The Pac-12 creates more problems
In case you missed it, the NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee revealed its top 16 teams, in order, on Monday. That gave us each of the top 4 seed, hosting locations, and regional placement.
Here it is:
So that immediately became the scenario I was working with in my projections — why continue to guess when you’re given the answer sheet? Indiana and Florida State, which I had as protected seeds, immediately became the two strongest 5 seeds while Arizona and Mississippi State slid up in their place.
There have been a couple minor changes since the reveal. The announcement came at halftime of Oregon”s win over UConn. With the Ducks’ win, they moved ahead of Louisville on the true seed line and UConn dropped just below Stanford.
One thing of note that I had overlooked until I actually tried placing teams: This top 16 requires the committee to break one of its rules. With five Pac-12 teams listed (Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, Arizona State, Arizona), it is impossible to separate them all into different regions. Normally the 1, 2, 3, and 4 seeds in each region need to be in different leagues. This week, the exception comes in Dallas where Arizona is the 4 seed and Stanford the 2 seed — still not on track to meet until the Elite Eight.
As always, this is only a snapshot. There are some HUGE matchups between ranked teams this week and weekend that are sure to shake up the field. We got a question last week about Tennessee and why my projection for the Vols is a little lower than most others. I pointed out their weak strength of schedule, but with the meat of the SEC schedule coming up, that is bound to change. On Thursday, they host Mississippi State, and a win in that game could bump them up by a full seed or even more.
Here’s the full bracket:
Bids by conference:
Big Ten: 9
Big 12: 3
Big East: 3
There were a few this week. This was a tough bracket to place because of the concentration of Pac-12 teams up top and of Big Ten teams in the middle.
Virginia Tech from a 7 to an 8
Purdue from an 8 to a 7
Ohio State from a 9 to a 10
Central Michigan from a 10 to a 9
Arkansas from an 11 to a 12
Old Dominion from a 12 to an 11
Last Four In:
First Four Out:
Next Four Out: