Women’s basketball bracketology: The problem with sending Notre Dame to Chicago

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Ever wonder what it looks like when a bracketologist has to eat his words?

Well, here you go. This is what I wrote last week:

"I sent Notre Dame to Chicago because the setup allowed me to and it seems inevitable, despite what the reveal said."

As you see, I have Notre Dame in Albany, and no, a week later I do not still think it is inevitable that the Irish go to Chicago. Oops!

Here’s why: Baylor is the No. 1 overall seed right now and Notre Dame is the No. 5 (or the best 2 seed). That already poses a balancing problem, but it’s one that can be overlooked if you make an attempt to balance it better on the 3 line and below. Only that’s really, really hard to do if you’re already coming from a disadvantage. Miami is the weakest 3, so that helped. But once you get to the 4 line, there are so many restrictions already in play that it’s almost impossible to pick and choose based on balance.

That 4 seed (if avoidable) cannot be a team in the same conference as anyone 1-3. It also can’t be on track to face the 1 seed in the Sweet 16 if they’ve already played twice (and presumably a third time in the conference tournament). You want to keep travel to a minimum. I couldn’t keep Notre Dame in Chicago and by true seed, that region still ended up being the toughest in the field.

This could all change with some conveniently placed wins and losses, but for now, Notre Dame fans can take comfort in a potential Elite Eight matchup with [checks notes] UConn in Albany.