Notre Dame will be the No. 5-seed in the Bridgeport Regional and will open the NCAA women's basketball tournament against 12-seed UMass on Saturday in Norman, Oklahoma.

The winner will move on to face the advancer from No. 4-seed Oklahoma vs. No. 13-seed IUPUI. Oklahoma, as the top seed of the four teams in this pod, will play host to the first two rounds.

The Minutewomen beat Dayton 62-56 in the Atlantic 10 tournament championship last week to guarantee themselves a spot in the field, which has been expanded from 64 to 68 teams this year.

The Irish are returning to the field for the first time since 2019, when they lost 82-81 to Baylor in the championship final. The tournament was not held in 2020 because of COVID-19, and Notre Dame was not selected in 2021, when the team went 10-10 in its first season under current head coach Niele Ivey.

vjacobsen@jg.net