UConn draws No. 1 in Lincoln Region

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Connecticut has landed in the Lincoln Region as the top seed for the women's NCAA tournament, which begins Saturday.

The Huskies (34-0) will be trying for a record ninth NCAA title, which would break a tie with Tennessee for most all-time.

Fellow unbeaten Notre Dame (32-0) also picked up a No. 1 seed as host of the Notre Dame Region, with Tennessee drawing the top seed in the Louisville Region and South Carolina getting the No. 1 seed in the Stanford Region.

Notre Dame plays against Robert Morris on Saturday. UConn opens Sunday against No. 16 Prairie View.

It sets the stage for the former Big East rivals to meet in an historic national championship game and is only the second time two teams have entered the NCAA tournament undefeated.

If they do both get to Nashville, the Irish will be all that stands between Geno Auriemma and a record ninth title.

"We really haven't talked, I bet hardly at all, about this national championship or what number it is or any of that," Auriemma said.

Despite being the 13th women's team to go unbeaten during the regular season, the Irish have felt almost unappreciated with most of the talk centered on the Huskies. Coach Muffet McGraw doesn't seem to mind.

"I like it because we can get a chip on our shoulder and head into the tournament with a bit of chip," she said.

Even though UConn and Notre Dame didn't play this season, the two teams know plenty about each other having met 12 times over the previous three seasons. Notre Dame isn't intimidated by Connecticut; the Irish have won seven of the past nine meetings with the Huskies.

"It was very unusual to go through a whole season without playing them, we're so used to it, three times every year," McGraw said. "We've gotten pretty good at beating them the last couple of years."

Before the potential meeting of unbeatens, the two might have to go through SEC powers Tennessee and South Carolina, who also earned No. 1 seeds.

While it's the 22nd time that the Lady Vols have earned a top spot, it's the first for the Gamecocks. The Huskies, Lady Vols and Gamecocks all could have to play on an opponent's home court with a trip to Nashville on the line. Stanford, Notre Dame, Louisville and Nebraska, who are all hosting regionals, were a combined 52-3 at home this season.

The Lady Vols, who won the SEC tournament championship, are the top seed in the Louisville Regional and would also like nothing more than to break the tie with Connecticut and win their ninth NCAA title. They open up against Northwestern State and will be trying to end a five-year drought of not making the Final Four. The Lady Vols won't have an easy path. West Virginia is the second seed. Host Louisville is the three seed and Maryland is the four.

Tennessee was involved in the only other meeting between unbeatens. The Lady Vols routed Liberty in the opener of the 1998 tournament when both were undefeated.

Like their SEC rivals, South Carolina doesn't have an easy road to the Final Four. The Gamecocks could face an inspired young North Carolina team in the regional semifinals before potentially playing host Stanford.

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