Home / FGCU Women’s Basketball prepares for first March Madness opponent Washington State

FGCU Women’s Basketball prepares for first March Madness opponent Washington State

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

It’s that time of the year to get ready for the big dance. And that’s precisely what the FGCU women’s basketball team was doing Monday morning when they were back in the gym preparing for the tournament after a celebratory weekend.

The Eagles won the A-Sun Tournament Saturday night, in doing so, punched their ticket to the madness.

Banners at Alico Arena. CREDIT: WINK News

The Eagles began watching tape Sunday night on their first-round opponent, the Washington Cougars.

While going to the tournament is something worth celebrating, for the Eagles, it seems customary. That’s because they’ve been in the tournament four times in the last five years.

“I’m ready, and I think we’re all ready for this moment,” FGCU senior forward Uju Ezeudu said.

Ezeudu transferred from Denver before the season started for the opportunity to be a part of the madness.

“We’re all bought in from the jump. We all came here for a reason,” Ezeudu said.

“We always want to come in with a chip on our shoulder and just play the best basketball we can,” FGCU senior guard Tiara Morehouse said.

Practicing and preparing for the tournament. CREDIT: WINK News

“You have a competing spirit that you want to win championships. You want to go the NCAA Tournament, and you know we’re very fortunate that we have this opportunity in front of us,” FGCU women’s basketball head coach Karl Smesko said.

“We want to make a run and go far in the tournament,” Ezeudu said.

But, before the Cinderella story can begin, the Eagles must beat the fifth-seeded PAC 12 champions, Washington State.

The team finding out they are playing Washington State in the first round. CREDIT: WINK News

In the 2022 tournament, FGCU upset fifth-seeded Virginia Tech in the first round before getting eliminated by Maryland in their next game. It’s a game that Tishara Morehouse remembers very clearly. And she knows it wasn’t a fluke. Moreover, Morehouse believes the Eagles can do it again and again.

“I’ve been wanting to go to the Sweet 16, and this bracket is very much beatable. I just can’t wait to see what we do there,” Morehouse said.

That confidence will be vital in determining how the Eagles will fare against the Cougars in the first round.

If the Eagles are going to add to the madness in March, Morehouse said her teammates must believe in themselves, trust one another, and go play.

Tip-off between the Eagles and Cougars is at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at Villanova.