The Big Ten made the biggest leap of any conference, now having four top-16 teams, in revealing their third and final NCAA women’s basketball rankings of the season.
The NCAA Women’s Committee released the reveal during the first half of the Baylor-Iowa State game Monday; It takes into account the results until Sunday. Being in the top 16 is key in the women’s tournament, as it allows teams to host early round matches.
The Big Ten had two teams in their first reveal on January 27 and February 10: Michigan and Indiana, who are now ranked No. 8 and 15 respectively. In the third reveal, they were joined by No. 12 Maryland and No. 14 Iowa.
The Hawkeyes and Ohio State are joint Big Ten champions in the regular season, with the Buckeyes as the top seed in the league this week. But Ohio is not 16th in the NCAA. The final rankings of the Big Ten were affected by Michigan and Maryland who played just 17 games in the league versus 18 in Iowa and Ohio due to delays that were not made up.
With Maryland and Iowa joining the top 16, the teams that came out of the latest reveal are Notre Dame and Oregon. ACC still has two of its top 16 seeds, and both are currently ranked #1 in the category: NC State and Louisville. ACC Team Champion Wolfpack is the No. 3 seed overall, as he was in the first two Spotlights. Louisville is No. 4 overall, as it was in the second reveal.
He has placed #1 on all three shows in South Carolina and #2 at Stanford. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has three teams out of the current top 16; The others are No. 7 LSU, who jumped six points from the second reveal, and No. 13 of Tennessee. The Lady Vols have only dropped one place from the previous reveal, although they have gone 2-3 and lost scorers and bouncers. Jordan Hurston Indefinitely for an elbow injury since February 10. Two of those losses, though, were for South Carolina and LSU. Tennessee ranked fourth in the first reveal.
The Big 12 is the only conference with four of the top 16 teams in each reveal. Baylor, No. 6, Iowa and Texas, No. 10 are currently ranked No. 10 in the three. No. 16 Oklahoma entered the top 16 in the second reveal, replacing Kansas State.
The other thing that changed from the second reveal is UConn’s regional placement, which is now No. 9 after being No. 11 in the first two reveal. Huskies, who recently returned to the second guard Big Bakers From injury, it is now positioned in the Greensboro area. UConn was in the Spokane area in the first reveal and the Bridgeport area in the second.
Bridgeport is located approximately 78 miles from the Husky Storrs, Connecticut campus. UConn has been fielded regionally in either Bridgeport or Albany, located 133 miles from the Storrs, for the past five NCAA tournaments prior to last season, when the entire NCAA tournament was in the San Antonio area. Other than that, Husky dogs recently left the East Coast for a territorial area in 2014, when they were in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The question was whether the committee would place the 11-time NCAA champion Husky in a different region than the Bridgeport area, in terms of how that would affect attendance there. But with two conferences featuring four teams each in the top 16 and parentheses trying to keep conference enemies out of the same territory, there may be no way to put UConn in Bridgeport.
The NCAA Women’s Championship Selection Show will take place on Sunday, March 13 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The women will have 68 teams for the first time, with “first four” matches played from March 16-17 in four of the top 16 host locations.
The first and second round matches will be played from March 18-21. Regional games will be held in Greensboro, North Carolina, and Spokane, Washington, March 25-27, and in Bridgeport and Wichita, KS, March 26-28.
The women’s fourth final will be held at the Target Center in Minneapolis from April 1-3.
* The top 16 seeds in order are: 1. South Carolina, 2. Stanford, 3. North Carolina, 4. Louisville, 5. Baylor 6. Iowa, 7. LSU, 8. Michigan, 9. Ocon, 10. Texas, 11. Arizona, 12. Maryland , 13. Tennessee, 14. Iowa, 15. Indiana, 16. Oklahoma.
* Regional assignments are:
* Bridgeport District: 1. North Carolina, 2. Iowa, 3. Maryland, 4. Tennessee
* Greensboro area: 1. South Carolina, 2. Michigan, 3. Ocon, 4. Oklahoma
* Spokane area: 1. Stanford, 2. California State University, 3. Texas, 4. Indiana
* Wichita District: 1. Louisville, 2. Baylor, 3. Arizona, 4. Iowa