Gus Ruelas, Associated Press
Connecticut's path to a third straight national championship could include a renewal of the most heated rivalry in women's college basketball.
For Geno Auriemma to match Tennessee coach Pat Summitt with an eighth national championship he might have to go through her Lady Vols, who earned the top seed in the Dayton region. The Huskies earned the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA women's basketball tournament Monday night.
If both come through their regions, UConn and Tennessee could meet again in the national semifinals at Indianapolis.
Auriemma's Huskies didn't have to face Tennessee during its record 90-game winning streak that was ended by Stanford on Dec. 30. The two pre-eminent teams in the sport broke off their annual matchup in 2007 in a testy split.
Baylor and Stanford were the other two No. 1 seeds. It was the second straight No. 1 seed for the Cardinal, who fell to UConn in the title game last season.
"I think if it's a four-horse race, there are some dark horses," Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. "I don't think there is a clear-cut favorite. Last year they (UConn) were a clear-cut favorite."
"We're not a clear-cut favorite. Tennessee's not a clear-cut favorite; Baylor's not; and UConn's not."
The most emotional matchup of the tourney, however, likely will be in the Dallas region between No. 6 Georgia and No. 11 Middle Tennessee State, which is still dealing with the stabbing death of teammate Tina Stewart on March 6.
"The tragedy was most unspeakable and our full committee and shared our thoughts and condolences," selection committee chairwoman Marilyn McNeil said. "However, what we want to assure everyone is they were considered like everyone in the field. We looked at their body of work and what they had done on the floor over the entire season. They were selected as one of the 33 best at-large teams in the country."
First up for UConn is Hartford, which won the America East title, and is coached by former Huskies star Jen Rizzotti. The two teams have played each other over the last six years but didn't meet this season. Hartford is winless in 11 meetings against UConn.
The Huskies will be trying for their third consecutive title, matching their run from 2002-04 and Tennessee's from 1996-98. UConn is one of a record nine Big East teams in the field. The Big East got 11 men's teams in their field announced Sunday.
Auriemma said he's happy they got nine bids but was surprised Syracuse didn't get in.
"I was hoping that we'd get 10," he said. "I don't know what the rationale was for not taking Syracuse."
Unlike the men's bracket that expanded to 68 teams this year, the women decided to stick with 64. Indianapolis will host the Final Four on April 3 and 5.
The last time the Final Four was in Indianapolis, Baylor won the championship as a No. 2 seed.
The Lady Bears, led by sophomore center Brittney Griner, will face No. 16 Prairie View in their opener on Sunday in the Dallas region.
If the seeds hold, Baylor could face No. 2 Texas A&M for the fourth time this season. Baylor beat Texas A&M by a total of 15 points in their three meetings — including a three-point win in the Big 12 title game.
"I can't ever used the word shocked with the NCAA anymore," Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said. "You want to see new faces, you want to see new teams. I don't think anybody wants to see the same teams that you see from your conference."
Mulkey was excited for the fans, however, if the two Big 12 rivals meet.
"It should be a great crowd; it should be a sellout," she said.
- BYU basketball: Dave Rose hoping Tyler Haws'...
- Utah Jazz: No lottery luck, so Jazz remain in...
- Results from Tuesday's high school softball,...
- 4 reasons why you need to paraglide at Point...
- Utah high school updated tournament pairings...
- High school boys soccer: Lehi edges...
- The offseason status of NFL players with Utah...
- BYU football: Fan-developed software gives...
- High school baseball: 5A, 4A state... 55
- BYU basketball: Dave Rose hoping Tyler... 23
- Bodyguards allegedly beat up 2 fans who... 19
- Utah Jazz: No lottery luck, so Jazz... 19
- Dick Harmon: BYU coach Mike Littlewood... 15
- Utah State football: New coach Matt... 11
- If hired, Jeff Hornacek will face same... 10
- BYU football: Fan-developed software... 8