Once again updating where the Washington men’s basketball team stands in the latest NCAA tournament projections and NCAA RPI ...
--- ESPN’s Joe Lunardi bumped the Huskies from a No. 12 seed to a No. 10 this week after their road split at UCLA and USC. He currently has them facing Michigan in St. Louis. UW is among the last four teams in Lunardi’s field to receive a first-round bye (in other words, he has the Huskies among the final eight teams to make the field, but better than the last four in). Lunardi still projects eight Pac-12 teams will make the tournament.
--- CBS analyst Jerry Palm projects the Huskies as a No. 9 seed, facing Notre Dame in St. Louis. Palm currently predicts seven Pac-12 teams will make the tournament (he leaves UCLA out, while Lunardi included UCLA among the last four teams to make it).
--- Sports Illustrated includes UW in its NCAA tournament projection as a No. 11 seed, playing against Kentucky in the Midwest region.
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--- TeamRankings.com doesn’t think the Huskies have a great shot at making the field -- their computer simulations give UW just a 27 percent chance.
--- USA Today projects Washington as a No. 10 seed in Des Moines, though not sure its current projection of the Huskies facing No. 7-seed Arizona -- a Pac-12 foe -- is much of a possibility.
--- After the weekend, the Huskies improved to 49th in the most recent RPI rankings -- that’s up from 72nd earlier in the week. The Huskies are now the seventh-highest Pac-12 team in those rankings, ahead of Stanford, Oregon State, Arizona State, UCLA and Washington State. Every Pac-12 team except WSU (170th) remains in the RPI top 68.
--- At the halfway point of the Pac-12 schedule, the Huskies are in a four-way tie for second place -- with USC, Colorado and Utah -- at 6-3, one game behind first-place Oregon (7-2).
Finally, here is my AP ballot for the week. It includes three Pac-12 teams -- Oregon at No. 15 (the Ducks wound up ranked 16th in the poll), Arizona at No. 20 (the Wildcats wound up 23rd) and USC at No. 24 (the Trojans did not make the poll’s top 25 this week, but received the 27th-most votes). Washington received a single vote in the USA Today coaches’ poll, but none in the AP poll.
2. North Carolina
7. Texas A&M
9. Michigan State
12. Iowa State
13. West Virginia
23. South Carolina
24. Southern California
25. Wichita State
Christian Caple can be reached at email@example.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple