Thursday, July 31, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Duke, Tennessee, Connecticut, UNC are No. 1 seeds

The announcement of the NCAA women's basketball tournament selections and pairings was moved a day to Monday a year ago to avoid competing against the men's selection show.

Last night, the news of the draw of the 64-field team quickly ran into competition from elsewhere in the sport.

There was no surprise regarding the teams that were made No. 1 regional seeds. Duke, North Carolina, Connecticut and Tennessee, the top four teams in the final Associated Press poll, received top billing in their regions.

But soon after the selection show was over, Hall of Fame coach Jody Conradt of Texas, who gained her 900th career win last week, announced her resignation.

Last week's resignation by Louisiana State coach Pokey Chatman also drew attention.

It was reported last night that assistant coach Carla Berry was the source who told LSU officials that Chatman had conducted herself improperly with one or more former players.

Meanwhile, in terms of the games ahead, it was a big night for mid-major conferences, especially the Colonial Athletic Association, as Delaware (26-5) and James Madison (27-5) drew at-large bids to go with Old Dominion (24-8), the perennial CAA champion.

The Blue Hens last appeared in the NCAA tournament as America East champions in 2001.

"I'm thrilled for my players, I'm happy for our school, and I'm ecstatic for the conference," coach Tina Martin said.

Delaware is seeded 12th in the Greensboro Regional and will open Sunday night in East Lansing, Mich., against host Michigan State (23-8), the No. 5 seed.

The other game will feature No. 4 Rutgers (22-8), the Big East champion, against No. 13 East Carolina (19-13), the Conference USA champion.

The mood at Rutgers was more somber than at many other selection parties after the Scarlet Knights learned they may eventually meet Duke, which routed them at home in December.

Meanwhile, the upset that defending NCAA champion Maryland (27-5) suffered against Georgia Tech during the regular season may have proved costly.

Projected most of the season as a No. 1 seed, the Terrapins drew a No. 2 seed in the Dayton Regional.

Maryland's path to the Women's Final Four in Cleveland has such threats as No. 3 seed Oklahoma (26-4), and either No. 4 seed Ohio State (28-3) or No. 1 seed Tennessee (28-3).

The Big East, which has gained in strength since former Conference USA powers joined the conference a year ago, has eight teams in this year's field.

DePaul (19-12), seeded 10th in the Dallas Regional, will open against No. 7 seed Georgia Tech (20-11), which may have been rewarded for its win over Maryland.

The Blue Demons struggled most of the year with injuries, but DePaul, which beat Rutgers in December, has healed in recent weeks.

South Florida was the only projected Big East team that did not make the NCAAs.


Contact staff writer Mel Greenberg at 215-854-5725 or mgreenberg@phillynews.com.

Mel Greenberg Inquirer Staff Writer
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