South Carolina women’s basketball tops second rankings reveal from NCAA Selection Committee


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As expected, South Carolina tops the second rankings reveal from the NCAA Selection Committee, the final preview before Selection Sunday on March 17. Ohio State and Stanford remain on the top line, though the two teams have swapped spots in the overall seeding order, and a new No. 1 seed has emerged out west: UCLA.

The Bruins have collected two more wins over top-25 teams since the first reveal. Committee chair Lisa Peterson said seeding is a reflection of how a team is playing at the moment, and with Lauren Betts back in the lineup, UCLA once again has the profile of a national title contender, thus making its way back into the top four teams.

Below are the seeds by region:

Albany 1

  1. South Carolina
  2. Iowa
  3. Oregon State
  4. Oklahoma

Albany 2

  1. Ohio State
  2. USC
  3. LSU
  4. Colorado

Portland 3

  1. Stanford
  2. Texas
  3. North Carolina State
  4. Indiana

Portland 4

  1. UCLA
  2. Virginia Tech
  3. UConn
  4. Gonzaga

Five teams from the Pac-12 were in the hosting field during the last reveal two weeks ago, and the same five remain: Stanford, UCLA, USC, Oregon State, and Colorado. The order has shuffled, with the Buffaloes falling from the top line to a No. 4 seed and the Bruins taking their place, but the overall dominance of the conference remains intact. Only one other conference, the Big Ten, has three teams in the top 16 with Ohio State, Iowa, and Indiana.

The Pac-12 could potentially get a sixth hosting team when all is said and done. Utah sits at No. 18 in the AP Poll and is No. 7 in the NET ratings. The Utes have had the toughest strength of schedule in the country, and though they have eight losses, they also boast wins over Colorado, UCLA, and USC (twice). A run to the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament could get Utah back on its home court in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season.

Virginia Tech and LSU each moved up five spots from two weeks ago, which the Hokies now projected to be the strongest No. 2 seed. If Virginia Tech has a successful run through the ACC Tournament, the Hokies could feasibly leapfrog one of the Pac-12 teams (at least one of them will suffer a loss at the conference tournament in Las Vegas) onto the top line for the second straight season. The Tigers probably don’t have any more upward mobility unless they upset the Gamecocks in the SEC tournament, but they won the national title as a No. 3 seed last season.

Gonzaga and Oklahoma also both made their way into the top 16. The Bulldogs benefited from several other teams in the teens struggling over the past two weeks; Kansas State and Louisville each lost twice, falling out altogether, while Syracuse and Notre Dame each lost once and were unable to move up. The Sooners collected one of their best wins of the season Wednesday, a 1-point comeback victory over No. 2 seed Texas to clinch the outright Big 12 regular-season title.

The fact they’re the last team in the top 16 is a little surprising given their strong body of work in Big 12 play, but they’re likely still paying for the sins of their non-conference season.

Kansas State is the highest-ranked team in the NET and AP poll to not make the top 16, but it’s hard to call them a snub when the Wildcats have lost five of their last eight. They didn’t get the grace UCLA was afforded for games without Betts because they have continued to lose with Ayoka Lee back in the lineup. Kansas State and Baylor are among the teams that could work their way into this field with strong showings in the conference tournament, but they probably didn’t deserve to be here on Feb. 29.

Required reading

(Photo: Jeff Blake / USA Today)

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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