One look at the 63 NCAA women’s tourney games

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With three other really talented No. 1 seeds, it is hardly a foregone conclusion this year that UConn will win a third straight national championship.

Here’s one look at the 63 games and how they might pan out. It’s guaranteed to remain unblemished until at least Saturday’s opening-round game (seedings in parentheses, winners in uppercase):

PHILADELPHIA REGIONAL

FIRST ROUND

CONNECTICUT (1) vs. Hartford (16)_ The Hawks haven’t beaten UConn in 11 meetings, wouldn’t count on that trend ending in the first round.

PURDUE (9) vs. Kansas State (8) _ The Boilermakers have been a different team since Drey Mingo returned from bacterial meningitis.

GEORGETOWN (5) vs. Princeton (12) _ The Tigers have played really well without sophomore star Niveen Rasheed, who went down with an ACL injury. Unfortunately they won’t be able to handle the Hoyas’ pressure defense.

MARYLAND (4) vs. Saint Francis, Pa. (13) _ The Red Flash are trying to win the NEC’s first NCAA tournament game. It will be tough to do at Maryland.

PENN STATE (6) vs. Dayton (11) _ Back in the tournament for the first time since 2005, the Nittany Lions don’t plan on making it a short stay.

DEPAUL (3) vs. Navy (14) _ The Blue Demons will end a streak of first-round exits the past two years.

MARIST (10) vs. Iowa State (7) _ Will be one of the most entertaining first-round games with a tremendous matchup between Red Foxes guard Erica Allenspach and the Cyclones’ Kelsey Bolte. Difference will be Marist’s nation-leading defense.

DUKE (2) vs. Tennessee-Martin (15) _ The Blue Devils will make the Skyhawks’ first trip to the NCAAs a short one.

SECOND ROUND

CONNECTICUT (1) vs. Purdue (9) _ UConn hasn’t lost at home in 81 games, don’t expect that trend to end.

MARYLAND (4) vs. Georgetown (5) _ Brenda Frese has compared this young Maryland squad to the one that won the title in 2006. Freshman Alyssa Thomas will be the difference in this Beltway rivalry.

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