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National women's wheelchair basketball tournament March 16-18

Craig Chamberlain, News Editor
(217) 333-2894,


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — March Madness will come to the University of Illinois this week in the form of women on wheels.

The 26th National Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Tournament will be held Thursday through Saturday (March 16-18) on the campus where women’s wheelchair basketball began 30 years ago.  Ten teams from the United States and Canada will compete for the national championship.  All games are free and open to the public.

The UI team, the first and one of the most dominant throughout the sport’s history, will be among the 10 teams competing in the tournament, with its first game at 2 p.m. Thursday in Huff Hall, 1206 S. Fourth St.  The Illini have won eight national titles, including five in a row from 1990 to 1994, and have played in 13 of the last 14 championship games.

The tournament will start at 8 a.m. Thursday and run through Friday with games in both Huff Hall and the Intramural-Physical Education Building (IMPE), 201 E. Peabody Drive.  The final games on Saturday will all be held in Huff Hall, with the championship game at 4 p.m.

Fan Appreciation Day is scheduled for Friday at Huff Hall, when local youth are invited to attend the noon and 2 p.m. games, and in between meet players on both the UI men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball teams.

On Sunday, many of the 165 women who played in the tournament will be competing for a spot on the U.S. team that will compete in the 2000 Paralympics, to be held this October in Sydney, Australia.

National Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Schedule
          HUFF HALL     IMPE
Thursday, March 16 8:00 am   G1 Casa vs Richmond   G2 Orlando  vs  RIC
  10:00 am   G3 LA  vs  Texans   G4 Bay Area  vs  Grizzlies
   2:00  pm   G5 UI  vs  WG1   G6 WG2  vs  Minn
  4:00 pm   G7 LG3  vs  LG   G8 LG2  vs  LG4
  6:00 pm   G9 WG3  vs  WG5   G10 WG4  vs  WG6
Friday, March 17 8:00 am   G11 LG5  vs  WG7   G12 WG8  vs  LG6
  10:00 am   G14A L/LG7  vs  L/LG8     (9th & 10th)
  12:00 am   G13 LG10  vs  WG11   G14 LG9  vs  WG12
   2:00  pm   G15 WG9  vs   WG10     (Semi-final)
  4:00 pm   G16 WG13  vs  WG14     (4th place)
Saturday, March 18 9:00 am   G16A L/LG13  vs  L/LG14     (5th & 6th)
(all games at Huff Hall) 11:00 am   G17 LG15  vs  WG16     (3rd)
   1:00  pm   G17A L/LG11  vs  L/LG12     (7th & 8th)
  4:00 pm   G18 WG15  vs  WG17     (1st & 2nd)
  6:00 pm   G19 WG15  vs  WG17     (if needed)


Legend G = game
  # = game number
  W = winner 
  L = loser
  L/L = loser of loser bracket game (for placement games)


The teams listed on the left are the home teams.
Casa Colina Shooting Stars, California  Richmond Lady Sunwheelers, Virginia
Orlando Ice, Florida RIC Express, Chicago
LA Sparks, Los Angeles    Lady Texans, Texas
Bay Area Meteorites, San Francisco Western Grizzlies, Oregon
University of Illinois Fighting Illini Minnesota Timberwolves, Minn.


Contact Phyllis Jones at 333-4606.