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Tourney Week Bracketology Update: Clinging to Hope

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The Huskies are up against it leading into the Pac-12 tournament

NCAA Basketball: Arizona at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Huskies really needed to beat Oregon on Saturday but failed to get the job done. Because of that they now get a round 3 against an evenly matched Oregon State team and seemingly killed their at large hopes. Almost everyone but not quite everyone agrees. Before getting to the mock brackets, here’s a look at Washington’s resume as of right this second.

Washington Huskies. 20-11 (10-8). RPI: 63. KenPom: 97.

Quad 1: 3-6. Quad 2: 2-4. Quad 3: 7-1. Quad 4: 8-0.

Chris Dobbertean, SBNation

The Huskies are the 7th team out of the field in this version of the bracket. The other seven teams out of the bracket from closest to furthest are: Syracuse, Louisville, Utah, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, and Boise State. The last 4 teams in are: Marquette, USC, Arizona State, and Alabama.

Jerry Palm, CBS

This is the most friendly assessment of any of the major sports services. Jerry has Washington as the 3rd team out of the bracket at the moment. The last 4 teams in are: Texas, Syracuse, USC, and Marquette while the 2 teams out but directly in front of Washington are: Louisville and Utah.

Joe Lunardi, ESPN

Lunardi doesn’t feature the Huskies in either his first four out or his next four out. That would mean Washington has to surpass 9 teams in his eyes without winning the conference tournament to secure an at large bid.

Yahoo! Sports

Yahoo! only lists a first 4 out category and the Huskies aren’t on it. Those four teams are: USC, Syracuse, Louisville, and Alabama.

Conclusion

I have my own system for bracket evaluation and at the moment I don’t have the Huskies anywhere close to the field. There were a lot of common names thrown about that are universally considered bubble teams. Let’s examine the Huskies in comparison to these teams: UCLA, USC, Louisville, Baylor, Arizona State, Syracuse, Alabama, Utah, Boise State, Marquette, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, and Penn State. That makes 14 total teams fighting for realistically 4 or 5 spots. Penn State is the only one of those schools that can’t do anything to change their resume before selection Sunday.

I took those 14 teams and put their rank in the following 4 categories: RPI, KenPom, Combined Quad 1 and Quad 2 wins, and Combined Quad 3 and Quad 4 losses. Then I added up their rank to come up with a score where lower is better. This is not a scientific way of doing things and I’d be furious if this is how the committee actually picked teams but it should give us an idea of where Washington stands.

Pre-Conference Tourney Week Bubble Teams

Team RPI KenPom Q1/2 Wins Q3/4 Losses RPI Rk KP Rk Wins Rk Loss Rk Score
Team RPI KenPom Q1/2 Wins Q3/4 Losses RPI Rk KP Rk Wins Rk Loss Rk Score
USC 34 46 9 1 1 6 2 5.5 14.5
Baylor 61 33 7 0 10 3 7.5 2 22.5
UCLA 38 49 8 2 2 7 4.5 10 23.5
Louisville 46 34 4 0 5 4 14 2 25
Arizona State 58 38 7 1 8 5 7.5 5.5 26
Marquette 57 50 8 2 7 8 4.5 10 29.5
Oklahoma State 88 57 9 0 14 12 2 2 30
Utah 47 62 7 1 6 13 7.5 5.5 32
Alabama 59 53 9 2 9 11 2 10 32
Syracuse 40 51 6 2 3 9 10 10 32
Notre Dame 66 28 7 4 12 1 7.5 14 34.5
Boise State 42 52 5 2 4 10 12 10 36
Penn State 76 30 5 3 13 2 12 13 40
Washington 63 97 5 1 11 14 12 5.5 42.5

Whoops. Can I re-do that system? This is why I said that the Huskies at-large dreams died with the loss to Oregon. It seems insane that their RPI dropped 20 spots after losing at home to a 20 win team but that’s how it played out. If UW’s RPI had only fallen to 50 then maybe there’d be a shot.

If you want to stay an optimist, here’s your hope. If the Huskies lose in the conference tournament finals they’ll likely have to go through both USC and Utah to get there. A win over both likely catapults them above both so there’s 2 down. Penn State can’t do any better so passing them is guaranteed. Alabama, Louisville, and Oklahoma State all play a team that’s currently in the field in their 1st round of the conference tourney and so a loss is very doable. There’s 6 of the 10 teams they need to pass. On top of the 6.5% chance the Huskies have of actually making it to the final.