Indianapolis-The America East champion UMBC women's basketball (16-16) team has garnered the No. 16 seed in the Fresno Regional and will take on top-seed Connecticut (29-3) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday at 9:30 p.m. at the Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, Conn. The game can be seen live on ESPN2.
After becoming the first team in conference history to defeat the one, two and three seeds en route to the title, the Retrievers are making their first-ever trip to the NCAA tournament. UMBC becomes the fourth America East team to play as the 16th seed, and these squads are 0-3 all-time, including Maine's 1995 loss to Connecticut. Overall, America East teams are 0-2 in the NCAA tournament against the Huskies.
The Retrievers have never played Connecticut, ranked third in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. UMBC is one of nine teams making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, while the storied Huskies are 58-13 in 18 all-time appearances since 1989, with five national titles and eight Final Four appearances.
Harvard was the only No. 16 seed to defeat a No. 1 seed, taking down Stanford in 1998. If the Retrievers defeat Connecticut on Sunday, they will face the winner of the first round game between No. 8 New Mexico and No. 9 Wisconsin-Green Bay on Tuesday, March 20.