Hello, and welcome to the first ever edition of WNUR women’s basketball bracketology. If you’re not interested in way-too-early Big Dance predictions and are instead looking for a fun way to spend some time on the Internet, I highly recommend a fun video-sharing website called YouTube.
But if you’re seeking a weekly bracket update over the next seven weeks leading up to Selection Monday on March 13, you’re more in luck than an umbrella salesman in a rainstorm and have come to the right place.
Before we go any further, five ground rules to keep in mind for the next seven weeks:
- Weekly projections are based off of team’s performance and résumé up to that week. Projecting future success is not the goal of this exercise.
- Automatic bid-receiving conference champions (indicated between these guys on the bracket) are the team in first place of the conference at the time of that week’s bracketology update. I’m guessing that none of us are as comfortable as we wish we were with projecting the Atlantic Sun tournament champion in late January.
- Green and red arrows, as shown in our Bridgeport Regional this week, will show a team’s week-by-week movement in our projections.
- Unlike the men’s tournament, the women’s tournament features the opportunity for teams seeded one through four to host first-weekend games. Therefore, the difference between a four and a five-seed in the women’s tournament is a sizable one.
- Stanford will not be able to host first and second-round games because the Pac-12 Gymnastics Championship is slated to take over Maples Pavillion on March 18. The Cardinal is currently a three-seed in our projections, so a five, six, or seven-seed will likely be the beneficiary of the opportunity to host first weekend games in Stanford’s place. As you’ll see below, that could be Northwestern. Something to keep in mind.
Now (finally) onto our first batch of projections. We’ll begin with the Bridgeport Regional:
Heading west, we next hit the Lexington Regional:
Onto Northwestern’s projected regional, Oklahoma City:
And lastly, to the home of of the largest inland seaport in California: Stockton.
And if you’re willing to stick around a little longer, each week we will include the bids by conference breakdown (for conferences with multiple bids), First Four Out, current projections’ longest travel distance, and impact games in the coming week.
Bids by conference:
Big 12 (7)
Big Ten (5)
Big East (2)
First Four Out:
- NC State to Oregon State – Raleigh, NC to Corvallis, OR – 2870 miles
- Quinnipiac to UCLA – Hamden, CT to Los Angeles, CA – 2869 miles
- California to South Carolina – Berkeley, CA to Columbia, SC – 2679 miles
Upcoming impact games:
West Virginia @ Baylor, 1 p.m. Saturday
Florida State @ Virginia Tech, 11 a.m. Sunday
Mississippi State @ South Carolina, 6 p.m. Monday
Northwestern @ Michigan, 6 p.m. Wednesday (89.3 FM Evanston-Chicago or WNURSports.com)
Georgia Tech vs. Florida State, 6 p.m. Thursday
Creighton vs. DePaul, 7 p.m. Friday
See you next week!