Women’s NCAA Tournament Bracket Announced


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Dallas is hosting the NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four at the end of March, and the Women’s NCAA Tournament bracket was revealed on Sunday night.

The Women’s NCAA Tournament is similar to the men’s. It features 68 teams and a First Four to narrow the field to 64.

It differs in that the first and second rounds of the Women’s NCAA Tournament are played on university campuses. There will also be only two regional sites instead of four.

Greenville, South Carolina, and Seattle, Washington, will each host two brackets (Greenville 1, Greenville 2, Seattle 3, and Seattle 4) when the tournament reaches the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight.

From there, the winning teams will advance to play in the Final Four at the American Airlines Center on Friday, March 31, with the championship game scheduled for Sunday, April 2.

“I think this is the most wide-open we have seen the tournament in years,” ESPN’s Christy Thomaskutty told The Dallas Express.

No.1 seeds section after 2nd paragraph – “I really like Indiana,” Thomaskutty said. “I think they have great balance inside and out and the experience for sure.”

No.1 seeds section after 3rd paragraph -“Every team has issues. Every team has flaws,” Thomaskutty explained. “The difference is South Carolina has flaws, but they have 35 points coming off the bench every night to hide those flaws; more so than any other team. That’s the x-factor in this tournament.”

Here is the schedule for the First Four and the First Round, along with some headlines to watch during the tournament.

First Four
11 Illinois (22-9) vs. 11 Mississippi State (20-10), 6 p.m. CT Wednesday
16 Tennessee Tech (22-9) vs. 16 Monmouth (18-15), 8 p.m. CT Wednesday
11 Purdue (19-10) vs. 11 St. John’s (22-8), 6 p.m. CT Thursday
16 Sacred Heart (18-13) vs. 16 Southern (18-14), 8 p.m. CT Thursday

Greenville 1
1 South Carolina (32-0) vs. 16 Norfolk State (26-6), 1 p.m. CT Friday
8 South Florida (26-6) vs. 9 Marquette (21-10), 10:30 a.m. CT Friday
5 Oklahoma (25-6) vs. 12 Portland (23-8), 8 p.m. CT Saturday
4 UCLA (25-9) vs. 13 Sacramento State (25-7), 10:30 p.m. CT Saturday
6 Creighton (22-8) vs. 11 Illinois/Mississippi State, 5 p.m. CT Friday
3 Notre Dame (25-5) vs. 14 Southern Utah (23-9), 2:30 p.m. CT Friday
7 Arizona (21-9) vs. 10 West Virginia (19-11), 11 a.m. CT Friday
2 Maryland (25-6) vs. 15 Holy Cross (24-8), 1:30 p.m. CT Friday

Greenville 2
1 Indiana (27-3) vs. 16 Tennessee Tech/Monmouth, 10:30 a.m. CT Saturday
8 Oklahoma St (21-11) vs. 9 Miami (FL) (19-12), 1 p.m. CT Saturday
5 Washington State (23-10) vs. 12 Florida Gulf Coast (32-3), 1:30 p.m. CT Saturday
4 Villanova (28-6) vs. 13 Cleveland State (30-4), 4 p.m. CT Saturday
6 Michigan (22-9) vs. 11 UNLV (31-2), 2 p.m. CT Friday
3 LSU (28-2) vs. 14 Hawaii (18-14), 4:30 p.m. CT Friday
7 North Carolina State (20-11) vs. 10 Princeton (23-5), 9 p.m. CT Friday
2 Utah (25-4) vs. 15 Gardner-Webb (29-4), 6:30 p.m. CT Friday

Seattle 3 
1 Virginia Tech (27-4) vs. 16 Chattanooga (20-12), 4:30 p.m. CT Friday
8 USC (21-9) vs. 9 South Dakota State (28-5), 7 p.m. CT Friday
5 Iowa State (22-9) vs. 12 Toledo (28-4), 2:30 p.m. CT Saturday
4 Tennessee (23-11) vs. 13 St. Louis (17-17), noon CT Saturday
6 North Carolina (21-10) vs. 11 Purdue/St. John’s, 3 p.m. CT Saturday
3 Ohio State (25-7) vs. 14 James Madison (26-7), 12:30 p.m. CT Saturday
7 Baylor (19-12) vs. 10 Alabama (20-10), 4:30 p.m. CT Saturday
2 UConn (29-5) vs. 15 Vermont (25-6), 2 p.m. CT Saturday

Seattle 4
1 Stanford (28-5) vs. 16 Southern/Sacred Heart, 6:30 p.m. CT Friday
8 Ole Miss (23-8) vs. 9 Gonzaga (28-4), 9 p.m. CT Friday
5 Louisville (23-11) vs. 12 Drake (22-9), 6:30 p.m. CT Saturday
4 Texas (25-9) vs. 13 East Carolina (23-9), 9 p.m. CT Saturday
6 Colorado (23-8) vs. 11 Middle Tennessee (28-4), 6 p.m. CT Saturday
3 Duke (25-6) vs. 14 Iona (26-6), 8:30 p.m. CT Saturday
7 Florida State (23-9) vs. 10 Georgia (21-11), 12:30 p.m. CT Friday
2 Iowa (26-6) vs. 15 Southeastern Louisiana (21-9), 3 p.m. CT Friday

No.1 Seeds

South Carolina, Indiana, Stanford, and Virginia Tech were named as the top seeds in each bracket.

South Carolina and Indiana were the most likely one-seeds, and the selection group chose Stanford and Virginia Tech as the final two top seeds over Iowa and UConn.

South Carolina is the defending champion and has won 38 games in a row. The Gamecocks are the favorite to win the tournament and would finish the season undefeated if that were to happen.

The other three one-seeds all won their regular-season conference titles.

Texas Teams
The Texas Longhorns and the Baylor Lady Bears are the only two teams representing the state in the tournament.

Texas (25-9) finished the regular season tied with Oklahoma atop the Big 12 but fell in the Big 12 Tournament championship against Iowa State. The Longhorns are the four-seed in the Seattle 4 bracket and will face 13-seed East Carolina at 9 p.m. CT on Saturday. The winner will take on five-seed Louisville or 12-seed Drake next Monday.

Baylor (19-12) tied for fourth in the Big 12 this season. The Lady Bears are the seven-seed in the Seattle 3 bracket and play 10-seed Alabama at 4:30 p.m. CT on Saturday. The winner will play two-seed UConn or 15-seed Vermont next Monday.

While the top seeds tend to make the longest runs in the Women’s NCAA Tournament, there are still no guarantees for anyone in March. Here are a few lower seeds who could make a run this year.

Ohio State — The Buckeyes made it to the Sweet 16 last season. While other Big 10 teams have surpassed them in seeding and the national rankings, they just knocked off No.1-seed Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament.

Tennessee — The Lady Vols may not be a top seed this season, but the foundation and principles of the teams that won so many championships for the school are still at the heart of the program.

Iowa State — The Cyclones also made the Sweet 16 a year ago and are coming off a win in the Big 12 Tournament championship game. If it can find a way to carry its late-season push, Iowa State can make a run.

Creighton — The Bluejays made a run to the Elite Eight last season as a 10-seed. They returned several players from that team this year, and experience can make a massive difference in March.

South Dakota State — The Jackrabbits have made previous runs in the NCAA Tournament and have one of the best offenses in the country. Teams with good offenses tend to make things difficult for the higher seeds because it only takes one excellent-shooting day to pull off the upset.

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