Duke, Tennessee, Connecticut, North Carolina Earn No. 1 Seeds

Monday, March 12th 2007, 6:29 pm
By: News On 6

Duke, Tennessee, Connecticut and North Carolina were selected Monday as the No. 1 seeds for the women's NCAA tournament.

The Blue Devils, who went 29-0 in the regular season and then lost to N.C. State in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament semifinals, will open up against No. 16 Holy Cross on Sunday in Raleigh. With a regional in Greensboro, Duke would stay in North Carolina until the Final Four in Cleveland.

The 64-team tournament begins Saturday.

``We're really excited. We're playing all year long, hoping to get a chance to stay in Raleigh, and stay in Greensboro which is about an hour and 15 minutes down the road,'' Duke coach Gail Goestenkors said.

Duke, ranked atop the AP Poll for the final nine weeks, hopes for better results than the last time the Blue Devils finished No. 1 _ the 2003-04 final poll. They lost to Minnesota in the regional finals that season.

Others in the Greensboro regional are No. 8 Temple vs. No. 9 Nebraska, No. 4 Rutgers vs. No. 12 East Carolina, No. 5 Michigan State vs. No. 12 Delaware, No. 6 Louisville vs. No. 11 Brigham Young, No. 3 Arizona State vs. No. 14 UC Riverside, No. 7 Bowling Green vs. No. 10 Oklahoma State, and No. 2 Vanderbilt vs. No. 15 Delaware State.

In the West, LSU, which saw Pokey Chatman abruptly resign last Wednesday, is seeded No. 3 in the Fresno region.

Former coach Chatman was not allowed to be alone with her players after an assistant reported alleged improper conduct to the university in February, a school official with direct knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press on Monday.

The university reacted promptly and properly to assistant coach Carla Berry's allegations, said the official, who asked to remain anonymous because it was a personnel matter.

The Tigers will play UNC Asheville on Friday night in Austin, Texas with acting head coach Bob Starkey at the helm.

``The kids have done a wonderful job,'' Starkey said. ``They are a very resilient bunch. They have been through difficult times with Sue Gunter's death and Hurricane Katrina.''

West No. 1 seed Connecticut (29-3) will play No. 16 UMBC on Sunday in Hartford.

If they advance past the first two rounds, the Huskies then must travel to Fresno, Calif. for the regionals. During its run of five national championships since 1995, Connecticut hasn't been farther West than Kansas City.

The Huskies eventually could face No. 2 Stanford, which opens up at home against No. 15 Idaho State.

The sentimental choice in Fresno might be North Carolina State and coach Kay Yow. The Wolfpack, who have won 11 of the 13 games since Yow returned after breast cancer treatments, are the No. 4 seed in Fresno. They will play Robert Morris on Sunday in the first round in the Raleigh subregional.

Also in the West bracket, it will be: No. 5 Baylor vs. No. 12 Chattanooga, No. 6 Xavier vs. No. 11 West Virginia, and No. 7 Old Dominion vs. No. 10 Florida State.