Did ESPN leak its women's bracket?
Got a very interesting e-mail just now, with a screengrab from ESPN.com that shows the AP women's top 25, with the "next game" for each. Thing is, it's showing first-round matchups in the NCAA Tournament. If it's legit -- and it'd take some very obscure and well-educated hacking to be otherwise -- we now know who 50 of the 64 NCAA teams are, and USF isn't among them. I'd offer a link, but ESPN has already noticed and corrected the page to remove the upcoming games.
Now there are 14 spots unspoken for, and of the "lesser" 25 teams -- the opponents for the top 25, I mean -- 21 of the 25 were automatic bids from lesser conferences, so there's no revelation there. But four at-large teams were listed: Oklahoma State and Washington, who were thought to be right on the bubble with USF, along with Delaware and BYU, who have generally been seen as locks.
It means one of two things: USF is in, with a likely seed of 11 or higher and not having to play a ranked team in the first round, or the Bulls didn't make the cut. Jerry Palm at collegerpi.com still has USF as a No. 10 seed in his latest projection, but he also (rather ambitiously) has the Big East putting an unprecedented NINE teams in the NCAA field.
We'll know, one way or another, in about an hour and a half.