Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Women's NCAA Tournament field set

Women's NCAA Tournament field set

Despite playing the majority of the season with just seven scholarship athletes after injuries to four players, the Notre Dame women's basketball team earned a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the 8th time in school history.

But the beauty of the NCAA Tournament is that once the games begin, the controversy is forgotten.

The same goes for Thomas, Alix and the No. 3 seed Seminoles, who would cross paths with Wilson's Gamecocks in the Sweet 16.

McGraw's squad advanced to the Final Four five straight seasons from 2011-15, but lost in the Lexington Regional each of the last two seasons to Stanford, in the Sweet 16 in 2016 and the Elite Eight a year ago.

This year's Final Four is in Columbus, Ohio, and the semifinals are March 30.

The Four #1 seeds are UConn (Albany Region), Louisville (Lexington Region), Mississippi State (Kanas City Region) and Notre Dame (Spokane Region).

Before the games tip off on Friday, here is a region-by-region look at the top senior prospects to watch over the next three weeks before the 2018 national champion is crowned. "We saw that previous year". UConn, which has been a No. 1 seed every year since 2007, opens against 16th-seeded St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday morning.

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He was traded to Minnesota in September 2016 and started 15 games that season after Teddy Bridgewater's knee injury. Bradford appears to be healthy, at least as healthy as someone who has gotten hurt as many time as he has, can.

There were five teams vying for the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament on Monday, and when the music stopped, Baylor was left without a chair. Two of those losses came to the Cardinals.

The Irish are in the Spokane Regional and open against Cal State Northridge on Friday.

The Ducks potentially could stay out west and play in Spokane, where coach Kelly Graves spent many years as Gonzaga's coach.

Louisville won the ACC for the first time this season. That streak was snapped when they were defeated by SC, but that doesn't make what Mississippi State's women have done this year any less remarkable-and the seed reflects that. The Texas native went 126-108 in seven seasons as the head coach at Fresno State, taking the Bulldogs to the postseason three times and winning the Mountain West Conference tournament in 2016, when Terry led the team to 25 wins. With most of their players back from last season's runner-up finish - including Morgan William, who hit the game-winner in overtime to knock off UConn - the Bulldogs hope to make another deep NCAA run.

Buffalo, Creighton, Minnesota and Oklahoma were the final teams to get bids to the tournament. Purdue and West Virginia are the top seeds.

Their only defeat came at the hands of SC in the SEC tournament final, a result that the Gamecocks used as a statement of intent.

Oklahoma got in with a 16-14 record - the fewest wins for an at-large team since 2005 - a day after the Oklahoma men got an at-large berth with an 18-13 record and losses in 11 of their final 15 games.

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