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story.lead_photo.caption UALR women's coach Joe Foley - Photo by John Sykes Jr.

The players jumped from their seats when the projector showed their destination.

It was less than a day after the University of Arkansas at Little Rock women's basketball team beat Texas State 54-53 to win the Sun Belt Conference Tournament and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Trojans learned Monday afternoon that it would be traveling to Florida this weekend.

UALR (23-9) was given the No. 14 seed and will play at No. 3 Florida State on Saturday at 10 a.m. Central.

"I was just waiting to see how it developed because you can guess all you want to," UALR Coach Joe Foley said. "Everybody was saying Texas and UCLA, and now we're going to Florida. I'm just excited the kids are getting to go."

UALR last made the NCAA Tournament in 2015. The Trojans entered Tempe, Ariz., as a No. 11 seed and beat No. 6 Texas A&M 69-60 in the first round. UALR then lost 57-54 to Arizona State in the next round.

Senior forward Keanna Keys was a part of that team.

"I've experienced this before, but I haven't experienced as much love as there is here," said Keys, who had six points and three points against Texas State. "It's overwhelming, but it's exciting. And I'm happy."

Keys sat next to senior guard Monique Townson as the selection show began Monday.

"As soon as the region popped up and it said Florida on there, I was like, 'Oh, man. that would be cool for us to go there,'" Keys said. "Next thing I know, everyone yells, and I jumped. It was exciting."

Foley said the team will begin to prepare for Florida State today, when the Trojans return to practice.

"I really don't have too many thoughts on them," Keys said. "I can't wait until tomorrow to get some type of insight on them."

Townson and junior forward Ronjanae DeGray were named to the Sun Belt All-Tournament team, and this will be DeGray's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

"It's a business trip," said DeGray, who had eight points and eight rebounds against Texas State. "It's another opportunity to play basketball and continue our season."

Sports on 03/13/2018

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