"We felt there was a razor-thin margin between Baylor and Notre Dame", said NCAA women's basketball committee chair Rhonda Bennett. The next most-likely team to win is Baylor, with a 12-percent chance of winning.
"You have to start somewhere in this tournament", Irish head coach Mike Brey said. "And really what does it matter?" Wilson was named the espnW player of the year and was one of two seniors to earn First Team All-America honors. South Carolina, a No. 2 seed, is the defending national champion after claiming the 2017 title in Dallas with a 67-55 win over Mississippi State. "We were a two seed in 2005 and we played and won the national championship".
Irish senior forward Martinas Geben goes up over a Hampton defender in Notre Dame's 84-63 win over the Pirates in the first round of the NIT on Tuesday at Purcell Pavilion.
A potential Elite Eight matchup between SC and UConn would pit two of this year's top prospects against one another.
"We wouldn't be in that kind of position if we didn't have a great year and we hope to keep that going", OR coach Kelly Graves said.
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Most of UConn's prominent players lived through that loss and claim that, because of it, they have spent this season embracing all the fine details that - maybe, occasionally - they let slip through the course of previous year until they were ultimately caught off guard. "For our Duck fans it's close enough where they can justify a trip there". Vegas also has No. 3 seed MI with the fourth-best odds to take home the whole thing after winning the Big Ten Tournament, but after seeing Rutgers make a serious run in that tournament, don't hop on the Wolverine bandwagon too quickly. The Bulls face South Florida in the first round in Tallahassee.
All four teams are perennial powerhouses in their respective conferences and they will no doubt make the 2018 NCAA women's basketball tournament a lot of fun to watch.
"I'm glad that they got rewarded and I think it should happen more often", he said. Now they wouldn't play each other here but both teams will be in action during the Women Elite Eight. "Good luck with that". Also playing in the Storrs subregional are 8-seed Miami and 9-seed Quinnipiac, with the latter having lost to UConn in last year's Sweet 16.
Buffalo, Creighton, Minnesota and Oklahoma were the final teams to get bids to the tournament.
Final Four expectations aren't changing how U.Va. coach Tony Bennett is approaching his team's preparation for No. 16 seed Maryland Baltimore County. At 16-14, Oklahoma has worst record of any at-large team since Monmouth inexplicably made it in 1983, the second-ever NCAA tourney.
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UConn's remarkable streak of 10 consecutive Final Four appearances is at risk this season, since SC is one of the premier programs in the country and possesses a top player in forward A'ja Wilson.
"So that would mean we're going to be a little bit different team", Auriemma said. It's the ninth time that UConn has entered the NCAAs undefeated, including a year ago when the Huskies went in as the overwhelming favorite before their 111-game winning streak ended with a loss to Mississippi State in the Final Four.
Marquette is 1-2 as a No. 8 seed, last besting No. 9 Texas, 68-65, in the 2011 first round before narrowly falling to No. 1 Tennessee, 79-70, in the second round.
The victor likely gets UConn. Still, the Norse are a solid team and winners of 22 games.
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