Dropping games at Oregon and Oregon State certainly hurt UW's NCAA tournament bid, but there's still time for the Huskies to rebound.
Losing two games last week certainly didn’t help the Washington men’s basketball team’s chances of making the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011.
However, the 97-94 double overtime loss at Oregon State and the 65-40 defeat at Oregon didn’t necessarily dash the Huskies’ Big Dance dreams.
UW still holds firm in most NCAA tournament projections, but it remains on the bubble with four weeks remaining before Selection Sunday.
NCAA tournament analyst Jerry Palm at CBS Sports has been the most optimistic among the prognosticators about Washington, but he dropped the Huskies to a No. 11 seed — he had them at No. 7 the past few weeks — facing No. 6 Creighton in San Diego in the West Region opener.
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Palm includes four Pac-12 teams (No. 4 Arizona, No. 6 Arizona State, No. 10 UCLA and No. 12 USC) in his mock bracket.
In his latest projections, ESPN’s bracket guru Joe Lunardi dropped Washington one spot to a No. 11 seed facing No. 6 Miami in Dallas in the South Region opener.
Lunardi lists UW among his last four teams to receive the 36-at-large bids into the tourney. He includes five Pac-12 teams (No. 4 Arizona, No. 7 ASU, No. 11 UCLA and No. 11 USC) in his projections.
And Michael Beller at SI.com has UW as a No. 10 seed in a forecast that pits the Huskies against No. 7 Alabama in a West Region opener.
Beller includes four Pac-12 teams (No. 4 Arizona, No. 6 ASU and No. 11 UCLA) in his mock bracket, with USC among the first four out.
Following the loss at Oregon State, Washington dropped 10 spots in the RPI index to No. 46. Here’s a look at the other Pac-12 teams: Arizona (18), ASU (26), USC (50), UCLA (53), Utah (60), Colorado (64), Oregon (80), Stanford (99), OSU (159), Washington State (186) and California (190).
Here’s where UW ranks in the ratings that the Selection Committee is using: KPI (40), ESPN strength of record (60), KenPom (98), Sagarin (98) and ESPN basketball power index (123).
And here’s how the team sheet looks for Washington (17-8, 7-5 Pac-12).
Quadrant 1: 5-3 (Wins: Kansas, Arizona, ASU, USC and Colorado; Losses: Providence, UCLA and Utah).
Quadrant 2: 0-3 (Losses: Gonzaga, Virginia Tech and Oregon).
Quadrant 3: 4-2 (Wins: Belmont, UC Davis, Montana and WSU; Losses: Stanford and OSU).
Quadrant 4: 8-0 (Wins: Seattle U, WSU, Eastern Washington, California, Omaha, Loyola-Marymount, Bethune-Cookman and Kennesaw State).
Last week Washington was nearly included in the Associated Press top-25 rankings while receiving 54 points and was essentially 27th.
This week, UW didn’t appear on anyone’s AP top-25 ballot.
Arizona fell four spots to No. 17 and ASU re-entered the poll at No. 25.
Basketball statistician Ken Pomeroy predicts Washington will bounce back and win five of its final six games to finish the regular season at 22-9 and 12-6 in the Pac-12.
UW plays Utah on Thursday at Alaska Airlines Arena and faces Colorado at home on Saturday.