Notre Dame blows out Hampton in NIT opener — MEN'S BASKETBALL

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We are all excited at the chance to play in the postseason for the fifth time in the last six years.

Like the Huskies, the Irish are a No. 1 seed again.

One interesting part of the bracket is that UConn and last year's title victor, South Carolina, landed in the same regional and could face each other in a regional final in Albany, N.Y.

Final Four expectations aren't changing how U.Va. coach Tony Bennett is approaching his team's preparation for No. 16 seed Maryland Baltimore County. Belmont is a trendy pick to pull of the upset over five-seeded Duke. Regional action will take place March 23-26, with Kansas City, Missouri, (Sprint Center) and Lexington, Kentucky, (Rupp Arena) hosting on March 23 and 25, while Albany, New York, (Times Union Center) and Spokane, Washington, (Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena) will host regional games on March 24 and 26.

Where a school is located played a role in where they were sent for their first games and that may have hurt some in the tournament.

"It says a lot about where we are as a program and where we're going", Marquette head coach Carolyn Kieger said.

"We definitely want to learn from that loss", junior guard Amani Wilborn said.

In what many call a total disrespect, the Mountain West Conference champs, who beat Nevada Friday on a buzzer beater for the title, were given a lowly 16th seed and must travel to the home of the tournament's #1 seeded Louisville Cardinals. The Cardinals open up against Boise State. "Might be a little harder to get us in a flow offensively, but I thought we were fine".

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In a regular season matchup between UConn and SC in February, the UConn women defeated SC by 25 points.

With South Carolina slotted as a No. 2 seed in the Albany region, a projected quarterfinal against No. 1 seed UConn proves to be one of the juicy quarterfinal matchups.

Barring one of the greatest upsets in the history of the sport, UConn will play the victor of that game Monday at Gampel. UConn, which enters the tournament with a 32-0 record, was chosen as the top overall seed in the field.

Buffalo, Creighton, Minnesota and Oklahoma were the final teams to get bids to the tournament.

"We spent nearly seven hours on that decision of who those last four teams in and first four out were", NCAA women's basketball committee chair Rhonda Bennett said. But of course both teams will have to navigate a tough road to get there.

The bracket for the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship was released Monday.

Hampton responded on the other end, but the Irish then reeled off a 7-2 run fueled by Gibbs' second three-pointer of the game to take a 32-20 lead with 6:08 remaining in the first half.

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