BY SPNW Staff 05:48PM 03/13/2017

Huskies home vs. Montana St. in NCAA opener

Washington earned a No. 3 seed and will face No. 14 Montana State Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at Alaska Airlines Arena.

Kelsey Plum and the Huskies play Montana State Saturday. / Alan Chitlik, Sportspress Northwest

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.


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    Um. EIGHT Pac-12 teams. You forgot Cal and ASU. Cal is a 9 seed, ASU an 8.

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      We’re both wrong. It’s seven, still a record. Corrections made. Thanks.

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