Field set for women’s D-I national championship

Defending Division I women’s national champion and top-seeded Wisconsin will open up defense of its crown on March 10 as the Badgers will battle CHA tournament runner-up Mercyhurst in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals on home ice.

Boston College hosts St. Lawrence, Minnesota hosts North Dakota and Cornell and Boston University will play at Cornell to make up the rest of the field.

Three conferences were awarded automatic bids for the 2012 tournament. The remaining five teams were selected at-large.

The automatic qualifying conferences and their representatives are Minnesota (WCHA), St. Lawrence (ECAC) and BU (Hockey East). Boston College, Mercyhurst, North Dakota, St. Lawrence and Wisconsin were selected as at-large teams.

The quarterfinals are scheduled for March 10, the semifinals on March 16 and the national title game for March 18 in Duluth, Minn.