Three Philadelphia-bred coaches have led their teams back to the top of the NCAA women's basketball tournament bracket for the second straight season.
Geno Auriemma's two-time defending champion and No. 1 overall seeded Connecticut (32-1) was placed at the head of the Albany Regional in the 64-team draw, which was announced Monday night.
Dawn Staley's South Carolina squad (30-2) heads up the Greensboro Regional and Muffet McGraw's Notre Dame team (31-2) leads the 16 teams in the Oklahoma City Regional.
The fourth No. 1 seed is Maryland (30-2), which tops the Spokane Regional after going unbeaten in its first season in the Big Ten.
Princeton, the Ivy League champion and the only unbeaten team in Division I at 30-0, did not get much reward for its success.
Coach Courtney Banghart's group was made an eighth seed in the Spokane Regional. The Tigers will play No. 9 seed Green Bay (28-4) Saturday morning in College Park. Maryland will meet 16th-seeded New Mexico State (22-7) later that day.
ESPN's unveiling of the brackets kept building suspense about Princeton's prospects and then presented the bad news near the end.
Banghart took the high ground; she is still looking for Princeton's first NCAA win in the Tigers' fifth appearance in the last six seasons.
"It's an opportunity to play a good, quality opponent," she said of the opening game. "They're used to winning just like us. And we have a huge following, so Maryland is an easy trip for our fans."
Former Princeton athletic director Gary Walters, a past chairman of the men's tournament committee, had a different reaction.
"That's ridiculous," he said of the team's seeding. "It just shows that after reform, the power [conferences] are getting more powerful. That's why Temple [men] didn't get in."
After escaping UConn's shadow and joining the Big Ten, Rutgers (22-9) finds itself an eighth seed in the Albany Regional. The Scarlet Knights will face ninth-seeded Seton Hall (28-5) in Storrs, Conn., Saturday.
Connecticut opens in the other game against St. Francis (N.Y.) (15-18), the surprise winner of the Northeastern Conference.
To get to the Women's Final Four in Tampa, Fla., starting April 5, the Huskies will face potential challengers in No. 2 seed Kentucky (23-9), No. 3 seed Louisville (25-6), a former rival in the old Big East; and sixth-seeded South Florida (26-7), which finished as runner-up to UConn in the American Athletic Conference tournament.
UConn is looking for its 10th NCAA title, which would tie Auriemma with the late John Wooden, who coached the UCLA men, for most NCAA championships. Last season he broke a tie with Tennessee legend Pat Summitt when the Huskies beat Notre Dame in the first championship game featuring two unbeaten teams.
Women's NIT bids
The women's NIT will begin Thursday. All times are to be announced.
Temple will travel to Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to take on Marist College. Penn will host the Colonial Conference runner-up Hofstra at the Palestra, with the winner taking on Temple or Marist. Drexel will host Hampton of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
On Friday, Villanova will host Maine, which won the America East Conference regular-season title.