UConn, Miss St, Louisville, Irish top seeds in NCAA reveal
NEW YORK (AP) UConn, Mississippi State, Louisville and Notre Dame are the top seeds in the final NCAA women’s basketball reveal announced Monday night.
The Huskies would be the top seed in the Albany Region while the Bulldogs would be No. 1 in Kansas City. Louisville wouldn’t have far to travel, headlining the Lexington Region, and Notre Dame would be the top team in Spokane, traveling the furthest of all the No. 1 seeds.
The four No. 1 seeds were in the same order in the previous reveal on Feb. 1.
”Those top four seeds are exactly the same,” said Rhonda Lundin Bennett, chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee. ”There was a little bit of movement in that next seed line, but a lot of the same teams are still in the discussion.”
The NCAA women’s basketball committee detailed the seeds and placement for all the top 16 teams for the first time in the three years they’ve done reveals. South Carolina, Florida State and Stanford would join UConn in Albany. Oregon, Missouri and Georgia would be in Spokane with the Irish. Baylor, Tennessee and Ohio State would be in Lexington; and Texas, UCLA and Maryland are slated for Kansas City.
Michigan and Texas A&M fell out of the top 16 teams and were replaced by Missouri and Stanford. The Cardinal won seven straight games, including road victories over Oregon State and Oregon in a three-day span, before the streak ended with a loss at California on Saturday.
”Stanford did sneak in there at 16. They hadn’t had them in the mix before,” Bennett said. ”I think looking at the way they are playing right now, I think Stanford is one of those situations where you look at their injuries at the beginning of the season and games they lost. What they are doing this second.”
All 16 teams would host first- and second-round games in the NCAA Tournament.
”It was even tougher this time than last time,” Bennett said. ”There are so many moving parts right now, so many moving teams playing well and having a lot of teams that had losses and big wins since we talked last.”
Bennett said there were about a half-dozen teams also in the mix for the top 16 spots.
The reveal is just a snapshot of the season up to this point, with still a few weeks of regular season games remaining as well as conference tournaments.
The NCAA Tournament field will be revealed on Selection Monday, which is March 12, with games beginning that Friday.
The Final Four will be in Columbus, Ohio, on March 30 and April 1. This is the second consecutive year that the women will have their national semifinals and finals on a Friday-Sunday format. Before last season, the Final Four hadn’t used that format since 2002.
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