The road to Tampa, Florida, begins when the 2019 NCAA women's basketball tournament bracket is unveiled on Monday.
It's going to be hard for this year's competition to top the dramatic ending from a year ago, when Notre Dame knocked off Mississippi State on a buzzer-beater to win the title.
Notre Dame is once again in the mix to win a championship in 2019 alongside the normal cast of programs such as UConn, Mississippi State and Louisville.
The tournament begins Friday and concludes at Amalie Arena with the national championship April 7.
Women's Tournament Selection Show Info
Date: Monday, March 18
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Automatic Bids Earned Through Saturday
ACC: Notre Dame
America East: Maine
Atlantic 10: Fordham
Big 12: Baylor
Big East: DePaul
Big Sky: Portland State
Big Ten: Iowa
Big West: UC Davis
Horizon: Wright State
Mountain West: Boise State
Ohio Valley: Belmont
SEC: Mississippi State
Summit League: South Dakota State
Sun Belt: Arkansas-Little Rock
West Coast: BYU
WAC: New Mexico State
Can Notre Dame Repeat?
Notre Dame's magical run to the championship a year ago was powered by Arike Ogunbowale, who is one of a few key players back and ready to earn a repeat title.
Notre Dame's starting five is as good as any in the nation, and that was reinforced in the ACC tournament final when all five starters reached double digits.
With so many weapons on offense, Muffet McGraw's team is going to be tough to knock out, but because the parity in women's basketball continues to rise, a handful of other programs are capable of winning it all.
As always, UConn is going to be a major player in the NCAA tournament and is looking for its 12th consecutive Final Four appearance.
Unlike previous seasons, the Huskies aren't the overwhelming favorite to win the title, but Geno Auriemma's team carries plenty of motivation into the competition, as it hasn't made the championship game in the past two years.
Baylor and back-to-back runner-up Mississippi State are the other two projected No. 1 seeds, according to Charlie Creme of ESPN.com.
Oregon and Iowa are two other programs to keep an eye on because they both possess players who can take over the game by themselves.
Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu is a triple-double machine who averages 19.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 8.1 assists.
Iowa's Megan Gustafson is ready to star on the national stage, as she enters the tournament as the espnW National Player of the Year for leading the nation in scoring with 28 points per game.
All six of the aforementioned programs are capable of winning a title, which is why this season's tournament feels more open than in past years.
But it's never a bad idea to pick your bracket based off title-winning experience, and Notre Dame has that and the star power you need to take over a tournament for six games.