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Amna Subhan | | February 24, 2023

Breaking down the final committee top-16 women's basketball reveal

Initial reactions to the final top-16 women's basketball committee rankings

The final top-16 rankings from the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee are revealed. South Carolina, Indiana, Stanford and Utah take the top-four spots; each team would take the No. 1 seeds in the bracket if the season ended today. 


But before we dive further, here are the full rankings (games played through Wednesday, Feb. 22): 

1.    South Carolina (No. 1 seed — Greenville Region 1) 
2.    Indiana (No. 1 seed — Greenville Region 2) 
3.    Stanford (No. 1 seed — Seattle Region 1) 
4.    Utah (No. 1 seed — Seattle Region 2) 
5.    LSU
6.    Maryland
7.    UConn
8.    Virginia Tech
9.    Iowa
10.  Notre Dame
11.  Duke
12.  Ohio State
13.  Texas
14.  Villanova
15.  Arizona
16.  Michigan

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4 top takeaways 

Utah snatches final No. 1 seed 

Utah (23-3, 13-3 Pac-12) ranked fourth is perhaps the biggest surprise of the final reveal. The committee picked the Utes sixth in the first rankings. Since Feb. 9 they’ve gone 4-1 with wins over Washington, Washington State and Arizona State. The Utes fell at Arizona 82-72 in their singular loss of the stretch. Overall, Utah has three ranked wins, two Pac-12 and one non-conference. 

UConn drops out of top four

UConn fell from the first rankings reveal. The Huskies (24-5, 16-2 Big East) got upset by another unranked conference opponent in St. John’s this past week. The night before the first rankings, UConn lost to Marquette but still managed a No. 1 seed. The resume of non-conference ranked wins outweighed the loss in the first rankings. But after Red Storm stole the Huskies' thunder in Hartford it proved futile. UConn dropped from fourth to seventh. 

Arizona in, North Carolina out 

There’s a newcomer to the final committee top-16 as Arizona gets the nod over North Carolina, a team that was ranked No. 14 in the first reveal. The Wildcats pulled off two ranked wins over Utah and Colorado to jump into the rankings for the first time. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels went 2-2 since Feb. 9 with losses to Syracuse and NC State. Despite having four top 25 wins on its resume, UNC has an overall record of 19-8 (10-6 ACC). No other team in the top-16 has more than seven losses. 

11 teams overall shifted

While Utah's and UConn's movement altered the No. 1 seeding, nine other teams moved from their first rankings spot. Michigan fell five spots to 16 marking the biggest change in the rankings, along with Virginia Tech's rise from 13 to 8. Maryland jumped up to sixth from ninth after an impressive rout over Iowa this week. The Hawkeyes fell to the Terrapins' previous ranking. 

Here’s how this reveal compared to the first rankings: 

1 South Carolina South Carolina
2 Indiana Indiana
3 Stanford Stanford
4 Utah ⬆️ UConn
6 Maryland ⬆️ Utah
7 UConn ⬇️ Iowa
8 Virginia Tech ⬆️ Duke
9 Iowa ⬇️ Maryland
10 Notre Dame Notre Dame
11 Duke ⬇️ Michigan
12 Ohio State ⬆️ Texas
13 Texas ⬇️ Virginia Tech
14 Villanova ⬆️ North Carolina
15 Arizona ⬆️ Villanova
16 Michigan ⬇️ Ohio State

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What could change? 

The regular season for several conferences is set to finish by Sunday, and some conference tournaments crown championships as early as March 4. While these rankings give a good idea about how teams will be seeded, there’s room for movement. 

Last season, only one No. 2 seed stuck on Selection Sunday. Iowa jumped from a No. 4 seed to a second, and Texas and UConn snuck onto the two-line from a No. 3 seed. But every single No. 1 seed remained the same in the final bracket even with Louisville losing in the ACC quarterfinals and South Carolina falling in the SEC championship game to Kentucky. 

Utah and Stanford will face off in Salt Lake City on Feb. 25 in the final game of the regular season. They could face each other again in a rematch of last year's conference tournament championship, too. While the Cardinal and Utes may still be the No. 1 seeds come Selection Sunday, a bad loss could tip the scales. 


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