Reveal of the first top 16 women’s basketball of the season

The first of three NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee top 16 rankings has been released. South Carolina, Stanford, NC State and Tennessee would be seeds No. 1 if the season ended today.

Before we dig deeper, check out the full top 16 through Wednesday, January 26.

  1. South Carolina (No. 1 seed – Greensboro region)
  2. Stanford (No. 1 Seed – Spokane Region)
  3. NC State (No. 1 seed – Bridgeport region)
  4. Tennessee (No. 1 Seed – Wichita Region)
  5. Louisville
  6. Indiana
  7. Texas
  8. Arizona
  9. Michigan
  10. state of Iowa
  11. UConn
  12. LSU
  13. Baylor
  14. Oregon
  15. Georgia
  16. Kansas state

What to know about this disclosure?

A lot can change from now until the second announcement on February 10, the third on February 28, and the official tournament selections on March 13.

The SEC and Big 12 are equal for most teams in the top 16 (four), but the SEC has two of the four as No. 1 seeds.

Pac-12 comes in a close second with Stanford at number 2 and two others at the bottom of the list for a total of three. The ACC’s two teams are ranked No. 3 and 5 (NC State, Louisville) overall.

The Big Ten also has two representatives with Indiana and Michigan both in the top 10. Then UConn comes in at number 11 as the only team from the Big East in the first top 16 rankings.

Looking forward

There’s still plenty of time for teams to move up and down the rankings, but historically those in the top 16 usually earn a No. 1, 2, 3, or 4 seed come selection day.

Here are some trends from the first top 16 compared to the last seeds on roster day over the past four completed seasons (i.e. not counting the 2020 season due to the tournament cancellation due to COVID-19):

No. 1 seeds

In each of the past four completed seasons, one first number 1 seed per year has dropped to a lower seed on selection day. The ones that did fall only moved to a number 2 seed.

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Just because the team was leaning a bit down on the seed line didn’t mean it underperformed in the tournament. Three of the four teams advanced to Elite Eight runs (Louisville – 2021, Oregon – 2018, ’19), while the 2017 Mississippi State team made it all the way to the National Championship game, falling to No. 1 in South Carolina.

Of the teams that were strong and didn’t move seed from the first ranking to rosters, all had deep runs. Last season there were three teams in the Final Four and the national champion (Stanford), in 2019 there were two teams that made it to the Elite Eight, one in the Final Four and the national champion (Baylor). Earlier, in 2018, three teams made the Final Four, but Mississippi State was unable to beat Notre Dame in the title game. In 2017, one team made it to the Elite Eight, two made it to the Final Four, and the other became South Carolina National Champion.

If you keep track, one of the teams that started and finished #1 made the championship game every year. So if your team holds up and finishes as one seeded, there’s a good chance it will make it to the Final Four and possibly the Championship.

No. 2 seeds

When a number 1 seed falls on a number 2 selection day, it means that a number 2 from the first reveal usually fills that gap.

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In three of the four seasons completed, Notre Dame has been the team to make the jump from a No. 2 to a No. 1 from the first top 16 until selection day (2017-2019). The Fighting Irish made it to the title game twice in that time, losing in the Elite Eight in 2017, winning all against Mississippi in 2018, and then losing to Baylor in 2019.

There are five teams that have fallen from the No. 2 seed line from the first reveal. None have dropped lower than a number 3 seed. Arizona even made it to the 2021 championship game.

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No. 3 seeds

The number 3 seeds have seen the fewest number of teams fall, but if one falls, there is no consistent place to land. In 2021, Oregon dropped from a No. 3 to a No. 6, in 2019 Marquette fell to a No. 5 and Oregon State to a No. 4. However, those that fall don’t always last, as Oregon and Oregon State reached the top. sweet 16.

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No. 4 seeds

The first reveal of 2018 saw arguably the most drastic moves. Rutgers was originally a top 16 seed in its initial release, but on roster day, the Scarlet Knights were left out of the tournament all together.

When it comes to moving up, only one team has risen to a No. 3 seed in the last four completed seasons after initially being ranked No. 4. Last season, Tennessee did just that.

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