Women’s Basketball Bracketology: NC State ascends to the 1 line

You can’t ignore the one-loss Wolfpack

All NC State needed was a chance. The Wolfpack just needed Stanford or maybe Baylor to slip-up and they would climb to the 1 line. It’s tough to punish the Cardinal for losing to UCLA last week — a projected 2 seed — but when it comes by 10 points at home, that’s enough to make a difference when comparing the top 4-5 resumes in the country. So with Stanford losing and NC State winning at projected tournament team Virginia Tech, the Wolfpack finally knocked the Cardinal out of that last 1 seed spot.

Maybe it took too long.

NC State has lost just once this year and it was on the road, by six, against North Carolina. No, the Tar Heels aren’t a likely second-weekend team, but they are in the projected bracket and things happen on the road in conference. NC State can be forgiven. Meanwhile they are 7-0 in Quad 1 opportunities, are 10-1 away from home, and own a win over projected 2 seed Maryland.

It’s enough to make NC State the 1 seed in the Fort Wayne regional. For now. The Wolfpack welcome in a Louisville team that’s lost two straight on Thursday. Louisville slid to a 3 seed this week and is now a game behind NC State in the ACC standings. Think the Cardinals will be ready to play?

At the bottom of the at-large seed list, Nebraska is just barely hanging on to a bid. Other bracketologists have given up on the Cornhuskers, but I’m not quite ready to drop them out yet, despite four straight losses. Take a closer look at those losses: Three game to projected tournament teams (two of them to protected seeds) and three came by two possessions or fewer. Yes, Nebraska needs to start winning to stay in the field. But with wins over Michigan, Iowa, and Duke already on the resume, Nebraska can cling to its bid. It should probably win at Northwestern on Sunday, though, if it wants its name in next week’s bracket.

Here’s the full bracket, as it stands now:

Screenshot

Bracket Math

Bids by conference:

Big Ten: 9
SEC: 7
Pac-12: 6
ACC: 5
Big 12: 4
Big East: 3
MVC: 3
CAA: 2
CUSA: 2

Procedural Bumps:

Ohio State from a 9 to a 10
Central Michigan from a 10 to a 9

Last Four In:

North Carolina
Nebraska
James Madison
Old Dominion

First Four Out:

Western Kentucky
Iowa State
Minnesota
Northern Iowa

Next Four Out:

Duke
St. John’s
Seton Hall
Butler

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