"Well last year at this time I don't think anyone thought Texas A&M was going to win either," VanDerveer said. "Baylor has had a great year. I think that Brittney Griner is a great player, she's a tremendous talent. We know that every team is beatable. I hope we have a chance to play them. We want to go as far as we can. If that means playing Baylor, we'll be ready."
Standing in the way of a fifth trip to the Final Four could be second-seed Duke, which lost in the ACC tournament quarterfinals. The Blue Devils are led by talented freshman post Elizabeth Williams and sophomore guard Chelsea Grey and will face Samford in the opening round.
Another intriguing team in that region is third-seeded St. John's, which ended UConn's 99-game home-court winning streak in February. The Red Storm have won 14 of their last 17 games, falling to the Huskies in the semifinals of the Big East tournament. Third-seeded St. John's faces Creighton in its opener.
Missing from the tournament is North Carolina, which is hosting the first two rounds, but didn't make the field for the first time since 2001.
While the Tar Heels will be missing, three schools — Albany, St. Bonaventure and Florida Gulf Coast — are making their first appearance, and the Big Ten has a conference record seven teams.
The Bonnies and Eagles will be meeting in the first round.
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