South Carolina, Iowa, USC, Texas Are Top Seeds In Women’s NCAA Tournament

Mar 17, 2024, 6:53 PM


The NCAA logo and a game ball as the South Carolina Gamecocks warm-up before the game against the UConn Huskies during the 2022 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament National Championship game at Target Center on April 03, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

AP – Undefeated South Carolina is the top overall seed in the women’s NCAA Tournament.

The Gamecocks are looking to become the 10th women’s basketball team to go undefeated for an entire season. They had a chance last season before falling just short against Caitlin Clark and Iowa in the Final Four. The Hawkeyes received the other No. 1 seed in the Albany Regional. The two teams wouldn’t potentially face off until the national championship game this time. Iowa is a one-seed for the first time since 1992.

USC and star freshman JuJu Watkins earned their first No. 1 seed since 1986 as the top choice in a Portland Regional. Texas earned the fourth No. 1 seed, it’s first since 2004, and will play Drexel in the other Portland Regional opener.

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley’s squad has been challenged a few times this year, including needing a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Kamilla Cardoso to win the semifinals of the SEC Tournament over Tennessee, but has always pulled through. The Gamecocks, who are a No. 1 seed for the fourth consecutive year, will play the winner of Sacred Heart and Presbyterian in the first round of the tournament.

Joining the Gamecocks in the Albany Region are No. 2 seed Notre Dame, third-seeded Oregon State and fourth-seeded Indiana.

Clark, who became the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer this year, is trying to win her first title. The Hawkeyes open up against the winner of Holy Cross and UT Martin. Joining the Hawkeyes in their region are No. 2 UCLA, defending champion and third-seeded LSU and fourth-seeded Kansas State.

The other top teams in USC’s bracket are Ohio State, UConn and Virginia Tech. The Huskies were the last team to go undefeated in a season, running through the 2015-16 season.

Texas could have to contend with No. 2 Stanford, No. 3 North Carolina State and fourth-seeded Gonzaga.

The NCAA changed its format last season and is having two regional sites for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight rounds. Albany, New York, hosts one and Portland, Oregon, the other. Once again the top four teams in each region will host the opening two rounds.

The tournament begins Wednesday with two First Four games. The full madness starts with 16 games Friday and 16 more the next day. The Final Four will be played in Cleveland this year for the first time since 2007. The national semifinals are on April 5, with the championship game two days later.

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Tennessee continued its streak of appearing in all 42 NCAA Tournaments. On the other end, Presbyterian, California Baptist, Columbia and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi are all making their first appearance.

The Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference both have eight teams in the field. The Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12 each have seven. The Big East has three teams. The West Coast Conference and Ivy League each have two. It’s the second time that the Ivy League has gotten an at-large bid.

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South Carolina, Iowa, USC, Texas Are Top Seeds In Women’s NCAA Tournament