Big 12 Basketball

Big 12 May Benefit From Recent NCAA Women’s Tournament Expansion

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big 12 Conference Tournament-Oklahoma vs Oklahoma State

The Big 12 may see a benefit from the recent expansion of the NCAA Women’s Tournament to 68 teams, if ESPN.com’s Charlie Crème is correct.

Crème, who handles the NCAA Women’s Tournament Bracketology for ESPN.com, published his first new bracket with the 68-team field and the Big 12 saw an immediate benefit, with two teams making it into the First Four games.

Those two Big 12 teams were Kansas State and Oklahoma State. In this bracket, Oklahoma State would play Missouri and Kansas State would play Marquette. Crème had both KSU and OSU as the last two teams in the bracket.

 

The bottom line is that the expansion of the tournament by just four teams allowed the Big 12 to boost itself from a five-bid league a year ago to a potential seven-bid league in this scenario.

Additionally, Crème had Texas Tech on the bubble as one of the first four teams out of the Tournament.

The NCAA Women’s Tournament will be a 68-team field in the upcoming tournament, as approved by the NCAA last week.

Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Texas and West Virginia made the NCAA Tournament last season. All are included in this updated Bracketology. Baylor was a No. 2 seed, Iowa State was a No. 3 seed, Texas was a No. 4 seed and West Virginia was a No. 5 seed.

So that’s six. Who was the mystery seventh team? Oklahoma, under first-year coach Michelle Baranczyk. Crème had the Sooners as a No. 9 seed. The Sooners haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2018 under Sherri Coale, who retired at the end of last season.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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