Unbeaten South Carolina is the top overall seed in the women's NCAA Tournament

South Carolina is the the top overall seed in the women’s NCAA Tournament

Undefeated South Carolina is the top overall seed in the women's NCAA Tournament as the bracket was announced Sunday night.

The Gamecocks are looking to become the 10th women's basketball team to go undefeated for an entire season. They had a chance last season before falling just short against Caitlin Clark and Iowa in the Final Four.

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley's squad has been challenged a few times this year, including needing a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Kamilla Cardoso to win the semifinals of the SEC Tournament over Tennessee, but has always pulled through. The Gamecocks, who are a No. 1 seed for the fourth consecutive year, will play the winner of Sacred Heart and Presbyterian in the first round of the tournament.

The NCAA changed its format last season and is having two regional sites for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds. Albany, New York, hosts one and Portland, Oregon, the other. Once again the top four teams in each region will host the opening two rounds.

The tournament begins Wednesday with two First Four games. The full madness starts with 16 games Friday and 16 more the next day. The Final Four will be played in Cleveland this year for the first time since 2007. The national semifinals are on April 5, with the championship game two days later.

Joining the Gamecocks in the Albany Region region are No. 2 seed Notre Dame, third-seeded Oregon State and fourth-seeded Indiana.

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AP March Madness bracket: https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-womens-bracket/ and coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness