Barring a massive upset in the first or second round, Baylor's quest for a second consecutive national championship will go through Oklahoma City.
The top-ranked Lady Bears, led by superstar senior Brittney Griner, are the No. 1 seed in the Oklahoma City Regional, where Chesapeake Energy Arena will host semifinal games on March 31 and the Regional Final on April 2.
The team to advance out the Oklahoma City Regional will move on to the Final Four in New Orleans.
State schools Oklahoma and Oral Roberts are in the Regional as the No. 6 and 15 seeds, respectively. That bracket also features six teams ranked in the final Associated Press poll in second-seeded Tennessee, third-seeded UCLA, fourth-seeded Purdue, fifth-seeded Louisville, seventh-seeded Syracuse and eighth-seeded Florida State.
Other teams in the Regional include Princeton, Creighton, Central Michigan, Middle Tennessee State, Liberty, Stetson and Prairie View A&M
“We are excited to host such a competitive and diverse group in our region,” Oklahoma City All Sports Executive Director Tim Brassfield said in a release. “Baylor's Brittney Griner is one of the elite players in the history of women's college basketball and she could be playing here in Oklahoma City in a couple of weeks, along with many other outstanding players.
“OKC will be the showcase location in 2013.”
The first- and second-round games that feed to Oklahoma City will be played in Columbus, Ohio, Knoxville, Tenn., Waco, Texas and Lexington. Ky. beginning Saturday.