Why are your coworkers yelling about brackets? Nicely, for individuals who wish to take part on the “insanity,” this is your full-court clarification on getting in on the motion.
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Baylor, Notre Dame, Mississippi State and Louisville earned No. 1 seeds within the NCAA ladies’s basketball match, leaving nationwide energy Connecticut off the match’s high line after ending the common season ranked No. 2 within the Coaches Ballot.

Baylor (31-1), winners of 23 video games in a row, will headline the Greensboro Area and face off within the first spherical in opposition to No. 16 Abilene Christian, which is making its NCAA match debut. Notre Dame (30-Three) leads the Chicago Area forward of No. 2 seed Stanford (28-Four), which prolonged its match streak to 32 years.

Mississippi State (30-2), the nationwide runner-up in every of the previous two years, is within the Portland Area reverse No. 2 Oregon (29-Four), the Pac-12 regular-season champions.

In a shock, the highest 4 seeds don’t embrace UConn (31-2), which can enter the match as No. 2 seed within the Albany Area, one slot beneath Louisville (29-Three). The Albany Area additionally consists of No. 11 seed Tennessee, which maintained its streak of reaching each NCAA match for the reason that occasion started in 1982.

WOMEN’S BRACKET: See the full field of 64 teams


The Huskies have reached the match’s Candy 16 each season since 1994 and the Closing 4 in every season since 2008. This system had been a No. 1 seed in every match since 2007. UConn received 4 championships in a row from 2013-16 and has received 11 nationwide titles total beneath longtime coach Geno Auriemma. Each of the staff’s losses this season got here in opposition to No. 1 seeds — to Baylor and Louisville, every time on the highway.

“The issues that we checked out with Louisville that have been very robust have been their RPI and energy of schedule,” stated Rhonda Lundin Bennett, chair of the NCAA Division I Ladies’s Basketball Committee. “They’d loads of very important wins.”

Louisville’s was third within the remaining RPI rankings of the common season, behind Notre Dame and Baylor, whereas UConn was ranked sixth.

“We felt that it got here down energy of schedule, energy of convention, in addition to how they have been enjoying down the stretch,” Bennett stated in an interview with ESPN.

Nonetheless, “UConn was positively somebody that we have been contemplating for that No. 1 line.”

It wasn’t the one controversial second concerned within the bracket’s launch: Earlier on Monday, ESPN inadvertently posted the full bracket on ESPNU, forcing the community to maneuver its choice present up two hours, from 7 p.m. to five p.m. ET.

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“We deeply remorse the error and prolong our apology to the NCAA and the ladies’s basketball neighborhood,” the community stated in a press release. “We’ll conduct an intensive assessment of our course of to make sure it doesn’t occur sooner or later.”


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