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NCAA Committee reveals final top 16 seeding

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The NCAA D-1 Women’s Basketball Committee revealed their updated top 16 seedings on Thursday evening – and a significant amount has changed since the first reveal on Feb. 15. 

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Two new teams have entered the rankings after a near-spotless couple of weeks. Oklahoma’s ascent to No. 16 comes after clinching the regular-season Big 12 title with a victory over No. 3 Texas on Wednesday night. The Sooners are 12-1 in their last 13 games, with four ranked wins in that stretch. 

Gonzaga also makes their way into the No. 15 spot after a 23-game win streak and complete domination in the West Coast Conference. 

However, with new entries come departures. Louisville and Kansas State have both dropped out of the top 16 after setbacks to unranked foes. 

“You have your body of work that gets you into the tournament, but your seeding is really how you’re playing now,” NCAA D-1 women’s basketball committee chair Lisa Peterson said on ESPN2 after the reveal.


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Colorado fell nine spots in the rankings to No. 13. After stellar non-conference play, the Buffaloes have struggled in the latter-half of their conference schedule, with four consecutive losses to ranked opponents, three of which were on the road. 

Other notable movement includes Virginia Tech’s jump from No. 10 to No. 5, as they now sit at a No. 2 seed with a road test against Notre Dame slated for just after the reveal. NC State fell five spots in the list to No. 11 after back-to-back road struggles against unranked in-state rivals North Carolina and Duke. 

UCLA climbed the ladder and is now the final No. 1 seed in the list. This result follows a road loss to No. 12 Oregon State and two victories over ranked foes in Utah and Colorado. 

Peterson noted that UCLA’s jump was, in part, due to their seven victories over NET Top-25 opponents. It was also due to their overall strength of schedule (7th nationally) and their play since star 6’7 center Lauren Betts returned after injury. 

“I honestly think that if USC hadn’t lost on Sunday to Utah, they would’ve been that No. 4 spot and that final No. 1 seed,” ESPN women’s basketball bracketologist Charlie Creme said. 

To no one’s surprise, South Carolina remains the undisputed No. 1 team in the country after putting together an undefeated 27-0 season thus far. 

“The easiest decision for the committee,” Creme said, laughing. 


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Five of the top 13 teams come from the soon-to-be gone Pac-12, while the Big Ten was represented by three teams in the full rankings. 

“One of the things that we’ve talked about is just the parity that’s in women’s college basketball and the dramatic changes that have happened in the past few weeks,” Peterson said. 

In this seeding, No. 1 South Carolina, No. 7 Iowa, No. 12 Oregon State and No. 16 Oklahoma were placed into Regional 1 in Albany. Regional 2 in Albany consisted of No. 2 Ohio State, No. 8 USC, No. 9 LSU and No. 13 Colorado. 

Regional 3 in Portland was made up of No. 3 Stanford, No. 6 Texas, No. 11 NC State and No. 14 Indiana, while Regional 4 in Portland included No. 4 UCLA, No. 5 Virginia Tech, No. 10 UConn and No. 15 Gonzaga. 

Here is the full list of the committee’s rankings:

  1. South Carolina
  2. Ohio State
  3. Stanford
  4. UCLA
  5. Virginia Tech
  6. Texas
  7. Iowa
  8. USC
  9. LSU
  10. UConn
  11. NC State
  12. Oregon State
  13. Colorado
  14. Indiana
  15. Gonzaga
  16. Oklahoma

The full 68-team bracket will be revealed on Selection Sunday, scheduled for March 17 at 8 p.m. EST, airing on ESPN. 


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Written by Talia Goodman

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