Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma and Texas will all host first- and second-round games in the 2022 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament next week.
While Texas (26-6) beat Baylor (27-6) to win its first Big 12 Tournament title since 2003, the losses that Iowa State (26-6) and Oklahoma (24-8) suffered didn’t hurt either enough to drop them out of a Top 4 seed.
Baylor and Texas are both No. 2 seeds, Iowa State is a No. 3 seed and Oklahoma is a No. 4 seed.
Kansas (20-9) and Kansas State (19-12) rounded out the Big 12 bids to the tournament. Kansas is a No. 8 seed and Kansas State is a No. 9 seed.
Texas, which reached the Elite Eight last year under then-first year coach Vic Schaefer, will face No. 15 seed Fairfield in the first round on Friday at the Erwin Center in Austin. This is Texas’ final season in their long-time venue nicknamed the Super Drum, and the building will host a few more games before the move to the Moody Center next fall.
The other game in Austin will feature No. 7 seed Utah against No. 10 seed Arkansas.
Baylor also reached the Elite Eight last year under Kim Mulkey, but she left for LSU. Former Atlanta Dream head coach Nicki Collen took over and led the Bears to a Big 12 regular-season crown. The Bears will host at the Ferrell Center and open against No. 15 seed Hawaii on Friday as part of the Wichita Region.
The other game in Waco will feature No. 7 seed Ole Miss against No. 10 seed South Dakota.
Iowa State will host at Hilton Coliseum starting on Friday as part of games in the Greensboro Region. The Cyclones are trying to get out of the first weekend of the tournament for the first time since 2010, when they reached the Sweet 16. The Cyclones will open against No. 14 seed UT-Arlington.
The other game at Hilton will feature No. 6 seed Georgia against No. 11 seed Dayton or DePaul, which will meet in a First Four game.
Oklahoma is returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2018. First-year coach Jennie Baranczyk executed a big turnaround for the Sooners, who will host at the Lloyd Noble Center for the first time since the 2010 season. The Sooners will face No. 13 seed IUPUI in the first round on Saturday as part of the Bridgeport Region.
The other game will feature No. 5 seed Notre Dame against No. 12 seed UMass.
Kansas and Kansas State will have to hit the road for the first weekend of the tournament.
Kansas is playing in the tournament for the first time since 2013. Head coach Brandon Schneider was the Big 12 Coach of the Year after leading the Jayhawks to a fifth-place finish in the Big 12 after being picked to finish last in the preseason. The Jayhawks will face No. 9 seed Georgia Tech in the first round in Stanford, Calif. on Friday as part of the Spokane Region.
Kansas State is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2019 after losing in the Big 12 quarterfinals. The Wildcats haven’t won a first-round game since 2017. The Wildcats will face No. 8 seed Washington State in the first round in Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.