Women's bracket released!

Haverford jumped over Muhlenberg in the last Mid Atlantic region rankings and then jumped into the NCAA Tournament.
File photo by Haverford College athletics

Here's the 2018 NCAA Division III women's basketball tournament bracket as released by the NCAA this afternon.

Looking back on our mock projection, we missed our last two at-large selections, going with Mass-Dartmouth and UW-Oshkosh when the Committee went with Whitman and Haverford.

As was the case on the men's side, the final set of regional rankings played out differently than we assumed. We took a leap of faith that Mass-Boston entered the final Northeast region rankings and gave Mass-Dartmouth a few wins against regionally ranked teams that the Corsairs desperately needed. We also assumed Claremont-Mudd-Scripps jumped in front of Whitman and blocked the Blues from getting to the table.

For the bracketing, the Committee set the two undefeated teams, Amherst and Wartburg, on opposite sides of the bracket so they wouldn't meet until the championship game. Not a heavy lift given their geographical distance from each other. Amherst has the benefit of both Bowdoin and Tufts shifting out of their bracket, despite the geographic proximity, and into a bracket headlined by Scranton. Rough break for the Lady Royals if all the host teams advance through this weekend.

The two NWC teams won't see each other the first weekend since neither was in line to host. George Fox goes to Wartburg where they will play St. Benedict and Whitman goes to Texas where they will play East Texas Baptist. The SCIAC champion Chapman flies east to St. Thomas instead of north for a change.

Remember that our Top 25 rankings have no bearing on where teams are ranked in their region or placed in the bracket. So Trine, which came off the board relatively late in the selection process, gets a tough first round game against DePauw in a pod that also includes Illinois Wesleyan and Marietta. 

As for interesting first round matchups how about Wheaton (Ill.) playing Washington U at Hope or Rose-Hulman against Gustavus at Whitewater? Former WIAC member UW-Superior also has a reunion with current WIAC champion UW-Whitewater in the Warhawks' gymnasium.

Finally, we got the customary interview with the women's chair.