With several of the top teams squaring off against one another and upsets over the last two weeks, the third and final top-16 reveal provided by the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee showed significant movement by several schools in the ranking released Monday.
UConn, which survived a 63-60 scare from upstart Tulane in winning its 101st consecutive game Saturday, remains the No. 1 overall seed. With both Baylor and South Carolina suffering defeats since the last reveal Feb. 6, Mississippi State climbs two spots to the No. 2 position. Baylor drops one spot to No. 3, while Notre Dame is now in the No. 4 position.
Teams making up the next three seed lines are South Carolina at No. 5, followed by Texas, Maryland, Oregon State, Florida State, Stanford, Duke, Washington, UCLA, Louisville, Kentucky and Oklahoma. With wins over Baylor and Florida State on the road since the last reveal, Texas made the biggest jump, going from No. 11 to No. 6. Kentucky and Oklahoma move into the top 16 after being absent from the previous reveal.
“There have been many exciting and competitive games since our last top-16 reveal. The last two weeks have certainly shown how important it is for teams fighting for top seed positions to maintain their high level of play,” said Terry Gawlik, chair of the committee and senior associate athletics director at Wisconsin. “It also reinforces how entertaining these last few weeks of the regular season and upcoming conference tournaments will be. Top seed positions will be on the line with every game, and the committee will be watching.”
UConn, 26-0 overall and 13-0 in the American Athletic Conference, remains entrenched as the overall No. 1 seed. Mississippi State, 27-1 and 13-1 in the Southeastern Conference, has won seven games in a row since suffering a hard-fought 64-61 loss Jan. 23 at South Carolina. Baylor, 25-2 and 14-1 in the Big 12 Conference, has an important rematch against Texas tonight in Austin. The Longhorns, 21-5 and 14-1, defeated the Lady Bears 85-79 on Feb. 6 in Waco.
Monday’s ranking is the third and final top-16 reveal being announced by the committee during the regular season. The three announcements have no bearing on the final bracket that will be unveiled on Selection Monday, March 13, at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
The 2017 Division I Women’s Basketball Championship will again have sites that are not predetermined 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 March 31 and April 2 in Dallas.
NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee
Feb. 20 – Top-16 Ranking:
2. Mississippi State
4. Notre Dame
5. South Carolina
8. Oregon State
9. Florida State