UConn's loss to Louisville on Thursday drops the Huskies to a No. 2 seed in bracketology and means that for the first time since 2007, they might not be a No. 1 seed come Selection Monday.
Louisville's victory over UConn on Thursday marked the first time since 2012-13 that the Huskies have lost multiple games in the regular season.
But the Cardinals' 78-69 win also might knock the Huskies off the No. 1 seed line for the first time in more than a decade.
The last time UConn was not a top seed in the women's NCAA tournament was 2007. But a second road loss in less than a month, albeit to another top-five team, is enough to knock UConn to a 2-seed and elevate Oregon to a No. 1 seed in espnW's women's college basketball bracketology.
The No. 1 seeds through Thursday's games are Baylor (Greensboro), Notre Dame (Chicago), Louisville (Albany) and Oregon (Portland).
It's highly unlikely that the Huskies -- who have been the No. 1 seed in Albany in bracketology throughout the season -- will be moved out of the region. So the twist in Thursday's turn of events is that the Cardinals will likely have UConn as the No. 2 seed in Albany -- meaning Louisville will likely be tasked with potentially beating UConn again to reach the Final Four.
The big question is why UConn falls off the top line with a loss to another elite team when Notre Dame didn't drop from a No. 1 seed after Sunday's loss to North Carolina, a team with far weaker credentials.
It comes down to a team's overall résumé. Who teams lose to matters, but not without regard to wins and the total impact of a season. Despite its loss to UNC, Notre Dame still boasted the top RPI and strength of schedule in the country. UConn is No. 7 and No. 20, respectively.
The quality of wins is even more important. The Fighting Irish have nine top-50 wins; the Huskies have five. Yes, UConn beat Notre Dame in early December, but in a season in which there is so much more parity at the top than usual, this can't be just a Notre Dame-UConn comparison. Full résumés, taking into account many of the criterion the committee looks at, becomes even more vital. That's where the Huskies fall just short of the top line.
And for UConn, the story isn't just about falling to the No. 2 seed line, but about how the Huskies get back to a No. 1 seed. In years past, playing in the weaker American Athletic Conference hasn't been an issue because UConn would accumulate four or five wins against top-10 opposition in nonconference games. That won't be the case this season. In fact, the Huskies will likely only have one (Notre Dame), and they only have two RPI top-50 games remaining in the regular season (South Carolina and UCF).
Needless to say, beating the Gamecocks is a must, but even a win in that Feb. 11 game in Hartford, Connecticut, might not be enough. UConn is likely going to need help -- someone beating the other teams vying for No. 1 seeds -- to get back to the top line. That's how big Thursday's loss to Louisville was.