Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Keys to the women's NCAA bracket

Women's bracket advice

Trust the high seeds

We'll start with a question: Out of 32 first-round games, on average, how many do you think had lower-seeded seeds advance the past five years? Keep in mind the women's tournament isn't as upset-crazy as the men's. You've lowered your guess, but it's still probably not low enough. The answer? Five first-round upsets is the norm since 2003 — that year, there were only two upsets out of 32 games. It has been exactly five the past two tournaments. The men, for comparison, averaged 6.8 first-round upsets from 2003-07.

Play the 9s and 11s

The most common opening-round upsets are 9s over 8s (a 50-50 coin flip since 2002) and 11s over 6s (four in the past two years). Bracketeers love the 12-5 upset on the men's side; there were none for the women last year and have been just three since 2003. As with the men, don't bother picking anyone seeded 14th or lower: That hasn't happened since 16th-seeded Harvard knocked off top-seeded Stanford in 1998.

Beware Ohio State and Oklahoma

Oklahoma has fallen to a lower-seeded team in the first three rounds in the past four tournaments, losing in the Sweet 16 as a No. 3 last year and as a No. 2 in 2006. Ohio State is almost as bad, with four losses to lower-seeded teams since 2003 and only one Sweet 16 appearance despite being a top-four seed four times.

Get risky

The first round may go as planned, but high seeds can fall in the second. Three No. 2 seeds — Maryland, Stanford and Vanderbilt — lost in the second round last season, and No. 1 seed Ohio State lost in 2006. The second-round average since 2003 is 4.4 upsets, and you can anticipate one way-out-there team in the Sweet 16, like 13th seeds Marist (2007) and Liberty (2005).

Watch the Big 12, too

Since 2004, no conference has fallen to more opening-weekend upsets than the Big 12, with 10 losses to lower-seeded teams. Texas A&M, a questionable No. 2 seed this year, lost the first weekend as a No. 4 and No. 6 seed in the last two tournaments. Texas lost as a No. 3 in the second round in 2005 and as a No. 1 seed in the Sweet 16 in 2004.

Hard to crash

the Final Four

The past 10 Final Fours have had only three teams seeded lower than fourth (none since 2004) — that's half the men's total of six in the same span. The most common Final Four lineup — three times in the past five years — is three No. 1 seeds and a No. 2. Having said that, the championship game hasn't had two No. 1 seeds since 2003.

Greg Auman, Times staff writer

Keys to the women's NCAA bracket 03/21/08 [Last modified: Sunday, March 23, 2008 10:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jordan Spieth wins British Open (w/ video)

    Golf

    SOUTHPORT, England — Someday, perhaps soon, there will be a plaque at Royal Birkdale for Jordan Spieth, much like the one off the 16th hole that celebrates Arnold Palmer and the 6-iron he slashed out of the rough in 1961 to win the British Open and usher in a new era of golf.

    Matt Kuchar plays out of the bunker on the 18th hole and finishes with bogey for 1-under 69. He had a one-shot lead after 13 holes.
  2. Fennelly: Brutal weekend could be start of something worse for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Well, that was lovely.

    Brad Boxberger suffers his second loss in the three-game series, this time by allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth inning when called on to protect a 5-3 lead. “Just bad pitches,” he says.
  3. Wesley Chapel hockey camp impresses youth players, parents

    Lightning Strikes

    WESLEY CHAPEL — As a 17-year-old Triple-A hockey player, MacCallum Brown regularly plays against elite talent. As a Palm Harbor resident, he often has to travel to face that talent.

  4. Rays journal: Rays gamble on Sergio Romo's track record, heart

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Some of RHP Sergio Romo's numbers this season with the Dodgers were the worst of his career, yet the Rays feel he can be a good fit for their bullpen.

    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 26:  Sergio Romo #54 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch in the 9th inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Dodger Stadium on June 26, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
  5. Rays claim not to be panicking after third straight brutal loss to Rangers (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was no "here we go again" moment in the dugout as Rougned Odor's two-run homer in the eighth inning arced across Tropicana Field and toward the rightfield seats, even though when it landed, the score was tied and another late-inning Rays lead was blown.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria heads back to the dugout after fouling out in the ninth inning with the potential tying run on first.