In what is considered a midseason snapshot of how the NCAA Tournament would play out should the college hoops regular season end today, UConn women’s basketball was given No. 1 overall honors by the tournament’s selection committee. Baylor, South Carolina, and Mississippi State were also given top spots in the seeding preview.
The field was announced during Monday night’s South Carolina-Mississippi State game in which the Gamecocks handed the Lady Bulldogs its first loss of the season by a score of 64-61. 50 days before Selection Monday, the Huskies are the only unbeaten team left standing with a perfect 18-0 record on the season.
This is the second consecutive year the NCAA has revealed standings for teams midway through the season. Last year, the top 10 teams were revealed. In 2017, that number expanded to include the top 16 squads. These schools will have the chance to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament which begins on March 18.
This season, UConn has survived some scares such as the season-opening 78-76 win against No. 12/12 ranked Florida State Seminoles and an 87-81 win against No. 4/3 Maryland in December. This same team also blew out No. 20/21 University of South Florida 102-37 two weeks ago. While the Huskies may very well enter the tournament undefeated, one true threat to the perfect season remains on the schedule. No. 4/5 ranked South Carolina (17-1) will visit Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn. on Feb 13. in hopes of disrupting the Huskies’ flow. The two teams previously tipped off against each other last February in Columbia, S.C., a game which UConn won 66-54.
UConn is set to host the first round of tournament games from March 17-20. The regional round will be held down the interstate in Bridgeport at Webster Bank Arena March 24-27. This means the Huskies can have a distinct home court advantage and would be able to advance to the Final Four without leaving the state. The Final Four is set to take place on March 31 and April 2 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
The committee plans to have two more updated reveals of the top 16 teams on Feb. 6 and Feb. 20. The final bracket will be decided on March 13.