March 18, 2019

NCAA Tournament-Things to Know,2nd Ld-Writethru

13 March 2018, 11:48 | Anna Jefferson

UConn back as women's top seed

Basketball: UConn, Irish, Louisville, Miss St. top seeds in women's tourney

Last year, the Huskies also entered the tournament unbeaten and were seen as favorites for the title until their 111-game winning streak came to an end against Mississippi State in the Final Four.

The Lady Bears, who lost just one game all season (31-1), instead get a No. 2 seed in Lexington, a region that includes top-seeded Louisville, Tennessee and Stanford.

This years Final Four is in Columbus, Ohio, and will take place on March 30. Notre Dame is another team to look at, as they came within single digits to CT when the teams played earlier in the season. "We were a two seed in 2005 and we played and won the national championship". A year ago they lost in the Final Four to Mississippi State, ending a run of 111 consecutive victories.

The Four #1 seeds are UConn (Albany Region), Louisville (Lexington Region), Mississippi State (Kanas City Region) and Notre Dame (Spokane Region).

OR coach Kelly Graves is very familiar with Spokane, having coached Gonzaga from 2000-1014, leading the Zags to a regional final in 2012. The Bulldogs won their first 32 games this season before losing to SC in the SEC title game.

"If we are fortunate enough to go back to Spokane where I spent so many wonderful years at Gonzaga, that would be incredible", he said.

“A great reward for this team for what theyve been through. playing the toughest schedule and getting a No. 1 seed, ” McGraw said. Yeah, go ahead and play them and tell me they are a mid-major team. While the Jackrabbits (26-6, 12-2 Summit) - who had three postseason wins of 15 points or more to earn a Summit League championship - are the higher seed, the former Big East foe Wildcats (22-8, 12-6 Big East) may be the more intriguing potential opponent. The SEC has seven teams in the tournament, and the Pac-12 has six. Buffalo, Creighton, Minnesota and Oklahoma got in.

"Geography is one of our principals when it comes to placing teams in the bracket", Bennett said. Were going to give it our best shot and let the chips fall where they may.”. Obviously not, ” SC coach Dawn Staley said. The Albany regional will likely be the most stacked of the bunch, and the fact that either SC or UConn will be out heading into the Final Four is an interesting wrinkle-and allows for better odds that a new team might take home the title this year.

“Weve never been in the West bracket. Purdue, Rutgers, Southern Cal and West Virginia were the first four teams out. "The growth of our program at this time past year, we were hoping to have done enough to get in".

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

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