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2016 Women’s Basketball Bracketology

Under Coach Dan Burt, Duquesne's Women Basketball team is reaching unprecedented heights. Photo via Duquesne University

Under Coach Dan Burt, Duquesne’s Women Basketball team is reaching unprecedented heights.
Photo via Duquesne University

Hello everyone!  For those that don’t know me, I’m an avid basketball fan who has compiled a women’s basketball bracketology list on another website twice-a-week, typically starting early to mid January.  This year, I’ll be compiling it here, and since this is The Point of Pittsburgh I’ll be adding on a Pitt and Duquesne flavor to the analysis.

For now, I’ll only be listing teams in categories without listing seed lines.  I’ll change that and start updating with seeds after we’re roughly half to two-thirds of the way through conference play.  The reason?  Take for example a team like Maryland, who has an outside chance at a #1 seed.  They’re a top 10 team by almost every metric and #8 in both polls (I have them at #6), but the Terps are only #45 in the RPI and they only have one RPI top-25 win.  So where would I put them?  If I was to seed based on current resume, the Terrapins would be behind five teams in the Pac 12 alone – Stanford, Oregon State, Arizona State, USC, and UCLA.  It wouldn’t be appropriate to put them behind five Pac 12 schools, nor would it be appropriate to place them on a two line ahead of three of those teams either.  The same could be said on the bubble with local school WVU.  Going solely on resume to date, there’s plenty of better candidates than the Mountaineers, who don’t have a RPI top-50 win yet.  However, they’re going to likely get enough of them in Big 12 play and the Mountaineers are a borderline top 25 team with their talent and coaching.

Local Flavor

Pitt – After making the Dance last year, the Panthers are in a rebuilding year where they’re not starting a single upperclassman.  The Panthers suffered their fourth straight loss in a hard-fought triple OT game against NC State and they are still without a top-100 win this year.  They’re out of NCAA discussion.

Duquesne – They’re in a very good spot.  The Dukes did what they had to do this week with two conference wins, though neither game was pretty.  They’re in for now and if I had a seed line on teams they’d be a seven.

WVU – Like I said earlier, they don’t have a top-50 win yet.  However, with plenty of chances remaining they’re easily in contention.  Right now, they’re teetering on the bubble.

Penn State – A rebuilding year in State College as the team is currently 6-9.  They’re out of NCAA discussion.

Robert Morris – The Colonials will have to win the NEC tournament to get into the dance.  They’re the current favorites to win the NEC and are unbeaten in conference play thus far.

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Here’s the rest of the conference by conference breakdown…

Atlantic 10

Bubble, In for now – Duquesne (Currently #7 seed for me)

Bubble, Barely in for now – GW

Bubble, Out for now -Dayton (Key injuries to Austria, Deane hurting the Flyers), St. Bonaventure

Not yet on the bubble, but keep an eye on – St. Joe’s

ACC

In – Notre Dame (top line), Florida State

Likely In – Duke, Miami (neither has a top-50 win yet, but with their talent both will collect them them in ACC play), Louisville (after 1-4 start, have won 10 of last 11), Syracuse

Bubble, all out for now – Virginia Tech, Virginia, Boston College (Not sure why BC isn’t showing in Charlie Creme’s bracketology– they have a win at Purdue while their worst loss is at #62 Virginia Tech)

Keep an eye on -NC State

American

In – UConn (#1 overall seed who has a chance to go undefeated this year)

Likely In – South Florida. I understand why Creme on ESPN has them as a #5 seed. However, with only two top-100 wins thus far and not many more chances in AAC play they’re not a lock.

Off the bubble for now, but keep an eye out for – Tulane

Big 12

In – Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma, Ok State

Bubble, Positive side – WVU – Same as Duke and Miami. No top-50 wins yet, but should collect them in Big 12 play.

Bubble, out for now – Iowa State

Keep an eye on – Kansas State, TCU

Big East

Virtual Locks – DePaul, Seton Hall

Bubble – St John’s

Big Ten

Locks – Maryland, Ohio State

Likely In – Rutgers, Purdue, Michigan State, Iowa

Bubble, out for now – Northwestern. Their best win is over #89 UNC despite their lofty ranking (#26 in the AP poll).  I can’t understand how Creme has them as a #4 seed on ESPN for the life of me.

PAC 12

Locks – Stanford, UCLA, Arizona State, Oregon State

Virtual Lock – USC

Squarely on the bubble – Washington

Bubble, out for now – Cal

Keep an eye on – Oregon, Washington State

SEC

Locks – South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Missouri

Virtual Locks – Florida

Probably in – Georgia, Texas A&M

Bubble – None

Keep an eye on – Vanderbilt, Auburn

West Coast

In for now – BYU

Bubble, in for now – Gonzaga

Bubble – St Mary’s

Bubble, out for now – Santa Clara

Keep an eye on – San Diego

Leagues that could steal bids if their #1 team doesn’t win the league tourney

Horizon – Green Bay

Other leagues with possible bubble teams

Summit – South Dakota State

Conference USA – UTEP

There you have it folks!  For all the WVU and Duquesne fans, use this as a list who to root for/against in the upcoming games also.