UConn women receive No. 1 seed again, will open vs. St. Francis (Pa.)
NEW YORK — UConn, Notre Dame, Louisville and Mississippi State are the No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Women’s Tournament.
The Huskies enter as the lone unbeaten team and will be vying for their 12th national championship. Last season, UConn came into the NCAAs as the overwhelming favorite before their 111-game winning streak ended with a loss to Mississippi State in the Final Four. UConn, which has been a No. 1 seed every year since 2007, opens against 16th-seeded St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday morning. The Red Flash beat Robert Morris in Sunday’s Northeast Conference Tournament championship game.
The NCAA revealed Sunday night the final eight teams under consideration for the last four spots, and West Virginia ended up among the first four teams out.
This year’s Final Four is in Columbus, Ohio, and the semifinals are March 30. The national championship game is April 1.
Defending national champion South Carolina and A’ja Wilson await as a possible Elite Eight matchup for UConn in the Albany Regional. The Gamecocks are the No. 2 seed. Florida State and Georgia are the other top seeds in the Huskies’ part of the bracket.
Like the Huskies, the Irish are a No. 1 seed again. Notre Dame has been a top seed the past seven years. This might be one of coach Muffet McGraw’s finest accomplishments as Notre Dame lost four pivotal players to injury but only three games on the season. Two of those losses came to the Cardinals.
The Irish are in the Spokane Regional and open against Cal State Northridge on Friday. If Notre Dame advances, the Irish would head out west to potentially face No. 2 seed Oregon if the seeds hold.
The Ducks potentially could stay out west and play in Spokane, where coach Kelly Graves spent many years as Gonzaga’s coach. Ohio State and Texas A&M are the three and four seeds in that region.
Louisville won the ACC for the first time this season. The Cardinals open against Boise State and are one of eight ACC teams in the field. The SEC has seven teams in the tournament, and the Pac-12 has six.
The Lexington Regional is stacked with former NCAA Tournament winners with Baylor the two seed, Tennessee the three and Stanford the four. While the Lady Vols have been in the NCAA Tournament every year since it began in 1982, Nicholls State, Northern Colorado, Mercer and Seattle will be making their first appearances.
Stanford potentially is headed to Lexington for the third straight year if it can advance.
Mississippi State is a No. 1 seed for the first time in school history.