Notre Dame and Baylor each made significant jumps in the second NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee top-16 reveal that was released on Thursday evening.
UConn, Mississippi State and Louisville each remained No. 1 seeds, joined by Notre Dame as the fourth top seed. The Irish, 20-2 and 8-1 Atlantic Coast Conference, moved up two seed positions from the No. 6 slot it occupied on the first reveal that was announced Jan. 18.Baylor, 20-1 and 10-0 in the Big 12, moved up to the No. 6 seed just behind No. 5 Oregon. Two weeks ago, the Lady Bears were a No. 9 seed, but went 4-0 since the last reveal, including wins over two top-25 ranked teams in Texas and West Virginia.
Following Baylor in order from No. 7 seed to 16 were South Carolina, Florida State, Texas, UCLA, Tennessee, Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, Michigan and Texas A&M, respectively for games played through January 31.
“Since the first reveal two weeks ago we have seen several teams make great strides in improvement of their team resumes,” 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. “February is going to be filled with even more compelling games as teams pursue conference regular season championships and tournament positioning.”
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 Notre Dame in the Spokane Region.
No. 1 seeded UConn is currently the top-ranked team in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll. The Huskies (20-0) are in the midst of their 25th straight 20-win season after routing Tulane 98-45 on Jan. 27. UConn has won an NCAA-record 106 straight regular season games.
Mississippi State has maintained the momentum from its appearance in the 2017 national championship game, winning all 22 games this season, and stands as the No. 2 overall seed. No. 3 overall seed Louisville (22-1) is currently in a three-way tie atop the ACC standings with Notre Dame and Virginia.
The third and final top-16 reveal by the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee will take place on Monday, Feb. 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). The announcement will take place at halftime of the Florida State-Duke game.
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.
NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee – February 1 – Top-16 Ranking*
- UConn (No. 1 seed – Albany Region)
- Mississippi State (No. 1 seed – Kansas City Region)
- Louisville (No. 1 seed – Lexington Region)
- Notre Dame (No. 1 seed – Spokane Region)
- South Carolina
- Florida State
- Texas A&M
*Rankings based on games played through Wednesday, January 31.