Three Kansas City-area women’s basketball teams will learn their NCAA Tournament seeds Monday when the bracket is revealed at 5 p.m. on ESPN.
Missouri State earned an automatic berth by winning the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament on Sunday and Missouri and Kansas State are expected to make the Big Dance as well.
It will be the Bears’ first appearance since 2016. The Wildcats should return to the NCAA Tournament after a narrowly missing it last season. Missouri should make its fourth straight appearance.
The Tigers enter the tournament with a sense of urgency after getting upset in the first round last year by Florida Gulf Coast, a No. 12 seed, and will likely be a No. 5 or No. 6 seed. It’s Robin Pingeton’s final year with star player Sophie Cunningham and the Tigers have never made it to the Sweet 16 with the 6-foot-1 guard.
ESPN’s Charlie Creme currently projects the Tigers as a No. 5 seed in Corvallis, Ore., facing Boise State in the first round, with Oregon State potentially waiting in the second round.
Kansas State swept Texas, a top-15 team in the regular season, and is projected as a No. 10 seed facing South Dakota, a No. 7 seed. If the Wildcats win, they’d likely face Stanford in the second round.
Creme and other bracket projections had yet to account for Missouri State after the Bears upset Drake in the Valley title game, but coach Kellie Harper’s squad should be a tough out in the tournament. The Bears nearly beat Missouri and Gonzaga, both top-25 teams, in its nonconference schedule and enters the tournament on a five-game winning streak. Creme had Drake projected as a No. 7 seed facing Indiana with No. 2 Oregon waiting in the next round.