Our projected women's bracket: Where we'd send them

With a very low strength of schedule, Transylvania has to sweat it out on Monday, even though it only has two losses all season.
Transylvania athletics photo by Jenette Romberg

This year we took a different route to coming up with our projected teams and our bracket. We selected the teams live on Sunday night's Hoopsville show, and if you missed it, you can tune in and see the discussion that led to each of these teams getting selected in our mock bracket. The video link above should take you to the 4:17:33 mark, but if not, that's the spot you're looking for.

There's no Pool B slot in this tournament any longer, so we jump straight to Pool C, true at-large teams.

Here's who we picked, in order: Bowdoin, Scranton, Amherst, DePauw, UT-Tyler, Puget Sound, New York University, Williams, Stockton, Eastern, North Central (Ill.), Ithaca, John Carroll, Stevens, Hope, Eastern Mennonite, Chicago, Whitworth, Maryville, Transylvania.

When Transylvania was taken with the 20th and last Pool C pick, Westfield State was remaining on the table, along with Brooklyn, Cortland State, McDaniel, Randolph-Macon, UW-Superior and Bethel. McDaniel sat on the board the entire time, and had the worst strength of schedule on the board the entire time. If the Mid-Atlantic regional committee chooses to put Albright ahead of McDaniel, Albright just might get picked late in the process.

Pat Coleman and Dave McHugh debated it live on the air. There were some interesting issues here, such as the lack of notable results for Eastern Mennonite, the lack of wins for Chicago, the lack of games vs. D-III opponents for Whitworth overall, and the lack of regionally ranked opponents for Maryville and Transylvania. (You know, besides each other.)

When it came to bracket, we went through the 64 teams selected and created a bracket. We picked 16 teams that were deserving of hosting in the first two rounds, and then we matched up 16 teams that deserved, based on their record and strength of schedule, to be matched up with that caliber of team. Then we tried to mix and match teams from the middle to get a neutral site first-round game and potentially play the host on the second night.

We luck out and have four teams that can all bus to Tyler, Texas, which is a surprise in any given year. The Northwest Conference has another pod this year, with the SCIAC champ flown in. 

These are our projected first-weekend sites. The NCAA women's basketball committee hasn't sent its teams as far on the bus as the men's committee has, but we have tried to mix and match whenever possible. Here's our projected pairings: 

at Tufts: Tufts vs. Pine Manor; Stevens vs. Baruch.
at New York University: NYU vs. La Roche, Cabrini vs. Muhlenberg.
at Scranton: Scranton vs. Johnson and Wales, Stevenson vs. Eastern Connecticut.
at Amherst: Amherst vs. Regis (Mass.), Stockton vs. Catholic.

at Thomas More: Thomas More vs. Hanover, Chicago vs. Baldwin Wallace.
at Salisbury: Salisbury vs. Mount St. Vincent, Ithaca vs. Greensboro.
at FDU-Florham: FDU-Florham vs. Castleton, Williams vs. Eastern Mennonite.
at Geneseo State: Geneseo vs. Penn State-Abington, Wittenberg vs. Hope.

at Washington U.: Wash U. vs. Spalding, Luther vs. Maryville (Tenn.).
at Calvin: Calvin vs. Transylvania, John Carroll vs. St. John Fisher.
at Wheaton (Ill.): Wheaton vs. Wisconsin Lutheran, DePauw vs. UW-Oshkosh.
at St. Thomas: St. Thomas vs. Minnesota-Morris, North Central (Ill.) vs. St. Norbert.

at George Fox: George Fox vs. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Puget Sound vs. Whitworth.
at UT-Tyler: Tyler vs. Southwestern, UT-Dallas vs. Rhodes.
at Montclair State: Montclair vs. Bridgewater State, University of New England vs. Virginia Wesleyan.
at Bowdoin: Bowdoin vs. Skidmore, Eastern vs. Babson.

One of the tricky parts was finding a home for Maryville. The Scots played Thomas More, and we ended up being able to avoid that rematch possibility. We split the three Empire 8 teams into completely separate brackets -- and where the men's bracket sends Calvin to St. John Fisher, this bracket actually sends St. John Fisher to Calvin. Four NESCAC teams in four different brackets (and three host, because in all honesty, three are deserving according to the numbers).

The NCAA selection show airs at 2:30 p.m. ET, and you can watch it all here on D3hoops.com.