Happy Monday, and welcome to week #5 of WNUR Sports’ Bracketology. 

A 1-1 week for Northwestern has the Wildcats in a similar position as last week: a good bit off the bubble but still within a stone’s throw. More on NU later in “How far away are the ‘Cats?”.

As for the broader women’s college basketball world, a fairly predictable week brought the least week-to-week changes in our bracket of this experiment’s five weeks. That being said, there’s a change on the No. 2 seed line, and five new teams joined the field of 64. And how’s this for a teaser? One of those five teams calls the Big Ten home. 

Before we reveal this week’s brackets, a weekly reminder of six ground rules to keep in mind:

  1. 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.
  2. This week’s brackets reflect games as of Sunday, February 19.
  3. 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. 
  4. Green and red arrows show a team’s week-by-week movement in our projections.
  5. 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.
  6.  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. 

Now, onto this week’s brackets. We’ll begin, as always, with the Bridgeport region:

bport

We head southwest to Lexington:

lexington-final-forreal-5

To Oklahoma City we go:

okc-final-forreal-55

And lastly, to Stockton: 

CHETTT.png

Bids by Conference:

SEC (8)

ACC (7)

Pac-12 (7)

Big 12 (5)

Big Ten (4)

American (3)

Big East (3)

Horizon (2)

Colonial (2)

Last Four In:

Michigan State

West Virginia

Elon 

California

First Four Out:

Tulane

Virginia

South Dakota State

Indiana

How far away are the ‘Cats?

After Thursday’s loss at Iowa and Sunday’s home win against Illinois, Northwestern drops to eight spots out of the tournament. In addition to the “First Four Out,” the ‘Cats are currently behind Iowa, Harvard, and Georgia Tech, who are fifth, sixth, and seventh out of the field respectively. Thursday’s game vs. Rutgers and Sunday’s game at Purdue are absolute must-wins if NU is to sneak into the field of 64 without winning the Big Ten Tournament. 

Longest Travel:

  1. Temple to Oregon State – Philadelphia, PA to Corvallis, OR – 2879 miles
  2. NC State to Washington – Raleigh, NC to Seattle, WA – 2875 miles
  3. Oregon to Mississippi State – Eugene, OR to Starkville, MS – 2439 miles

 

Upcoming Impact Games (All times CST):

Maryland @ Ohio State, 6 p.m. Monday

Baylor @ Texas, 8 p.m. Monday 

Penn State @ Michigan State, 6 p.m. Wednesday 

Mississippi State @ Kentucky, 6 p.m. Thursday

Virginia @ Louisville, 6 p.m. Thursday 

Stanford @ Oregon State, 10 p.m. Friday

Florida State @ Notre Dame, noon Sunday

 

See you next week!