Connecticut's Breanna Stewart (30) shoots over Memphis' Brea Elmore during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Hartford, Conn., on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016. Connecticut won the game 83-40. (AP Photo/Fred Beckham)
Fred Beckham
February 01, 2016

UConn, South Carolina, Notre Dame and Baylor are the four No. 1 seeds right now according to the NCAA women's basketball selection committee.

Taking a page from the college football playoffs, the NCAA decided this year to release the top 10 women's teams three times in February to help build a buzz for the tournament in March. The first list came out Monday night.

''I think the committee constantly is looking for ways to create interest in women's basketball and create some conversation about it,'' chair of the women's basketball committee Chris Dawson said.

The top four teams mirrored The Associated Press women's basketball poll that was released earlier Monday. Texas was fifth, followed by Ohio State, Arizona State, Oregon State, Maryland and UCLA on the NCAA's list. The Bruins are ranked 14th in the current poll.

''There's a top group of teams that most people are pretty sure about,'' Dawson said. ''There are a whole lot of teams up next.''

Florida State, Louisville, Mississippi State and Texas A&M also were receiving consideration from the committee. Those four teams were released in alphabetical order.

''There was discussion about what's a number that works,'' Dawson said on the choice of revealing 10 teams. ''There was a discussion if we could do 16. Should we do them in groups of four because of seed lines? Could we do 16 because those are the teams that could host first and second rounds.''

''I think we landed at 10 in part because we think over the next month of the season there are a lot of games with amazing implications left,'' he said.

The NCAA will release the top 10 teams twice more on Feb. 15 and Feb. 29. The NCAA Tournament field will be revealed on March 14.

The top 16 teams will host the opening two rounds of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year. Last season was the first time since 2003 that the women's tournament had the top teams host the opening two rounds.

Last year, the NCAA announced the Top 20 teams a month before the tournament began in alphabetical order. They also gave the four No. 1 seeds. All of the top 16 seeds came from that group of 20 last season.

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