UConn, Irish, Louisville, Miss St top seeds in women's NCAAs

Carrie Guzman
March 13, 2018

This spring marks the first time the team has earned a No. 1 seed, and with both SC and UConn on the opposite side of the bracket in the same region, the Bulldogs wouldn't face either of their toughest opponents until the championship, should they make it.

UConn, which has been a No. 1 seed every year since 2007, opens up against 16-seed Saint Francis (Pennsylvania) on Saturday morning. If the Irish win, they will host either 8th seeded South Dakota St or 9th seeded Villanova in Sunday's 2nd round.

Where a school is located played a role in where they were sent for their first games and that may have hurt some in the tournament.

Florida State and Georgia are the other top seeds in the Huskies part of the bracket.

Notre Dame finished the regular season with a 29-3 record with losses to UConn on December 3rd and twice to Louisville on January 11th and then in the ACC Tournament Championship game on March 4th. All of the top four teams in each region host the opening two rounds at home. Notre Dame could not face Louisville unless both advanced to the national championship game, which would be April 1st, also in Columbus.

Albany is slated to host regional semifinals and finals the weekend of March 24-26, and if the seeds hold, UConn would meet SC for a spot in the Final Four.

OR coach Kelly Graves is very familiar with Spokane, having coached Gonzaga from 2000-1014, leading the Zags to a regional final in 2012.

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Dayton and Buffalo both made the tournament as at-large teams from mid-major conferences.

UConn coach Geno Auriemma said the respect for those teams is a step forward in the women's game and he believes mid-major teams will make some noise in this year's tournament.

Oklahoma got in with a 16-14 record - the fewest wins for an at-large team since 2005.

That principal also means the second best women's basketball team in CT will have to go through the best if they want to make another improbably run to the Sweet 16.

There were five teams trying to get into the bracket's top spots and in the end Baylor lost out.

“We spent nearly seven hours on that decision of who those last four teams in and first four out were, ” NCAA womens basketball committee chair Rhonda Bennett said.

Bennett said Oklahomas strength of schedule, which was second best in the country, was a key to its selection.

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