Happy Friday, and welcome to week #6 of WNUR Sports’ Bracketology.
A 2-1 finish to the regular season, plus a win over a pretty good Iowa team on Thursday, has Northwestern back in the at-large discussion heading into Friday’s matchup with No. 9 Ohio State. More on NU in “How far away are the ‘Cats?” later on.
As for the rest of the women’s college basketball world, the last 11 days have brought plenty of change to our bracket on pretty much every seed line. From hosting a regional round to sneaking in as one of the last at-large teams, plenty is on the line for plenty of teams this weekend in conference tournament play.
In case you’re wondering at home and don’t feel like counting them up down below, five new teams joined our bracket this week.
Before we reveal this week’s brackets, a weekly reminder of six ground rules to keep in mind:
- 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.
- This week’s brackets reflect games as of Thursday, March 2.
- 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. These teams will begin to be finalized this weekend.
- Green and red arrows 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 two-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:
Heading southwest, we hit Lexington:
Continuing the journey west, we head to OKC:
And lastly, to Stockton:
Bids by Conference:
Big 12 (6)
Big Ten (4)
Big East (3)
Last Four In:
South Dakota State
First Four Out:
How far away are the ‘Cats?
After Thursday’s win against Iowa, a win against Ohio State Friday would likely move Northwestern within 1-3 spots of the field of 64, and a win against the winner of Purdue/Indiana Saturday could certainly vault Northwestern into the field. In addition to the “First Four Out,” the ‘Cats are currently behind just California. Other bubble teams’ results in their respective conference tournaments this weekend will go a long way in determining whether or not the Wildcats receive an at-large bid.
- Temple to Oregon State – Philadelphia, PA to Corvallis, OR – 2879 miles
- Syracuse to Washington – Syracuse, NY to Seattle, WA – 2741 miles
- Oregon to Mississippi State – Eugene, OR to Starkville, MS – 2439 miles
Upcoming Impact Games (All times CST):
Northwestern vs. Ohio State, 11 a.m. Friday (89.3 FM Evanston-Chicago OR WNURSports.com)
Virginia vs. Notre Dame, 1 p.m. Friday
California vs Oregon State, 1:30 p.m. Friday
Iowa State @ Kansas State, 11 a.m. Saturday
West Virginia @ Oklahoma, 8:30 p.m. Saturday
PLENTY OF ADDITIONAL TBD CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT GAMES
See you next week!