The Lady Blues were ranked No. 1 in the first NCAA Central Region ranking released Wednesday. Washburn is 19-3 overall and first in the MIAA at 13-1.
Central Missouri is second in the region ranking and Concordia-St. Paul is third. Minnesota State is fourth and Truman is the only other MIAA team in the top 8 at No. 5.
The Central Region is made up of the MIAA, Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and the Great American Conference. The winners of those three conference tournaments will earn automatic berths to the NCAA Central Region tournament with the five remaining spots filled in by the top teams in the final NCAA ranking. The eight-team Central Region tournament will take place March 15-18 at the site of the top seed in the region. The winner will advance to the Elite 8, March 26-29 in San Antonio, Texas.
The Lady Blues are ranked No. 5 in Tuesday's USA Today Sports national poll. Washburn will continue action Thursday at 5:30 p.m. against Nebraska-Kearney at Schendel Court at Lee Arena.