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NCAA Women's Tournament Bracket: Liberty Lady Flames preview

The Flames reclaim their perch atop the Big South behind power players.

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Who? The Lady Flames of Liberty.

When do they play in the first round? Liberty plays North Carolina on Saturday, March 21 at 11 a.m. ET.

What? Flames tend to be my reaction when dealing with Liberty, so I can't argue with the suitability of the name. Someday I want to see their Sparky take on Arizona State's Sparky.

Where? Lynchburg, Virginia, which appears to be smack dab in the middle of Virginia.

Why? They won the Big South conference tournament.

How? Ashley Rininger dropped a double-double, 16 points and 10 rebounds, as Liberty broke open a tie game in the second half and roared to a 73-64 win.

Surprise? Predicted to finish first in the conference, they finished five games ahead of second-place High Point.

RPI: 78

SOS: 277

Record: 26-6 (19-1 Big South)

Good wins: VCU.

Bad losses: At Winthrop.

Who's running this show? Carey Green, since 1999, who came to the Flames from Clemson.

Extra, Extra! The News and Advance.


Junior post Ashley Rininger stokes the Flames with 12.5 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. Senior guard Karly Buer adds 11.4 points. Two post players, junior Katelyn Adams and senior Jasmine Gardner, pull down the boards without putting up the points, each averaging over five rebounds per game.