DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie sure sounds up for the challenge of taking her young team on the road for the NCAA women's basketball tournament.
The Blue Devils received the No. 2 seed in the Fresno region and will spend the opening weekend in Nashville, Tenn. They will face 15th-seeded Samford next Sunday, with the winner drawing either seventh-seeded Vanderbilt -- the host of the subregional -- or 10th-seeded Middle Tennessee State on March 20.
"We absolutely need hostility and toughness," McCallie said Monday night, shortly after the 64-team field was announced. "We need that. We need to grow it. ... This is great for us. This is a situation we must be in."
Duke (24-5) received its fifth No. 2 seed since 2000 after rolling to the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season championship and claiming the top seed in the league tournament.
That's despite losing three starters throughout the season due to injury or off-the-court issues, and they have a roster dominated by freshmen and sophomores. An upset loss to North Carolina State in the ACC quarterfinals didn't seem to affect their seeding.
Getting into the tournament hasn't been a problem for the Blue Devils, who are in the field for the 18th straight year and 19th time in program history. They haven't been seeded lower than fifth since 1987.
But Duke hasn't been to the Final Four since 2006, when it was beaten by ACC rival Maryland in the championship game a year before Gail Goestenkors left for Texas and McCallie came from Michigan State to replace her.
McCallie has guided Duke to the regional finals in each of the last two years, falling to Baylor in 2010 and Connecticut last year. The Blue Devils have won at least one game every time they've made the NCAA tournament.
Duke's first- and second-round NCAA games were at Cameron Indoor Stadium in each of the past two years, and McCallie said the school is scheduled to host one again next year.
Rival North Carolina is hosting one of the four 16-team subregionals and would have been assured of playing on its home floor had the Tar Heels made the tournament. But they were left out, and Georgia Tech wound up being assigned to the Chapel Hill subregional -- something McCallie says she has no problem with.
"I love it for our team. We are so young, the last thing you want is the comforts of home," McCallie said. "That's the absolute last thing you want if you're trying to develop a championship program and you're trying to grow as a unit."