South Carolina, Stanford, NC State and Louisville would be the top four seeds if the season ended today according to the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee.
In the second of two in-season top-16 reveals, the committee also tabbed Michigan, Arizona, Iowa State and Indiana as No. 2 seeds. The nine through 16 seeds feature Oklahoma, Baylor, UConn and Tennessee on the three line, while LSU, Notre Dame, Texas and Oregon were No. 4 seeds.
In addition, the committee provided region assignments for all 16 seeds. The Bridgeport Region included NC State, Michigan, UConn and Texas. South Carolina would be joined by Indiana, Baylor and Oregon in the Greensboro Region. The Spokane Region included Stanford, along with Iowa State, Tennessee and Notre Dame. Louisville was the top seed in the Wichita Region, joined by Arizona, Oklahoma and LSU.
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Biggest mover up the seed list from the first reveal on January 27 was Oklahoma, which went from outside the top-16 to No. 9 overall. Notre Dame also moved into the top-16 at No. 14 after not being included two weeks ago. Louisville moved from the overall No. 5 seed to the No. 4 seed.
“We knew after the first reveal that there could be significant movement for the second,” said Nina King, vice president, director of athletics at Duke and chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee. “There have been many important games for the teams under consideration that helped to determine the 16 teams identified today. We have a lot of great basketball coming up over the final month of the regular season and look forward to doing this again in a couple of weeks as we move closer to selections.”
South Carolina, 21-1 overall and 9-1 in Southeastern Conference play, is currently the No. 1 team in the latest Associated Press women’s college basketball top 25 poll. The Gamecocks’ only loss this season came Dec. 30 at Missouri, 70-69, and they have won nine straight games heading into Thursday’s SEC matchup with Kentucky.
The defending national champion, Stanford (19-3 overall and 10-0 in Pac-12 Conference play) is riding an 11-game winning streak. Big wins for the Cardinal this season have come over Arizona, Oregon, Indiana, Tennessee and Maryland. Stanford dropped a 65-61 decision at South Carolina on Dec. 21.
NC State, 21-3 overall and 12-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, has posted significant wins this season over Louisville, North Carolina (2), Indiana, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Georgia Tech. NC State also lost to South Carolina, 66-57, earlier in the season.
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Louisville, 21-2 overall and 11-1 in the ACC, has won six straight games, with key wins this season over UConn, Michigan and Georgia Tech.
Thursday’s reveal was the second of three being provided this season by the committee. The final reveal will take place on February 28 when Baylor takes on Iowa State at 7 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN2.
The Selection Sunday announcement of the 68-team bracket for the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship will take place at 8 p.m. Eastern time March 13 on ESPN.
The 2022 championship will be the first to have 68 teams. First Four games will be played on Wednesday, March 16, and Thursday, March 17, at four of the top 16 host sites. First- and second-round games will be played Friday, March 18, through Monday, March 21, at the top 16 seeds.
Regional games will be played March 25-28, with Greensboro, North Carolina (Greensboro Coliseum) and Spokane, Washington (Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena) hosting regional semifinal and final games on March 25 and 27, while Bridgeport, Connecticut (Webster Bank Arena) and Wichita, Kansas (Intrust Bank Arena) will host March 26 and 28.
The 2022 Women’s Final Four will be played April 1 and 3 at the Target Center in Minneapolis.
NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee – February 10 – Top 16 Ranking*
1. South Carolina (No. 1 seed – Greensboro Region)
2. Stanford (No. 1 seed – Spokane Region)
3. NC State (No. 1 seed – Bridgeport Region)
4. Louisville (No. 1 seed – Wichita Region)
7. Iowa State
14. Notre Dame
1. NC State
1. South Carolina
2. Iowa State
4. Notre Dame
*Rankings and regional assignments based on games played through Wednesday, February 9.