History will be made at this year’s NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament as the field expands to 68 teams for the first time. The women also have their very first March Madness banner, which is part of the NCAA’s attempt to right some of the inequities spotlighted at last year’s Tournament.
The season continues for several teams from New York and New Jersey, but only Princeton University is headed to the Big Dance. With an overall record of 24-4 and undefeated in Ivy League play, the Princeton Tigers earned a national ranking at the end of regular season and will be making their ninth appearance in the NCAA Tournament. They have the 11th seed in the Bridgeport Region and take on the sixth seed, University of Kentucky, on Saturday.
The top seed in the NCAA Tournament goes to the University of South Carolina. The Gamecocks also hold the top spot in the Greensboro region, which contains Howard University, winners of the MEAC. The Bison took on Incarnate Word last night for a spot among the 64.
The number one seed in the Bridgeport region is NC State. Making its 33rd consecutive Tournament appearance, University of Connecticut has the two seed. The defending National Champion, Stanford University, has the top seed in the Spokane region, which contains Jackson State, winners of the SWAC. The number one seed in the Wichita region is Louisville.
Action goes on for five Division I teams from the area in the Postseason WNIT. Columbia University and Fairleigh Dickinson were automatic qualifiers and Fordham, Stony Brook and Seton Hall received at-large bids to the 64-team field.
Columbia comes into its first WNIT after its best season ever, making it to the final of the Ivy League Tournament. Junior guard/forward Kaitlyn Davis was named First Team All-Ivy and sophomore guard Abbey Hsu was named Second Team All-Ivy. The Lions took on Holy Cross last night. It will be a battle for New Jersey supremacy when Fairleigh Dickinson and Seton Hall face off tonight. Fordham plays Bucknell tomorrow.
The WNIT spot for Stony Brook is bittersweet. The Seawolves were barred from competing in the America East conference tournament, which could have earned them a return trip to the NCAA Tournament, because Stony Brook is leaving the conference for the Colonial Athletic Association at the end of the season. The team plays Virginia Commonwealth tomorrow.