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NCAA Tourney: Will UConn blitz Bridgeport Region?

The Bridgeport Region features the top overall seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament, the still unbeaten UConn Huskies. As the Huskies look to finish the year without a loss for the sixth time in program history, it is hard to see anyone beating them in this entire tournament, let alone before the Final Four. Should UConn reach Indianapolis, it would the ninth-straight time they are one of the last four teams standing.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like a couple of things are becoming yearly traditions: the UConn Huskies are once again the top-overall seed in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, and the selection committee has decided to rename this year's tournament to the "UConn Invitational."

Okay, maybe the second thing is not totally true (it's actually not true at all), but the past four times the Women's NCAA bracket has been released, the Huskies have been one of the favorites. The past three years, they have lived up to expectations and won it all.

This year is no different, as UConn is the number one seed in the Bridgeport Region. The Huskies are currently on the fourth-longest winning streak in women's Division one basketball history (69 games), and have won 116 of their last 117 games by double digits.

UConn will open the tournament in Storrs, Conn. against 16-seed Robert Morris. The Colonials won the Northeast Conference Tournament by beating regular season champ Sacred Heart by 5.

The second game taking place at Gampel Pavilion features the eight-nine matchup between Seton Hall and Duquesne. The Pirates finished second in the Big East during the regular season, before falling to Creighton in the semi-finals of the conference tournament. The Dukes finished atop the Atlantic 10 Conference in the regular season, but were unable to win the A-10 Tournament. Duquesne lost to George Washington by three.

The five-seed in the Bridgeport Region is the Mississippi State Bulldogs, who will take on the 12-seeded Chattanooga Lady Mocs. The Bulldogs (26-7) are one win shy of tying their program record for wins in a season, which they set last season.

The other first round game taking place in Starkville, Miss. is the 4-13 matchup between the Michigan State Spartans and the Ohio Valley Champion Belmont Bruins. The Spartans finished third in the Big Ten, and made it to the conference tournament title game, where they could not overcome the Maryland Terrapins.

In the bottom half of the Bridgeport Region, the Texas Longhorns are the number two-seed, and their NCAA Tournament will begin in Austin against Alabama State. The Longhorns (28-4) started the season with 16 straight wins. All four of their losses came against ranked opponents, with three coming at against Baylor.

Seventh-seeded BYU will take on Missouri in the first round. The Tigers were one of the last four teams into the field of 64, and are making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2006. BYU is appearing in their third-straight big dance, a school record.

The UCLA Bruins claimed the three seed in the region, and will play their first game in Los Angeles against the 14-seed University of Hawaii. The Bruins got an at-large bid, after losing in the Pac-12 Tournament Championship game to Oregon State. Hawaii has been on a roll of their own lately, winning 11 of their last 12 contests, including the Big West Tournament.

A familiar foe to the top-seeded Huskies also earns a spot in the Bridgeport Region as the 6-seed. The South Florida Bulls will face off against the Colorado State Rams in the first round. The Bulls are making their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance, and are the only team to have lead unbeaten UConn at halftime of a game this season.

With other Husky challengers Notre Dame and South Carolina on the other side of the bracket, it will be interesting to see if anyone can crash the "UConn Invitational" before the Huskies could potentially meet the Irish or Gamecocks in Indianapolis for the National Championship.