Duke, Tennessee, Connecticut and North Carolina were selected Monday as the No. 1 seeds for the women’s NCAA tournament. The Blue Devils, who went 29-0 in the regular season and then lost to N.C. State in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament semifinals, will open up against No. 16 Holy Cross on Sunday in Raleigh. With a regional in Greensboro, Duke would stay in North Carolina until the Final Four in Cleveland. Duke, ranked atop the AP Poll for the final nine weeks, hopes for better results than the last time the Blue Devils finished No. 1 – the 2003-04 final poll. They lost to Minnesota in the regional finals that season. Others in the Greensboro regional include No. 8 Temple vs. No. 9 Nebraska, No. 4 Rutgers vs. No. 12 East Carolina, No. 5 Michigan State vs. No. 12 Delaware, No. 6 Louisville vs. No. 11 Brigham Young, No. 3 Arizona State vs. No. 14 UC Riverside, No. 7 Bowling Green vs. No. 10 Oklahoma State, and No. 2 Vanderbilt vs. No. 15 Delaware State. In the West, LSU, which saw Coach Pokey Chatman abruptly resign last Wednesday, is seeded No. 3 in the Fresno region. The Tigers will play UNC Asheville on Saturday night in Austin, Texas with acting head coach Bob Starkey at the helm. Defending champion Maryland will face Ivy League champion Harvard on Sunday afternoon in Hartford. The 64-team tournament begins Saturday. “We’re really excited. We’re playing all year long, hoping to get a chance to stay in Raleigh and stay in Greensboro, which is about an hour and 15 minutes down the road,” Duke coach Gail Goestenkors said. Maryland, which returned all five starters from last season’s team, was 0-5 against Duke and North Carolina this season. The Terps are looking to become the first repeat champions since Connecticut won three consecutive from 2002-04. “The only team that’s going into the tournament knowing they can win it is Maryland, ’cause they’ve won it, and they’ve got a lot of the players back from the team that won it,” Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma said. West No. 1 seed Connecticut (29-3) will play No. 16 UMBC on Sunday in Hartford. If they advance past the first two rounds, the Huskies then must travel to Fresno for the regionals. During its run of five national championships since 1995, Connecticut hasn’t been farther West than Kansas City. The Huskies eventually could face No. 2 Stanford, which opens up at home against No. 15 Idaho State. The sentimental choice in Fresno might be North Carolina State and coach Kay Yow. The Wolfpack, which has won 11 of the 13 games since Yow returned after breast cancer treatments, is the No. 4 seed in Fresno. It will play Robert Morris on Sunday in the first round. Also in the West bracket, it will be: No. 5 Baylor vs. No. 12 Chattanooga, No. 6 Xavier vs. No. 11 West Virginia, and No. 7 Old Dominion vs. No. 10 Florida State. North Carolina, which won the ACC tournament, earned a No. 1 seed for the third consecutive season and will open Sunday against Prairie View. The Tar Heels are the top seed in the Dallas region. Other games in the region include No. 8 California vs. No. 9 Notre Dame, No. 5 George Washington vs. No. 12 Boise State, No. 4 Texas A&M vs. No. 13 Texas-Arlington, No. 6 Iowa State vs. No. 11 Washington, No. 3 Georgia vs. No. 14 Belmont, No. 7 Georgia Tech vs. No. 10 DePaul, and No. 2 Purdue vs. No. 15 Oral Roberts. Six-time champion Tennessee is now the only team that has competed in every NCAA tournament after Louisiana Tech didn’t make the field this year. The Lady Vols, a No. 1 seed for the 17th time in 20 years, will open up Sunday against No. 16 Drake in Pittsburgh. The No. 8 Panthers will host No. 9 James Madison in the other game in that subregional. Other games in the Dayton regional include: No. 5 Middle Tennessee, which has won 26 consecutive games, vs. No. 12 Gonzaga; No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 13 Marist; No. 6 Marquette vs. No. 11 Louisiana-Lafayette; No. 3 Oklahoma vs. No. 14 Southeast Missouri State; and No. 7 Mississippi vs. No. 10 TCU. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
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