Five Pac-12 women's basketball teams earn NCAA Tournament bids

Eric Evans Photography

• COMPLETE BRACKET

SAN FRANCISCO - Five Pac-12 women’s basketball teams earned bids to the Division I NCAA Tournament for the third-straight year, the NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee announced today with the release of the 64-team field, marking the first time in Conference history the Pac-12 has landed five bids in three-consecutive seasons.

Four of the teams picked for the NCAA Tournament also earned the right to host the first and second rounds. Leading the way for the Conference is Pac-12 Tournament champion and regular-season co-champion OREGON STATE and regular-season co-champion ARIZONA STATE, both earning a No. 2 seed, which is the highest ever for both programs. Joining the Beavers and the Sun Devils in the Big Dance are fourth-seeded STANFORD, third-seeded UCLA and seventh-seeded WASHINGTON.

Placed in the Dallas Regional, the Beavers host a first and second round for the second-straight year and make their eighth-all-time appearance in the postseason event. OSU’s third-straight appearance matches a program best, dating back to 1994-96. Ranked sixth in the final Associated Press poll of the season, Oregon State’s 28 overall wins and 16 league victories are both team records. It will host 15th-seeded Troy (23-7), winner of the Sun Belt Conference on Friday, March 18. The winner of that game will move on to the second round on Sunday, March 20 in Corvallis to face the winner of the first-round matchup between No. 7-seed Oklahoma State (21-8) and No. 10-seed St. Bonaventure (23-7). It is the first time since 1984 that both the men’s and women’s OSU teams are in the NCAA Tournament after the men earned a bid on Sunday.

In the Sioux Falls Region, ASU (25-6, 16-2 Pac-12) hosts WAC Champion and 15th-seeded New Mexico State (26-4) in the first round on Friday. It is the third-straight trip to the Big Dance for the 11th-ranked Sun Devils, their best streak since going five years in a row from 2005-09, and 14th appearance overall. Posting its third-straight 20-win campaign and 10th in 12 years, ASU also hosts No. 7-seed Tennessee (19-13), the only team in the field to have made every NCAA Tournament, and No. 10-seed Green Bay (28-4) in the opening round. The winners of both first-round games face-off in the second round in Tempe on Sunday.

The 13th-ranked Cardinal is the fourth seed in the Lexington Regional. The Stanford campus has hosted 62 NCAA Tournament games since 1982. It has also appeared in the postseason event every year since 1988, a streak of 29 years and 30 years overall. Having made eight-straight NCAA Sweet 16 appearances, Stanford hosts 13th-seeded San Francisco (21-11), winner of the West Coast Conference Tournament, and fifth-seeded Miami (Fla.) (24-8) vs. 12th-seeded South Dakota State (26-6) in the first round, as well, on Saturday, March 19. The winners of both first-round games go head-to-head on Monday, March 21.

UCLA makes a return to the NCAA Tournament after winning the WNIT last year. The No. 3 seed in the Bridgeport Regional, the 10th-ranked Bruins have posted a record of 24-8, the program’s fourth 20-win campaign in seven years, each one of those seasons resulting in a NCAA Tournament bid. Making its 13th appearance in the tournament all-time, UCLA hosts Big West Champion and 14th-seed Hawai’i (21-10), as well as the No. 6-seed South Florida (23-9) and No. 11-seed Colorado State (31-1) first-round matchup on Saturday. The winners move on to the second round in Los Angeles on Monday.

The Huskies made a return to the NCAA Tournament last year for the first time in eight years. This year, they are making back-to-back showings in the tournament for the first time since 1997-98. Advancing to the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament, Washington is 22-10 on the season (11-7 in Pac-12 play) for the team’s fifth-straight 20-win season, its longest streak since posting seven 20-win campaigns from 1985-1991. In the Lexington Regional, seventh-seeded UW travels to College Park, Md., to face 10th-seeded Ivy League Champion Pennsylvania (24-4) in the first round on Saturday. Looking to get to the second round for the first time since 2001, Washington could face the winner of the first-round matchup between host and No. 2-seeded Maryland (30-3) and No. 15-seeded Iona Monday. 

The Pac-12 has had at least two teams in the NCAA Tournament every year of the event, dating back to 1982. This year’s NCAA Women’s Final Four will be held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind., April 3 and 5. Every round of the NCAA Tournament will be televised on the ESPN Network. For more information on the tournament, visit ncaa.com. For ticket information and game times, visit the NCAA’s website or a participating team’s website.

DALLAS REGIONAL
Friday, March 18 • First Round (Corvallis, Ore.)
#10 St. Bonaventure (23-7) vs. #7 Oklahoma State (21-9), 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
#15 Troy (20-12) at #2 OREGON STATE (28-4), 2 p.m PT/5 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Sunday, March 20 • Second Round (Corvallis, Ore.)
First round game winners, TBA
LEXINGTON REGIONAL
Saturday, March 19 • First Round (Stanford, Calif.)
#12 South Dakota (26-6) vs. #5 Miami (Fla.) (24-8), 3:30 p.m. PT/6:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
#13 San Francisco (21-11) at #4 STANFORD (24-7), 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Monday, March 21 • Second Round (Stanford, Calif.)
First round game winners, TBA
Saturday, March 19 • First Round (College Park, Md.)
#7 WASHINGTON (22-9) vs. #10 Pennsylvania (24-4), 1 p.m. PT/4 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
#15 Iona (23-11) at #2 Maryland (30-3), 10:30 a.m. PT/1:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Monday, March 21 • Second Round (College Park, Md.)
First round game winners, TBA
SIOUX FALLS REGIONAL
Friday, March 18 • First Round (Tempe, Ariz.)
#10 Green Bay (28-4) vs. #7 Tennessee (19-13), 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
#15 New Mexico State (26-4) at #2 ARIZONA STATE (25-6), 4:30 p.m. PT/7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Sunday, March 20 • Second Round (Tempe, Ariz.)
First round game winners, TBA
BRIDGEPORT REGIONAL
Saturday, March 19 • First Round (Los Angeles, Calif.)
#11 Colorado State (31-1) vs. #6 South Florida (23-9), 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
#14 Hawai’i (21-10) at #3 UCLA (24-8), 3:30 p.m. PT/6:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Monday, March 21 • Second Round (Los Angeles, Calif.)
First round game winners, TBA
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