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Autumn Johnson | NCAA.com | February 10, 2022

5 takeaways from the second NCAA women's basketball top-16 reveal

Latest NCAA women's basketball top 16 seeds, revealed

The NCAA DI women's basketball selection committee revealed its second top-16 reveal of the season. 

Here are my five takeaways after analyzing the updated top-16 teams: 

1. Louisville breaks into the No. 1 line, thanks to Tennessee

The top three teams — South Carolina, Stanford and NC State — remain the same, but Louisville muscles its way onto the one line, replacing Tennessee since the first reveal. Louisville is one of the best scoring defenses in the country and is currently 5-2 against AP Top-25 opponents. Its only blemish in the ACC comes from NC State, who is also featured on the one line. I believe the Cards can remain as a No. 1 seed if they remain unbeaten the remainder of conference play. 

As I mentioned earlier, Tennessee can't catch a break. The Vols' season has taken a surprising downward spiral, falling to Auburn (the same day as the first committee reveal), nearly escaped Arkansas and then fell to Florida and UConn in blowout fashions. Now 20-4 overall, the Vols are now considered a three seed by the selection committee coming in at No. 12, as of right now. 

2. The Big 12 is deep  

My latest bracket prediction has been stacked with SEC contenders throughout the field of 68, but how about the Big 12 storming into the latest committee reveal with four teams — Iowa State (7), Oklahoma (9), Baylor (10) and Texas (15). That's the most out of any conference. The SEC, Pac 12 and ACC all have three each, Big Ten comes in with two teams, and the Big East hosts one.

Yes, there were four teams from the Big 12 in the first reveal with Kansas State previously getting a top-16 nod. However, the conference was tied with the SEC, who also had four teams, but Georgia has fallen out since then, which gave the ACC an opportunity to rack up its representation, which brings me to my next takeaway.

3. There's some new kids on the block and teams on the rise

Hello, Oklahoma and Notre Dame! 

The Sooners have proved they belong in the top 16, after sweeping Baylor in its regular-season series and picking up a ranked win over Texas. Those two victories advanced the Sooners to 4-2 over top-25 opponents. On top of that, Oklahoma is currently the No. 2 scoring offense in the nation with an impressive 20-3 record. 

The Fighting Irish is another team making a lot of noise as of late. The win over NC State, who is a No. 1 seed, helped Notre Dame storm into the top-16 as one of the two new teams. This gave second-year head coach Niele Ivey her first top-5 win in her career. The upset also put the nation on notice as Notre Dame gave NC State its first ACC loss of the season. The Fighting Irish are currently No. 15 in the NET rankings. Watch out for these two teams! 

Let's dive into other teams that have been on the rise. Iowa State and Michigan were both considered three seeds at the end of January, but have soared into the two line since then. Iowa State is now 4-2 against ranked opponents, picking up a huge win over Kansas State recently. As for Michigan, the Wolverines are currently 7-1 after taking down Ohio State, Indiana and Iowa since the first reveal. Unfortunately, the hottest team in the Big Ten was cooled down by its in-state rival Michigan State, upsetting the Wolverines 63-57. 

TOP 16: South Carolina, Stanford, NC State and Louisville earn top seeds in latest committee reveal 

4. Kansas State and Georgia knocked out

Georgia and Kansas State, who were previously ranked 15 and 16 in the first reveal, are gone... for now. Georgia suffered its fifth loss of the season with an upset from Florida. The Bulldogs are currently ranked No. 24 in the NET. As for Kansas State, this was a surprise team for many in the first top-16 reveal. However, the Wildcats have fallen to Texas, Iowa State and Baylor as of late, which didn't help their case in remaining a dark horse team in the second reveal. 

5. South Carolina is looking like the national champs

I put this one last, because I've been saying this all season. South Carolina is primed to be the 2022 national women's basketball champs. Their resume says it all. The Gamecocks are 9-0 against top-25 foes, No. 1 in the AP and the NET, the No. 1 team in blocked shots (188), rank No. 4 nationally in rebounds, are the No. 6 scoring defense in the nation and currently hold a 22-1 overall record as their tasked with one of the toughest schedules in the country! I could go on, and on, and on, but this squad is deep, dangerous and experienced. 

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