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Three Thoughts on Big 12 Women’s Bracketology for Dec. 27

Kassidy De Lapp

For the second straight week, the Big 12 has six teams in ESPN’s most recent Bracketology for the Women’s NCAA Tournament next March.

But will it be that way next week after Big 12 play begins this weekend? Here are three thoughts on ESPN’s latest Women’s Bracketology from a Big 12 perspective.

 

Hello, Oklahoma State

No, Oklahoma State is not in the Field of 68. But the rest of the country is starting to catch up to the quality non-conference slate for coach Jacie Hoyt and her Cowgirls, who went 10-2 in non-conference and are averaging more than 20 points per game more than a year ago.

The Cowgirls are among the first eight teams out of the field as of Dec. 27. Oklahoma State is seven spots away from a spot in the Field of 68. What appears to be helping OSU is an impressive No. 46 NET rating, which is better than Kansas State (49) and Oklahoma (56), both of which are in the field and ranked in the AP Top 25.

OSU faces ranked Kansas on Saturday. It’s a golden opportunity for the Cowgirls to crash the party and make a statement.

 

Just One Sub-Regional Host

Last season four Big 12 teams hosted sub-regionals — Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma, and Texas. That home-court advantage helped both the Cyclones and the Longhorns as they moved on to the Sweet 16.

Right now the only sub-regional host for the Big 12 is Kansas, which is a No. 4 seed and would host an AWFULLY tasty sub-regional. While the Jayhawks would face St. Joseph’s, the other side of the pod would feature No. 5 seed Arizona — which Kansas beat in Tucson in December — and No. 12 Stephen F. Austin, where Schneider coached before joining Kansas.

It will be interesting to watch and see if teams like Iowa State, Baylor, and Oklahoma can crawl back into hosting a sub-regional.

Is Texas Starting Its Climb?

Texas started the season as a Final Four contender. Right now, it’s just glad to be in the projected field as one of the Last Four In, as a No. 11 seed, and as a First Four participant. A lot has gone wrong for Texas, but the Longhorns remain undeniably talented and capable of rising up.

Texas COULD host a sub-regional again this March. But, to do so, the Longhorns will have to dominate the Big 12, and I’m not sure that’s possible. Iowa State, Baylor, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas State are all equipped to give the Longhorns — the defending Big 12 Tournament champion — a run, starting with Texas’ opener against Kansas State on Saturday.

 

We will see shortly just how far the Longhorns can climb, but if they find their rhythm the way they did last year, no host school will want to see them in their sub-regional.

Big 12 Teams in Projected Women’s Field

The Big 12 has six teams in the field. The seeds include:

Kansas, No. 4 seed (Seattle Region) vs. St. Joseph’s in Lawrence, Kan.

Iowa State, No. 5 seed (Greenville Region), vs. Bowling Green, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Oklahoma, No. 5 seed (Greenville Region), vs. UNLV, Eugene, Ore.

Baylor, No. 6 seed (Seattle Region), vs. Ole Miss, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Kansas State, No. 8 seed (Seattle Region), vs. St. John’s, Palo Alto, Calif.

Texas, No. 11 seed (Greenville Region), vs. Missouri (First Four Game), Los Angeles, CA

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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