NC State and Louisville give the ACC two projected No. 1 seeds in the NCAA women's basketball tournament, and UConn, a No. 3 seed, is now slated to be in the region in Connecticut.
Those were among the major takeaways from the NCAA women's selection committee's second "reveal" of the top 16 seeds, which was released Thursday and based on results through Wednesday. The NCAA will have one last reveal on Feb. 28.
South Carolina was once again the top overall seed, with Stanford second and NC State third. But the final No. 1 seed this time is Louisville, not Tennessee. The new teams in the top 16 are No. 9 Oklahoma and No. 14 Notre Dame.
In the first reveal on Jan. 27, UConn was projected as No. 11 overall in the top 16 seeds, just as the Huskies are in the second. This time, however they are in the Bridgeport Regional and not Spokane, Washington, which is where they were in the first reveal.
Women's basketball fans may be surprised by UConn's placement, especially since the Huskies are coming off their first loss to a conference foe since 2013, as they fell Tuesday to Villanova. But it has more to do with how all the other teams fit into the regional mix. No doubt, though, it would be an advantage for UConn to once again play so close to its campus in Storrs, Connecticut.
Last season, the entire tournament was held in the San Antonio/San Marcos/Austin area in Texas. There was no tournament in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. From 2015-2019, UConn was in nearby regionals in either Bridgeport or Albany, New York. The last time the Huskies had to travel a significant distance to a regional was 2014, when they were in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The women's tournament follows a so-called "geography curve," where top seeds are slotted into the regionals closest to them. The Gamecocks as the overall top seed are slotted into the Greensboro Region in North Carolina, about three hours from South Carolina's campus. NC State is even closer to Greensboro, about an hour and a half away, but the Wolfpack as No. 3 overall are slotted to be the top seed in Bridgeport.
Stanford is slotted to stay west as the top seed Spokane. And Louisville is slotted as the top seed in the Wichita Region in Kansas.
There are four teams from both the Big 12 in the top 16, three each from the ACC, SEC and Pac-12, two from the Big Ten and one from the Big East.
The top 16 seeds in order are: 1. South Carolina, 2. Stanford, 3. NC State, 4. Louisville, 5. Michigan 6. Arizona, 7. Iowa State, 8. Indiana, 9. Oklahoma, 10. Baylor, 11. UConn, 12. Tennessee, 13. LSU, 14. Notre Dame, 15. Texas and 16. Oregon.