Awarded a No. 3 seed Monday, the University of Washington women’s basketball team hosts 14th-seeded Montana State at 6 p.m. Saturday at Alaska Airlines Arena in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The other first-round match-up on the UW campus: No. 6 Oklahoma vs. No. 11 Gonzaga. The winners meet Monday (time TBD) for a spot in the round of 16.
A No. 7 seed last year when they reached the Final Four for the first time in program history, the Huskies make their 19th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and third consecutive under fourth-year head coach Mike Neighbors. The Huskies enter postseason play with a 27-5 record, the second-most wins in program history, including a 15-3 mark in Pac-12 play.
Washington is 19-18 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and 9-6 in first-round games. This is the 11th time Washington has hosted an NCAA Tournament game, owning a 10-1 record.
Washington won four contests in last year’s tournament to advance to the NCAA semifinal. In Neighbors’ second season at the helm, the sixth-seeded Huskies fell in the first round to Miami, 86-80.
Washington is one of a record seven Pac-12 teams selected. Conference champion Oregon State and Pac-12 Tournament winner Stanford earned No. 2 seeds. UCLA is a No. 4 seed, Arizona State a No. 8, Cal a No. 9, and Oregon a 10.
The Huskies this season have faced eight tourney teams in 11 games, winning six.
The Huskies are ranked No. 12 in the AP Top 25 poll and No. 11 in the USA Today coaches poll.
Montana State was 25-6, 15-3 in the Big Sky, and won its conference tournament Saturday, earning the automatic bid to the NCAAs.