NCAA Tournament: Final Four staff predictions

NCAA Tournament: Final Four staff predictions

The top seed will open at home on Saturday against Albany and if they advance to the Bridgeport Regional would have a short drive.

No. 18 University of Kentucky women's basketball team has been selected as an at-large team in the 2017 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, claiming UK's school-record eight straight appearance in the tournament.

If Kentucky advances the victor of 5/12 matchup, Ohio State or Western Kentucky will await them on Sunday the 19th. Kentucky received the fourth-seed, and will not have to leave Lexington as long as the Wildcats are around in the tournament until the Final Four. UCLA should have been the No. 2 seed here but if they meet in Memphis in the round of 16, it won't really matter. UConn is the four-time defending national champion after claiming the title in Indianapolis, Indiana with an 82-51 win over Syracuse in the 2016 title game.

Kentucky was made the No. 4 seed in the Lexington Regional and will be the host team in Memorial Coliseum for the first two rounds. Mississippi State, Washington and Louisville round out the top 4 seeds in what has to be considered the most competitive of all four regions.

It will mark the 19th appearance in the NCAA Tournament for the Lady Toppers, who reached the Final Four in 1985, 1986 and 1992, when they were national runner-up to Stanford. Both games will be played at Memorial Coliseum.

UNC Wilmington (29-5, 15-3 CAA) earned the No. 12 seed in the East region and will play No. 5 seed Virginia (22-10, 11-7 ACC) in Orlando Thursday. SWAC Freshman of the Year Demontrae Jefferson (14.9 points per game, 3.3 assists per game). A No. 1 seed for the fourth consecutive year, SC is seeking its first national championship.

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The championship game is scheduled for April 2.

I think the Orange have a great chance to beat the Cyclones in the opening round matchup. We aren't saying you have to pick Duke, but the money in Vegas is already pointing to the Blue Devils winning the national championship.

Kentucky (21-10) finished the regular season tied for third place in the Southeastern Conference and was eliminated in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament by eventual champion SC.

This region features not one but two over-seeded bluebloods. The team suffered a big loss as Chris Boucher was injured during the conference tournament and will miss all of March Madness.

In the West Region, Gonzaga is the favorite (8/5) followed by Arizona (2/1), West Virginia (11/2), Florida State (8/1) and St. Mary's (10/1).

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