The Huskies finally got a major victory on the road last night defeating the Oregon Ducks by a score of 61-56. It automatically becomes the best win on their resume and combined with an Arizona loss last night it created clear separation to make the Huskies the favorites to make the NCAA tournament out of the Pac-12.
If you want more information on how I went through some of the calculations, you can check out my first bracketology update from this year here.
In the Tournament
Washington 15-4 (6-0) - #9 Seed (#34 overall), Bracketology Score: 90.34
Resume: 23 points (31st), Computer Rank: 41st, Opportunity Score: 32 (73rd)
Washington’s 8-game winning streak has catapulted them from barely in the bracket a month ago to a single digit seed. Another win over Oregon State tomorrow would have a decent shot of launching them up to a #8 seed while a loss would knock them back down to a #10.
The opportunity ranking for the entire conference is something to note. That shows that Washington is 73rd in the country in the number of possible points they could still add to their resume. Even in the hypothetical where the Huskies won every single one of their remaining games they’d have trouble getting much higher than a #5 seed because there just aren’t enough wins left out there on the schedule to boost them high enough to leapfrog teams. However, I think Washington is now at the point where if they won every game they’re supposed to win and lost every game they’re supposed to lose then they’d have a better than 50/50 shot of getting in as an at-large.
First Four in Dayton
Arizona 14-6 (5-2) - #12 seed (#46 overall), Bracketology Score: 86.85
Resume: 19 points (42nd), Computer Rank: 57th, Opportunity Score: 31 (77th)
Arizona got crushed at USC last night which certainly didn’t help them out as they are now in a very precarious position. The Wildcats will likely have to go 2-1 in their remaining 3 games against UW and ASU plus win all of their gimmes in order to feel ok about their chances of securing an at-large berth. Right now they’re my 2nd to last team in the bracket.
Arizona State 14-5 (5-2) - NIT (#51 overall), Bracketology Score: 86.36
Resume: 20 points (38th), Computer Rank: 62nd, Opportunity Score: 31 (77th)
The Sun Devils came on strong in the 2nd half at UCLA last night and have now won 3 in a row to get back in the picture. Just like Arizona they need to come out of the UA/UW/ASU triangle with a winning record to have a shot and need at least a split at the Oregon schools near the end of conference play. They still have by far the best pair of wins in the conference with the Kansas/Mississippi State wins in their back pocket if they can be competitive the rest of the way.
NIT Bubble Teams
Oregon State 12-6 (4-2) - NIT Bubble (#72 overall), Bracketology Score: 80.18
Resume: 11 points (77th), Computer Rank: 67th, Opportunity Score: 33 (67th)
Oregon 11-8 (2-4) - NIT Bubble (#73 overall), Bracketology Score: 78.98
Resume: 6 points (93rd), Computer Rank: 59th, Opportunity Score: 32 (73rd)
The Oregon teams have similar overall records although mostly because the games when Bol Bol was still in Oregon’s lineup are lingering. But the two squads appear to be moving in opposite directions given Oregon’s injury situation. The Beavers can probably only afford to drop one more game during the rest of the regular season in order to realistically think about an at-large berth but it’s not completely impossible. However, if they continue to play like they have through the first few weeks of Pac-12 play then they’ll be in solid position to snag an NIT bid.
USC 11-8 (4-2) - #92 overall, Bracketology Score: 73.37
Utah 10-8 (4-2) - #104 overall, Bracketology Score: 70.17
Colorado 11-7 (2-4) - #110 overall, Bracketology Score: 69.18
UCLA 10-9 (3-3) - #111 overall, Bracketology Score: 69.11
Stanford 9-10 (2-5) - #137 overall, Bracketology Score: 62.22
Washington State 8-11 (1-5) - #212 overall, Bracketology Score: 40.27
California 5-14 (0-7) - #258 overall, Bracketology Score: 27.91
Man it’s depressing that more than half of the conference is basically out of even NIT contention in January. USC and Utah have come on strong and are certainly capable of ruining the dreams of the NCAA hopefuls in the conference since they’re playing better than their resume would indicate and therefore will still be considered a bad loss even if they’re not anymore. USC got back Kevin Porter Jr from suspension yesterday in a blitzing of Arizona and if he plays like the 5-star he is the rest of the way then they could be a darkhorse Pac-12 tournament contender.
Current NCAA Tournament Seedings as of 1/25 (conference auto-bid projection in bold)
Hofstra Pride (18-3), VCU Rams (13-6), Lipscomb Bisons (15-4)
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