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Purdue Women #4 seed in NCAA tournament, face S. Dakota State

Big Ten Tournament winner Purdue was chosen as the No. 4 seed in the Fresno Regional and will host first-and second-round contests of  the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.

Purdue opens the tournament against No. 13 South Dakota State on Saturday. A win in the opening round would send Purdue into a second-round showdown against the South Carolina-Eastern Michigan winner.

The Boilermakers advance to the NCAA Championship for the 22nd time in 24 seasons and are the winningest Big Ten team in the tournament field with 43 victories in program history.

A conference record seven teams were selected into the 2012 NCAA Division I field of 64. Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue will represent the conference in the tournament, marking the first time in Big Ten history seven teams have advanced to the NCAA Tournament field, one more than the previous record of six (1996, 2002, 2003, 2004).

The 2012 NCAA Championship will culminate at the Women’s Final Four, held April 1 and 3, at the Pepsi Center in Denver.