Two weeks before Selection Monday, the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee has tabbed South Carolina, Baylor, Oregon and Maryland as the No. 1 seeds in the second of two top-16 early reveals.
The reveal signals the final countdown to the announcement of the 64-team, 2020 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship bracket that will take place on Monday, March 16 during the ESPN selection show (7 p.m. ET).
If the season ended today, Louisville, UConn, Stanford and UCLA would be the No. 2 seeds. The 9-16 seeds included Northwestern, NC State, Mississippi State and Gonzaga on the 3-line, while Iowa, Arizona, Oregon State and DePaul 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, while Baylor, Oregon and Maryland were top seeds in the Dallas, Portland and Fort Wayne Regions, respectively.
Baylor would be joined by Stanford, Mississippi State and Iowa in Dallas. The Fort Wayne Regional includes Maryland, Louisville, Gonzaga and Arizona. In Greenville, South Carolina would be joined by UCLA, NC State and Oregon State. The Portland Regional would include Oregon, UConn, Northwestern and DePaul.
“It’s been a very interesting season in terms of parity and that has made the committee’s job that much tougher in identifying the top 16 teams and their seeding,” 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. “We know that what was announced today is just a snapshot in time as we await the upcoming conference tournaments. We along with all fans will be watching closely over the next two weeks.”
South Carolina, 29-1 overall and 16-0 in Southeastern Conference play, has won 23 straight games since an early season defeat to Indiana.
Defending national champion Baylor, 27-1 overall and 16-0 in the Big 12 Conference, has won 20 straight games including a key 74-58 win over then No. 1 UConn in Hartford, Connecticut in early January. That win broke the Huskies’ 98-game home and 126-game regular-season win streaks.
Oregon, 28-2 and 17-1 in the Pac-12 Conference, is riding a 16-game winning streak that also includes a win at UConn, the first-ever win for the Ducks over the Huskies.
Maryland, 25-4 overall, shared the Big Ten Conference regular season championship with Northwestern, both sporting 16-2 conference marks. The Terrapins have won 14 straight games going into the Big Ten Conference Tournament this week.
FIRST TOP-16 REVEAL: Here's how the committee's top-16 has changed since early February
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.
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 — March 2 — Top-16 ranking *
1. South Carolina (No. 1 seed – Greenville Region)
2. Baylor (No. 1 seed – Dallas Region)
3. Oregon (No. 1 seed – Portland Region)
4. Maryland (No. 1 seed – Fort Wayne Region)
10. NC State
11. Mississippi State
15. Oregon State
2020 regional assignments
3. Mississippi State
1. South Carolina
3. NC State
4. Oregon State
*Ranking and regional assignments based on games played through Sunday, March 1.