That being said, let's go through how to get a ideal bracket in this year's tournament since I know exactly what I'm talking about and break the bracket down region by region. UConn will have tough competition to fight through, as Baylor, Louisville, and Mississippi State - the team that knocked them off in the Final Four previous year - all look strong.
Two big runs by Notre Dame sealed the fate of the Hampton Pirates on Tuesday night as they fell to the Fighting Irish 84-63 inside Purcell Pavilion in the opening round of the National Invitation Tournament. The 2-seed in the Albany (New York) region is SC, the reigning national champions. Meanwhile Rutgers was left out despite five wins against top-50 teams and two more against Purdue, ranked 62nd.
"It says a lot about where we are as a program and where we're going", Marquette head coach Carolyn Kieger said.
Notre Dame finished the regular season with a 29-3 record with losses to UConn on December 3rd and twice to Louisville on January 11th and then in the ACC Tournament Championship game on March 4th.
"If we are fortunate enough to go back to Spokane where I spent so many awesome years at Gonzaga, that would be incredible", he said.
Thirty-two conferences were granted automatic bids for the championship and the remaining 32 teams were selected at-large. In fact, if seeds hold, we could be looking at four incredible Elite Eight matchups. Vegas also has No. 3 seed MI with the fourth-best odds to take home the whole thing after winning the Big Ten Tournament, but after seeing Rutgers make a serious run in that tournament, don't hop on the Wolverine bandwagon too quickly.
"I wouldn't say we look at it like our season is just now starting", Williams said. "Who else is in, South Dakota State?". Also playing in the Storrs subregional are 8-seed Miami and 9-seed Quinnipiac, with the latter having lost to UConn in last year's Sweet 16. Buffalo, Creighton, Minnesota and Oklahoma got in.
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 making their first appearance.
"We're really excited about the opportunity", Louisville coach Jeff Walz said.
The victor likely gets UConn. "Hopefully, some of those UConn fans who got so excited about what we were able to do past year will stay for the second part of Saturday's doubleheader and root us on". Still, the Norse are a solid team and winners of 22 games.