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With four teams in top 16, Big Ten makes major move in latest NCAA women's basketball seeding reveal

The Big Ten made the biggest jump of any conference, now having four teams among the top 16, in the third and final NCAA women's basketball seeding reveal of the season.

The NCAA women's committee released the reveal during halftime of Monday's Baylor-Iowa State game; it takes into account results through Sunday. Being in the top 16 is key in the women's tournament, as it allows teams to host early-round games.

The Big Ten had two teams in the first two reveals on Jan. 27 and Feb. 10: Michigan and Indiana, which are now seeded Nos. 8 and 15, respectively. In the third reveal, they are joined by No. 12 Maryland and No. 14 Iowa.

The Hawkeyes and Ohio State are the Big Ten regular-season co-champions, with the Buckeyes as the league tournament's top seed this week. But Ohio State is not in the NCAA top 16. The Big Ten final standings were impacted by Michigan and Maryland playing just 17 league games to Iowa's and Ohio State's 18 due to postponements that weren't made up.

With Maryland and Iowa joining the top 16, the teams that fell out from the last reveal are Notre Dame and Oregon. The ACC still has two seeds among the top 16, and both are currently No. 1s on the bracket: NC State and Louisville. The ACC champion Wolfpack are the No. 3 seed overall, as they were in the first two reveals. Louisville is No. 4 overall, as it was in the second reveal.

Leading all three reveals have been No. 1 South Carolina and No. 2 Stanford. The SEC has three teams among the current top 16; the others are No. 7 LSU, which jumped six spots from the second reveal, and No. 13 Tennessee. The Lady Vols dropped just one spot from the previous reveal, although they have gone 2-3 and lost leading scorer and rebounder Jordan Horston indefinitely to an elbow injury since Feb. 10. Two of those losses, though, were to South Carolina and LSU. Tennessee was No. 4 in the first reveal.

The Big 12 is the only conference that has had four teams in the top 16 in every reveal. Current No. 5 Baylor, No. 6 Iowa State and No. 10 Texas have been in all three. No. 16 Oklahoma entered the top 16 in the second reveal, taking the place of Kansas State.

Another thing that changed from the second reveal is the regional placement of UConn, which is now No. 9 after being No. 11 in the first two reveals. The Huskies, who recently got back sophomore guard Paige Bueckers from injury, are now placed in the Greensboro Region. UConn was in the Spokane Region in the first reveal and the Bridgeport Region in the second.

Bridgeport is about 78 miles from the Huskies' Storrs, Connecticut, campus. UConn has been placed in regionals in either Bridgeport or Albany, which is 133 miles from Storrs, for the past five NCAA tournaments before last season, when the entire NCAA tournament was in the San Antonio area. Other than that, the Huskies most recently left the East Coast for a regional in 2014, when they were in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The question has been whether the committee would put the 11-time NCAA champion Huskies in a different region than Bridgeport, in terms of how that would impact attendance there. But with two conferences having four teams each in the top 16 and bracket principles trying to keep conference foes out of the same region, there might be no way to put UConn in Bridgeport.

The NCAA women's tournament selection show is Sunday, March 13, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The women will have 68 teams for the first time, with "First Four" games played March 16-17 at four of the top-16 host sites.

The first- and second-round games will be played March 18-21. Regional games at Greensboro, North Carolina, and Spokane, Washington, will be March 25-27, and at Bridgeport and Wichita, Kansas, on March 26-28.

The women's Final Four will be at Target Center in Minneapolis on April 1-3.

* The top 16 seeds in order are: 1. South Carolina, 2. Stanford, 3. NC State, 4. Louisville, 5. Baylor 6. Iowa State, 7. LSU, 8. Michigan, 9. UConn, 10. Texas, 11. Arizona, 12. Maryland, 13. Tennessee, 14. Iowa, 15. Indiana, 16. Oklahoma.

* The regional assignments are:

* Bridgeport Region: 1. NC State, 2. Iowa State, 3. Maryland, 4. Tennessee

* Greensboro Region: 1. South Carolina, 2. Michigan, 3. UConn, 4. Oklahoma

* Spokane Region: 1. Stanford, 2. LSU, 3. Texas, 4. Indiana

* Wichita Region: 1. Louisville, 2. Baylor, 3. Arizona, 4. Iowa