Three Thoughts on Big 12 Women’s Bracketology for Feb. 21
The Big 12 has seven teams in ESPN’s most recent Bracketology for the Women’s NCAA Tournament next March.
The Big 12 also six teams last week. So there have been some changes. Here are three thoughts on ESPN’s latest Women’s Bracketology from a Big 12 perspective.
Welcome to the Party, West Virginia
The West Virginia Mountaineers are still on the bubble. But at least this week WVU is on the right side of the bubble. In fact West Virginia is the last team in the field per bracketology this week at ESPN.
The Mountaineers have played their way in, winning two of their last three, including a home win over ranked Iowa State. With 16 wins overall, the Mountaineers have a schedule that could enable them to split down the stretch.
The Mountaineers are in Lubbock to face Texas Tech on Wednesday, followed by a home game on Saturday. West Virginia’s chances may hinge on winning both games.
Why? The following week they host Oklahoma State and finish the season at Baylor. If West Virginia splits the next four, I give them a good chance of sneaking in, especially if the Mountaineers are able to win a game in Kansas City at the Big 12 Tournament.
How Important is Oklahoma vs. Texas
When it comes to the Big 12 standings, this game is huge. It will likely determine the winner of the league and the No. 1 seed at the Big 12 Tournament.
But when it comes to seeding in the NCAA Tournament? It may not have that much impact. Oklahoma is a No. 4 seed and Texas just moved up to a No. 3 seed. Both teams are high in the NCAA NET ratings. In terms of who a loss would hurt more, I think it’s a push.
Well, it might hurt Oklahoma more, only because the Sooners still have one more game with Oklahoma State, this time in Stillwater, which is the season finale for both teams. Oklahoma would be looking for a sweep, but the Cowgirls might be playing for a No. 3 seed at the Big 12 Tournament.
If I were Oklahoma, I’d win this game, for the reasons above.
Is Baylor in Trouble?
After losing four straight games, it’s a valid question to ask. But with four games remaining, I think the Bears will do enough to remain solidly in the field.
This week, the Bears are at TCU and then they host Texas Tech. Those are two teams that, on paper, the Bears should beat. If so, I think they nudge up from their current No. 8 seed line up to a NO. 7 next week.
This way, even if they don’t beat Texas at home next week, the Bears still have the opportunity to beat West Virginia at home in the finale and go to Kansas City with 19 wins. In that scenario, I think the Bears can win at least one game in Kansas City, get to 20 wins and make it easily into the NCAA Tournament field.
So to answer your question, no, I don’t think Baylor is in trouble.
Big 12 Teams in Projected Women’s Field
The Big 12 has seven teams in the field. The seeds include:
Texas, No. 3 seed (Seattle Region 3), vs. Troy, at Austin, Texas.
Oklahoma, No. 4 seed (Seattle Region 4), vs. Green Bay, at Norman, Okla.
Iowa State, No. 5 seed (Greenville Region 1), vs. UNLV, at Los Angeles, Calif.
Baylor, No. 8 seed (Seattle Region 3), vs. Illinois, at Palo Alto, Calif.
Kansas, No. 9 seed (Seattle Region 4) vs. Ole Miss, at Storrs, Conn.
Oklahoma State, No. 9 seed (Greenville Region 2) vs. Alabama, Bloomington, Ind.
West Virginia, No. 11 seed (Greenville Region 2), vs. Syracuse (First Four Game), vs. Arizona if it wins, Philadelphia, Penn.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.