Notre Dame women’s basketball earned second-best number two seed in first top 16 reveal of the season. How might that ranking change through the rest of the season?
On Monday night, the NCAA selection committee revealed their first top 16 teams of the season. While there is still a lot of games to be played, this is a big deal for the Notre Dame women’s basketball team. Because they are sixth in the country, they are a two seed. They are currently set up to be in the Greensboro region with number one overall seed Baylor, Maryland and South Carolina round out the top four in 4 of that region.
The first part to address is the overall seed that the Irish were given. The three-loss Notre Dame Fighting Irish are considered the second-best number two seed behind UConn. That makes sense based off what has happened this season. With the Irish having lost three games this season and one of them being to UConn, the second-best number two seed is what they deserve.
While the loss at North Carolina at the end of January hurt, falling to Miami on the road on February 7th was pretty much a nail in the coffin of any hopes at a number one seed. But there is still time for that to possibly change.
The real issue Irish fans should have with the seeding is where, and with whom, they ended up. If the Irish had remained a number one seed, they would have had a shot at being in the Chicago region. Instead, they were placed in the Greensboro region. This is in part due to the fact that Louisville is the number one seed in the Chicago region and the committee probably would like to avoid two ACC teams in one region.
But when it comes to who ended up in the region, Irish fans have every right to be upset. As mentioned earlier, the Irish are the second-best number two seed. So how did they end up being in the same region as the number one overall seed? They also ended up with a very good Maryland team and the best four-seed in South Carolina.
This is something that the committee really needs to change. While it makes sense to factor in geography, sacrificing balanced seeding in the process is a disservice to the game. In a year that has so much parity, why not make the regions more balanced? The commentators on ESPN’s halftime show where they revealed the seeds were upset, so it’s not just fans of the teams complaining about it.
Sure, the Irish don’t have the best seed as of right now. But lucky for them, there are plenty of games to be played prior to the final seeding. What do the Irish need to do between now and then? Well for one, they have to avoid a fourth loss. Last season the Irish went into the NCAA tournament with three losses and no ACC tournament championship. This season is so different though and they almost have to win the ACC tournament to have any hopes at a number one seed. It wouldn’t hurt to have the teams above them have another loss, especially for teams like UConn or Louisville. But that is out of their control now, so all they can do is focus on closing the season out on a long winning streak.