Despite splitting a home series with the Arizona schools last week, it did not seem to hurt the chances of the Washington Huskies making it to the NCAA Tournament. Beating ASU in OT on Wednesday and losing a close game against nationally ranked Arizona kept the Huskies in talk for a birth in the tourney.
The Dawgs are 7-4 (15-8 overall), tied for third place overall with the Wildcats in the Pac-12. Projections currently have the Huskies in the tournament as one of the last at-large teams to avoid The First Four in Dayton.
The Huskies RPI is at 56 and they have the 30th ranked Strength of Schedule. The loss to Arizona dropped UW from 49th to 56th. The Pac-12 is still very strong in RPI with 8 teams among the top 60.
This week the Huskies can solidify their tournament résumé with wins against teams with strong RPIs as Coach Romar’s young Dawgs play Utah (18) Wednesday and Colorado (26) Saturday.
Joe Lunardi has the Huskies as a projected 10th seed in the East Region playing 7th seed Florida. Lunardi has Washington as one of the last byes in the field along with Cal. Lunardi has 7 Pac 12 schools in with UCLA and Oregon State on the outside looking in.
Similarly, SB Nation has Washington or Cal as one of the last two teams avoiding Dayton. Clearly, next week’s game at home against the Bears will be a huge one to determine who gets in and who may be left out.
CBS Sports has the Huskies as an 8th seed playing Indiana in the Midwest Division.
Maybe the best scenario for Husky fans is the USA Today projections, which have the Huskies as a 10th seed in the West playing a second-round game against Pittsburgh in Spokane. Notably, projected in the other bracket is Oregon, which would set up an all-Pac-12 third round game. I say "best" scenario since a lot of Dawg fans could travel to see the game(s) in Spokane and support the team. Despite what looks to be a bye in its bracket, USA Today lists the Dawgs as one of the last teams in the tournament.
It would have been great if the Huskies had pulled off the victory against Arizona, as we’d be talking about potential seeding instead of whether or not they get into the tournament. But this is a young team, and I’m sure most were well prepared for this rollercoaster ride.
It’s still important to get at least one of these games this week, with the Bay Area schools coming into Alaska Airlines next week.