The No. 5 LSU women’s basketball (25-1, 13-1 SEC) will find out where it stands in the eyes of the selection committee tonight during the halftime of the Tennessee-South Carolina game.
The Tigers will not be watching. Instead, they will be in the middle of a road contest against Vanderbilt.
Still, there will be plenty of focus on where LSU will be placed by the committee.
There are several big questions to look out for in the reveal.
First, and obviously the biggest, is how high will LSU be seeded?
In the latest reveal, the Tigers were the 5th overall and therefore a two seed behind South Carolina, Stanford, Indiana, and UConn in that order. Behind LSU were Utah, Iowa, and Maryland,
Five of those eight have lost since then so expect some shuffling around but don’t be surprised if each of those teams stays in the top two seed lines.
My guess is the lines will be South Carolina, Indiana, Stanford, Maryland, LSU, UConn, Utah, and Iowa in that order. That would put LSU in roughly the same spot.
The fact is the Tigers just doesn’t have the marquee wins that the other teams have. That’s been a major problem all season and in LSU’s chance to get one, they lost badly.
It is not exactly fair to judge the Tigers by one game but that was almost always going to happen when the Tigers played just one currently ranked team.
It is worth noting that unlike most of the teams in contention for a one spot, LSU has not lost to an unranked team and lone loss is on the road in front of a sold out crowd against the number one team. That is not exactly a bad loss.
Still, don’t be shocked if LSU is in the 7 or 10 spot (South Carolina will be paired with 8 and 9, so LSU will not be placed in those spots) instead of being higher.
Strength of schedule is going to hurt LSU’s (85th nationally) seeding. It is much lower than the other top teams.
That being said the Tigers merit a top seed, a weak SEC is still poised to get 7 teams in the tournament. Going 13-1 in the league is not easy. LSU has earned a high ranking.
The second big question will be what region does the committee place LSU in?
There are only two regions in the women’s basketball tournament this year.
As of last season, there were four regions and historically most were poorly attended.
There had been a push for cutting down the amount of regionals in women’s basketball for a while, especially to just one venue for Sweet 16 and Elite 8 matches in Vegas.
This seems like a surprisingly bad compromise. Greenville, SC is not a terrible region, most of the ACC powers and SEC powers are nearby.
Obviously, South Carolina is going to have more fans than any of the others in Greenville. Maybe more than all the others combined.
The other venue is Seattle which is pretty far away from everybody. The Pacific Northwest PAC-12 teams are all in danger of missing the tournament leaving the venue pretty far away from major teams.
Seattle could have a good attendance but it will probably be lower than Greenville.
From an LSU perspective, both of these are a long travel. LSU will be just coming off an SEC tournament in Greenville. Seattle would be a newer destination with a significantly less hostile environment.
The committee does prefer to send teams the closest venue, but for almost everyone that is Greenville. Seattle might be out of the way but LSU fans will travel better to it than most.
The last question is what can LSU do to improve its seeding.
If LSU is above 7, there probably isn’t much they can do to get a one seed.
If they’re 7 or lower, the Tigers probably need to make it to the SEC finals to hold its spot and win the SEC over South Carolina to secure a one seed.
That will not be easy.