UConn in line for top seed in women’s NCAA Tournament

UConn, Stanford, Texas A&M and South Carolina would be the top seeds if the women’s NCAA Tournament began Sunday.

The NCAA selection committee revealed the teams in line for the top 16 seeds, although none of Sunday’s games were factored into the reveal.

“It was a little easier now that we had one under our belts,” NCAA women’s basketball committee chair Nina King said. “We approached it knowing what we needed to look for. What did teams do to help themselves or hurt themselves relative to last top 16 reveal? We had something to work off this time.”

The NCAA also announced the four region names: Alamo, Hemisfair, Mercado and River Walk. Those were chosen to honor the San Antonio region, which is hosting the entire tournament.

“The local organizing committee did the legwork for us,” King said. “What are the recognizable names for San Antonio?”

The No. 1-ranked Huskies were projected as the top seed in the Alamo region. They would be joined by Arizona, Georgia and Arkansas. Stanford would be the top team in the River Walk region and would have Baylor, Louisville and Tennessee. Texas A&M leads the Mercado region with Maryland, UCLA and Kentucky.

South Carolina would earn the No. 1 seed in the Hemisfair bracket. The Gamecocks have N.C. State, Indiana and Oregon in their region.

The winners of the Alamo and Hemisfair regions would play in the national semifinals, as would the Mercado and River Walk champions.

Louisville had the biggest drop from the first reveal as the Cardinals fell from a one-seed to a three seed.

“They lost to Florida State and for us, that was a big one,” King said.

Arkansas was the only team not in the original 16. The Razorbacks replaced West Virginia, giving the Southeastern Conference six of the top 16 seeds.

The Mountaineers were just outside the top 16, King said. They were joined by Michigan and Missouri State. Five other teams under discussion for the top 16 were Georgia Tech, Gonzaga, South Dakota State and Washington State.

For the past few years, earning one of the top 16 seeds would give a team home games in the tournament’s first two rounds, but that’s not the case this year with pandemic protocols leading to the San Antonio site. The last four rounds of the NCAAs will be at the Alamodome.

The actual bracket will be unveiled on March 15 with games set to begin later that week. The NCAA announced a series of contingency plans this past week if the coronavirus forced a team out of the tournament.

Follow Doug Feinberg on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DougFeinberg

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