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Road to the Final Four begins on Saturday
GREENSBORO, N.C. – A league record eight Atlantic Coast Conference teams are among the 64-team field for the 2014 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship announced Monday evening.
ACC Champion Notre Dame (32-0) was selected as a No. 1 seed, Duke (27-6) a No. 2 seed, Maryland (24-6) and North Carolina (24-9) No. 4 seeds, NC State (25-7) a No. 5 seed, Syracuse (22-9) a No. 6 seed and Florida State (20-11) and Georgia Tech (20-11) No. 10 seeds. It is also the 20th consecutive year that at least four ACC teams have been selected to the NCAA Championship field.
The ACC’s eight bids to the Big Dance match the SEC for the most among all conferences.
NCAA Championship play begins Saturday, March 22 with first round action, and continues on Sunday, March 23. Second round games will be played Monday and Tuesday, March 24 and 25, with the winners advancing to regional sites (March 29-April 1). The four regional winners will advance to the 2014 NCAA Women’s Final Four, April 6 and 8 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.
Notre Dame, which will be appearing in the NCAA postseason field for the 19th consecutive year, is the No. 1 seed in the Notre Dame Region. The Fighting Irish will travel to Toledo, Ohio to face No. 16 seed Robert Morris (21-11) on Saturday, March 22 at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN. Notre Dame has advanced to the Final Four each of the last three seasons, five times overall, and owns the 2001 NCAA Championship. The Fighting Irish will be participating in their 21st NCAA Championship and own a 41-19 record in the tournament.
Duke, which will be appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the 20th consecutive year, drew the No. 2 seed in the Lincoln Region. Cameron Indoor Stadium will serve as host for the first and second rounds as the Blue Devils will play No. 15 seed Winthrop (24-8) on Saturday, March 22 at 11 a.m. on ESPN2. Duke has advanced to the Sweet 16 15 of the last 16 seasons, including a run to the Elite Eight each of the last four seasons. The Blue Devils, who will be appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the 21st time overall, own an all-time record of 52-20 in the Big Dance.
Maryland returns to the NCAA Tournament for the program’s 22nd all-time appearance and is seeded No. 4 in the Louisville Region. The Terrapins own a 33-20 NCAA Tournament record and captured the national championship in 2006. Maryland will play No. 13 seed Army (25-7) on Sunday, March 23 at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
North Carolina also earned a No. 4 seed and will participate in the Big Dance for a league-best 25th time in program history. Entering the postseason with a 42-23 all-time NCAA Tournament record, UNC will host No. 13 seed UT Martin (24-7) in the Stanford Region at Carmichael Arena on Sunday, March 23 at 3 p.m. on ESPN. The Tar Heels have advanced to the Sweet 16 15 times and have earned a berth in the Final Four three times.
NC State, the No. 5 seed in the Lincoln Region, returns to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010 and 22nd time overall. The Wolfpack will face No. 12 seed BYU in Los Angeles on Saturday, March 22 at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
Earning its second straight NCAA Tournament berth is Syracuse which grabbed the No. 6 seed in the Notre Dame Region. The Orange will look for its first NCAA Tournament win as it plays No. 11 seed Chattanooga (29-3) in Lexington, Ky., at 1:30 p.m. on March 22 on ESPN2.
Georgia Tech, the No. 10 seed in the Louisville Region, is back in the NCAA Tournament for the ninth time in program history. The Yellow Jackets will meet No. 7 seed LSU (19-12) in the first round on March 23 at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN2. Georgia Tech is 5-8 all-time in NCAA Championship play.
In the Stanford region, Florida State makes its 13th NCAA Championship appearance under head coach Sue Semrau. As a No. 10 seed, FSU will travel to Ames, Iowa, to take on No. 7 seed Iowa State (20-10). The Noles own a 13-12 record in NCAA Championship play, have advanced to the Sweet 16 twice and earned the programs first berth in the Elite Eight in 2010.