The Stanford and Cal women's basketball teams will host first- and second-round games in the NCAA Tournament this weekend.
As the bracket was announced Monday, Stanford (24-9) was seeded fourth in the Oklahoma City Regional and will take on 13th-seeded Cal State Northridge (23-9) Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Maples Pavilion.
The winner of Saturday's game faces either fifth-seeded Oklahoma (20-11) or 12th-seeded Quinnipiac (31-3) in the second round Monday. Those teams play at 1 p.m. Saturday at Maples.
The Golden Bears (23-9), who lost to Stanford in the Pac-12 Conference Tournament title game after splitting two regular-season meetings, are seeded fourth in the Albany Regional and will face 13th-seeded Wichita State (29-4) on Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Haas Pavilion. Fifth-seeded Texas (22-10) and 12th-seeded Western Kentucky (30-4) face off at 1 p.m. at Haas with the winners of Saturday's games squaring off Sunday.
Cal could potentially play top-ranked Connecticut in the Sweet 16. The Huskies (32-1) face 16th-seeded St. Francis of Brooklyn, N.Y. (15-18) in the first round.
UConn is looking for its 10th overall title, which would tie coach Geno Auriemma with UCLA men's coach John Wooden for most all time.
“This is why you coach,” Auriemma said of going for a third straight championship. “This is why you come to Connecticut if you are one of these players. Are we mature enough to handle it? We will find that out very soon.”
Though Connecticut is favored to three-peat, Auriemma said winning another title isn't a guarantee.
“The fact that everybody thinks it's a done deal, that we're going to win the whole thing,” Auriemma said, “those are probably people who have never coached, or haven't coached in a Final Four or have won a national championship.”
Joining the Huskies as top seeds in the 64-team tournament that begins Friday are Maryland, South Carolina and Notre Dame.
Notre Dame and UConn, former Big East rivals, met in the national championship game last season as undefeated teams with the Huskies coming away with the title. This year, undefeated Princeton is the 15th team to enter the NCAA Tournament unbeaten and is an eight-seed — the highest in Ivy League history. The Tigers will face Wisconsin-Green Bay. It's the third time in five tournament appearances that the Tigers will play in the 8 vs. 9 game.
“They had a historic year,” NCAA women's basketball committee chair Dru Hancock said. “When it came to where to seed them, they didn't have any wins in the Top 25. Their strength of schedule wasn't great. Twenty one of the 30 wins came with an RPI over 100. — Staff, wire report