Notre Dame women earn #1 seed for NCAA Tournament


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.

For the first time since the 1999 and 2000 seasons, Marquette women's basketball will make the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons.

"A great reward for this team for what they've been through ... playing the toughest schedule and getting a No. 1 seed", McGraw said.

A year ago we learned UConn and Geno Auriemma were, in fact, human in the NCAA Tournament. Any team in UConn's bracket knows that a matchup with the perennial powerhouse could be the end of their championship dreams.

Not when the top-seeded Fighting Irish's first-round opponent was Hampton.

The Ducks could stay out west and play in Spokane, where coach Kelly Graves spent many years as Gonzaga's coach. I think we just needed to prove it for a complete 40 minutes. UConn and Louisville also won the American Athletic Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference tournament titles, respectively.

"That's a little bit disappointing", Boise State coach Gordy Presnell said. This years field features some newcomers and some mid-major teams who despite a loss in their conference tournaments belong in the NCAA tournament.

UConn (32-0) is a No. 1 seed for the 21st time in 30 NCAA Tournament appearances.

Where a school is located played a role in where they were sent for their first games and that may have hurt some in the tournament.

The four projected No. 1 seeds have six losses combined, with Notre Dame's three and Louisville's two joining Mississippi State's defeat to SC.

"We definitely want to learn from that loss", junior guard Amani Wilborn said.

What's even more impressive about UConn's wins over programs in the top 25 is the average margin of victory in those contests was 19.5, with half being by 25 points or more.

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

Oklahoma got in with a 16-14 record - the fewest wins for an at-large team since 2005 - a day after the Oklahoma men got an at-large berth with an 18-13 record and losses in 11 of their final 15 games. "I think this team made a decision to get better and chose to dig in".

The NCAA Tournament bracket was revealed Monday night and it was full of both the expected and the shocking.

In the first and second rounds of the women's tournament, games are played on the home courts of the top 16 seeds.