February 2, 2018 10:02:11 AM
NEW YORK -- Notre Dame has joined Connecticut, Mississippi State, and Louisville as potential No. 1 seeds for the NCAA tournament in the latest reveal by the women's basketball committee.
Notre Dame moved up two spots to fourth on the list of the top 16 teams after beating Tennessee and Florida State in the last two weeks. The Huskies, Bulldogs, and Cardinals remain the top three schools.
"This is just a snapshot in time and there are a lot of games left to be played," said Rhonda Lundin Bennett, chair of the Division I Women's Basketball Committee.
The Huskies would be the top team in the Albany Region. The Bulldogs would be the No. 1 seed in Kansas City. The Cardinals would be the top team in the Lexington Region and the Irish in Spokane. The NCAA will put all 16 teams in regions for the final reveal.
Oregon, which was the fourth No. 1 seed in the initial reveal, was fifth. Baylor moved up three spots to sixth, with South Carolina and Florida State rounding out the potential two seeds.
"I think for Baylor they continued to win," Bennett said. "They had a win over Texas and also they had some great wins against teams in the top of the Big 12. Those are things we look at."
Texas, UCLA, Tennessee, and Georgia would be the three seeds. The Lady Vols dropped six spots to No. 11 from the initial reveal.
Maryland, Missouri, Michigan, and Texas A&M round out the top 16 teams which would host the opening two rounds of the NCAA tournament.
Rutgers and Ohio State fell out of the top group and were replaced by Maryland and Michigan.
While the top 16 is loaded with Power 5 schools, Bennett said a team that was just outside the mix was Green Bay.
"They are doing quite well and playing well," Bennett said. "We talk about teams and what they can control. You can control your non-conference, but you can't control your conference. Don't penalize them for games they can't schedule."
The NCAA will have one more reveal of the top 16 teams on Feb. 19 before Selection Monday, which is March 12. The NCAA tournament begins that Friday.
The Final Four will be in Columbus, Ohio, on March 30 and April 1. This is the second-consecutive year that the women will have their national semifinals and finals on a Friday-Sunday format. Before last season, the Final Four hadn't used that format since 2002.
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