The South Dakota State women's basketball team was awarded the No. 8 seed in the Spokane Region of the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship and will face No. 9-seeded Villanova, announced Monday night on the ESPN Selection Show.
The Jackrabbits and the Wildcats tip at 4:30 p.m. MDT. The game will be played at the Purcell Pavilion in Notre Dame, Indiana. The game, which will be televised on ESPN2, will be the second meeting between the two schools. Villanova won the first meeting 71-47 Nov. 10, 2012.
The advancing team will play the winner of No. 1 seed Notre Dame and No. 16 CSUN Sunday.
South Dakota State (26-6) completed its 12th 20-win season in 14 years and makes its eighth NCAA Tournament appearance in 10 years. The Jacks are 2-7 in the NCAA Tournament and 2018 is the first time the Jackrabbits earned the No. 8 seed. SDSU's highest seed came as the seventh seed in the 2009 NCAA Tournament. The Jackrabbits have been No. 13 and No. 14 seeds twice and No. 12 and No. 15 seeds.
Villanova went 22-8 overall and 12-6 in the Big East Conference and earned an at-large bid. The Wildcats lost to Georgetown in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals and are 2-3 in their last five games.
Six-foot guard Alex Louin leads four Wildcats scoring in double figures. The senior averages 12.0 points and a team-leading 6.9 rebounds.
UConn, Irish, Louisville, Miss St top seeds
UConn is back in a familiar place — the No. 1 overall seed in the women's basketball NCAA Tournament.
Joining the Huskies as top seeds are Notre Dame, Louisville and Mississippi State.
The Huskies enter as the lone unbeaten team and will be vying for their 12th national championship. It's the ninth time that UConn has entered the NCAAs undefeated, including last year when the Huskies went in as the overwhelming favorite before their 111-game winning streak ended with a loss to Mississippi State in the Final Four.
This year's Final Four is in Columbus, Ohio, and will take place on March 30. The national championship game is on Sunday, April 1.
Defending national champion South Carolina and A'ja Wilson await as a possible Elite Eight matchup for UConn in the Albany Regional. The Gamecocks are the two-seed.
The Gamecocks lost by 25 at home against UConn on Feb. 1.
Florida State and Georgia are the other top seeds in the Huskies' part of the bracket.
UConn, which has been a No. 1 seed every year since 2007, opens up against 16-seed Saint Francis (Pennsylvania) on Saturday morning. All of the top four teams in each region host the opening two rounds at home.
Like the Huskies, the Irish are a No. 1 seed again. Notre Dame has been a top seed the last seven years. This might be one of coach Muffet McGraw's finest accomplishments as Notre Dame lost four pivotal players to injury, but only three games on the season. Two of those losses came to Louisville.
The Irish are in the Spokane Regional and open up against Cal State Northridge on Friday. If Notre Dame advances, the Irish would head out west to potentially face No. 2 seed Oregon.
The Ducks could stay out west and play in Spokane, where coach Kelly Graves spent many years as Gonzaga's coach. Ohio State and Texas A&M are the three and four seeds in that region.
Louisville won the Atlantic Coast Conference for the first time this season. The Cardinals open up against Boise State and are one of eight ACC teams in the field. The Southeastern Conference has seven teams in the tournament, while the Pac-12 and the Big Ten have six.
The Lexington Regional is stacked with former NCAA Tournament winners with Baylor the two-seed, Tennessee the three and Stanford the four. 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 be making their first appearances.
Stanford potentially is headed to Lexington for the third straight year if it can advance.
Mississippi State is a No. 1 seed for the first time in school history. The Bulldogs won their first 32 games this season before losing to South Carolina in the SEC title game. With most of their players back from last season's runner-up finish — including Morgan Williams, who hit the game-winner in overtime to knock off UConn — the Bulldogs hope to make another deep NCAA run.
The NCAA revealed Sunday night the final eight teams under consideration for the last four spots in the tournament. Buffalo, Creighton, Minnesota and Oklahoma got in. Purdue, Rutgers, Southern Cal and West Virginia were the first four teams out.
Oklahoma got in with a 16-14 record — the fewest wins for an at-large team since 2005 — a day after the Oklahoma men got an at-large berth with an 18-13 record and losses in 11 of their final 15 games.