UConn’s journey to a third straight national championship will begin at home.
The Huskies are seeded first overall in the tournament and tops in the Albany Region, in search of a 10th overall title which would tie Geno Auriemma with UCLA men’s coach John Wooden for most all-time. UConn will open up Saturday against St. Francis, Brooklyn, which is making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Terriers (15-17) are the 10th team to enter the NCAAs with a losing record.
Joining the Huskies as top seeds are South Carolina and Notre Dame.
Notre Dame and UConn, former Big East rivals, met in the national championship game last season as undefeated teams with the Huskies coming away with the victory. The pair played earlier this season in South Bend, Indiana, and the Huskies won by 18 points. UConn also beat South Carolina on Feb. 9 by 25.
The Irish are the top seed in the Oklahoma City Region and have played in the past four Final Fours, but have come up short of a title each time. Baylor, Iowa and Stanford are the top seeds in the region that will try and derail the Irish.
The Gamecocks will face Savannah State in the first round, a team they beat by 62 points earlier this year. Florida State, Arizona State and North Carolina will try and stop South Carolina.
The Huskies have been rolling over opponents, winning by an average of 42 points this season. They will play at Storrs, Connecticut, in the first two rounds, opening against St. Francis, Brooklyn. The 10th team to enter the NCAA Tournament with a losing record.
The 64-team tournament begins Friday and the national championship game will be on Tuesday April 7 in Tampa. This season the women’s tournament moved its games up one day in the first two rounds and the regionals. The Final Four is still being played on Friday and Sunday.
The NCAA also decided to go back to rewarding the top 16 seeds with home games in the opening two rounds for the first time since 2003. By awarding the sites on merit the Gamecocks were allowed to host the first two rounds desipte the state flying the Confederate flag on Statehouse grounds. The NCAA banned South Carolina and other schools in the state from hosting championships held at predetermined sites because of the state’s decision to fly the Confederate flag. Mississippi schools face the same NCAA rules.
Third-seeded Louisville was the only one of the 16 teams not hosting as the school’s home arena was being used for the men’s NCAA Tournament. The Cardinals will head to South Florida to face BYU in the opener.
Tennessee will be making its 34th straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, getting into the field ever year. Three teams will be making their first trip — American, St. Francis, Brooklyn and Savannah State.
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Source: Huff Post