INDIANAPOLIS— Attempting to capture a record fifth straight national championship, the undefeated UConn Huskies were named the top seed of the 64-team field for the 2017 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.
The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee awarded No. 1 seeds to UConn (32-0), Notre Dame (30-3), South Carolina (27-4) and Baylor (30-3). UConn, Notre Dame and South Carolina come 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 a 12th overall national championship and is attempting to become the first women’s basketball team to win five consecutive titles. The Huskies enter the championship having won 107 straight games, the longest streak in team and NCAA Division I women’s or men’s basketball history. A No. 1 seed for the fourth consecutive year, South Carolina is seeking its first national championship. Notre Dame, which has played in five of the last six Women’s Final Fours, is playing for its second national title. Big 12 Conference regular season champion, Baylor has its sights set on a third overall national championship.
Tennessee continues its appearance streak, participating in all 36 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championships since the inaugural NCAA championship in 1982. On the other end of the spectrum, Elon and Texas Southern are both 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 17 through Monday, March 20, with the 16 second-round winners moving on to the four regional sites. The Lexington Regional (Rupp Arena, Lexington, Kentucky) and the Oklahoma City Regional (Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) will be played on Friday, March 24 and Sunday, March 26, while the Bridgeport Regional (Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, Connecticut) and the Stockton Regional (Stockton Arena, Stockton, California) will be held Saturday, March 25 and Monday, March 27. The four regional winners will advance to the 2017 NCAA Women’s Final Four, March 31 and April 2 in Dallas (American Airlines Center).
In the 35-year history of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, 14 schools have captured the national title. UConn leads the way with 11 national championships, followed by Tennessee with eight. UConn is the four-time defending national champion after claiming the title in Indianapolis, Indiana with an 82-51 win over Syracuse in the 2016 title game.