Hello, college basketball fans!
While I do the Schmolik 64 every year, I wanted to try a Schmolik 64 for the women's tournament (a true 64). This is the second time I will do this, the first was back in 2010. I will admit I don't follow women's basketball as much as men's (not even close). Back in 2010, I missed three teams which is pretty close to how many I usually get wrong in the men's tournament. I used the NCAA's RPI and AP/USA Today polls and looked at a few schedules to see wins/losses.
In addition to choosing the right seeds, I'd like to see if I got the correct #1 seeds and in the right order and the top four seeds in each region (who host games the first weekend). The last time I made a women's bracket the sites were pre-determined.
Regions are listed in order of #1 seeds:
|South Bend, IN||1||Notre Dame*||30-3|
|Starkville, MS||6||NC State||22-8|
|Palo Alto, CA||7||Creighton||23-7|
|15||Long Beach State*||23-10|
|Columbia, SC||1||South Carolina*||27-4|
|Waco, TX||7||Texas A&M||21-11|
|College Park, MD||1||Maryland*||30-2|
|Los Angeles, CA||5||De Paul||26-7|
|Tallahassee, FL||6||West Virginia||23-10|
|14||Florida Gulf Coast*||26-8|
|Corvallis, OR||7||Kansas State||22-10|
|15||New Mexico State*||24-6|
Bids By Conference:
ACC: 8, SEC: 7, Pac-12: 6, Big 10: 5, Big 12: 5, AAC: 3, Big East: 3, MAC: 2, Sun Belt: 2
Highest RPI left out: South Dakota St (38), James Madison (41), Auburn (45), Harvard (49)
Lowest RPI at large: Purdue (58), Virginia (52)
I have a strong feeling I got the overall #1 seed right. I'm trying to guess the order of the #1 seeds. The RPI shows many of the Big Ten teams down. Maryland is nationally ranked highly in the polls but 16th in RPI. But the Terrapins only lost two games to Connecticut and Ohio State, second place finisher in the Big Ten. I'm guessing the ACC and SEC are stronger so I ranked Notre Dame 2nd overall, South Carolina 3rd, and Ohio State 4th. Baylor was the odd one out because they were upset in the Big 12 tournament. They do get a close ride to Oklahoma City in the regionals as opposed to heading to Stockton. If Baylor is the lowest #1 they're heading to Stockton and be bracketed to play UConn in the national semifinals. If Baylor is a #1 in Oklahoma City they are either #2 or #3 overall.
Stanford won the Pac-12 tournament but Oregon State won the regular season and beat Stanford twice in the regular season before Stanford won the tournament. So Oregon State got the #2 seed in Stockton while Stanford moved to Lexington. Duke got the last #2 seed and got stuck in Bridgeport.
My last #4 was Tennessee. They had wins over South Carolina, Mississippi State, Notre Dame, Stanford, and Kentucky which probably was the difference between them and Kentucky getting the top 4. I put UCLA in Stockton even though Oregon State was #2 there. That is against NCAA men's tournament rules but I believe it's OK in the women's tournament and would help another team getting stuck in Stockton. Putting Washington as a #3 seed in Stockton would mean they would play Oregon State in the round of 16 so that wasn't happening. Ironically Florida State was stuck going to the "west" regional as a #3 like they were in the men's tournament.
Purdue made the Big Ten final so they got in. Virginia was in a strong ACC. As for at large teams outside the top seven conferences, I chose Central Michigan from the MAC and Little Rock from the Sun Belt. They both won the regular season in their conferences.
Too bad there is no Bracket Matrix for the women's field. The only bracketologist for the women's field I've seen is ESPN's and I didn't read it before I posted this. We'll see if I'm anywhere close to ESPN's or the NCAA's.