Last week the Huskies were on the verge of cracking the AP Poll. This week? Not so much.
A pair of brutal defeats, albeit in very different ways, at the Oregon schools put a dent in Washington’s resume and hurt its chances of making the NCAA tournament. But how badly did it hurt them? Not as much as you might think.
We’ll start with the basics. Washington is now 17-8 (7-5) and tied for 4th in the conference standings with Oregon. They are 5-4 in Tier 1 games, 0-2 in Tier 2 games, 4-2 in Tier 3 games, and 8-0 in Tier 4 games.
It definitely hurt adding another Tier 3 loss to the ledger with the 2OT heart breaker on Saturday night. Having 5 Tier 1 wins is nice but the overall wins show that Washington’s place is firmly on the bubble. It’s psuedo-science but I put together a system assigning 3 points for a Tier 1 win, 2 points for a Tier 2 win, 1 point for a Tier 3 win, and 0 points for a Tier 4 win. It gives a general idea of who has the best wins rather than looking just at their record.
Under this system the Huskies have 19 points. That’s tied for 43rd in the country with Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s, and LSU. Excluding conference tourney winners, you’d have to be in the top 47 to get an at large. So the Huskies exactly make the cut.
I also did the reverse with losses though. With 2 Tier 2’s (1 point each) and 2 Tier 3’s (2 points each) the Huskies have 6 points where lower is better. That would be 91st right now and clearly far away from sniffing the bubble.
There are still four Tier 2 games and two Tier 3 games remaining. Washington will have to win both Tier 3s and at the very least split the Tier 2s although winning 3 of 4 would certainly be better.
Lunardi actually moved the Huskies up despite the loss to Oregon State. He has them as a #11 seed playing the 6th seeded Miami Hurricanes in Dallas in the 1st round with the chance to play the winner of the 3/14 Texas Tech and Charleston match. While it might seem weird, remember that bracketology is all based on rankings relative to other teams. So if another team’s resume got worse than UW’s we could pass them despite also losing. Although I think this was mostly a case of him realizing he was too low to begin with.
Technically, Beller actually has an illegal bracket. He has Washington as a #10 seed facing off against 7th seeded Alabama with the winner likely playing 2nd seeded Kansas. The selection committee doesn’t allow rematches within the first two rounds and so Washington can’t be in their opening quartet.
“Bracket Brad” doesn’t list out a full bracket but simply ranks teams with their equivalent seeding. He has the Huskies as the last #10 seed (40th overall) which would mean a contest with Saint Mary’s and stud Jock Landale.
Palm has been the highest on the Huskies for weeks since he usually doesn’t include advanced statistics which reflect poorly on Washington. But he’s corrected this week and moved Washington down to a #11 seed playing 6th seeded Creighton in Dallas. The victor would play the winner of the 3/14 match-up of North Carolina and Charleston.
So just about everyone has Washington on the right side of the bubble still but their margin of victory has fallen to zero. They could really use a sweep of the mountain schools at home this week to move up another seed line or two before they think about losing again.