Only five Big 12 women’s basketball teams made the cut in ESPN’s latest early-season Bracketology for the Women’s NCAA Tournament next March.
What’s as interesting is that projecting has two other Big 12 teams knocking on the door.
Not surprisingly, the five Big 12 teams included are either ranked or receiving votes in the AP Top 25 poll this week:
Iowa State, No. 2 seed in the Seattle Region
Texas, No. 3 seed in the Seattle Region
Oklahoma, No. 4 seed in the Greenville
Baylor, No. 5 seed in the Seattle Region
Kansas, No. 9 seed in the Greenville Region
For the first time, the Women’s Tournament will be split into two regions — Greenville and Seattle. The first- and second-round games will continue to be held at campus sites. After that, eight teams will head to Greenville and eight teams will head to Seattle for the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight.
Texas dropped a spot after its loss to UConn on Monday, but the Longhorns would still be a strong contender to get to Seattle. They would host Quinnipiac in the first round. Notably, UCLA and Florida would also be in their sub-regional.
Iowa State and Oklahoma would also get home sub-regionals. The Cyclones would face Montana State in the first round, and then either Arkansas or Washington State in the second round. Oklahoma would face UNLV in the first round and then either Arizona or Toledo in the second round.
For now, Baylor would end up in Raleigh, N.C., for a sub-regional hosted by No. 4-seeded NC State. The Bears would face South Dakota or Oregon State in the first round, and then either NC State or Troy in the second round.
Kansas would be in Columbia, S.C., at a sub-regional hosted by defending national champion South Carolina. The Jayhawks would face Duke in the first round and then either South Carolina or a First Four winner in the second round.
The First Four is part of the tournament for the second straight year, and that could help Kansas State and West Virginia, which for now are considered the second and third team out of the tournament, respectively.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.