Akron's Carly Young (35) works for a rebound against Central Michigan's Taylor Johnson in the first half of the Mid-American Conference tournament championship. (David Richard/Associated Press)
Central Michigan will be making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1984, finding out Monday it earned a No. 11 seed and the short trip to Columbus, Ohio, to face No. 6 seed Oklahoma (22-10) on Saturday morning.
Central Michigan, which won the Mid-American Conference tournament, is led by sophomore guard Crystal Bradford (16.7 points, 7.5 rebounds), who was named tournament MVP.
Central Michigan (21-11) defeated Green Bay, which is 29-2, and Texas, and gave No. 1 seed Notre Dame a run.
Oklahoma is led by guard in 5-foot-7 junior Aaryn Ellenberg (18.5 points).
No change in top seeds
Brittney Griner and Baylor's path to a second straight national championship will have a familiar feel.
Then again, so will the whole NCAA women's Tournament. For the first time, the top four seeds are the same for consecutive seasons. Baylor, Connecticut, Notre Dame and Stanford all earned No. 1 spots when the field was announced Monday night.
"To think that the rest of the field is going to catch up to Baylor or Notre Dame or the top four or five teams in the country this year is probably unrealistic," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "But I think all those teams between five and 12 are way better than they've ever been."
Familiar foe for Baylor
As the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, Baylor (32-1) will open Sunday night at home against Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament champion Prairie View (17-14).
That is the same opening matchup Baylor had two years ago, when it was a No. 1 seed for the first time and also hosted first- and second-round games.
"I hadn't even thought about it," coach Kim Mulkey insisted. "No matter who you play, you probably going to be able to probably compare years and teams and times that you played each other. Hadn't thought about it."
New era for Tennessee
Although Tennessee is the only team that has reached the Tournament ever since the NCAA started running it in 1982, this marks the first year Pat Summitt isn't on the bench.
Summitt announced in 2011 that she had early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's type, and she ended her 38-year coaching tenure last April with 1,098 wins, eight national titles and 18 Final Four appearances. Summitt remains on staff as head coach emeritus.
Oklahoma vs. Central Michigan
Tip-off: 11:10 a.m. Saturday, Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Records : No. 6 Oklahoma 22-10, No. 11 Central Michigan 21-11
Notable: It's the first NCAA Tournament bid since 1984 for Central Michigan.
News wires contributed