Royals In Spotlight as UB hosts Mid-Con

March Madness comes to Alumni Arena this week as UB hosts the 1996 Mid- Continent Women's Basketball Tournament.

It's the first step toward the "Big Dance." Winner of the three-day tournament, which begins today, receives an automatic berth in the NCAA Division I tournament.

With a conference record of 13-5, the Royals enter the tournament as the No. 2 seed. The team, coached by Sal Buscaglia, will face No. 7 University of Missouri-Kansas City in the first round of the tournament.

All games will be played in UB's Alumni Arena. The full slate:

Thursday, March 7: No. 1 Youngstown vs. No. 8 Western Illinois, 1 p.m.; No. 4 Valparaiso vs. No. 5 Troy State, 3 p.m.; No. 3 Northeastern Illinois vs. No. 6 Eastern Illinois, 5:30 p.m.; and No. 2 UB vs. No. 7 UMKC, 7:30 p.m.

Semi-finals will be played Friday, March 8, at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The championship game will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 9, and will be televised live on the Empire Sports Network.

If they win the conference, the Royals would become the first UB women's basketball team in school history to advance to the NCAA Tournament, which begins March 15 at various campus sites.

Tickets for all games are $5 for adults per day, $2 for those age 18 and under and $1 for all Mid-Continent institution students with proper identification. All tickets are general admission. The UB ticket office is open 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or tickets can be charged by calling 645-6666.

And for all you cyber-fans, the latest news and scores from the Mid-Continent Women's Basketball Tournament are available online. Check out the Web site ( Information on the 1996 Mid-Continent Women's Basketball Tournament will be updated daily during the tourney.

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