Ohio State again was not among the top 16 tournament seeds revealed on ESPN2 on Monday night.
The NCAA women’s basketball selection committee released its top 16 seeds for the second time this season Monday night at halftime of the Louisville-Notre Dame game.
Ohio State again was not among the top 16 seeds revealed on ESPN2.
The No. 13 Buckeyes (21-5, 11-1 Big Ten) finished 2-0 last week to build their win streak to seven games after a 19-point loss at Michigan State on Jan. 10.
But after an 87-72 win over Penn State (15-8, 5-6) on Tuesday and a 96-68 win at Wisconsin (5-18, 0-10) on Saturday, the Buckeyes’ RPI ranking took a dip. Through Feb. 5, the Buckeyes sit 31st, while No. 3 Maryland (23-1, 11-0) is 17th in RPI.
The top four seeds did not change. Connecticut, Baylor, South Carolina and Mississippi State remain projected No. 1 seeds.
Florida State, Notre Dame, Oregon State and Stanford were listed as the No. 2 seeds. Stanford is the only new team among the four, its bump up from the fourth No. 3 seed due in large part to its win at then-No. 7 Washington on Jan. 29.
That game is also likely the reason for Washington’s drop to a No. 3 seed, while Maryland, Texas and Duke stayed put as No. 3 seeds in Monday’s reveal.
Louisville, UCLA, NC State and DePaul rounded out the top 16 seeds, with NC State and DePaul taking the place of Kentucky and Arizona State as the No. 15 and No. 16 overall seeds, respectively.
Maryland remaining a No. 3 seed served as the subject of a debate between ESPN women’s basketball analysts Rebecca Lobo and Andy Landers.
Lobo presented the “eye test” to explain why she thinks the Terrapins, ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press poll, are a top-five team.
“This just shows you the committee is putting an emphasis on metrics over the eye test,” she said. “Because, yes, Maryland’s strength of schedule isn’t great, their RPI isn’t great, but Maryland is a top-five team in the country when you watch them play basketball.”
Landers, the former coach at Georgia, said Maryland’s nonconference schedule, which included just three ranked teams and three wins over Power Five opponents in 13 games, is not sitting well with the selection committee.
“They played a horrible pre-conference schedule and now they’re paying for it,” he said.
Ohio State is Maryland’s only remaining regular-season opponent ranked in the AP Top 25. The Terrapins have won 11 straight since closing nonconference play with a six-point loss to top-ranked UConn.
“I like that the committee wants teams to play stronger nonconference schedules, but the question at some point becomes, ‘What’s the tipping point?’” Lobo said of Maryland. “OK, the metrics are this, but when I’m watching basketball, it’s obvious there are not eight teams playing better than them right now.”
ESPN’s latest NCAA women’s basketball Bracketology update, released Jan. 30, projected Ohio State as a No. 5 seed traveling to a DePaul regional site and playing No. 12 seed Arkansas-Little Rock in the Round of 64.
The Buckeyes have jumped up one spot in each of the last three AP polls. In the Week 14 poll released Monday, they appeared on every ballot, as high as No. 9 (Stu Durando, St. Louis Post-Dispatch) and as low as No. 18 (LaChina Robinson, Fox Sports 1).
Michigan (19-5), not ranked last week, appeared at No. 21 in this week’s poll.
The selection committee’s third and final top 16 reveal will be Feb. 20, the night of the Ohio State-Maryland game. According to the NCAA, the three top 16 seed reveals have no impact on the final NCAA Tournament bracket, which will be released March 13.
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Ohio State junior guard Kelsey Mitchell was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday for the seventh time in her career and the third time in six weeks.
She scored 32 points on 11-of-13 shooting at Wisconsin on Saturday and had 23 against Penn State on Wednesday.
Mitchell was also announced Monday as a finalist for the Nancy Lieberman Award, which honors the nation’s top point guard. Northwestern’s Ashley Deary is the only other Big Ten point guard to join Mitchell on the list of 10 finalists.