With only 22 days remaining until Selection Monday, the third and final regular season top-16 reveal by the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee showed movement beyond the No. 1 seed line, which remained the same from the last announcement on February 1.
Monday’s reveal again identified UConn, Mississippi State, Louisville and Notre Dame as the four No. 1 seeds, with Baylor, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas close behind as No. 2 seeds. Seed Nos. 9-16 included Florida State, UCLA, Missouri, Tennessee, Ohio State, Maryland, Georgia and Stanford, respectively.The final two weeks of the regular season and upcoming conference tournaments will help determine the 64-team bracket for the 2018 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship that will be announced on Monday, March 12.
In addition, the committee designated region assignments for all 16 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.
UConn would be joined by South Carolina, Florida State and Stanford in the Albany Region. The Kansas City region would include Mississippi State, Texas, UCLA and Maryland. In the Lexington region, Louisville, Baylor, Tennessee and Ohio State would be assigned. The Spokane region would include Notre Dame, Oregon, Missouri and Georgia.
“This third reveal presented a number of challenges for the committee,” 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. “Based on results over the last several weeks, identifying those teams on the number four seed line versus those teams just outside of the top 16 became even more difficult as those teams all possessed similar looking resumes. The committee will be paying close attention as the regular season concludes and conference tournaments help to clarify much of the discussion we had for this announcement.”
No. 1 seeded UConn is currently the top-ranked team in the latest Associated Press top 25 poll. The Huskies, 26-0, are in the midst of their 25th-straight 20-win season. UConn has won an NCAA-record 112 straight regular season games.
Mississippi State, which on Sunday clinched its first-ever Southeastern Conference regular season championship, is now 28-0 on the season and stands as the No. 2 overall seed. The No. 3 overall seed, Louisville, 27-2, is currently tied with No. 4 overall seed, Notre Dame, 25-2, atop the Atlantic Coast Conference standings.
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 19 – 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
- Ohio State
*Rankings based on games played through Sunday, February 18.
2. South Carolina
3. Florida State
1. Mississippi State
4. Ohio State
1. Notre Dame