The nonconference and early conference schedule across DI women's basketball has provided some huge upsets and the emergence of surprise contenders in the early part of the season.
Selection Sunday is just over two months away, when the 68-team field for the DI women's basketball championship will be announced at 8 p.m. ET March 12 on ESPN. NCAA Digital's Autumn Johnson took a crack at predicting how the bracket will look come March.
|SEED||Greenville – Quad 1||Seattle – Quad 2||Greenville – Quad 3||Seattle – Quad 4|
|1||South Carolina||Stanford||Ohio State||Notre Dame|
|16||Albany/Idaho State||Jackson State||Norfolk State||Long Beach State/SE Louisiana|
|9||Louisville||Tennessee||Middle Tennessee||Ole Miss|
|12||UMass||South Dakota State||Columbia||UNLV|
|13||Stephen F. Austin||Toledo||Holy Cross||Northern Iowa|
|11||Alabama/Michigan State||Seton Hall/Miami||Missouri||Mississippi State|
|3||Iowa State||UCLA||Virginia Tech||Maryland|
|14||Drexel||Cleveland State||James Madison||Eastern Illinois|
|7||Villanova||Nebraska||North Carolina||South Florida|
|10||Florida Gulf Coast||Kansas State||Creighton||Colorado|
|15||Fairfield||Gardner-Webb||East Tennessee State||Fairleigh Dickinson|
No. 1 seeds: South Carolina, Stanford, Ohio State and Notre Dame
South Carolina: The Gamecocks were Autumn Johnson's national champion pick in the preseason, came in ranked No. 1 on the back of their title win in 2022 and have yet to lose this season. Coach Dawn Staley has South Carolina in pole position to be the first repeat national champion since UConn's four-peat from 2013-16, so there's no movement at the top.
Stanford: The only blemish on the Cardinal's schedule this season is its five-point overtime loss to South Carolina in November and it has beaten every other opponent (bar Tennessee) by double digits. A late January meeting with current unbeaten Utah will be huge.
Ohio State: The Buckeyes are one of four remaining undefeated teams in the nation with huge wins over formidable nonconference opponents (Louisville, Oregon and Tennessee) and will be tested plenty in a competitive Big Ten with two games still to come against both Indiana and Maryland.
Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish have started ACC play undefeated, starting with a road win over top-10 opponent Virginia Tech, and have risen into the top 5 of the latest women's hoops Power 10. The most challenging portion of their ACC schedule will come in late January and into February.
Last four in
- Seton Hall
- Michigan State
First four out
- Southern Cal
The automatic qualifiers
Here are the 32 automatic qualifiers picked by Johnson, based on which team she thinks will win their conference tournaments.
|American Athletic||South Florida|
|ASUN||Florida Gulf Coast|
|Big 12||Iowa State|
|Big Sky||Idaho State|
|Big Ten||Ohio State|
|Big West||Long Beach State|
|Colonial Athletic Association||Drexel|
|Conference USA||Middle Tennessee|
|Missouri Valley||Northern Iowa|
|Ohio Valley||Eastern Illinois|
|Southern||East Tennessee State|
|Summit League||South Dakota State|
|Sun Belt||James Madison|
|Western Athletic Conference||Stephen F. Austin|