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The A-B-C's of the NCAA Women's Tournament for Texas, Louisville, Drake and East Carolina

The NCAA women's basketball tournament gets underway this week and Moody Center will host three games. On Saturday evening, Louisville (23-11) and Drake (22-9) play at 6:30 p.m. Later in the night, Texas (25-9) and East Carolina (23-9) will battle. The winners advance to a second-round showdown Monday for a berth in next week's Sweet 16.

Want to know more about the first and second rounds? That's as easy as A-B-C.

A is for all-conference

Texas’ Rori Harmon and DeYona Gaston (Big 12), Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith (ACC), Drake’s Maggie Blair (Missouri Valley) and East Carolina's Danae McNeal (AAC) all were first-team honorees on their respective all-conference teams.

B is for blocks

Nationally, Texas (5.82 bpg) and Drake (5.77) rank No. 4 and No. 5 in blocks per game.

C is for conference tournament

Despite respectively being No. 3 and No. 4 seeds, East Carolina and Drake secured their NCAA Tournament spots by winning their conference tournaments. Texas and Louisville were the runners-up at the Big 12 and ACC tournaments.

D is for defensive

Texas' Harmon, East Carolina's McNeal and Drake’s Anna Miller all were named the defensive player of the year in their conferences.

E is for Elite Eight

In each of the last five NCAA Tournaments, Texas coach Vic Schaefer has led Elite Eight qualifiers at UT and Mississippi State.

F is for field-goal percentage

At 48.0, Drake boasts the fifth-best field-goal percentage among the 350 Division I basketball teams. Louisville (44.8%) and Texas (44.6%) are Nos. 34 and 36. East Carolina's 37.8 percentage is 271st.

Drake forward Grace Berg dribbles around Belmont forward Kendal Cheesman during Drake's win in the Missouri Valley Tournament championship game Sunday.
Drake forward Grace Berg dribbles around Belmont forward Kendal Cheesman during Drake's win in the Missouri Valley Tournament championship game Sunday.

G is for Grace

Senior forward Grace Berg is the only remaining starter from a Drake team that played Texas at the Erwin Center during the 2020-21 season. She scored eight points in a 101-80 loss to Texas. Drake head coach Allison Pohlman was an assistant on Jennie Baranczyk's staff that season.

H is for Harmon

At 7.3 assists per game, Rori Harmon is averaging the fourth-most assists in Division I. She is tied with Kamie Ethridge's averages from the 1983-84 and 1984-85 seasons for the Texas school record.

I is for Iowa

Back in November, Drake pushed Iowa to overtime before eventually losing by a 92-86 score. Iowa star Caitlin Clark's second-worst shooting performance this season came against Drake, which has a top-50 field-goal percentage defense.

J is for Joyner

East Carolina forward Amiya Joyner is playing 29.6 minutes per game. That tops the other freshmen that fans may see this weekend at Moody Center — Texas' Amina Muhammad (18.9) and Ndjakalenga Mwenentanda (12.0), East Carolina's Jayla Hearp (16.2) and Bobbi Smith (14.7), Louisville's Nyla Harris (13.9) and Drake's Ava Hawthorne (10.5) — who are logging double-digit minutes.

K is for Kim

East Carolina coach Kim McNeill's Pirates were picked to finish 11th, aka last, in the AAC’s preseason poll. Instead, ECU has tied a school record for wins in a single season and reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. McNeill is 110-100 over her seven seasons at ECU and Hartford.

L is for Louisville

Under head coach Jeff Walz, Louisville is 37-13 in the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals have reached four Final Fours since Walz took over ahead of the 2007-08 season and were NCAA runners-up in 2009 and 2013.

M is for Moody Center

Texas is 14-2 in its first season at Moody Center. Percentage-wise, that's the Longhorns' best performance at home since the 2017-18 season.

N is for newcomers

Two newcomers on the Texas roster this season have previously won NCAA Tournament games at different schools. Shaylee Gonzales and Taylor Jones started for BYU and Oregon State teams that reached the second round during the 2021 tournament, and Gonzales also won a tournament game in 2019.

O is for Oklahoma State

While playing at Oklahoma State last season, East Carolina guard Micah Dennis started twice against Texas. This season, she's averaging 6.6 points and 3.2 rebounds per game.

P is for Paradise Island

On Nov. 20, Louisville earned a 71-63 win over Texas in a game that was played in Paradise Island, Bahamas. Due to injuries and adjustments, the starting lineup that Texas used and the lineup the Longhorns started in last week's Big 12 championship game had only one starter in common: Gonzales.

Q is for quadrant

These four teams are in the "Seattle 4" quadrant of the bracket, which also includes top seeds Stanford, Iowa and Duke. Texas and Louisville were the fourth and fifth seeds in this quadrant.

R is for rebounds

Drake is averaging 32.1 defensive rebounds per game, which leads the nation.

S is for steals

East Carolina is averaging 13.2 steals per game. Only Niagara (15.3) and Houston (13.5) are producing more steals per game.

T is for Texans

Only one player on the Drake, East Carolina and Louisville rosters is returning to her home state this weekend. East Carolina guard Samora Watson is from League City.

U is for unranked

Three of the four teams playing in Austin were unranked in the Associated Press' final poll of the season. Texas was No. 15 while Louisville and Drake were listed in the "others receiving votes" category. Texas and Louisville both were top-10 teams in the preseason poll.

Louisville head coach Jeff Walz gives instructions to Hailey Van Lith during their game against Miami in February. Cardinals teams are 37-18 in NCAA Tournament games since Walz took over the program for the 2007-08 season.
Louisville head coach Jeff Walz gives instructions to Hailey Van Lith during their game against Miami in February. Cardinals teams are 37-18 in NCAA Tournament games since Walz took over the program for the 2007-08 season.

V is for Van Lith

Hailey Van Lith, a junior, is one of 32 1,000-point career scorers in Louisville history. She is averaging 19.2 points per game this season.

W is for wins

The four teams playing in Austin this weekend have combined for 93 wins.

X is for X-factors

Texas is 13-1 when it shoots at least 70% from the free-throw line. Louisville is 5-8 when it scores less than 70 points. East Carolina is 8-2 when McNeal scores at least 20 points. Drake is 16-1 when it makes more than one-third of its attempted 3-pointers.

Y is for year

This is not the only time in the last year that members of Texas' and East Carolina's athletic departments have met in the postseason. The Texas baseball team went 2-1 at East Carolina's super regional in June. And Texas beat Louisville in the NCAA volleyball championship match in December.

Z is for zzzzz

When asked earlier this week about Texas and East Carolina having a scheduled tip-off time of 9 p.m., Schaefer expressed disappointment. "We have a lot of fans that have young families. We have a lot of fans that are older fans. So we'll have to have naps for kids and nap for the older folks on Saturday to make the Saturday night tip," the Texas coach said. "I think what's even more concerning is the fact that you're going to have a team walking out of the arena after midnight and that creates even more of an issue for me. But again, they didn't ask me and we'll roll with whatever they give us. It's somewhat disappointing to be honest with you, but hey, we're in the tournament, we're getting to host."

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: What to know about the Moody Center's NCAA Tournament games