South Carolina, Ohio State, Stanford and UCLA would be the No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament if it began now.

The NCAA women’s basketball selection committee on Thursday did its second reveal of the teams in line for the top 16 seeds. A lot has changed in the two weeks since the initial unveiling, outside of South Carolina and Ohio State’s dominance. Of the original top 16 seeds, 11 lost at least one game.

“That’s a testament to where college basketball is right now, it’s difficult night in and night out,” NCAA women’s basketball selection committee chair Lisa Peterson told The Associated Press in a phone interview Thursday. “That hasn’t always been the case.”

Peterson said that South Carolina and Ohio State have had really strong seasons and that there was a lot of discussion of the final two No. 1 seeds.

“Stanford was a little more secure than the others because of their body of work,” she said. “They lost to Arizona, but Cameron Brink was out. The last No. 1 had a lot of conversations considering that Virginia Tech has been playing so great right now. UCLA had such a tough schedule and they have (Lauren) Betts back.”

Just outside the top four teams was Caitlin Clark and Iowa, which is ranked No. 6 in the AP poll. It will be Clark’s last NCAA Tournament as she announced on Thursday she is foregoing her final season to enter the WNBA Draft.

The Hawkeyes, last year’s national runners-up, were once again projected as a No. 2 seed. They play at home against Ohio State on Sunday.

The top 16 seeds will host first- and second-round games, with the regional rounds being played at two neutral sites for the second straight year. Portland, Oregon, will host half of the Sweet 16, and Albany, New York, will host the other eight teams.

South Carolina and Ohio State were projected as the top seeds in the Albany Regional, with Stanford and UCLA in Portland. The unbeaten Gamecocks were the overall No. 1 seed.

Joining the Gamecocks in their bracket were No. 2 Iowa, No. 3 Oregon State and No. 4 Oklahoma.

Peterson said Iowa was switched with USC to ensure that the bracketing principle of keeping the top four teams in a conference in different regions was protected.

The Pac-12 had five of the top 16 seeds.

The Buckeyes would have No. 2 seed Southern Cal, No. 3 LSU and No. 4 Colorado. The Buffaloes were a No. 1 seed in the initial review.

The other top teams in Stanford’s region were No. 2 Texas, No. 3 N.C. State and No. 4 Indiana. UCLA would be joined by Virginia Tech, UConn and Gonzaga.

Teams just outside the top 16 included Kansas State, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Utah.

The Final Four will be played in Cleveland on April 5, and the NCAA championship game is two days later.

The NCAA has been doing in-season reveals since 2015 to give teams an early idea of where they could be come selection night. Thursday’s reveal did not factor in the games scheduled for later that night. The NCAA will unveil the tournament bracket on March 17.


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