On Monday night, the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee released the first reveal of the top 16 overall seeds for the Women’s NCAA Tournament. Baylor was chosen as the No. 1 overall seed. Notably, the other number No. 1 seeds are Louisville, Oregon, and Mississippi State.
Here is the complete list of the top 16 seeds:
- Mississippi State
- Notre Dame
- NC State
- Oregon State
- South Carolina
- Iowa State
“This is just a snapshot in time and there about 1,000 games left to be played,” declared Rhonda Lundin Bennett, chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee, while speaking to Mechelle Voepel of espnW.com.
Of the teams in the initial reveal, the ACC leads the way with four teams in the top 16. Additionally, the Pac-12 has three teams to go along with two teams each from the Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC. The teams that are in the top 16 will host first and second round NCAA Tournament games.
Unfortunately, if there is a scheduling conflict, that team will not host. In this case, South Carolina would not host games because Colonial Life Arena is a site for the first and second round of the Men’s NCAA Tournament.
Under these circumstances, the committee also released what regions each team will be in. Here are the regional assignments after the initial reveal:
|Albany, NY||Mississippi State, UConn, Oregon State, Miami|
|Portland, OR||Oregon, NC State, Iowa, Gonzaga|
|Greensboro, NC||Baylor, Notre Dame, Maryland, South Carolina|
|Chicago, IL||Louisville, Stanford, Marquette, Iowa State|
From first glance, many questions come to mind. This is the first initial reveal. Fortunately, it leaves the door open for some first glances.
Surprisingly, the Miami Hurricanes made the top 16 over the likes of Florida State and Syracuse from the ACC. With this in mind, let’s look at the resumes of these teams.
|RPI top-10 Win-Loss||3-1||0-2||0-2|
|RPI top-25 Win-Loss||4-2||3-3||4-2|
|RPI top-50 Win-Loss||4-2||5-4||4-2|
The comparison of these three ACC teams makes understandable as to why the Hurricanes are in the preliminary top 16 rankings. Miami has three wins over the RPI top-10, which helps to build their synopsis of their season. Equally important, one of the Hurricanes’ wins was over the RPI top-10 in a game against Syracuse. Also, Syracuse is 0-2 against the top-10 in the RPI (Notre Dame, Louisville).
Along with that, Florida State is also 0-2 against the top-10 (Louisville, Oregon). Under those circumstances, it would be hard-pressed to not value Miami over both Syracuse and Florida State.
NC State and Marquette are No. 8 and No. 9 in the opening top-16. In a word: interesting. The Wolfpack are indeed 21-2 right now. The difference in that record is that NC State has one win against the RPI top-25 (Michigan State). Above all, NC State is 1-2 against the RPI top-25 and the two losses have come in the past week (North Carolina, Florida State). Meanwhile, Marquette has not helped their chances in passing the Wolfpack. The Golden Eagles have no wins against the RPI top-25.
The beginning top-16 is just a parameter to where we are in the season. There are still plenty of games left to be played.
The second top-16 reveal will happen March 9. After that, the 2019 Women’s NCAA Tournament bracket will be shown on Selection Monday (March 18) on ESPN.
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