NCAA Women's Basketball Bracket 2018: Selection Show TV, Live-Stream Schedule

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 11, 2018

Connecticut's Crystal Dangerfield (5) runs up the court after a steal during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Tulane in the American Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinals at Mohegan Sun Arena, Sunday, March 4, 2018, in Uncasville, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Jessica Hill/Associated Press

After all the drama from the NCAA men's basketball tournament selection show dies down, the field of 64 for the women's tournament gets drawn Monday.

UConn is once again at the forefront of the title discussion, but there's a growing number of challengers ready to take away the Huskies' opportunity to win a national championship.

South Carolina 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.

The women's tournament begins Friday with first-round games played at campus sites. The second weekend of the competition takes place at four neutral venues, while the Final Four resides in Columbus, Ohio.

        

Women's Selection Show Information

Date: Monday, March 12

TV: ESPN

Live Stream: Watch ESPN

             

UConn Headlines Group Of Projected No. 1 Seeds

Just like they are most years, the UConn Huskies are expected to be on the top-seed line, per ESPN bracketologist Charlie Creme.

Geno Auriemma's squad, who fell in the Final Four a year ago, enters with a perfect 32-0 record that includes victories over all of the top teams in women's basketball.

The Huskies have wins over 10 ranked opponents, including projected No. 1 seed Louisville and perennial power South Carolina.

Half of the triumphs over ranked opposition came against teams that were ranked in the top five at the time of the contest.

What's even more impressive about UConn's wins over programs in the top 25 is the average margin of victory in those contests was 19.5, with half being by 25 points or more.

To say the Huskies earned the No. 1 overall seed is an understatement. Auriemma always schedules games against his top foes, some of which come in uncomfortable road environments.

As if a UConn team needed any more motivation to win the women's tournament, it's looking for revenge against Mississippi State, who knocked the Huskies out in the Final Four a year ago.

Speaking of the Bulldogs, they are one of the three other projected No. 1 seeds by ESPN along with Louisville and Notre Dame.

Mississippi State has been one of the top stories in the sport this season, as it won its first 32 games before falling to South Carolina in the SEC tournament final.

Head coach Vic Schaefer did a tremendous job turning around the program in such a short time, as the Bulldogs were 13-17 in the 2012-13 campaign, which was his first in charge.

           

South Carolina Will Be a Dangerous No. 2 Seed

Despite handing Mississippi State its first defeat in the SEC tournament final a week ago, the defending champion appears to be set for a No. 2 seed on Selection Monday.

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.

Since losing to the Bulldogs February 5, the Gamecocks won eight of their last nine games, with the only slip up coming against Tennessee.

Although they're still seen as one of the elite squads in women's basketball, and one of a few that can challenge for a championship, the Gamecocks should be relegated to a No. 2 seed because of their six losses.

The four projected No. 1 seeds have six losses combined, with Notre Dame's three and Louisville's two joining Mississippi State's defeat to South Carolina.

The Gamecocks are going to be a difficult draw for whichever No. 1 seed falls in their bracket, which means one of the must-watch games of the women's tournament comes in the Elite 8.

With senior A'ja Wilson leading the charge, the Gamecocks should benefit from their title-winning experience a year ago in their attempt to get back to the Final Four and repeat as champions.

        

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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