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Rick Nixon | NCAA.com | February 11, 2019

Baylor, Louisville, Oregon and Mississippi State earn top seeds in first women's basketball tournament reveal

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If the season ended today, Baylor, Louisville, Oregon and Mississippi State would be the No. 1 seeds in the 2019 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.

In the first of two top-16 reveals during the 2018-19 season by the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee, it was announced that UConn, defending champion Notre Dame, Stanford and NC State are currently No. 2 seeds.  Rounding out the top-16 seeds included Marquette, Iowa, Maryland and Oregon State as No. 3 seeds, while South Carolina, Gonzaga, Iowa State and Miami (FL) were No. 4 seeds.

In addition, the committee designated region assignments for all 16 seeds, with Baylor the No. 1 seed in the Greensboro Region, Louisville the top seed in the Chicago region, Oregon in the Portland Region and Mississippi State in the Albany Region.

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Mississippi State would be joined by UConn, Oregon State and Miami (FL) in the Albany Region. The Chicago region would include Louisville, Stanford, Marquette and Iowa State.  In the Greensboro region, Baylor, Notre Dame, Maryland and South Carolina would be assigned. The Portland region would include Oregon, NC State, Iowa and Gonzaga.

“It’s been a very interesting season so far in terms of team movement from one week to the next and this first top-16 reveal reflects that,” 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.  “Each of our top four seeds separated themselves by having only one loss combined with signature victories.  With still over a thousand games to be played over the final month of the regular season we know what was announced today is just a snapshot in time as we await the stretch run of the season, including conference tournament play.”

Baylor, 21-1 overall and 11-0 in Big 12 Conference play, has won 13 straight games that included an historic 68-57 home win over UConn on Jan. 3 that ended the Huskies 126-game regular season winning streak that had spanned more than four years.

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Louisville, 23-1 overall and 10-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, also defeated UConn 78-69 on Jan. 31 at home.  The Cardinals have reeled off nine straight wins since suffering their only loss of the season at Notre Dame on Jan. 10 by an 82-68 count.

Oregon, 23-1 overall and 12-0 in the Pac-12 Conference, has won 16 straight games since suffering its only loss on Dec. 9 at Michigan State.  The Ducks latest outing was significant as Oregon defeated No. 11 Stanford 88-48 on Sunday, notching the Ducks' first win at Maples Pavilion since 1987.

Mississippi State, 22-1 overall has moved to the top of the Southeastern Conference standings with a 10-0 mark.  Winners of 12 straight, the Bulldogs are coming off a 91-63 win over Tennessee on Sunday.

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The first and second rounds of the 2019 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship will be played March 22-25 on the home courts of the top 16 seeds.  Regional action will take place March 29-April 1, with Albany, New York (Times Union Center) and Portland, Oregon (Moda Center) hosting on March 29 and 31, while Greensboro, North Carolina (Greensboro Coliseum) and Chicago, Illinois (Wintrust Arena) will host regional games on March 30 and April 1.  The 2019 Women’s Final Four will be held April 5 and 7 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.  Ticket information for all championship sites is available at http://www.ncaa.com/tickets.

The second and final top-16 reveal by the committee will take place on Monday, March 4 at halftime of the UConn vs. South Florida game that tips at 7 p.m. that night and will be broadcast on ESPN2.  The early reveals will have no bearing on the 64-team field for the 2019 championship that will be announced on Selection Monday, March 18 on ESPN at 7 p.m. EST.

NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee – February 11 – Top-16 Ranking*

  1. Baylor (No. 1 seed – Greensboro Region)
  2. Louisville (No. 1 seed – Chicago Region)
  3. Oregon (No. 1 seed – Portland Region)
  4. Mississippi State (No. 1 seed – Albany Region)
  5. UConn
  6. Notre Dame
  7. Stanford
  8. North Carolina State
  9. Marquette
  10. Iowa
  11. Maryland
  12. Oregon State
  13. South Carolina
  14. Gonzaga
  15. Iowa State
  16. Miami (FL)

Regional Assignments

Albany:

1. Mississippi State

2. UConn

 3. Oregon State

4. Miami (FL)

Chicago:                

1. Louisville

2. Stanford

 3. Marquette

4. Iowa State

Greensboro:      

1. Baylor

2. Notre Dame

3. Maryland

4. South Carolina

Portland:

1. Oregon

2. NC State

3. Iowa

4. Gonzaga

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