UCLA Ascends to No. 1 Seed in NCAA Women’s Basketball Rankings

In the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee’s most recent top 16 announcement on Thursday, UCLA moved up to the top spot from Colorado, joining fellow top seeds South Carolina, Ohio State, and Stanford.

Following the February 15 announcement, Oklahoma, which won the Big 12 regular-season championship handily, and Gonzaga have also been predicted to host as the new No. 4 seeds.

Along with Texas and Iowa, Virginia Tech and USC rose to the No. 2 spot, while LSU also moved up to the No. 3 spot.

Colorado (No. 1 to No. 4 seed) and NC State (No. 2 to No. 3 seed) were the fallers from the initial reveal. Following recent losing streaks, Kansas State and Louisville completely dropped out of the top 16.

Since star Lauren Betts returned to action following four games missed due to a medical issue, the Bruins have won five of their last six games.

For the past several weeks, the fourth No. 1 spot has been in constant flux. Colorado failed to win four straight games. Recent road games saw Iowa lose twice. Texas’s hot team was stopped by Oklahoma on Wednesday, and Utah defeated USC on Sunday.

Virginia Tech, the ten-time winners, are positioned to secure a No. 1 seed for the second time in the tournament as the fifth overall seed.

Regionals will take place at two locations, rather than four, this season (Portland, Oregon, and Albany, New York), with two pods at each location. South Carolina would play in Albany with Iowa, Oregon State, and Oklahoma if the season ended on Wednesday. The second-seeded Ohio State was paired with USC, LSU, and Colorado in an Albany pod.

Stanford would be ranked first in Portland, with Texas, NC State, and Indiana in its bracket; No. 1 UCLA would be paired with Virginia Tech, UConn, and Gonzaga in the other pod.

South Carolina, Ohio State, Stanford, UCLA, Virginia Tech, Texas, Iowa, USC, LSU, UConn, NC State, Oregon State, Colorado, Indiana, Gonzaga, and Oklahoma are the top-16 teams, in that order.

ESPN will reveal the 68-team bracket on March 17 at 8:00 p.m. ET.