Here's what could happen in the NCAA women's tournament
It seems almost every season that it's a matter of figuring out who UConn will face for the national championship. Last year it was pretty clearly going to be a matchup of undefeated teams with UConn facing Notre Dame.
This season has a good shot of seeing a repeat of that title game - the first rematch in the championship since the Huskies and Lady Vols faced off in back-to-back years in 2003 and 2004.
There's a bunch of other games in the women's basketball tournament that may not be so obvious. Here's a look at what could happen over the next three weeks:
The bracket breakdown (winners in all caps):
(1) UCONN vs. (16) St. Francis, Brooklyn - For the second straight year, UConn will face a team in the tournament with a losing record. Don't expect the Terriers to have any better luck than Prairie View A&M did last year.
(8) RUTGERS vs. (9) Seton Hall - Campuses only 27 miles apart, the rivals played an overtime thriller in the WNIT quarterfinals last March. Rutgers won in overtime. This should be another great game and the Pirates have the addition this season of transfer Daisha Simmons, who arrived at Seton Hall after spending time at Alabama. She helped them get back to the NCAAs for first time since 1995.
(12) WESTERN KENTUCKY vs (5) Texas - The Longhorns had a great start to the season, winning their first 13 games and have withstood a lot of injuries, including a season-ending one to leading scorer and rebounder Nneka Enemkpali. While they've found a way to win lately, Lady Toppers star Chastity Gooch will be too much for Texas to handle.
(4) CALIFORNIA vs. (13) Wichita State - Alex Harden helped the Shockers win a third straight Missouri Valley title. The problem is she doesn't have enough help to overcome Cal's duo of Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray on their homecourt.
(6) SOUTH FLORIDA vs. (11) LSU - The Bulls lucked into hosting the first two rounds with No. 3 Louisville unable to play at home because of the NCAA men's tournament. Playing at home will be the difference for South Florida against a very good LSU squad, which has really been solid since the return of Danielle Ballard from a suspension. The Lady Tigers have won 16 straight NCAA first round games. That streak will come to an end.
(3) LOUISVILLE vs. (14) BYU - Jeff Walz has made a habit of getting the most out of his talent. The Cardinals have a lot of young talent, led by Mariya Moore, and that will be more than enough for the Cardinals to get past the Cougars.
(7) DAYTON vs. (10) Iowa State - The Flyers have three active 1,000-point scorers in Andrea Hoover, Ally Malott and Amber Deane and are making their sixth-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The Cyclones have made nine straight NCAA Tournaments, but will see this one end early.
(2) KENTUCKY vs. (15) Tennessee State - Few teams have been playing better than the Lady Tigers, who have won a program record 10 straight games. They knocked off Tennessee-Martin to win their first title in 20 years. Beating the Wildcats, who have made the Elite Eight in three of the past five years will be too much to ask for Joe Inman's squad. The coach became the ninth to lead three different teams to the NCAAs.
UCONN vs. Rutgers - These two teams have quite the history from their time together in the Big East. C. Vivian Stringer's teams always had a hard time beating Geno Auriemma's squad. This will be no different.
CALIFORNIA vs. Western Kentucky - There's no way that Reshanda Gray and Brittany Boyd will lose their final game at home.
SOUTH FLORIDA vs. Louisville - Courtney Williams is the best player on the court and Alisha Jenkins will provide the support needed to pull off the victory.
KENTUCKY vs. Dayton - Makayla Epps has really raised her game since Janee Thompson's season ended with a broken leg. Guards tend to win in the NCAA Tournament and the Wildcats still have a lot of talented ones.
UCONN vs. California - The Golden Bears' trip across the country to play in Albany will be a short stay. The Huskies are too fast and too talented for the Pac-12 tournament runner-ups.
KENTUCKY vs. South Florida - The Bulls made a great run at home to get this far, they just don't have enough talent to beat the Wildcats.
UCONN vs. Kentucky - The Huskies have ended the Wildcats season in two of the past three years. Make it three out of four.
(1) MARYLAND vs. (16) New Mexico State - The Aggies are in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1988 and are led by WAC player of the year Brianna Freeman. The Terrapins will make it a short stay.
(8) PRINCETON vs. (9) Green Bay - This could be the game of the first round with two of the top mid-majors squaring off. Princeton hasn't lost this year and they should be able to squeak out another win, which would be only the second in Ivy League history.
(5) MISSISSIPPI STATE vs. (12) Tulane - Vic Schaefer's team is coming off matching its best SEC finish in school history with a third-place showing. The Bulldogs set school records for overall wins (26) and league victories (11). Add one more win after knocking out one of the last teams into the field of 64.
(4) DUKE vs. (13) Albany, N.Y. - The Great Danes are making their fourth straight trip to the NCAAs and still are looking for their first win. They will be hard pressed to get it against the Blue Devils.
(6) GEORGE WASHINGTON vs. (11) Gonzaga - Jonathan Tsipis has the Colonials back in the NCAAs for the first time since 2008. With Atlantic-10 player of the year Jonquel Jones leading the way George Washington will get into the second round, ending a great season for the Zags.
(3) OREGON STATE vs. (14) South Dakota State - This has been a breakthrough season for the Beavers, and winning a few rounds in the NCAAs will make it even better.
(7) CHATTANOOGA vs. (10) Pittsburgh - The Panthers were picked to finish last in the ACC and ended up in seventh. Coach Suzie McConnell-Serio starts three freshmen, a former four-year Pitt volleyball player and first-team All-ACC selection Brianna Kiesel. The future is bright for Pitt, the present will end after one round.
(2) TENNESSEE vs. (15) Boise State - The Lady Vols have been in the NCAAs all 34 years, only losing once in the first round, in 2009. That won't happen at home to the Broncos, who are led by fifth-year senior Camille Redmon, who transferred from Purdue.
MARYLAND vs. Princeton - Princeton's historic undefeated season will finish on the home court of the Terrapins. It won't be an easy win for Brenda Frese's group.
DUKE vs. Mississippi State - Two of the best defensive-minded coaches go at it in what should be a low-scoring affair. Duke's Elizabeth Williams will provide the difference to get the Blue Devils to the Sweet 16.
OREGON STATE vs. George Washington - It's asking a lot for the Colonials to head across country and beat the Beavers on their home court. Ruth Hamblin will be the difference for Oregon State
TENNESSEE vs. Chattanooga - Jim Foster accomplished the rare feat of beating both Tennessee and Stanford this season. Both those victories came at home. It's a lot tougher to win on the Rocky Top.
MARYLAND vs. Duke - Well there's no love lost between these former ACC rivals, who know each other well. Guards win in the NCAAs and the Terrapins backcourt of Lexie Brown and Laurin Mincy are too much for the depleted Blue Devils.
OREGON STATE vs Tennessee - These two teams met on Dec. 28 in Knoxville and the Lady Vols came away with an 11-point win, handing the Beavers their first loss of the year. Isabelle Harrison had 20 points and 12 rebounds in that victory. She's out for the season with a torn ACL, and the Beavers will get the win.
MARYLAND vs. Oregon State - The Terrapins will have won a school record 28 straight games to get here and will pull out a 29th in a row. Playing on this big a stage for the first time will be too much for the Beavers.
OKLAHOMA CITY REGIONAL
(1) NOTRE DAME vs. (16) Montana - Grizzlies coach Robin Selvig might be the coach with the most wins (844) that the fewest people have heard of. His team has lost its last 11 NCAA Tournament games, with the last win coming in 1995. That streak will continue.
(9) DEPAUL vs. (8) Minnesota - This will be an entertaining game to watch with tempo dictating the winner. DePaul loves to get up and down the court and the Gophers look to slow it down and get the ball to center Amanda Zahui B. The Blue Demons will speed this up and advance to the next round.
(12) QUINNIPIAC vs. (5) Oklahoma - Sherri Coale's team lost 104-100 in the opening round last year to DePaul. It won't be as high scoring this time, but the Bobcats have a senior-laden team looking to win their first NCAA Tournament game.
(4) STANFORD vs. (13) Cal State Northridge - The Matadors enter the NCAA Tournament having won nine-straight games but will leave it with another NCAA loss.
(11) MIAMI vs. (6) Washington - No team was colder entering the NCAAs then the Hurricanes, who lost five of their last six games. Then again playing in the ACC can do that to a team. They'll figure out a way to contain Kelsey Plum, seventh in the nation in scoring at 22.8 points.
(3) IOWA vs. (14) American - This is the Eagles first trip to the NCAAs and they have to face a hostile crowd in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes senior trio of Bethany Doolittle, Melissa Dixon and Samantha Logic will be too much.
(7) NORTHWESTERN vs. (10) Arkansas - Jimmy Dykes has had a great first year as a coach getting the Razorbacks ranked and into the NCAAs. They've lost three games at the buzzer this season and it might be a fourth against the Wildcats.
(2) BAYLOR vs. (15) Northwestern State - Well at least Kim Mulkey will be able to coach the NCAA opener this season after missing last year because of a suspension. The Lady Bears have way too much offense for the Lady Demons to handle.
NOTRE DAME vs. DePaul - A rematch of one of the most exciting games of the regular season, won by the Irish in overtime. That came down to free throw shooting. This one won't as the Irish roll to the Sweet 16 behind freshman Brianna Turner, who missed the first meeting.
STANFORD vs. Quinnipiac - Bobcats coach Tricia Fabbri loves to sub five players in at a time. That unique style won't make a difference on the Cardinal's homecourt.
IOWA vs. Miami - Samantha Logic is one of the best point guards in the game and she'll be impossible for the Hurricanes to stop.
BAYLOR vs. Northwestern - Nia Coffey has starred for the Wildcats all season. Unfortunately for Joe McKeown and his team the Lady Bears have their own pair of stars that begin with the letter N in Nina Davis and Niya Johnson. Baylor advances out of Waco.
NOTRE DAME vs. Stanford - The Cardinal will give Muffet McGraw's team all they can handle, but in the end Irish eyes will be smiling.
BAYLOR vs. Iowa - This should be some matchup at the point guard position with Niya Johnson facing Samantha Logic. The difference will be the supporting cast of Baylor.
NOTRE DAME vs. Baylor - The two teams met in South Bend with a Final Four trip at stake last year. Notre Dame came away with the win. The Irish still have Jewell Loyd while the Lady Bears don't have Odyssey Sims anymore. Loyd will be too much for Baylor to handle.
(1) SOUTH CAROLINA vs. (16) Savannah State - The two teams met earlier in the season and the Gamecocks won by 62 points. Don't expect a very different score this time, ending the best season for the Lady Tigers since they joined Division I in 2002-03.
(8) SYRACUSE vs. (9) Nebraska - It's been seven weeks since the Cornhuskers lost point guard Rachel Theriot to an ankle injury in practice. They've recovered nicely, but will be hard pressed to beat the Orange.
(5) OHIO STATE vs. (12) James Madison - The Buckeyes season was decimated by injuries including three ACL tears and another knee injury. Down to only eight players, they've found ways to win. Freshman Kelsey Mitchell will be too much for the Dukes and star Precious Hall.
(4) NORTH CAROLINA vs. (13) Liberty - The Tar Heels are glad to have coach Sylvia Hatchell on the bench for the NCAAs this year after she missed all last year while battling cancer. They should roll past the Flames.
(11) ARKANSAS LITTLE ROCK vs. (6) Texas A&M - The Aggies haven't looked the same since starting point guard Jordan Jones tore her ACL on Feb. 26. The Trojans don't let up many points and this defensive matchup will go their way in an upset.
(3) ARIZONA STATE vs. (14) Ohio - The Sun Devils had to move a gymnastics tournament to be able to host the first two rounds. Don't expect them to let the school down for allowing them to host ending the Bobcats first trip to the NCAAs in 20 years.
(7) FLORIDA GULF COAST vs. (10) Oklahoma State - The Eagles have won 25 straight games and became the first Atlantic Sun team to hit the 30-win mark. Make it 26 after a victory over the Cowgirls.
(2) FLORIDA STATE vs. (15) Alabama State - Sue Semrau has blended together a mix of transfers to have the Seminoles finish second in the ACC. Her team will keep the SWAC winless in the history of the NCAA Tournament.
SOUTH CAROLINA vs. Syracuse - These two put on a great game over Thanksgiving in the Junkanoo Jam with the Orange losing by four points. The Gamecocks have gotten a lot better since that game and won't go down on their home court.
NORTH CAROLINA vs. Ohio State - Kelsey Mitchell can light up a scoreboard, but the Buckeyes will be worn down by the athletic Tar Heels.
ARIZONA STATE vs. Arkansas Little Rock - Don't look for too many points in this game. The Sun Devils though have a little more offense and the support of the home crowd to get by the Trojans.
FLORIDA STATE vs. Florida Gulf Coast - The Eagles will put a scare into their northern Florida neighbors but just don't have enough to pull off the upset.
SOUTH CAROLINA vs. North Carolina - The Tar Heels ended the Gamecocks season last year in the Sweet 16. They don't have Diamond Deshields anymore, and South Carolina has been waiting all year for the rematch.
FLORIDA STATE vs. Arizona State - The Seminoles know the building having played in the ACC tournament there. Transfer Leticia Romero will be the difference in this one for Florida State.
SOUTH CAROLINA vs. Florida State - A'ja Wilson stayed home in South Carolina to get the Gamecocks into the national conversation. Now the talented freshman will lead the Gamecocks to the Final Four.
UCONN vs. Maryland - Breanna Stewart has always raised her game in the NCAA Tournament. The Terrapins have no answer for the star junior.
NOTRE DAME vs. South Carolina - Experience will be the difference here as this will be the Irish's fifth straight Final Four.
UCONN vs. Notre Dame - The Huskies already beat the Irish by 18 points in South Bend this season. Brianna Turner didn't play. She won't make enough of a difference to stop the UConn three-peat and a 10th national championship for Geno Auriemma.