UConn, Irish, Louisville, Miss St top seeds in women's NCAAs

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"It's really exciting, especially for these young cats to get to experience the NCAA tournament is huge, especially when they are only freshmen and sophomores", senior guard Carlie Wagner told the St. Paul Pioneer Press before Monday's reveal.

For the 12th year in a row, the Connecticut Huskies are the top seed in the women's NCAA tournament.

The Huskies enter as the lone unbeaten team and will be vying for their 12th national championship. That's because their 111-game winning streak was brought to an end by the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The 2018 Women's Final Four will be held March 30 and April 1 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

SC enters as the defending champion, while last year's runner-up Mississippi State is looking to get back to the title game after a phenomenal season.

Dawn Staley's Gamecocks experienced some difficulty during the regular season, as it lost six times, including two in back-to-back games against UConn and Mississippi State.

UConn, which has been a No. 1 seed every year since 2007, opens up against 16-seed Saint Francis (Pennsylvania) on Saturday morning.

It was pretty obvious who the No. 1 seeds would be for the tourney.

Joining UConn and Mississippi State on the 1-line were the Louisville Cardinals - the ACC Champions - and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, a feisty team that has dealt with numerous season-ending injuries.

UConn is a potential opponent for Notre Dame in the Final Four, should the Irish advance.

The Irish will face CSU-Northridge out of the Big West Conference on Friday at 5 pm EST.

Speaking of the Bulldogs, they are one of the three other projected No. 1 seeds by ESPN along with Louisville and Notre Dame. With most of their players back from last season's runner-up finish - including Morgan Williams, who hit the game-winner in overtime to knock off UConn - the Bulldogs hope to make another deep NCAA run.

"We wouldn't be in that kind of position if we didn't have a great year and we hope to keep that going", OR coach Kelly Graves said. "We saw that a year ago. It's amusing how things changed in a year".

A No. 1 seed for the first time in school history, Mississippi State is seeking its first national championship.

While the Lady Vols have been in the NCAA Tournament every year since it began in 1982, Nicholls State, Northern Colorado, Mercer and Seattle will making their first appearance. "We took as long as it took to get those teams into the bracket".