2012 NCAA Bracket
INDIANAPOLIS - Eight BIG EAST women's basketball teams will compete in the 64-team 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship, announced during the ESPN selection show on Monday evening. It is the fourth time that the BIG EAST has had eight teams chosen to the tournament, with the most recent occurrence coming in 2009. Last year, the BIG EAST set an NCAA record with nine teams invited to participate. Over the last two years, the league has averaged an NCAA-record 8.5 teams in the NCAA Championship.
Connecticut (29-4) was chosen as the No. 1 seed in the Kingston region. The Huskies won the BIG EAST Championship to earn the league's automatic berth. There were seven teams chosen as at-large bids: DePaul, Georgetown, Louisville, Notre Dame, Rutgers, St. John's and West Virginia. All first round games will be televised on ESPN2. The Huskies will play No. 16 seed Prairie View on March 17. This postseason trip marks the 24th for the Huskies, who have advanced to the NCAA Championship every year since 1989 and have captured seven national titles.
Notre Dame (30-3), the BIG EAST regular season champion, was selected as a No. 1 seed in the Raleigh region. The Fighting Irish will play No. 16 seed Liberty on March 18 in Notre Dame, Ind. Notre Dame reached the BIG EAST Championship final this season, falling to Connecticut. The Irish defeated the Huskies in the 2011 NCAA Final Four to advance to the title game. This season was the first time they had back-to-back 30-win seasons. Notre Dame is making its 19th appearance in the NCAA Championship and have competed every year since 1996.
The 2012 tournament marks the second time in league history that a pair of No. 1 seeds will come from the BIG EAST. The last time that happened was 2001, when Notre Dame and Connecticut were both No. 1 seeds. The two met in the national semifinal in Saint Louis, Mo., and the Irish won, eventually winning the title.
DePaul (22-10) is making its 10th-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Demons have made 16 NCAA appearances and are one of 12 programs to play in each of the last eight NCAA tournaments. DePaul, which reached the regional semifinals in last year's NCAA Tournament, will play as the No. 7 seed in the Des Moines region. The Blue Demons will match up against No. 10 seed BYU on March 17 in the first round.
Georgetown (22-8) makes its third-straight trip to the NCAA championship. The Hoyas, who reached the regional semifinals last year, received the No. 5 seed in the Des Moines region and will play No. 12 seed Fresno State on March 18 at 12:20 p.m. in the first round in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Louisville (22-9) is making its fourth trip in five years. The Cardinals have reached the national final once and the national seminal twice in the last four years. UofL is a No. 7 seed and will play No. 10 seed Michigan State in the first round on March 17.
West Virginia (23-9) makes its third-straight trip to the NCAA Championship. WVU is a No. 8 seed and will play No. 9 seed Texas in the Fresno region. West Virginia will play at the Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Va., on March 17 at 11:10 a.m. The Mountaineers have missed only one NCAA Tournament in the last five years.
Rutgers (22-9) makes its 10th-straight trip to the NCAA Championship. The Scarlet Knights will face No. 11 seed Gonzaga in the first round as a No. 6 seed in Spokane, Wash., on March 17 at 4:15 p.m. RU fell in the second round to eventual champion Texas A&M last year.
St. John's (22-9) was slotted as a No. 3 seed in the Fresno region. The Red Storm will play No. 14 seed Creighton at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Okla., on March 18 at 5:05 p.m. St. John's is making its third-straight trip to the NCAA tournament. Last year, the Red Storm lost in the second round. This year, STJ earned its highest-ever ranking in school history, No. 13 on March 5 in the AP poll.
All times are Eastern.