Bracket announced for 2012 tourney
INDIANAPOLIS -- The 64-team field of competitors for the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship was announced Monday by the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee.
Earning No. 1 seeds are Baylor (34-0); Notre Dame (30-3); Connecticut (29-4) and Stanford (31-1). Baylor and Stanford each won their respective conference regular season and tournament titles in the Big 12 and Pacific-12 Conferences, respectively, while Notre Dame won the regular season championship and Connecticut won the conference tournament championship in the Big East Conference.
Thirty-one conferences were granted automatic bids for the 2012 championship and the remaining 33 teams were selected at-large.
First- and second-round games will be played at 16 sites Saturday, March 17 through Tuesday, March 20. The 16 second-round winners move on to the four regional sites. The Des Moines Regional (Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines, Iowa) and the Fresno Regional (Save Mart
Center, Fresno, Calif.) will be played on Saturday, March 24 and Monday, March 26, while the Kingston Regional (The Ryan Center, Kingston, R.I.) and the Raleigh Regional (PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C.) will be held Sunday, March 25, and Tuesday, March 27. The four regional winners will advance to the 2012 NCAA Women’s Final Four, April 1 and 3, at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Tennessee continues its appearance streak, participating now in all 31 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championships. Second on the all-time appearance list is the University of Georgia, making its 29th overall appearance. The University at Albany (N.Y.), Florida Gulf
Coast University and St. Bonaventure University are making the tournament for the first time this year.
In the history of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, 14 schools have captured the national title. Tennessee leads the way with eight championships followed by Connecticut with seven. Texas A&M is the defending national champion after claiming the 2011 title in Indianapolis, with a 76-70 win against Notre Dame in the title game. The 2012 top seeds Notre Dame, Connecticut and Stanford were part of the 2011 Women’s Final Four field along with Texas A&M.