INDIANAPOLIS — Attempting to capture a record fourth straight national championship, the undefeated UConn Huskies were named the top seed of the 64-team field for the 2016 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.
The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee awarded No. 1 seeds to UConn (32-0), South Carolina (31-1), Notre Dame (31-1) and Baylor (33-1). Each school comes into the tournament having won their respective conference regular season and tournament championships.
Already the most decorated women’s basketball program in history, UConn is seeking an 11th overall national championship and is attempting to become the first women’s basketball team to win four consecutive titles. The Huskies come into the championship having won 69 straight games, the third longest streak in team and NCAA Division I women’s basketball history. A No. 1 seed for the third consecutive year, South Carolina is seeking its first national championship. Notre Dame, which has played in the last five Women’s Final Fours, is playing for its second national title. Big 12 Conference regular season and tournament champion, Baylor is gunning for a third overall national championship.
Tennessee continues its appearance streak, participating in all 35 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championships since the inaugural NCAA championship in 1982. On the other end of the spectrum, Buffalo, Central Arkansas, Duquesne, Jacksonville and Iona are all making their first NCAA Tournament appearance.
Thirty-two conferences were granted automatic bids for the championship and the remaining 32 teams were selected at-large.
First- and second-round games will be played at 16 home sites Friday, March 18 through Monday, March 21, with the 16 second-round winners moving on to the four regional sites. The Lexington Regional (Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky) and the Sioux Falls Regional (Denny Sanford Premier Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota) will be played on Friday, March 25 and Sunday, March 27, while the Bridgeport Regional (Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, Connecticut) and the Dallas Regional (American Airlines Center, Dallas) will be held Saturday, March 26 and Monday, March 28. The four regional winners will advance to the 2016 NCAA Women’s Final Four, April 3 and 5 in Indianapolis (Bankers Life Fieldhouse).
In the history of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, 14 schools have captured the national title. UConn leads the way with 10 national championships, followed by Tennessee with eight. UConn is the defending national champion after claiming the 2015 title in Tampa Bay, Florida with a 63-53 win over Notre Dame in the title game.