After Selection Sunday revealed the men’s bracket, we turn our attention to Selection Monday where the UConn women’s basketball learned their path to a fifth consecutive national championship.
The Huskies are the No. 1 overall seed for the fourth-straight year and will play the 16-seed Albany Great Danes, champions of the America East. They will play this Saturday at Gampel Pavilion at 11 am.
Albany is not very thrilled with the matchup.
According to the Troy Record’s Sam Blum: “Literal shock in the room as Albany gets UConn in the first round.” However, Robert Morris, the NEC Champions and the 16-seed that UConn disposed of last season, was ecstatic to not face the Huskies.
Barring the upset of the century, UConn will move on to the second round and face the winner of the #8 vs #9 game between Syracuse and Iowa State, respectively. If the Orange win, it would be a rematch of last season’s national title game. Meanwhile, the Cyclones are the only team to ever defeat the Huskies in the Sweet 16 back in 1999.
Looking at the rest of the Bridgeport Region, Maryland was a surprise 3-seed. The Terrapins gave UConn one of their toughest games of the season and finished the regular season at No. 3 in the AP Poll. The 2-seed was given to the Duke Blue Devils, who come in at No. 9 in the AP Poll and finished with three more losses than Maryland.
In the American Conference, both Temple and USF made the field. The Owls earned a 7-seed but unfortunately were placed in UConn’s region. They will play 10-seed Oregon at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Arena.
The Bulls received an 11 seed, which seems low as the team spent time in the Top 25 throughout the season. They will go up against the 6-seed Missouri Tigers in Tallahassee, FL.
Without question, UConn is the favorite to win it all in Dallas. Despite losing their trio of All-Americans in Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson, and Morgan Tuck, the Huskies carried on without missing a beat this season.
While Maryland is the top threat to take down the reigning champs, they aren’t the only one. The Oklahoma City Region is stacked with Baylor as the 1-seed, Mississippi State as the 2-seed and the Kelsey Plum-led Washington Huskies coming in at a 3-seed. Whoever comes out of that region will be battle-tested and ready for a fight in the Final Four if UConn makes it there.
You can view the entire bracket here.
Gabby Williams & Katie Lou Samuelson: