Do you smell it? March is near.
As Northwestern women’s basketball (25-3, 15-2 Big Ten) pushes forward, now just one win away from at least a share of the Big Ten Championship, the postseason continues to call their name, as well as the names of a number of other Big Ten teams.
A wild week in women’s basketball saw a lot of movement in both the AP Poll, as losses by Kentucky and DePaul allowed Northwestern to move up four spots to #14, and the experts’ brackets. Those changes were certainly positive for a Wildcat team that continues to ride an impressive eight game winning streak.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the latest round of brackets.
Russell Steinberg of High Post Hoops: #2 seed
Steinberg was already high on Northwestern, and this week, he bumped the ‘Cats up yet again, moving them from the 3-line to the 2-line. In Steinberg’s bracket, NU faces off against Robert Morris in the first round before potentially facing a seventh-seeded Arizona St. or a tenth-seeded Central Michigan in the second round. Should the ‘Cats advance from there, they would be advancing to Portland, with a mouthwatering potential matchup against Oregon awaiting in the Elite Eight.
Just one other Big Ten team is seeded higher than the Wildcats in Steinberg’s bracket, as the Maryland Terrapins come in as the fourth #1 seed. Meanwhile, Iowa, who currently sits at third in the Big Ten, held their position as a #3 seed in Steinberg’s scenario.
Perhaps most importantly, Sternberg makes clear in the accompanying article this week that the ‘Cats are in good position to maintain their standing going forward. A win against Illinois and then a Big Ten Tournament Championship appearance, especially one that stemmed from a revenge win over Iowa in the semifinals, would all but clinch Northwestern’s shocking ascension to the 2-line, per Steinberg.
Other Big Ten teams seeded include: Indiana (#6, fell one seed from last week), Ohio State (#7, jumped three seeds from last week), Rutgers (#8, held their seed from last week), Michigan (#8, jumped two seeds from last week), Purdue (#9, dropped one seed from last week).
ESPN’s Charlie Creme: #2 seed
Just last week, Creme ranked the ‘Cats as a 4-seed, as he had ever since Northwestern originally entered the AP Poll. This week, however, Creme pulled a full switcharoo after some major shake-ups within the hosting seeds.
Creme now suddenly has the Wildcats on the 2-line, hosting Sam Houston St. in the first round of the tournament. A second round matchup would see Northwestern facing off against either 7-seeded Virginia Tech or 10-seeded Texas, as the Wildcats again try to make their way through the Portland region and, eventually, Oregon.
Much like Steinberg’s bracket, Creme has Maryland as the fourth #1 seed. Iowa is also a #3 seed in Creme’s bracket, one seed higher than last week.
Other Big Ten teams seeded include: Indiana (#5, held their seed from last week), Rutgers (#9, held their seed from last week), Ohio State (#9, fell two seeds from last week), Purdue (#10, held their seed from last week), Michigan (#10, held their seed from last week).
RealTimeRPI.com: #2 seed
The 2-line is suddenly commonplace for Northwestern, at least according to the three major bracketology sites in the women’s college basketball world. Just like Steinberg, RPI has the ‘Cats facing off against Robert Morris in the first round of the tournament. After that, RPI projects Northwestern would either face 7-seeded Florida State or 10-seeded Creighton.
Other Big Ten teams seeded include: Maryland (1), Iowa (3), Indiana (4), Ohio State (6), Michigan (7), Purdue (9), Rutgers (9).