Notre Dame women earn #1 seed for NCAA Tournament

Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma gestures to his team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against South Florida in the American Athletic Conference tournament finals in Uncasville Conn. U

Joining the Huskies as top seeds Monday were Notre Dame, Louisville and Mississippi State.

This spring marks the first time the team has earned a No. 1 seed, and with both SC and UConn on the opposite side of the bracket in the same region, the Bulldogs wouldn't face either of their toughest opponents until the championship, should they make it. Last season, UConn was the overwhelming favorite but lost to Mississippi State in the Final Four.

One interesting part of the bracket is that UConn and last year's title victor, South Carolina, landed in the same regional and could face each other in a regional final in Albany, N.Y.

Despite handing Mississippi State its first defeat in the SEC tournament final a week ago, the defending champion appears to be set for a No. 2 seed on Selection Monday. Baylor was relegated to a No. 2 despite winning 31 of 32 games.

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Mississippi State is a No. 1 seed for the first time in school history.

Mississippi State has been one of the top stories in the sport this season, as it won its first 32 games before falling to SC in the SEC tournament final. With most of their players back from last season's runner-up finish - including Morgan Williams, who hit the game-winner in overtime to knock off UConn - the Bulldogs hope to make another deep NCAA run. The Lobos (23-10) finished sixth in the Mountain West.

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. Purdue and West Virginia are the top seeds. They received all 32 votes from the national media panel Monday. This might be one of coach Muffet McGraw's finest accomplishments as Notre Dame lost four pivotal players to injury, but only three games on the season.

Terry to UTEP: Texas-El Paso hired Rodney Terry as its men's head coach. The Southeastern Conference has seven teams in the tournament, while the Pac-12 and the Big Ten have six. Because the one has to play the two. OR is the 2-seed in Notre Dame's region, Ohio St is the 3-seed, Texas A&M the 4-seed and DePaul the 5-seed. Xavier (28-5) was third and Kansas (27-7) jumped five spots to fourth. The Huskies (32-0) enter the NCAA Tournament as the lone unbeaten team and went wire-to-wire as the unanimous top team.

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