Creighton women earn ninth trip to NCAA Tournament

Creighton's Emma Ronsiek (31) drives to the basket against UConn's Nika Muhl, behind, during...
Creighton's Emma Ronsiek (31) drives to the basket against UConn's Nika Muhl, behind, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/John Peterson)(John Peterson | AP)
Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 12:12 AM CDT
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Omaha, Neb. (Press Release) - The Creighton Women’s basketball team is returning to the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in program history and sixth time in the past 12 years after earning an at-large bid to 2023 Women’s Basketball Championship.

The sixth-seeded Bluejays (22-8) will meet the winner of first four matchup between Illinois and Mississippi State on Friday, March 17 at Purcell Pavllion in South Bend, Indiana. Illinois and Mississippi State are scheduled to play in South Bend on Wednesday, March 15 at 6:00 p.m. (CT). A tip time and television coverage for Creighton’s First Round contest will be announced when it becomes available.

The Bluejay team gathered at a public viewing party inside D.J. Sokol Arena on the Creighton campus to watch the bracket be unveiled on ESPN. Creighton enters the NCAA Tournament after finishing in third place in the BIG EAST Conference regular-season standings and falling in the semifinals of the league tournament last weekend at Mohegan Sun Arena.

The 2022-23 squad features a pair of First Team All-BIG EAST selections in juniors Lauren Jensen (15.9 ppg, 3.4 apg and 3.6 rpg) and Morgan Maly (15.0 ppg and 6.2 rpg) as well as All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention selection Emma Ronsiek (13.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg and 3.0 apg).

Creighton is coached by Jim Flanery, who owns a 401-261 record in 21st year with the Bluejays. This year marks his sixth trip to the NCAA Tournament at the Division I level, including trips to the third-round in 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018 and a run to the Elite Eight during 2022.

This year marks Creighton’s 17th postseason bid in the last Flanery’s 21 seasons. The Bluejays have won at least one game in six of their previous eight NCAA Tournament appearances, including the last four.

Creighton is 0-1 all-time against Illinois and has never played Mississippi State. The Bluejays faced Illinois in a neutral site tournament on Dec. 6, 1996 in Corvallis, Ore. The Fighting Illini won that meeting 87-71.

The winner of Friday’s Creighton/(Illinois or Mississippi State) game will meet the winner of the game between third-seeded Notre Dame and 14th-seeded Southern Utah on Sunday, March 19.