Date: Sunday, 3/17/19
Tip-Off Time: 3:00 pm PT
Streaming: CBS Sports March Madness
Record: 26-8 (15-3)
NET ranking: 45th
KenPom ranking: 51st
Q1 Record: 2-4
Q2 Record: 9-3
Q3 Record: 8-1
Q4 Record: 7-0
Last season the Selection Show experimented by showing all of the teams in the field in alphabetical order. It was universally hated. And it was particularly bad for Washington which would have to wait until almost the very end to find out if they were in the tournament. Luckily, they are reverting to the old format. They’ll first announce the #1 seeds and then go through each of the regions one by one revealing every team before moving on to the next one.
The Huskies were viewed on the 8/9 split by most bracketologists coming into their blowout loss against Oregon in the Pac-12 tournament finals. That ends up being either a Q1 or Q2 loss and I don’t expect that it will hurt them tremendously although it obviously can’t help. My personal bracket system has the Huskies as the second #9 seed pending the updated NET rankings.
Where Washington ends up largely depends on what the selection committee chooses to value. The Huskies challenged themselves in the non-conference with 4 games away from home against teams that ended up in the NCAA tournament including likely 3 against teams that will be in the top 5 seed lines. That missed traveling call against Minnesota which cost them a win has definitely come back to haunt them as the Huskies ended up 0-4 in those games.
The collapse of the Pac-12 did Washington no favors as Oregon ended up as the only other top-50 team nationally in the conference and Arizona State/Colorado barely cracked the top-75. The Huskies for the most part avoided the landmines with the exception of the loss at California. That is their only loss against a team that isn’t likely going to make the tournament. But in the end it is also a resume with just a single win over a team projected to be in the NCAA field (at Oregon).
Where the Huskies end up seeded will depend on which of those aspects the committee values. Will they value consistently winning Q2 and Q3 games or will they be unable to look past the lack of premium wins?
It might actually be better for Washington to fall to a 10-seed in all honesty if their goal is to make it to the Sweet 16. There is a substantial gap between the worst 1-seed and the worst 2-seed and much less of a gap between a 7-seed and an 8-seed. Your chance of making the Sweet 16 is probably higher as a 10-seed than as a 9-seed.
This team can’t think about Sweet 16 though. They had a 10 game stretch in the middle of the season where they played like a top-20 team. But in the last 11 games they have been thoroughly mediocre. If that team shows up in the NCAA tournament then they’ll be one and done with a double digit point loss.
Here are the updated predictions as of Sunday morning:
ESPN, Joe Lunardi- 8 seed vs. 9 seed Seton Hall in Columbia with potential 2nd round game versus Duke
CBS, Jerry Palm- 11 seed vs. 6 seed Nevada in Tulsa with potential 2nd round game versus Houston
The Athletic, Eamonn Brennan- 11 seed vs. 6 seed Mississippi State in Jacksonville with potential 2nd round game versus Florida State
NCAA, Andy Katz- 9 seed vs. 8 Seton Hall in Jacksonville with potential 2nd round game versus North Carolina
SI, Michael Beller- 10 seed vs. 7 seed Louisville with potential 2nd round game versus Michigan
Fox, Howie Schwab- 8 seed vs. 9 seed Utah State with potential 2nd round game versus Gonzaga
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