Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Hampton Pirates at Notre Dame Fighting Irish ATS Preview 03/13/18

Hampton Pirates at Notre Dame Fighting Irish ATS Preview 03/13/18

Despite playing the majority of the season with just seven scholarship athletes after injuries to four players, the Notre Dame women's basketball team earned a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the 8th time in school history.

The Huskies (32-0), the tournament's top overall seed, open Albany Region play Saturday at Gampel Pavilion against St. Francis (Pa.) and, with a victory, would advance to face Miami or Quinnipiac in the second round. While the Lady Vols have been in the NCAA Tournament every year since it began in 1982, Nicholls State, Northern Colorado, Mercer and Seattle will be making their first appearances.

Tech, which is the No. 8 seed in the East Region, plays in the first round Thursday night about 9:20 in Pittsburgh against No. 9 seed Alabama.

Marquette is 14-12 in 26 previous meetings with the Flyers and have claimed 12 of the last 14 matchups in the series.

The Huskies are 95-10 all-time as a No. 1 seed. The program has never advanced past the second round.

Before the games tip off on Friday, here is a region-by-region look at the top senior prospects to watch over the next three weeks before the 2018 national champion is crowned.

SC 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.

"We have really stepped things up as a team", Walz said. "The growth of our program at this time previous year, we were hoping to have done enough to get in. We're a little bit older, a little bit more mature, we have two pieces that we didn't have". OR is the 2-seed in Notre Dame's region, Ohio St is the 3-seed, Texas A&M the 4-seed and DePaul the 5-seed.

UConn's remarkable streak of 10 consecutive Final Four appearances is at risk this season, since SC is one of the premier programs in the country and possesses a top player in forward A'ja Wilson.

Despite winning 111 games in a row and four straight national championships, Auriemma had one of the most human reactions after his team was upset on a buzzer beater to Mississippi State in the Final Four - he smiled. With most of their players back from last season's runner-up finish - including Morgan William, who hit the game-winner in overtime to knock off UConn - the Bulldogs hope to make another deep NCAA run.

In the first week of February, Cal lost games at then-No. Buffalo, Creighton, Minnesota and Oklahoma got in. "I think this team made a decision to get better and chose to dig in".

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.

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