Better résumé moves Irish ahead of Gamecocks at No. 2 overall

Brianna Turner and Notre Dame are riding a 17-game winning streak. Matt Cashore/USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Division I committee's second unveiling of its current top 10 teams in seed order likely won't look that different from the Feb. 1 reveal. The teams are expected to stay the same; however, look for the order to be different. Notre Dame should supplant South Carolina as the No. 2 overall team, which will shake up the regional placement for some of the top seeds.

The Pac-12 should continue to be the most represented conference, with four teams in the top 10. Those four -- Oregon State, Arizona State, Stanford and UCLA -- also represent the most teams from one league in our top 16, which would look like this if the season ended today. A complete, 64-team bracketology will be posted Tuesday on espnW.

1. Connecticut: The small chance that the Huskies could relinquish the top spot disappeared with their dominant performance at South Carolina on Feb. 8. There probably isn't a safer assumption in sports than UConn ending up as the NCAA tournament's No. 1 overall seed.

2. Notre Dame: If the committee agrees that the Irish are now the No. 2 overall team, that would put Notre Dame as the top seed in the Lexington Regional with South Carolina going to Dallas. That would open the door to a scenario where both Kentucky and Louisville could also get placed in Lexington.

3. South Carolina: The Gamecocks drop one spot on the overall board because Notre Dame's schedule has been stronger and the Irish's loss lone loss to UConn was more impressive than South Carolina's defeat at the hands of the Huskies. Notre Dame was closer and more competitive with the Huskies on the road than the Gamecocks were at home.

4. Baylor: The Lady Bears have been in cruise control the past two weeks against a soft portion of their Big 12 schedule. It gets tougher for the finish, with four of the five remaining games against NCAA tournament-caliber opponents.

5. Ohio State: The Buckeyes have a stranglehold on the Big Ten lead after last week's win against Maryland. They also have eight top-50 wins and a nine-game winning streak. Road games at Minnesota and Michigan State to finish the regular season pose a minor threat.

6. Texas: The Longhorns' offense disappeared in the fourth quarter on Sunday at Oklahoma, but their eight top-50 wins keeps them on the No. 2-seed line and still ahead of the top teams from the Pac-12.

7. Oregon State: The victory over Arizona State two weeks ago puts the Beavers in the driver's seat to win the Pac-12, but the schedule the rest of the way includes three teams in the NCAA tournament mix.

8. Arizona State: Meanwhile, the Sun Devils, after a heart-stopping win over Stanford on Sunday night, have an easier road the rest of the way and will be primed to take over the top spot in the country's highest-rated RPI conference should the Beavers falter.

9. Maryland: The Terrapins have dominated everyone in the Big Ten except Ohio State. Those two losses to the Buckeyes will likely leave Maryland with a second-place conference finish and, for now, a No. 3 seed. The best chance to move up will come in the Big Ten tournament and might also require some help.

10. UCLA: Despite a loss to Arizona State 10 days ago, the Bruins stay in the spot the committee placed them in two weeks ago. Their competition for the No. 10 spot didn't do anything to wrestle it away from the Bruins. UCLA's win over Washington on Sunday was better than any victory Florida State had in the past two weeks; Louisville also lost, albeit to Notre Dame; and Mississippi State fell to Texas A&M. The rationale for UCLA as No. 10 two weeks ago still exists today: The Bruins have six top-50 wins to four for the Cardinals and two for the Seminoles, and UCLA's schedule strength is better than both.

11. Louisville: The Cardinals played Notre Dame as closely as anyone has in a long time, but fell short eight days ago. Subsequently, the loss didn't hurt Louisville, which remains on the No. 3 seed line. The Cardinals will likely need help to get any higher, but they have the tiebreaker over Florida State (head-to-head) to earn the No. 2 seed in the ACC tournament if they keep winning.

12. Florida State: The Seminoles haven't been challenged much during their 11-game winning streak, but the final two weeks of the season bring nothing but top-50 opponents. The big one comes next Monday against Notre Dame in Tallahassee, with a shot to win the ACC.

13. Texas A&M: The Aggies were able to beat Mississippi State on Thursday without injured point guard Jordan Jones, keeping them solidly in the mix for a second-place SEC finish. It also assured that they would stay on the No. 4 seed line. Getting a healthy Jones back on the floor is imperative to A&M's big-picture hopes, but the schedule the rest of the way in the regular season is manageable.

14. Stanford: Sunday's heartbreaking loss in overtime to Arizona State will sting for a few days, but it didn't affect the Cardinal's current seeding. They still would have found themselves on the No. 4 seed line, just where they are now. Any chance to actually move up will likely require a win against Oregon State and some help in the way of losses by the likes of Florida State and Louisville.

15. Mississippi State: The Bulldogs meet Kentucky on Thursday for their last résumé-building game of the regular season. With a strength of schedule that ranks the lowest among the top 16 teams, doing something significant in the SEC tournament might be required to move higher than a No. 4 seed.

16. DePaul: The Blue Demons have pulled away from the rest of the Big East and have three games to finish the regular season in which they will be big favorites. DePaul just edges Oklahoma State for the coveted final No. 4 seed and the ability to host early-round games. The advantage lies in the Blue Demons' more difficult nonconference schedule, a 6-4 record against the RPI top 50, and a better performance on the road.