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Robinson, Dye excited for NCAA Tournament

When The Trojans hit the floor for the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Monday, they will be doing so without any experience of playing in the tournament.

The Trojans are taking on Texas A&M in the opening round of the tournament on Monday. It will be Troy’s first appearance in the tournament since 2017.

“This is going to be my first time and it’s exciting,” senior Alexus Dye said. “From day one when we started, this is where I wanted to be and this is where I wanted to lead our team. It feels great to be a part of something that’s going to be historically good for our school.”

The Trojans had a chance to advance to the NCAA Tournament last season. They were set to begin the Sun Belt Conference Tournament as the number one overall seed before COVID-19 brought college athletics to a close.

“We were cut short last year,” Jasmine Robinson said. “That hurt us tremendously. It helped us push so hard this year because we wanted to get back and do things that we have never done before.”

“It’s definitely a weight lifted off our shoulders,” Dye said. “We worked so hard to get back to where we were supposed to go. It makes us proud of ourselves knowing that we put in the hard work and dedication to get back to where we were when they cut it short.”

Although she doesn’t have tournament experience at the Division-1 level, Dye was part of a Gulf Coast State College team that won a national championship during the 2018-2019 season.

“Everyone should bring their A-game and leave it on the court,” Dye said. “Play like it’s your last game and have fun. We have fun, everything (else) kind of follows.”

After securing their bid for the tournament, the Trojans were named a 15 seed during Monday’s NCAA Selection show. Despite wanting a higher seed, Dye and the Trojans will use their 15th seed as motivation.

“We are very motivated,” Dye said. “We don’t let any of that bother us. We do what we do so that we can win.”

They will be going up against a Texas A&M team that was a projected number one seed. They are 23-2 on the season with their only losses coming against LSU and Georgia in the Southeastern Conference semifinal.

“It’s definitely going to be a tough matchup,” Robinson said. “We knew any game we were going to be in was going to be tough. They are big in size. One of the most important things is we can control what we can control. Let’s do the things we can do; it will help us.”

Robinson and the Trojans will embrace the underdog role on Monday.

“They count us out before the game even gets tipped off,” Robinson said. “We’re going in head first and we are strong. These girls tie their shoes up the same way we do. We are going in ready to play.”

The game is scheduled for 5 p.m. and it can be seen on ESPN2.