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Rick Nixon | NCAA | February 3, 2020

Women's basketball top-16 reveal: South Carolina, Baylor, Louisville and Oregon are top seeds in first release

Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu reflects on her upbringing, her family and her identity outside of basketball

If the season ended today, South Carolina, Baylor, Louisville and Oregon would occupy the No. 1 seed line of the 2020 championship bracket as the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee made its first top-16 reveal on Monday night at halftime of the Oregon-UConn game on ESPN2.

UConn, Stanford, NC State and Maryland are currently No. 2 seeds. Teams rounding out the top-16 included Oregon State, Mississippi State, UCLA and Gonzaga on the three line, while Arizona, DePaul, Iowa and Northwestern were No. 4 seeds.

In addition, the committee provided region assignments for all 16 seeds, with South Carolina the No. 1 seed in the Greenville Region, Baylor currently the No. 1 seed in the Dallas Region, Louisville the No. 1 seed in the Fort Wayne Region and Oregon No. 1 in the Portland Region.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL RANKINGS: South Carolina, Oregon stay atop Power 10 | Latest AP poll

Baylor would be joined by Stanford, Gonzaga and Arizona in Dallas. The Fort Wayne Regional includes Louisville, UConn, Oregon State and Northwestern. In Greenville, South Carolina would be joined by NC State, UCLA and Iowa. The Portland Regional would include Oregon, Maryland, Mississippi State and DePaul.

“The season has shown there is an increased parity and that was reflected in the difficulty that the committee had in identifying the top 16 seeds here in early February,” said Diane Turnham, chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee and senior associate athletic director and senior woman administrator at Middle Tennessee State University. “There are so many great games coming up in February that will be very telling before our next reveal in early March.”

South Carolina, 21-1 overall and 9-0 in Southeastern Conference play, has won 15 straight games since an early season defeat to Indiana. The Gamecocks are readying for a Feb. 10 home game against UConn.

Defending national champion Baylor, 19-1 overall and 8-0 in the Big 12 Conference, has won 12 straight games including a key 74-58 win over then No. 1 UConn in Hartford, Conn. in early January. That win broke the Huskies’ 98-game home and 126-game regular-season win streaks.

Relive the Baylor Lady Bears' journey to claim the 2019 DI national championship

Louisville, 21-1 and 10-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, has won 13 straight games including a key early season win over Oregon, 72-62 at the Paradise Jam tournament on Nov. 30.

Oregon, 19-2 and 9-1 in the Pac-12 Conference, is riding a seven-game winning streak going into tonight’s showdown at UConn. The Ducks scored two wins over No. 9 seed Oregon State as part of the win streak.

The first and second rounds of the 2020 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship will be played March 20-23 on the home courts of the top 16 seeds. Regional action will take place March 27-30, with Dallas (Moody Coliseum) and Greenville, S.C. (Bon Secours Wellness Arena) hosting on March 27 and 29, while Fort Wayne, Ind. (Allen County War Memorial Coliseum) and Portland (Moda Center) will host regional games on March 28 and 30. The 2020 Women’s Final Four will be held April 3 and 5 at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.

In its continued commitment to the sport of women’s college basketball, ESPN will air the entire 2020 Women’s Final Four (semifinals and championship) in primetime on the flagship network. Additionally, the entire first and second rounds of the women’s championship will be available nationally on ESPN’s television networks, eliminating regionalization.

The second and final top-16 committee reveal will take place on Monday, March 2 at halftime of the South Florida-UConn game on ESPN2 that tips at 7 p.m. ET. 

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The top-16 announcements will have no bearing on the final 64-team field for the 2020 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship that will be announced during the ESPN Selection Show on Monday, March 16 at 7 p.m. ET. 

For the latest Women’s Final Four information, visit ncaa.com/womensfinalfour. Follow all the action and join the conversation by following NCAA women’s basketball on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@ncaawbb) and using #ncaaW.

NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee — Feb. 3 — Top-16 ranking *

  1. South Carolina (No. 1 seed — Greenville Region)
  2. Baylor (No. 1 seed — Dallas Region)
  3. Louisville (No. 1 seed — Fort Wayne Region)
  4. Oregon (No. 1 seed — Portland Region)
  5. UConn
  6. Stanford
  7. NC State
  8. Maryland
  9. Oregon State
  10. Mississippi State
  11. UCLA
  12. Gonzaga
  13. Arizona
  14. DePaul
  15. Iowa
  16. Northwestern

2020 regional assignments

WBK Top 16

Dallas:

  1. Baylor
  2. Stanford
  3. Gonzaga
  4. Arizona

Fort Wayne:

  1. Louisville
  2. UConn
  3. Oregon State
  4. Northwestern

Greenville

  1. South Carolina
  2. NC State
  3. UCLA
  4. Iowa

Portland

  1. Oregon
  2. Maryland
  3. Mississippi State
  4. DePaul

*Ranking and regional assignments based on games played through Sunday, Feb. 2.

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