Another Update on the NCAA Women’s Bracket
With the women’s Elite eight games being played now to determine which teams earn Final Sour spots, let’s look again at my suggestion for the 8-team round robin format.
Assuming that the regular seasons tournament resumes for all the teams remained the same, it would be natural to assume that the 8 teams admitted to the tournament would be the four 1-seeds and the four 2-seeds. Maybe there could be adjustments made to allow each major conference to be represented, but for the ease of explaining this, let’s assume that the tournament selection committee picked the eight best teams from the regular season and conference tournaments to be the 1- and 2-seeds.
Now let’s look at how those teams have done in the tournament so far: All four 1-seeds and three of the 2-seeds qualified for the Elite Eight. The final 2-seed, Xavier was beaten in the second round by Louisville, a 7-seed. So my system isn’t perfect, but it still looks pretty good to me. If seven of these eight teams advance to the last eight teams standing, why not just make them the only eight teams standing and avoid the bad games?
Under my proposed 8-team round robin tournament, we would see Tennessee, Baylor, UConn, Stanford, Notre Dame, Duke, Texas A&M and Xavier all play each other once, maybe even with flexible game scheduling on the last weekend to ensure a championship-style matchup on the last night. Here’s a rough estimate of exactly what my suggested bracket would look like:
Would these games be close? I can’t say I followed the regular season of the women’s NCAA very closely, so I did some research on the regular season matchups among these eight teams. Here’s what I found:
Tennessee — Lost at Baylor 65-54, won 82-72 against Stanford in OT
Baylor — Lost at UConn 65-64, won 76-65 against Notre Dame, Won 65-54 against Tennessee, won at Texas A&M 63-60, won 67-58 against Texas A&M, won 61-58 against Texas A
UConn — Won 65-64 against Baylor, Lost 71-59 at Stanford, Won 79-76 at Notre Dame, won 87-51 against Duke, won 78-57 against Notre Dame, won 73-64 against Notre Dame
Stanford — Lost at Tennessee 82-72 in OT, won 89-52 against Xavier, won 71-59 against UConn
Notre Dame — Lost 76-65 at Baylor, lost 79-76 against UConn, lost 78-57 at UConn, lost 73-64 against UConn
Duke — Won 61-58 against Texas A&M, won 46-45 against Xavier, lost 87-51 at UConn
Texas A&M — Lost 61-58 at Duke, lost 63-60 against Baylor, lost 67-58 at Baylor, lost 61-58 against Baylor
Xavier — Lost 46-45 at Duke, lost 89-52 at Stanford
In the only game between two of these teams in the actual NCAA tournament, Notre Dame beat Tennessee 73-59.
Looking at these scores, I’m surprised at how one-sided some of them are: 87-51, 89-52? But still, no team has a perfect record against the other elites and although some of the teams (Xavier, Texas A&M, Notre Dame) didn’t win against the other giants, they all played games within one possession of winning. And Notre Dame did win when the tournament came around.
I’m actually getting excited about women’s basketball just dreaming about this potential bracket. How do you guys feel? Leave me a comment below.