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Baylor tabbed as no. 1 overall seed in women’s Big Dance

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The defending women’s national champion Baylor has been selected as the number one overall seed for the second consecutive year heading into the 2013 NCAA women’s basketball tournament.

The top four teams all make a return trip to their respective seeds, with Connecticut (Bridgeport Region), Notre Dame (Norfolk Region) and Stanford (Spokane Region) following the Lady Bears in the top four spots.

Baylor (32-1) and 2012 National Player of the Year Britney Griner will take on SWAC champion Prairie View A&M (17-14) in the first round, the same match-up as two years ago between the two teams. The tournament begins Saturday.

Stanford is looking to make it’s sixth straight Final Four while Notre Dame is attempting to make its third straight national title game as well.

The most intriguing part of the women’s bracket may be the possibility of a Baylor/Tennessee matchup in the Lady Bears’ region. The Lady Vols are the no. 2 seed in the Oklahoma City Regional. The two teams met in the regional final last season as well.

In the Cardinal’s side of the bracket, a potential matchup with rival California could happen if those two make it to the regional final. The Lady Golden Bears are also a no. 2 seed.

It’s a lot of deja vu in the 2013 tournament. Same overall no. 1 seed, same top four seeds. Even a return two seed. But one has to think Griner and the Lady Bears are poised for their second straight title with Griner in the middle and Kim Mulkey at the helm.

Follow David Harten at @David_Harten

VIDEO: Winthrop’s Keon Johnson goes coast-to-coast for buzzer-beater

Winthrop's Keon Johnson (5) shoots a layup while defended by Coastal Carolina's Warren Gillis during the first half of the Big South Conference Championship college basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2015, in Conway, S.C. Coastal Carolina won 81-70. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
(AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
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Winthop earned a Big South road win at Radford on Saturday afternoon as junior guard Keon Johnson raced coast-to-coast and buried the game-winner at the buzzer.

The 5-foot-7 Johnson erupted for 32 points in the win and he’s been one of the most potent mid-major scorers in the country this season. The win moves Winthrop to 18-7 on the season and their 10-4 mark in the Big South ties them with UNC Asheville atop the conference standings.

(H/T: LiveonASN)

After blowout of South Carolina, is No. 22 Kentucky a Final Four contender?

Kentucky guard Tyler Ulis (3) guards the ball after a rebound during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Auburn, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Auburn, Ala. Auburn won 75-70. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
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It only took 2:26 for official Doug Sirmons to plant two technical fouls on Kentucky head coach John Calipari, and that may have been the worst thing that could have happened to South Carolina.

He poked the bear, and the result was that a ticked off No. 22 Wildcat team proceeded to run the Gamecocks out of their own gym, 89-62.

The star of the show was interim head coach Tyler Ulis, who put together as dominating of a performance as you’ll ever see out of a player that stands 5-foot-9. Ulis finished with 27 points and 12 assists, hitting 4-for-8 from three and turning the ball over just once.

Marcus Lee added 11 points and 13 boards, including six on the offensive end, and Jamal Murray had his customary 26 points on 9-for-21 shooting, but the story of this game was Ulis.

I’m not sure I’ve ever seed a player under 6-foot capable of dominating a game the way that Ulis can dominate. Murray can take over with the best of them — we saw it against Florida and Ohio State — but when it comes to the NCAA tournament, this Kentucky team will go as far as Ulis carries them.

And based on the way that he’s played in the last six weeks, that could end up being pretty far. In SEC play, Ulis is averaging 19.4 points and 7.6 assists. He’s scored at least 17 points in 12 of the last 14 games and has notched as least five assists in all 14. He just orchestrated a total mollywhopping of a Frank Martin-coached team that was tied for first place in the SEC while playing without his head coach and on the road.

The issue with Kentucky is the same today as it was a month ago. They’re a two-man team with an inconsistent supporting cast. When their two studs play like this, they can beat anyone in the country. When they don’t, they can struggle against anyone.

But here’s the thing: When Ulis is playing the way that he’s played of late, they don’t really need all that much from their supporting cast. Derek Willis needs to be able to space the floor. Lee and Skal Labissiere need to be able to hold their own against opposing big men.

And when that happens?

Kentucky is clearly the best team in the SEC and good enough to be able to win four straight in the Big Dance and get to a Final Four.