The Bracketology Report: Washington

Updated: March 4, 2004, 2:06 PM ET
By Charlie Creme | Insider Bracketologist

Editor's note: Each week Bracketology Insider will take an in-depth look at teams headed for the NCAA Tournament ... or not.

Week in review
The Huskies (InsideRPI No. 95, SOS No. 113) achieved something that is virtually unheard of in the Pac-10. They completed a four-game sweep of the Arizona schools by winning in Tucson and Temple in a 48-hour period, following up on a late January sweep of the same teams in Seattle.

First came an 89-84 win at Arizona (InsideRPI No. 38, SOS No. 42). And, even though this may not be a vintage Arizona team, it's hard to argue with knocking the Wildcats off at McKale Center. Next up was an even easier than expected 96-72 triumph at Arizona State, a more convincing win than Washington managed at home versus the Sun Devils.

Coming up
An RPI in the 90s means the Huskies still need help, but the biggest lift could be their own if they can somehow beat Stanford (InsideRPI No. 5, SOS No. 105) in Seattle on Saturday. The Washington resume is missing plenty, not the least of which is a big-time win. No one in the country qualifies under that description more than the unbeaten Cardinal.

The Jan. 4 game in Palo Alto, an 85-72 Stanford win, offers little insight other than Washington cannot allow the Cardinal to shoot so well (60 percent) and the Huskies must also do a better job on the glass. Then again, about 20 different teams around the country could repeat that sentence this season.

In this final week of the regular season, there isn't a more definitive bottom line in the country -- Washington simply has to win this game.

Of course, losing to Cal (InsideRPI No. 86, RPI No. 50) two days before could even make a victory over Stanford moot. Beating the Bears merely keeps Washington alive and makes Stanford's visit a gigantic opportunity.

Cal's 76-62 win over Washington on Jan. 2 began what could have become a season-killing five-game losing streak for the Huskies. They managed to recover, and have won all but one Pac-10 contest (and all their home games) since.

"Bubble Trouble"
The Huskies are No. 73 this week on The Bracketology Report national seeding chart. This puts Washington eight spots out of an at-large bid.

Washington is only in the NCAA Tournament conversation because of the pair of upsets of Arizona. The NIT is still a more likely scenario at this point.

The Huskies' climb into the field must begin with a win over Stanford this weekend, and likely doesn't end without a couple more wins in the Pac-10 tournament. Securing a second-place conference finish is also necessary.

The question then becomes: Is a victory over Stanford, two wins over Arizona and runner-up in a weak Pac-10 enough to overcome five sub-100 losses and no quality non-conference wins? We think the answer to that question would be "yes."

Games of the Week
Washington fans should root FOR and AGAINST the teams in ALL CAPS.
For Utah @ SAN DIEGO STATE (Sat.)
Louisville @ MARQUETTE (Sat.)
Against Vanderbilt @ GEORGIA (Sat.)
FLORIDA STATE @ Georgia Tech (Sat.)

Inside the Numbers
Additional considerations for the NCAA Selection Committee include:
"Good" wins
(vs. RPI 1-25) NONE
(vs. RPI 26-50) Arizona, @Arizona
(vs. RPI 51-100) Oregon
"Bad" losses
(vs. RPI 101-150) @Wyoming, @Southern Cal, UCLA, @UCLA
(vs. RPI sub-150) @Houston
Record vs. projected field (3-3)
Win: Arizona, @Arizona, Eastern Washington
Loss: @Gonzaga, @Stanford, @North Carolina State
Record vs. at-large pool (1-0)
Win: Eastern Washington
Loss: NONE
Reason(s) to INCLUDE Washington
  • 8-2 in last 10 games
  • 10-6 Pac-10 record
  • Reason(s) to EXCLUDE Washington
  • NonConf RPI No. 129
  • Five sub-100 losses
  • Season breakdown (15-10, 10-6)
    All RPI data through Monday, March 1

    Date      Opponent              Result       Opp. RPI      Opp. SOS
    11/21     Portland State        73-65          266           267	
    11/24     UC Riverside          91-78          255           214	
    11/29     Eastern Washington    104-91         147           159	

    12/3 Gonzaga 62-86 (L) 11 89 12/6 @Wyoming 76-92 (L) 124 47 12/20 @Houston 64-79 (L) 179 95 12/27 @San Diego State 92-81 113 74 12/30 Columbia 88-51 300 298

    1/2 @California 62-76 (L) 86 50 1/4 @Stanford 72-85 (L) 5 105 1/8 Southern Cal 80-88 (L) 104 58 1/10 UCLA 84-86 (L, ot) 110 53 1/15 @Oregon 74-84 (L) 100 80 1/17 @Oregon State 103-99 (ot) 159 92 1/24 @Washington State 75-62 175 178 1/29 Arizona 96-83 38 42 1/31 Arizona State 90-81 181 116

    2/5 @Southern California 93-82 104 58 2/7 @UCLA 75-80 (L) 110 53 2/12 Oregon 83-74 100 80 2/14 Oregon State 80-79 159 92 2/19 Washington State 71-67 175 178 2/22 @North Carolina State 72-77 (L) 13 9 2/26 @Arizona 89-84 38 42 2/28 @Arizona State 96-72 181 116

    3/4 California 86 50 3/6 Stanford 5 105 3/11 PAC-10 TOURNAMENT

    Joe Lunardi's forecast (March 4)
    Chance of NCAA top seed: 0 percent
    Chance of NCAA "protected" (1-4) seed: 0 percent
    Chance of NCAA bid: 45 percent
    Chance of NCAA at-large bid: 35 percent
    Chance of NIT bid: 45 percent
    Chance of missing post-season: 10 percent

    Charlie Creme projects the women's NCAA tournament bracket for