Women’s Basketball Bracketology: South Carolina is the No. 1 overall seed in first reveal

Committee reveals top 4 seeds

If the season ended today, South Carolina, Baylor, Louisville, and Oregon would be the four No. 1 seeds.

The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee revealed its top 16 teams, in seed order, on ESPN2 at halftime of the UConn vs. Oregon game on Monday night. Each team was also assigned a geographic region based on where it would be placed if the bracket was created today.

The full list of 16 can be found here:

1. South Carolina
2. Baylor
3. Louisville
4. Oregon
5. UConn
6. Stanford
7. NC State
8. Maryland
9. Oregon State
10. Mississippi State
11. UCLA
12. Gonzaga
13. Arizona
14. DePaul
15. Iowa
16. Northwestern

By region, it looks like this:

While the seed list does not include any major surprises, a few things do stand out:

  • The committee does not seems to value Northwestern as much as I have in my mock brackets so far. The Wildcats have three losses, all to teams in the top 16, while also owning seven quadrant one wins.
  • On the other hand, the committee like Mississippi State a lot more. The Bulldogs have just three RPI top 50 wins (one of them is to Virginia, which has a losing record) and own a loss to West Virginia (RPI 39).
  • Sending Mississippi State to Portland instead of Gonzaga is a little bit curious. If Mississippi State is, in fact, No. 10 on the list, it would have been eligible to go to Dallas or Portland. With Dallas much closer to Starkville than Portland, that would have been logical. It would have also cut down travel for both programs. There are no other SEC schools in either region, so bracket rules would have been maintained.
  • The answer there might be in balance. Had Mississippi State gone to Dallas and Gonzaga to Portland, the true seed total for Dallas would have been 31, making it the strongest region, and the 38 for Portland, making it the weakest. Usually, the committee prefers to keep the difference in seed sum around five points.
  • UCLA might be the best 11th-ranked team we’ve ever seen. The Bruins have two losses, and one of them wasn’t a great one against USC, but they have also beaten Arizona State (twice), Arizona, Colorado, and Indiana.

The next reveal will come on March 2 at halftime of the UConn vs. South Florida game. That one will also tip at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

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