Women's Basketball

Breaking down the No. 1 seeds and Texas teams in Women’s NCAA Tournament

Connecticut junior Breanna Stewart returns to the NCAA Tournament as the two-time Final Four Most Outstanding Performer.
Connecticut junior Breanna Stewart returns to the NCAA Tournament as the two-time Final Four Most Outstanding Performer. AP

The No. 1s

Connecticut (Albany Region)

Record: 32-1

First game: vs. St. Francis (Brooklyn), 8 p.m. Saturday, Storrs, Conn.

Top Player: F Breanna Stewart (6-foot-4, junior). Returns as a two-time Final Four Most Outstanding Performer and leads the Huskies in scoring (17.4 ppg) and rebounding (7.3 rpg).

Notable: UConn is making its 27th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, the third-longest active streak. The Huskies are also riding a seven-tournament streak of Final Four appearances, including national championships in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014. They lead the nation in scoring offense (89.7 ppg) and defense (47.7 ppg).

Notre Dame (Oklahoma City Region)

Record: 31-2

First game: vs. Montana, 6:30 p.m. Friday, Notre Dame, Ind.

Top Player: G Jewell Loyd (5-10, junior). Leads the team in scoring (20.5 ppg) and was named espnW’s National Player of the Year on Friday.

Notable: The Fighting Irish are making their 20th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, which ranks eighth all-time and is the sixth-longest active streak. Notre Dame has the nation’s fourth-best scoring offense at 81.2 points per game. The Irish also enter the tournament ranked No. 1 in RPI.

South Carolina (Greensboro Region)

Record: 30-2

First game: vs. Savannah State, 4 p.m. Friday, Columbia, S.C.

Top player: G Tiffany Mitchell (5-9, junior). On the ballot for the women’s John R. Wooden Award. Back-to-back SEC player of the year, averaging 14.4 points per game this season.

Notable: South Carolina enters its 12th NCAA Tournament with the No. 3 RPI and the nation’s third-best scoring margin at 23 points per game.

Maryland (Spokane Region)

Record: 30-2

First game: vs. New Mexico State, 12:30 p.m. Saturday, College Park, Md.

Top player: G Lexie Brown (5-9, sophomore). Leads team in scoring (13.7 ppg) and added 3.1 rebounds per game.

Notable: The Terrapins are making their 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance and have their third No. 1 seed. They enter the tournament with the nation’s sixth-best scoring offense (80.2 ppg).

Texas Power 5

Baylor (30-3)

Seed: 2, Oklahoma City Region

First game: vs. Northwestern (La.) State, 1:30 p.m. Friday, Waco

Notable: Despite having a young roster, Baylor is making its 14th tournament appearance with the nation’s seventh-best scoring offense (80.1 ppg). The Bears average 20.8 assists per game, second in the nation.

Texas (22-10)

Seed: 5, Albany Region

First game: vs. Western Kentucky, 4 p.m. Friday, Berkeley, Calif.

Notable: Texas is making its 28th NCAA Tournament appearance, fourth-best in NCAA history. The Longhorns also sit 16th all-time in tournament wins with 33.

Texas A&M (23-9)

Seed: 6, Greensboro Region

First game: vs. Arkansas-Little Rock, 3 p.m. Saturday, Tempe, Ariz.

Notable: A&M leads the nation in 3-point field-goal defense, with opponents shooting just 23.1 percent. This is the 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance for the Aggies.

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