Women’s NCAA tournament selection reveal: South Carolina easy pick for No. 1 overall seed, followed by Indiana, UConn, Stanford

South Carolina head coach Don Staley chats with forward Alia Boston (4) during a game against Auburn on Thursday, February 9, 2023 in Auburn, Alabama.  (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
South Carolina head coach Don Staley talks to forward Alia Boston (4) during a game against Auburn on Thursday. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

South Carolina didn’t need to be discussed as the overall No. 1 in the NCAA women’s selection committee is revealed for the first time out of two top 16, as announced on ESPN Thursday night.

The Gamecocks (24-0, 11-0 SEC) are the reigning champions and could become only the fourth program in NCAA Division I championship history to repeat. On Sunday they will face 3rd (23-0, 11-0 SEC) currently ranked 2nd and 5th overall LSU in a meeting between the last two undefeated teams.

The remaining 1st seed teams are Indiana, who defeated 2nd seed Iowa earlier on Thursday to take the Big Ten lead; UConn, who gave South Carolina the game on Sunday but lost to Marquette this week; and Stanford.

The top 16 teams play the games of the first and second rounds on their campuses. These are, in order: South Carolina, Indiana, Stanford, UCLA, LSU, Utah, Iowa, Duke, Maryland, Notre Dame, Michigan, Texas, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Villanova, and Ohio State.

When you change the format, there will be two regional sites instead of four. The Sweet 16 and Elite Eight games are played in Greenville, South Carolina at the Bon Secours Arena and in Seattle at the Climate Pledge Arena. The Final Four will take place on March 31 and April 2 in Dallas. The next opening will take place on February 23, during the halftime between South Carolina and Tennessee. Qualifying Sunday is March 12 at 8:00 pm ET on ESPN.

Greenville Regional 1

1. South Carolina

2. Duke

3 Maryland

4. Ohio State

Greenville Regional 2

1. Indiana

2. Utah

3. Mother of God

4. Villanova

Seattle Regional 3

1. Yukonn

2. LSU

3. Michigan

4. Virginia Tech

Seattle Regional 4

1. Stanford

2. Iowa

3. Texas

4. North Carolina

Findings from the first NCAA disclosure

The most controversial pick is LSU on a two-seeded line, a move not unexpected but still annoying to fans outside of Louisiana. The Tigers remain undefeated but play on one of the weakest schedules in the country and have not been tested as expected by the SEC.

The committee does not use a quadrant system to rank teams, but by comparison, LSU only played four games against teams in the equivalent of Quadrant 1 in the lead-up to the week. This is the fewest games played by any team in the top 30. South Carolina 9-0 in quad 1, UConn 10-3, Stanford 9-3, Indiana 7-1 and Utah 6-4. The only AP-rated LSU team is Arkansas, which has since fallen out of the top 25. The Tigers have struggled against Tennessee, Georgia and Texas A&M in recent weeks.

Iowa currently has the best chance of moving into the 1-seeded lineup, especially if Stanford stumbles again against a team that shouldn’t have been. The Cardinal lost to Washington for the first time in the program’s history over the weekend, joining an early odd loss to USC. Iowa’s only surprising losses are perhaps the states of Kansas and North Carolina. He was also defeated by a strong Indiana team as well as UC and Indiana, both higher seeded.

Utah (20-2, 9-2 Pak-12) has been the most unexpected of all this season. In total, 21 wins in the 2022-23 season remain one win. The Big Ten has five teams in the top 16, while the ACC has four.


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