Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

UConn snags overall number one seed in NCAA tournament as March Madness begins

Published on March 13, 2018


The field of 54 revealed with UConn leading the pack

With all the conference tournament championships completed, the stage for the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship is set. On Monday, the Selection Show gave fans surprises, announcements of historic tournament appearances and seeding for teams. Sixty-four teams will chase their destiny for a spot in the Final Four in Columbus, Ohio.

While Oklahoma, Minnesota, Creighton and Buffalo were the teams on the bubble and received a bid the tournament, four other bubble teams were left out: Purdue, Rutgers, USC and West Virginia.

For other teams, the road to Columbus has become clearer. In the Albany region, the number one overall seed Connecticut Huskies will begin their road to the Final Four on their home court against No. 16 seed Saint Francis (PA). UConn is the number one seed for the seventh time in history. The Huskies are chasing their eleventh-straight path to the final four.

The Albany region also includes reigning national champions, No. 2 seed South Carolina. The Gamecocks are gunning for a back-to-back title. Head coach Dawn Staley will look to ESPN’s Player of the Year, senior forward A’ja Wilson to take charge in tandem with sophomore guard Tyasha Harris. The Georgia Bulldogs and Florida State Seminoles are also in the Albany bracket and will look to knock down the UConn giant as well.

Notre Dame is the number one seed for the Spokane region. After defeating adversity with ACL tears affecting four dominating players that could have changed their fate for the worse this season, The Fighting Irish are in the tournament for the eighth time in program history as a number one seed.

The Texas A&M Aggies, led by senior center Khaalia Hillsman and SEC Freshman of the year, guard Chennedy Carter, are also in the Spokane region. The Aggies finished sixth in the SEC.

The Ohio State Buckeyes, the current Big Ten champions, are looking to find the success they have had since the end of their regular season. Senior guard Kelsey Mitchell, averaging 25 points per game, is responsible for the Buckeyes offensive push.

The Oregon Ducks just missed the number one seed, landing at the No. 2 spot as sophomore guard and Pac-12 Player of the Year Sabrina Ionescu flourishes. Oregon won the Pac-12 Tournament Championship.

Asia Durr became one of the leading scorers in the nation for Louisville. Her offensive dominance went untested for most of the season. Led by Durr, Louisville went on to pick up the school’s first-ever ACC tournament title against fellow number one seed Notre Dame. Louisville guard Myisha Hines-Allen earned the ACC tournament MVP honor.

The Cardinals will host in the Lexington region for the first two rounds. They kick things off against No. 16 seed Boise State.

The Baylor Bears are the number two seed in the Lexington bracket. The Bears have stayed afloat in the national polls for the entire season behind Mississippi State and UConn. Baylor will be looking to knock off Louisville.

The Missouri Tigers are the No. 6 seed led by tough Sophie Cunningham. She will be a part of the triple threat with Amber Smith and Cierra Porter to help keep the Tigers dancing. Stanford, a 2017 Final Four team, is looking at another chance to be one of the last four standing. After a tough season of slipping in and out of the top 25 polls, they are now focused on the bigger mission of staying in the tournament to prolong the season.

Tennessee is the No. 3 seed in the Lexington. The Lady Vols had a tough time finishing their SEC conference schedule. Three tough losses to conference foes Alabama, Missouri and South Carolina pulled them away from earning a higher seed. They seek a refreshed offensive look to finish the season on a winning note.

In the final bracket revealed for the Kansas City region, the Mississippi State Bulldogs reached their most accomplished season yet, finishing 32-1 and as the SEC regular season conference champions.

Mississippi State will host in Starkville and kick off March Madness against No. 16 seed Nicholls State. This is MSU’s first number one seed in program history. Coming off their loss against conference rival South Carolina in the conference tournament finals, MSU will have to get back to regular programming to reach the championship again.

In the Kansas City bracket, Mississippi State will have to knock down tough opponents like the No. 2-seeded Texas Longhorns. Senior guard Brooke McCarty and the Longhorns have yet to pass the Sweet Sixteen stage of the tournament during her time at Texas. Their 75-71 loss against UConn spilled disappointment in the season, but showed they have the players needed to go against the tough competitors Texas will meet.

Besides Mississippi State, No. 3 UCLA Bruins will be one of the biggest challenges for the Longhorns.

No. 5 seed Maryland will look to pick up the pieces after a loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament championship. The Terrapins have also faced adversity with the team’s three-point leader Blair Watson succumbing to a ACL tear midseason. Sophomore guard Kaila Charles has taken charge for the team. Veteran coach Brenda Frese will take her experience to the tournament in hopes of leaving the Kansas City region with a trip to Columbus.

Along with the obvious talent, teamwork and precision it took to qualify for the 64 spots, all teams must outshine one another with heart, confidence and hunger. The road to Columbus begins Friday afternoon with four matchups.

This post is part of the thread: 2017-18 College Season – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.




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