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COLUMBUS, Ohio With the start of the 2008 NCAA Women’s Tournament still more than a week away, the 25th-ranked Buckeyes (22-8) remain hard at work while they await their at-large to a sixth-consecutive NCAA tournament.

Head coach Jim Foster welcomed back a handful of former players Thursday as the Buckeyes moved their practice over to historic St. John Arena because of the Ohio high school boys’ state tournament being held at Value City Arena this weekend.

Among the former Buckeyes practicing against the team were All-American Katie Smith (1993-96), Caity Matter (2001, 03-05), Kim Wilburn (2003-06) and student assistant Stephanie Blanton (2004-07).

Smith went to the NCAA tournament twice in her career (1993, 1996), including OSU’s memorable run to the Final Four in 1993, falling to Texas Tech in the national championship. Matter was part of three NCAA tournament squads (2003-05), helping the Buckeyes to the Sweet 16 in 2005 while Wilburn and Blanton went to the Big Dance all four years of their career, helping the Buckeyes earn a No. 1 seed in 2006.

The four-time Big Ten champion Buckeyes will await their NCAA fate at 7 p.m. ET Monday, March 17 during ESPN’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Special. Trey Wingo will host alongside analysts Stacey Dales and Kara Lawson. The one-hour show will mark ESPN’s 16th-consecutive year of announcing the pairings days before it begins complete coverage of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship March 22 April 8 on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN360.com and ESPN Full Court.