On Monday, the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee released it’s first of three regular season “Top 16 Rankings” and Oregon State was ranked as the #8 overall projected team in the NCAA Tournament, a spot which would be the Beavers a potential #2 seed-line. Last season, Oregon State used their #2 seed status to spearhead a magical run to the Final Four, after they finished off their regular season and Pac-12 Tournament, with a 28-4 record.
The format of the new “Top 16 Rankings”, which can be similarly compared to NCAA Football’s BCS Rankings, is used to give a more accurate view of where some of the top teams in the country stand in regard to their eventual NCAA Tournament seeding. The Beavers were ranked behind the likes of UCONN, Baylor, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Florida State, Washington and Notre Dame. At the moment, UCONN, Baylor, South Carolina, Mississippi State are all projected to be #1 seeds, while Florida State, Washington and Notre Dame would share the #2 seed line with Oregon State.
The Beavers are currently 18-2 (7-1) on the season and in the most recent AP Top 25 Poll, they came in as the #11 overall team in the country. Head coach Scott Rueck and company have suffered defeats only to Marquette and UCLA on the season, while having knocked off two currently-ranked opponents in the AP Top 25 Poll, in #7 Washington and #10 Stanford. If the Beavers want to remain on the #2 seed-line, they’ll have to continue to navigate a brutal Pac-12 schedule, where two match-ups with rival Oregon, and showdowns with a flurry of ranked opponents including #10 Stanford, #13 UCLA and #16 Arizona State, still await them.
The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee will release their “Top 16 Rankings” three times this season, with the last two of these announcements coming on February 6th and February 20th. It is important to note that while these rankings are used to give teams and fans alike a better insight on their potential NCAA Tournament status, the release of these three “Top 16 Rankings” will have no actual bearing on the eventual NCAA Tournament bracket.
Oregon State’s next game is on Friday, January 27th, when the Beavers will travel to Eugene to meet up with arch-rivals Oregon, for the women’s version of the Civil War. That game is slated for an 8 PM PT tip-off and will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.