Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN Accidentally Reveals Women's Bracket Hours Early

The state of Michigan has three teams in the NCAA Tournament.

March 18, 2019 - 6:12 pm
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NEW YORK (AP/97.1 The Ticket) — Baylor, Notre Dame, Mississippi State and Louisville are the No. 1 seeds in the women's NCAA Tournament, leading a March Madness field revealed early thanks to a production error.

The bracket was mistakenly put out by ESPN hours before the network had its selection show. ESPN apologized and scrambled to air an early selection show to release the brackets while screenshots of the picks were shared across social networks.

"In working with the NCAA to prepare for tonight's Women's Selection Special we received the bracket, similar to years past. In the midst of our preparation, the bracket was mistakenly posted on ESPNU," the network said in a statement. "We deeply regret the error and extend our apology to the NCAA and the women's basketball community. We will conduct a thorough review of our process to ensure it doesn't happen in the future."

In 2016, the men's bracket was leaked during the selection show, reverberating on Twitter and elsewhere as fans wondered if the picks were accurate.

The No. 1 Lady Bears are the top team in the Greensboro Regional while defending champion Notre Dame is the first choice in Chicago. Mississippi State is the No. 1 team in the Portland Regional where Oregon is the second seed. Louisville is the top choice in the Albany Regional where potentially No. 2 UConn waits.

Central Michigan, who burst onto the scene with a Cinderella-esque run to the Sweet 16 as an 11-seed last season, earned the No. 8 seed in the Chicago Region. The Chippewas (25-7. 15-3 MAC) will play in-state opponent Michigan State in South Bend, with the winner likely advancing to face host and No. 1 overall seed Notre Dame. The Spartans (20-11, 9-9 Big Ten) spent time in the AP Top 25 for the first time in 14 years earlier this season.

Michigan also earned an at-large bid, giving the state three teams in the tournament for the first time since 2013. The Wolverines (21-11, 11-7) are the No. 8-seed in the Albany Region and will face Kansas State.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.