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Baylor University is the top-seeded team in the National Collegiate Athletic Association women’s basketball tournament after a 34-0 regular season.
The Bears, who are led by national player of the year candidate Brittney Griner, are the 12th team to take a perfect record into the 64-school women’s tournament, where the University of Connecticut, Stanford University and the University of Notre Dame also received No. 1 regional seeds.
“This is what we’ve talked about all year -- these six basketball games,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said in a video on the school’s website. “Everybody’s healthy today and we’re heading in with a focus like none other that I’ve seen in a while. It’s reflected in how we’re playing just now.”
The tournament begins March 17 at on-campus sites, with the women’s Final Four set for April 1 at the Pepsi Center in Denver. The national championship game is two days later.
Baylor, Connecticut and Stanford are No. 1 seeds for the second straight year, while Notre Dame reached last year’s title game as a No. 2 seed before losing to Texas A&M.
Baylor, the Big 12 conference champion, opens tournament play March 18 against the University of California-Santa Barbara (17-15) in Bowling Green, Ohio.
The Lady Bears are the top seed in the Des Moines, Iowa, regional, where the University of Tennessee is seeded second, followed by the University of Delaware and Georgia Tech.
If Baylor reaches the Final Four, it could face Stanford (31-1) in the national semifinals. The Cardinal, the top seed in the Fresno, California, regional, have a 28-game winning streak and made the Final Four the past four years.
Stanford plays 16th-seeded Hampton University (26-4) in its first-round game on March 17 in Norfolk, Virginia. Duke University is the No. 2 seed in the regional, followed by No. 3 St. John’s University and No. 4 Purdue University (28155MF).
Connecticut (29-4) has also made four straight Final Four appearances and is the No. 1 seed in the Kingston, Rhode Island, regional. The Huskies face Prairie View (17-15) in their tournament opener on March 17 in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
The University of Kentucky, University of Miami and Penn State are the other top teams in the Kingston regional.
Notre Dame (30-3) heads the Raleigh, North Carolina, regional, the school’s first No. 1 seed since 2001, when the Irish won their lone national title. Notre Dame opens its tournament run on March 18 at home against Liberty University (24-8).
The University of Maryland is the No. 2 team behind Notre Dame in the regional, while defending champion Texas A&M is the third seed and the University of Georgia is fourth.
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