With 36 days and numerous key games still to be played before Selection Monday, the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee on Monday provided the second of three regular-season top 16 rankings in seed order.
UConn, Baylor, South Carolina and Mississippi State remain the top four seeds, joined in the top four seed lines by Florida State, Notre Dame, Oregon State, Stanford, Maryland, Washington, Texas, Duke, Louisville, UCLA, North Carolina State and DePaul. Stanford has made the biggest jump since the first reveal on Jan. 23, going from No. 12 to No. 8.
“We didn’t see a great deal of movement from our first reveal to this one in the top 10, as there were only three losses among that group, with two of those losses coming against teams in the top 10,” said Terry Gawlik, chair of the committee and senior associate athletics director at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “It pointed out to the committee how thin the difference is between those top teams and how important every game will be for those teams down the stretch of this season.”
UConn, 22-0 overall and 10-0 in the American Athletic Conference, remains entrenched as the overall No. 1 seed. The Huskies are currently riding an NCAA-record 97-game winning streak. No. 2 Baylor, 23-1 and 12-0 in the Big 12 Conference, is facing No. 11 Texas tonight in an important Big 12 matchup. The Lady Bears have won 21 straight games since losing Nov. 17 to UConn. No. 3 South Carolina, which defeated No. 4 Mississippi State, 64-61 on Jan. 23, will face off Feb. 13 against UConn in Storrs, Connecticut.
This ranking is the second of three times the top 16 seeds will be announced by the committee during the regular season, with the final ranking taking place Feb. 20. The three announcements will have no bearing on the final bracket, which will be revealed on Selection Monday, March 13 at 7 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN.
The 2017 Division I Women’s Basketball Championship will again have nonpredetermined sites for the first and second rounds, with the top 16 seeds hosting play Friday, March 17 and Sunday, March 19, and Saturday, March 18, and Monday, March 20. After regional round play March 24-27, the 2017 Women’s Final Four will be played March 31 and April 2 in Dallas.
Feb. 6 – Top 16 Ranking:
- South Carolina
- Mississippi State
- Florida State
- Notre Dame
- Oregon State
- North Carolina State