ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia will open the NCAA tournament in a familiar SEC arena and Georgia Tech will travel to Columbus, Ohio, for first-round games this weekend.
Georgia Tech (23-10), the No. 5 seed in the Dayton Region, opens on Saturday against No. 12 seed Bowling Green (28-4).
A win over Bowling Green could earn the Yellow Jackets a second-round game against No. 4 seed Ohio State, which will have the home-court advantage.
Georgia (21-10) is the No. 6 seed in the Dallas Region and will face No. 11 seed Middle Tennessee State (23-7) on Sunday at Auburn, Ala.
Georgia Tech is making its fifth straight appearance under coach MaChelle Joseph, who said she believed her team deserved a better draw.
"I think we feel very disappointed with the seed and the location," Joseph said. "I don't understand with the (22) RPI and No. 16 strength of schedule why we have to go to Columbus, Ohio, to play."
Joseph noted her team beat Maryland last week. Maryland, with a No. 14 RPI and the 22nd toughest strength of schedule, is a No. 4 seed.
"I don't see that much difference between us and Maryland," Joseph said. "We have a better strength of schedule.
"I can tell you this, our players are excited to be in the tournament. We will use this as motivation because we earned a better seed than what we got. I'm disappointed in the committee, that this is what they thought was appropriate."
Senior Alex Montgomery leads Georgia Tech with 14.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
As a No. 6 seed last year, Georgia Tech lost to 11th-seeded Arkansas-Little Rock in Norman, Okla., in the first round. The loss left the Yellow Jackets 2-6 all-time in the tournament.
Georgia is making its 28th NCAA tournament appearance with coach Andy Landers. Last year, Georgia made its 18th trip to the round of 16. It has advanced to five Final Fours, the last coming in 1999, and has never won a national championship.
Landers said it's a rare luxury to be able to play in Auburn, about a three-hour drive from Athens and even closer for some Georgia fans. He said he couldn't remember playing so close to home in the NCAA tournament when Georgia wasn't hosting the game.
"It hasn't happened in all these years ... so we're really fortunate in that regard and I'm excited for our fans and our players' families and I'm excited for our south Georgia fans. It's going to be really convenient for them."
The Lady Bulldogs are led by sophomore Jasmine James, who is averaging 12.1 points per game, and senior Porsha Phillips, who averages 11.1 points and 10.8 rebounds.
Georgia struggled at the end of its season, losing four of its last five. Two of the four losses came against Tennessee, including an 82-58 loss in the SEC tournament.
"I just think we just need to refocus ourselves," James said. "It's like a new season for us."