you've answered this already, but I was looking at what was the thought process going with the three Colonial Athletic Association teams getting in there, particularly James Madison?
JUDY SOUTHARD: I'm sorry. Can you repeat that?

Q. What was the thought process getting three Colonial Athletic Association teams in there for the first time in history, particularly James Madison?
JUDY SOUTHARD: The first thing I would say is that we really DON'T even pay any attention to conference affiliation, and there's not any discussion as we go through the process regarding conference affiliation. We understand and we recognize that conference affiliation has some impact on scheduling. But I think that the three teams that got in from the Colonial got into the tournament based on their own individual merit; based on the body of work as it relates to the way they performed at the beginning of the year to the end of the year. And you know, certainly we congratulate all of those teams on having an outstanding year this year.

Q. What was it that threw James Madison into the mix?
JUDY SOUTHARD: James Madison, I think the committee members felt that they had a very, very good season. They finished second in the regular season. You know, little things that really don't are not part of the selection process necessarily, but they are things that you take note of, and of course, they have a home winning streak of 26 games. They did go 7 3 in their last ten games, and I actually came to their Conference Championship. They just had a great year.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks so much for joining us tonight.



-- Courtesy NCAA