Cougs still got their dancing shoes on tight

Krystal Leger-Walker (Photo: Twitter/WSU)

THE LOSS OF WASHINGTON STATE in the second round of the Pac-12 tournament in Utah on Thursday affected his showing in ESPN’s parenthesis. The good news for the Cougars?

It didn’t change things much. ESPN bracketologist Charlie Creme only dropped WSU one spot and still has WSU safely in and for now, not needing any of the four playoff games.

WSU is still projected as a 10 seed and among the “Last Four Byes” – the last teams selected in the field of 64 after the playoff games (which make it a field of 68 teams and are called the “Last Four In”.

Here’s another way to look at it: These are the bottom eight teams in the Big Dance realm, according to Creme’s parenthesis.

  1. Kentucky
  2. washington state
  3. state of missouri
  4. Miami
  5. Gonzaga
  6. Missouri
  7. state of florida
  8. North West

The roster is in order, which means the WSU still has six teams ahead of it, according to Creme. That’s important, because any surprise conference tournament winner not currently slated for the field takes away one of the blanket offers we’re talking about here. So WSU has some leeway, in the projection of Creme.

Here are some teams pros and cons if you’re a Cougar fan, according to Creme. You can see his full play HERE.

  • “Which conference tournaments could have the most impact on the fate of bubble teams? Florida Gulf Coast (Atlantic Sun) and Princeton (Ivy League) should get offshore berths if they fail to win automatic bids If a team other than BYU or Gonzaga wins the WCC, or if someone other than UCF or South Florida wins the AAC, that would also reduce the number of people available at large However, it can also work in reverse. We’ve projected two teams each from MVC and Summit for the past few weeks. But if Missouri State and South Dakota win those tournaments, they’d likely be the only teams in their conferences to reach the NCAA field. That would open up a spot or two on the bubble,” read the article.

ESPN’s bracket allows WSU to play Georgia in the first round in Waco — the host cities of the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament are back this year, as are the four regional venues.

In the projection, if WSU wins its first-round game against Georgia, it will meet the winner of 2-seeded Baylor and 15-seeded Idaho State. If he were to win this game, he would move to the Sweet 16 at the Wichita regional venue.

Selection Sunday, when the NCAA tournament field becomes official, is March 13.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The loss to Utah in the Pac-12 tournament didn’t hurt WSU much in the NET rankings, as CF.C’s Jamey Vinnick predicted here. WSU fell just one spot in the NET, to 59. Utah moved up two spots, to 25.

The NCAA tournament host cities for the first two rounds and corresponding regionals are:

  • Bridgeport Regional: Raleigh, Knoxville, Norman, Ann Arbor
  • Greensboro Regional: Columbia, College Park, Austin, Tucson
  • Wichita area: Louisville, Bloomington, Storrs, Waco
  • Spokane Regional: Stanford, South Bend, Baton Rouge, Ames

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