"At-large" talk off limits this week for Lady Mocs - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

"At-large" talk off limits this week for Lady Mocs

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball team fully intends to be playing in the NCAA Tournament in two weeks.

As far as it's concerned, the only way to make that possible is by winning the Southern Conference Tournament.

"We can't count on (an at-large bid)," said head coach Wes Moore. "You have to go over (to the tournament) with the mindset of controlling your own destiny.

"That's the only way we're approaching this week."

The Lady Mocs have spent the past four months building an impressive resume.

They own wins over SEC foes Tennessee and Alabama as part of a 26-3 overall record, and their only three losses all came on the road. UTC dominated the SoCon with a 19-1 league mark, and is one of the nation's hottest teams with a 16-game winning streak.

Still, history leaves them wary of a stumble in Asheville.

"We've had a really good year, but we don't want to leave our tournament hopes up to chance," said senior Kayla Christopher. "It's usually really hard for a mid-major to get an at-large bid, so whatever happened in the regular season doesn't mean anything anymore.

"You have to go there and win three games in a row. That's the only way to get the bid."

As the top seed in the tournament, Chattanooga gets a bye through the first round before facing either No. 8 Georgia Southern or No. 9 Western Carolina at 12 p.m. ET Saturday.

The Lady Mocs have rolled both by double digits in all four of their regular season meetings, but UTC will work hard to make sure that doesn't affect its mindset.

"We don't really have much experience on this team playing as the No. 1 seed, so have to understand we can't take anything for granted," Christopher said. "Anything can happen once you get to the tournament, so every night, no matter the opponent, you have to show up ready to play."

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