LOGAN, Utah — For the first time since 1999 the Western Athletic Championships will return to Las Vegas, Nev., where Utah State women’s basketball will compete as the third seed in the four day tournament March 9-12 at the Orleans Arena.The third seed is the highest for the Aggies ever in the WAC tournament since joining the league in 2005. Utah State was picked to finish seventh in the pre-season media poll and eighth in the pre-season coaches poll but ended the season 16-13 overall and 10-6 in WAC action earning the third in the regular season standings. Utah State earned a first-round bye as the third seed, and will play in the quarterfinal round at 9:30 p.m. MT against the winner of the game between seventh-seeded Hawai’i and sixth-seeded New Mexico State which will take place on Wednesday, Mar. 9 at 9:30 p.m. The winner of the quarterfinal will then take on second-seeded Fresno State in the semifinal round on March 11 at 3:30 p.m. Top-Seeded Louisiana Tech earned a bye into the semifinal round Friday, Mar. 11 at 1 p.m. against the winner of the quarterfinal game between the fourth-seed Nevada and the winner of the first round game between fifth-seeded Idaho and eigth-seeded Boise State. The championship game will be on help Saturday, Mar. 12 at 2 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU. The winner of the game will advance to the NCAA tournament. While it is the first time in over 10 years the tournament will be in Las Vegas, Nev., it is the third-straight year that it will be held in the state of Nevada as the University of Nevada was the host for the 2009 and 2010 tournaments.With the tournament returning to Vegas it also returns to a neutral site. During the past 11 years the tournament has been hosted by competing WAC schools in Fresno, Calif., Tulsa, Okla., Reno, Nev., and Las Cruces, N.M. This year, the tournament will be on a neutral court at the Orleans Arena. Utah State finished the regular season with 10 WAC wins, which is the most for USU in a season since joining the WAC for the 2005-06 season. The 16 wins so far this year is tied for most wins in a season, with the 2008-09 team who finished 16-15, since the reinstatement in 2003-04.-USU-
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