No surprise: UConn No. 1 seed

March Madness 2018 Notre Dame favored by oddsmakers to win NIT

"Notre Dame did have the top strength of schedule in the country and they did have the best strength of schedule in the country and they had nine more top-50 wins than Baylor and those were the reason that the committee put Notre Dame on that one line and Baylor on that two line".

But this time felt different for Irish head coach Muffet McGraw. The other No. 2 seeds had six (Texas and South Carolina) and four (Oregon) losses, making Baylor's record stand out among its counterparts. "We saw that a year ago". "You come off a game where you played CT, you think you played OK and then you start losing more people".

The Irish are the #1 seed in the Spokane region and will open up NCAA Tournament play Friday at 5pm at Purcell Pavilion against 16th seeded Big West Conference champion, Cal St Northridge.

After losing four players to season-ending ACL injuries, the Irish played much of the 2017-18 season with only seven scholarship players. I love playing Friday at 5. The Gamecocks are the 2-seed.

Notre Dame finished the regular season with a 29-3 record with losses to UConn on December 3rd and twice to Louisville on January 11th and then in the ACC Tournament Championship game on March 4th. "That's awesome", McGraw said. Yeah, go ahead and play them and tell me they are a mid-major team. "We took as long as it took to get those teams into the bracket". While the Jackrabbits (26-6, 12-2 Summit) - who had three postseason wins of 15 points or more to earn a Summit League championship - are the higher seed, the former Big East foe Wildcats (22-8, 12-6 Big East) may be the more intriguing potential opponent.

"I am watching that game", Auriemma said.

Quinnipiac, (27-5) last year's Cinderella, is the No. 9 seed in the Albany Regional and will face No. 8 Miami on Saturday in a rematch of last year's second-round upset. This spring marks the first time the team has earned a No. 1 seed, and with both SC and UConn on the opposite side of the bracket in the same region, the Bulldogs wouldn't face either of their toughest opponents until the championship, should they make it. However, Irish junior forward Jessica Shepard, who has never played at the NCAA tournament in her two previous seasons at Nebraska, said there would be plenty of time for looking at the Sweet 16 if the Irish can make it past the opening rounds.

"We're really excited about the opportunity", Louisville Coach Jeff Walz said. "We're just really focused on the first game and taking care of business". Because the one has to play the two.

Albany is slated to host regional semifinals and finals the weekend of March 24-26, and if the seeds hold, UConn would meet SC for a spot in the Final Four.



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