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Jordan Guskey | NCAA.com | March 13, 2019

How much did winning a conference tournament help women's basketball teams in the 2018 NCAA tournament?

The best moments from Notre Dame's 2nd national title

Teams around the country are gaining confidence as they win and advance through their women's basketball conference tournaments, some even clinching automatic bids to the 2019 NCAA tournament. 

But the question fans around the country will ask is, will that momentum carry them far in the NCAA tournament? Will it sustain success and push a team past the opening weekend and toward a regional final?

RELATED: See who's already won their conference tournament in 2019 | Print the 2019 bracket

Let's take a look at last year's class of conference tournament champions and see how they performed ...

CONFERENCE CHAMPION 2018 NCAA  TOURNAMENT SEED RESULT


America East
Maine

15

First Round


American Athletic
UConn

1

Final Four


Atlantic 10
George Washington 14 First Round


Atlantic Coast
Louisville

1

Final Four


ASUN
Florida Gulf Coast

12

Second Round


Big 12
Baylor

2

Regional Semifinals



Big East

DePaul

5

Second Round


Big Sky
Northern Colorado

10

First Round


Big South
Liberty 14 First Round


Big Ten
Ohio State

3

Second Round


Big West
Cal State Northridge

16

First Round


Colonial Athletic
Elon

13

First Round


Conference USA
Western Kentucky

11

First Round


Horizon League
Green Bay

7

First Round


Ivy League
Princeton 12

First Round



Metro Atlantic Athletic
Quinnipiac

9

Second Round


Mid-American
Central Michigan

11

Regional Semifinals


Mid-Eastern Athletic
North Carolina A&T

15

First Round


Missouri Valley
Drake

13

First Round


Mountain West
Boise State

16

First Round


Northeast
St. Francis (PA)

16

First Round


Ohio Valley
Belmont

12

First Round


Pac-12
Oregon

2

Regional Finals


Patriot League
American 14 First Round


Southeastern
South Carolina

2

Regional Finals


Southern
Mercer

13

First Round


Southland
Nicholls

16

First Round


Southwestern Athletic
Grambling

15

First Round


Summit League
South Dakota State

8

First Round


Sun Belt
Ark. Little Rock

14

First Round


West Coast
Gonzaga

13

First Round



Western Athletic
Seattle

15

First Round

Sixteen of the past 25 national champions also won their conference tournaments, but that 16th champ didn't cut down the nets last year.

In fact, 22 of the 32 teams that earned automatic bids last season failed to even win a single game in the NCAA tournament. Another four only made it one round further. That's 81.25 percent of the teams that won their conference tournament gone in the first weekend. 

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Two teams, Central Michigan (11-seed) and Baylor (2-seed), did reach their region's semifinals. Another two, Oregon (2-seed) and South Carolina (2-seed), made it to the regional finals. And two more, UConn (1-seed) and Louisville (1-seed), reached the Final Four. But that's as far as any conference champion went. And the only conference champions who made it out of the first weekend, outside of CMU, were Top-2 seeds. 

Notre Dame, last year's national champ, was ACC tournament runner-up after losing to Louisville in the conference title game.

Twenty-two of 32 conference tournament champions from 2018 were handed double-digit seeds. It's a tall order to pull off that kind of upset. So when you're filling out your bracket after the next field of 64 is announced on Monday, pay more attention to a team's body of work than how it performed in its conference tournament. Pay more attention to a team's seed and the road forward it has to navigate. 

No team seeded fourth or lower has ever won an NCAA tournament in women's basketball.

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