No. 1 Oregon lost. No. 2 Baylor got upset. On the same day. In the same gym. Bracketology now knows to what it gives thanks.
Thanksgiving holiday tournaments so often provide quality matchups, and the Paradise Jam outdid itself this year. Since the field was announced months ago, we anticipated something juicy could happen in St. Thomas with a field that included Oregon, Baylor, Louisville and South Carolina. It delivered.
But the craziness of the weekend goes beyond the Nos. 1 and 2 teams losing on the same day for just the third time in 20 years. The Cardinals beating top-ranked Oregon and the Gamecocks knocking off No. 2 Baylor on Saturday could have far-reaching impact right up to Selection Monday. The results shake up what once looked like a fairly stable top two seed lines.
Here is what the new Bracketology top 10 looks like now (with overall record, projected region and projected seed in parentheses). The teams should look familiar. The order? Not at all.
1. Oregon State Beavers (7-0, Portland-1): Stanford will probably be No. 1 when the AP Top 25 rankings come out, but the Beavers should be on top. They have been dominant since the first day of the season. Three of Oregon State's last four wins have all come over potential Sweet 16 competition -- DePaul, Missouri State and Miami -- by an average margin of 18.3 points per game.
2. Louisville Cardinals (8-0, Greenville-1): The Cardinals make the biggest leap, from the final No. 2 seed to second overall, with that win over Oregon. Yes, it came in November, but it was that big. Louisville has a massive résumé piece that can't be taken away. A number of teams on this list are full of talent, but are to this point without fully realized identities, cohesion or rotations. Jeff Walz seems to have gotten the furthest the fastest, in reforming quality players into new roles.
3. Stanford Cardinal (8-0, Dallas-1): Tara VanDerveer is one of those coaches playing with lineups and trying to define roles. Close-than-expected wins over Gonzaga, Buffalo and Cal Baptist indicated things were still a work in progress. But consecutive impressive victories over Top 25 opponents Syracuse and Mississippi State to close out the Greater Victoria Invitational in British Columbia return the Cardinal to a No. 1 seed.
4. Oregon Ducks (6-1, Fort Wayne-1): The Ducks haven't played up to the lofty preseason expectations following the exhibition upset of Team USA. The sometimes spotty play caught up to Oregon in the loss to Louisville on Saturday in St. Thomas. If this was Selection Monday, it would have cost the Ducks the chance to play in another regional in Portland.
5. UConn Huskies (6-0, Fort Wayne-2): The Huskies haven't looked perfect, either. The offense is still a work in progress. And, no, UConn hasn't played another heavyweight yet, but there haven't been any nights off, either. The schedule ramps up a bit, but the real tests come in January and February with visits from Oregon and Tennessee, plus a road game at South Carolina.
6. Baylor Lady Bears (7-1, Dallas-2): The concern about Lauren Cox's foot injury grows with each game she misses, and the loss to South Carolina at the Paradise Jam illustrated that this isn't a Final Four team without her at this point. Shoved around in an uncharacteristic way, Baylor was outrebounded 43-29.
7. South Carolina Gamecocks (8-1, Greenville-2): A No. 1 seed would be next to the Gamecocks' name had they not lost to the fast-rising Indiana Hoosiers in the opening game in St. Thomas. The shooting consistency still isn't there, but the win over Baylor proved they can overcome that.
8. Texas A&M Aggies (5-0, Portland-2): The Aggies are built around Chennedy Carter and will need her to perform every night. The schedule has presented some challenges so far, and the early SEC schedule is favorable, so A&M should be holding down a spot on the No. 2 seed line for a while.
9. Mississippi State Bulldogs (8-1, Dallas-3): The loss to Stanford was a lost opportunity. Vic Schaefer is still trying to find the proper rotations and identity of this team, and the Cardinal were the only truly marquee nonconference opponent on the schedule.
10. Maryland Terrapins (7-1, Greenville-3): After that early loss to South Carolina and narrow escape against James Madison, the Terps seem to have righted the ship. But given the level of the competition, it will be hard to tell exactly what Maryland is until Big Ten play begins.