The three undefeated teams in women's college basketball -- UConn, Mississippi State, and Louisville -- are all projected No. 1 seeds in the NCAA's first reveal of its top 16. The fourth is Oregon, which has two losses.
The NCAA released its list on Thursday, based on data through the games of Tuesday, Jan. 16. The NCAA also projected which region each of the No. 1 seeds would be in: UConn in Albany, New York; Mississippi State in Kansas City, Missouri; Louisville in Lexington, Kentucky; and Oregon in Spokane, Washington.
Perhaps the biggest surprise in positioning of the top 16 is Baylor at No. 9. The Lady Bears have blown through all their opponents except one, winning by an average margin of 35.7 points. Their lone loss was at UCLA, 82-68, on Nov. 18, when neither coach Kim Mulkey (family issue) nor starting forward Lauren Cox (illness) were on the trip.
What's dragging down Baylor, 16-1, is its strength of schedule, which is 133rd in the country. But Baylor has yet to play any of the other three ranked teams in the Big 12; the Lady Bears still have two games each with Texas, which is No. 7 on the NCAA's list, West Virginia, and Oklahoma State. Those games will boost Baylor's SOS.
The other one-loss team in the country, Tennessee, is No. 5. The SEC leads the way with the most teams on the list, with six. The ACC has three teams, and the Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12 two each.
"The first ranking serves as a conversation starter, as there are numerous games in the next several weeks that will help to identify where teams should be seeded," said NCAA women's basketball committee chair Rhonda Lundin Bennett of the University of Nevada. "The committee will continue to monitor play closely, and then revisit on Feb. 1 for second of the three regular-season rankings."
The third reveal will be on Feb. 19.