Nebraska, N.C. State women favored at UCLA sub-regional

The NCAA women's basketball tournament begins Saturday with 16 games at eight sub-regional sites, including UCLA.

Nebraska (25-6), the No. 4-seeded team in the Lincoln Regional, plays No. 13-seeded Fresno State (22-10) at 1 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion. Fifth-seeded North Carolina State (25-7) plays 12th-seeded Brigham Young (26-6) at 3:30 p.m.

Jordan Hooper, a 6-foot-2 forward from Nebraska, was player of the year in the Big Ten Conference and is a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award as the top player in women's basketball. She averages 20.3 points and 9.2 rebounds. The Cornhuskers won the Big Ten tournament championship as Hooper averaged 22 points and eight rebounds. Fresno State won the Mountain West tournament.

The sub-regional will be something of a homecoming for North Carolina State's Kody Burke, a 6-2 senior forward who is a three-time Academic All-American. Burke, from Sherman Oaks Notre Dame High, is second on the team with averages of 15.0 points and 6.3 rebounds. Markeisha Gatling, a 6-5 senior center, leads the Wolfpack with averages of 17.6 points and 7.1 rebounds. Brigham Young is led by Jennifer Hamson, a 6-7 senior who averages 18.3 points, 11.2 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game and was West Coast Conference player of the year.

Saturday's winners play Monday for a spot in the Lincoln Regional.

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