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NCAA tournament field features UConn, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Maryland as top seeds

Published on March 17, 2015

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Tournament Bracket || TV Schedule>

Top-ranked Connecticut enters the women’s NCAA tournament as the overall top seed. The other teams that follow Connecticut in the national rankings join the Huskies as No. 1 seeds: Notre Dame, South Carolina and Maryland. Each top seed will begin their quest for a national championship on their home courts facing sixteenth-seeded teams.

  • Albany Region: UConn (32-1) vs. St. Francis Brooklyn (15-18)
    Saturday, March 21, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2
  • Oklahoma City Region: Notre Dame (31-2) vs. Montana (24-8)
    Friday, March 20, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2
  • Greensboro Region: South Carolina (30-2) vs. Savannah State (21-10)
    Friday, March 20, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN2
  • Spokane Region: Maryland (30-2) vs. New Mexico State (22-7)
    Saturday, March 21, 1:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2

All four top seeds won automatic bids to NCAA postseason play by winning their conference tournament championships.

UConn won its second straight American Athletic Conference Championship. The squad enters the tournament as a top seed for the ninth season in-a-row and the 18th time in team history. The Huskies are 79-9 all-time as a No. 1 seed.

Eight of the team’s nine national championships have come when the team began play as a No. 1 seed. The Huskies face the winner of the Northeast Conference, St. Francis Brooklyn.

Notre Dame earned a berth to the tournament for the 20th consecutive season after winning the Atlantic Coast Conference championship for the second straight year. It is also the fourth consecutive season that the Irish have earned a top seed. They host the winner of the Big Sky Championship, Montana.

“I think it’s critical for us to be at home,” said Irish head coach Muffet McGraw about playing in Purcell Pavilion. “It eases everybody’s mind. There’s that comfort feeling, you’re in your own locker room, you’re in your own bed at night, and you’ve got your fans. That’s the biggest thing for us, the fans.”

South Carolina had a banner regular season capped by claiming the program’s first-ever SEC tournament title. The Gamecocks also repeated as the regular season champions. In addition, they were the top-ranked team in the nation for 12 weeks. This is the fourth year in a row that the Gamecocks will participate in the tournament, matching the longest streak in program history (1988-91).

South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley is happy that her team is hosting but stressed that her squad needs to concentrate on advancing past the first two games.

“If we take care of what we need to take care of in the first and second rounds, I’ll know they’ll take care of the regionals,” said Staley.

As a new member of the Big Ten, Maryland cruised through conference play undefeated to earn the regular season and tournament title.

“I think it shows that we had a really consistent season, especially when you go undefeated and win your conference tournament,” said Frese about her team’s accomplishments. “At this point however, none of that matters because you just have to be able to come out and play your best basketball. Regardless, it’s nice to have Maryland basketball be recognized as a number one seed.”

This year’s No. 1 seed for the Terps is the fourth in program history and third under Frese. Overall, the team has earned an NCAA berth 23 times. Last year Maryland advanced all the way to the Final Four. The Terps play the winner of the Western Athletic Conference title, New Mexico State, in the first round.

In the history of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, 14 schools have captured the national title. UConn leads the way with nine national championships, followed by Tennessee with eight. UConn is the defending national champion after claiming the 2014 title in Nashville with a 79-58 win against Notre Dame in the title game, capping a perfect 40-0 season.

Complete 2015 DI Women’s Basketball Tournament Field

School Conference Previous Tournament Appearances Wins Losses Previous Tourney Year
Alabama State Southwestern 1 0 1 2013
Albany America East 3 0 3 2014
American Patriot First 0 0
Arkansas Southeastern 10 13 10 2012
UALR Sun Belt 3 1 3 2012
Arizona State Pac-12 12 14 12 2014
Baylor Big 12 13 33 11 2014
Boise State Mountain West 2 0 2 2014
BYU West Coast 10 5 10 2014
California Pac-12 10 10 10 2014
Cal State Northridge Big West 2 0 2 2014
Chattanooga Southern 12 1 12 2014
Connecticut American Athletic 26 97 17 2014
Dayton Atlantic 10 5 2 5 2014
DePaul Big East 19 12 19 2014
Duke Atlantic Coast 21 53 21 2014
Florida Gulf Coast Atlantic Sun 2 0 2 2014
Florida State Atlantic Coast 13 14 13 2014
George Washington Atlantic 10 15 18 15 2008
Gonzaga West Coast 7 8 7 2014
Green Bay Horizon 14 6 14 2013
Iowa Big Ten 23 19 23 2014
Iowa State Big 12 15 17 15 2014
James Madison Colonial 10 8 10 2014
Kentucky Southeastern 11 17 11 2014
Liberty Big South 15 2 15 2013
Louisville Atlantic Coast 17 22 17 2014
LSU Southeastern 23 43 23 2014
Maryland Atlantic Coast 22 37 21 2014
Miami (Fla.) Atlantic Coast 9 4 9 2013
Minnesota Big Ten 8 11 8 2009
Mississippi State Southeastern 6 6 6 2010
Montana Big Sky 20 6 20 2013
Nebraska Big Ten 12 8 12 2014
New Mexico State Western Athletic 2 0 2 1988
North Carolina Atlantic Coast 25 45 24 2014
Northwestern Big Ten 6 3 6 1997
Northwestern State Southland 3 0 3 2014
Notre Dame Atlantic Coast 21 46 20 2014
Ohio Mid-American 2 0 2 1995
Ohio State Big Ten 21 23 21 2012
Oklahoma Big 12 17 30 17 2014
Oklahoma State Big 12 12 10 12 2014
Oregon State Pac-12 6 3 6 2014
Pittsburgh Atlantic Coast 3 5 3 2009
Princeton Ivy 4 0 4 2013
Quinnipiac Metro Atlantic 1 0 1 2013
Rutgers Big Ten 23 35 23 2012
St. Francis (Brooklyn) Northeast None 0 0
Savannah State Mid-Eastern None 0 0
Seton Hall Big East 2 3 2 1995
South Carolina Southeastern 11 13 11 2014
South Dakota State Summit 5 1 5 2013
South Florida American Athletic 2 1 2 2013
Stanford Pac-12 28 75 26 2014
Syracuse Atlantic Coast 6 1 6 2014
Tennessee Southeastern 33 117 25 2014
Tennessee State Ohio Valley 2 0 2 1995
Texas Big 12 27 33 26 2014
Texas A&M Southeastern 11 21 10 2014
Tulane American Athletic 10 3 10 2010
Washington Pac-12 16 15 16 2007
Western Kentucky Conference USA 17 17 17 2014
Wichita State Missouri Valley 2 0 2 2014

 

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