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

Ross Houston
March 13, 2018

UConn, Notre Dame, Louisville and Mississippi State are the No. 1 seeds in the women's basketball NCAA Tournament.

The Irish are in the Spokane Regional and open up against Cal State Northridge on Friday. The Cardinals have proved to be a bit of an enigma for Notre Dame this season, while the 9-point loss to the UConn women shows that the Irish are capable of competing with the consensus best team in the land. The Pac-12 had four teams while the Big Ten, Big 12 and American each had two.

"We've never been in the West bracket".

"I was thinking at halftime of the Tennessee game if we would make the tournament, or at least if we'd be playing at home", McGraw said. McGraw said her team would start preparing for the Matadors right away.

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 other No. 2 seeds had six (Texas and South Carolina) and four (Oregon) losses, making Baylor's record stand out among its counterparts.

Louisville won the Atlantic Coast Conference for the first time this season. The loss to Louisville in the ACC Tournament final was thought by some to be too much to overcome. The Texas native went 126-108 in seven seasons as the head coach at Fresno State, taking the Bulldogs to the postseason three times and winning the Mountain West Conference tournament in 2016, when Terry led the team to 25 wins. "We're excited to host the first two at home against two very good basketball teams". Second-seeded OR, playing much closer to home than any of the other top-four seeds, is led by the pick-and-roll duo of sophomore guard Sabrina Ionescu, who already holds the career mark for triple-doubles, and sophomore forward Ruthy Hebard, whose 32 consecutive shots made late in the regular season was an NCAA record and helped her to the second-highest field goal percentage in the nation this season.

Stanford potentially is headed to Lexington for the third straight year if it can advance.

There was an outside chance the Notre Dame was not going to get a 1-seed. The Bulldogs won their first 32 games this season before losing to SC in the SEC title game.

This is March, so it's finally time to reveal the 2018 NCAA women's bracket. With most of their players back from last season's runner-up finish - including Morgan Williams, who hit the game-winner in overtime to knock off UConn - the Bulldogs hope to make another deep NCAA run.

"We felt there was a razor-thin margin between Baylor and Notre Dame", said NCAA women's basketball committee chair Rhonda Bennett. Buffalo, Creighton, Minnesota and Oklahoma got in.

Oklahoma got in with a 16-14 record - the fewest wins for an at-large team since 2005. Purdue and West Virginia are the top seeds. "We went through those resumes and their body of work". "We're happy to have had some rest, but we have to get back into things again really quickly".

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