Lady Vols await 1st tourney of post-Summitt era



KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee will need to produce at least one more surprise in order to earn the program’s first Final Four appearance since its 2008 national championship.

The second-seeded Lady Vols (24-7) open the NCAA tournament Saturday on their home floor against No. 15 seed Oral Roberts (18-12). Tennessee is in the Oklahoma City regional that includes defending national champion Baylor, which beat the Lady Vols in two of the last three NCAA tournaments.

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick says her team “enjoys the underdog role.” That role isn’t typical for Tennessee, but this season has been anything but typical.

This marks the Lady Vols’ first year without former coach Pat Summitt, who stepped down last April after announcing in 2011 she had early-onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type. Summitt won eight national titles.