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Rick Nixon | NCAA.com | January 18, 2018

UConn, MSU sit atop committee's first top 16 reveal

Connecticut's dominance throughout the years

The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee provided the first of three regular season top-16 rankings in seed order on Thursday evening, with UConn, Mississippi State, Louisville and Oregon earning No. 1 seeds if the season ended today. 

With 54 days remaining before Selection Monday on March 12, the committee also named the No. 5 through 16 seeds in order, as Tennessee, Notre Dame, Texas, South Carolina, Baylor, Ohio State, Florida State, UCLA, Missouri, Texas A&M, Rutgers and Georgia were identified, respectively for games played through January 16.

 
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In addition, the committee designated region assignments for each of the four No. 1 seeds.  If the season ended today, UConn would be the No. 1 seed in the Albany Region, while Mississippi State would be the top seed in the Kansas City region, Louisville in the Lexington Region and Oregon in the Spokane Region.

The first and second rounds of the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship will be played March 16-19 on the home courts of the top 16 seeds.  Regional action will take place March 23-26, with Kansas City, Missouri (Sprint Center) and Lexington, Kentucky (Rupp Arena) hosting on March 23 and 25, while Albany, New York (Times Union Center) and Spokane, Washington (Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena) will host regional games on March 24 and 26.  The 2018 Women’s Final Four will be held March 30 and April 1 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.  Ticket information for all championship sites is available at http://www.ncaa.com/tickets.

“It’s always difficult in mid-January to identify the top teams with conference play just getting underway,” said Rhonda Lundin Bennett, chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee and senior associate athletics director and senior woman administrator at the University of Nevada.  “This first ranking serves as a conversation starter as there are numerous games in the next several weeks that will help to further identify where teams should be seeded.  The committee will continue to monitor play closely and then revisit on February 1 for the second of the three regular season rankings.”

MORE: Cleveland, Dallas among Women’s Final Four finalist bid cities for 2021-24

No. 1 seeded UConn is currently the top ranked team in the latest Associated Press top-25 poll.  The Huskies, 16-0, have notched 102 straight regular season victories following a 75-71 win over Texas on Jan. 15, becoming the first NCAA Division I women's basketball program to ever top the century mark in consecutive regular season wins.

Other top-seeded teams included Mississippi State, which has continued the momentum from its appearance in the 2017 national championship game, winning all 19 games this season.  The No. 3 overall seed, Louisville, 19-0, just moved up to No. 2 in latest Associated Press women's basketball poll for the first time in school history.  No. 4 seed Oregon, 17-2, is currently atop the Pac-12 Conference standings.

The Jan. 18 ranking is the first of three top-16 rankings that will be revealed by the committee during the 2017-18 regular season.  In addition, two other top-16 reveals are scheduled this season to take place on Thursday, February 1 during halftime of the UConn-South Carolina game on ESPN (7 p.m. ET) and Monday, February 19, during ESPN2’s Big Monday/Play4Kay tripleheader that includes Florida State at Duke (6 p.m.), Baylor at Texas (8 p.m. ET) and UCLA at Oregon (10 p.m. ET).

NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee - January 18 – Top-16 Ranking*

  1. UConn (No. 1 seed – Albany Region)
  2. Mississippi State (No. 1 seed – Kansas City Region)
  3. Louisville (No. 1 seed – Lexington Region)
  4. Oregon (No. 1 seed – Spokane Region)
  5. Tennessee
  6. Notre Dame
  7. Texas
  8. South Carolina
  9. Baylor
  10. Ohio State
  11. Florida State
  12. UCLA
  13. Missouri
  14. Texas A&M
  15. Rutgers
  16. Georgia

*Rankings based on games played through Tuesday night, January 16.

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