Way Too Early Bracketology: Washington Stays Strong, Gonzaga Losing Spots

The Washington Huskies pulled out a dominating win on Thursday against the nationally ranked Arizona Wildcats, and they are looking good in the eyes of the "experts". On the other side of the state, Gonzaga is reeling from two straight losses and Washington State has lost has stayed pretty much on a level plain since last week since splitting with the Arizona schools at home. Let's take a look at the most recent projections from the words of bracketology experts everywhere:

 

SB Nation: Blogging the Bracket (Updated: 1/25/11)

  • Washington Huskies: fourth seed - San Antonio bracket - First and second-round games in Denver - Projected to play the thirteenth seeded Belmont Bruins - Seed Rising [Last week: sixth Seed]
  • Gonzaga Bulldogs: Twelfth seed - San Antonio bracket - First and second-round games in Denver - Projected to play the Fifth seeded Vanderbilt Commodores - Seed Falling [Last week: seventh Seed]
  • Washington State Cougars: Not in bracket - Included as second team listed in "First Four Out" category
  • Pac-10: Arizona (Ninth seed in New Orleans bracket), UCLA (Twelfth seed in Anaheim bracket play-in game)

If this bracket holds true: Fans get to see the matchup they've been waiting for: Huskies and Bulldogs. It wouldn't be all that far fetched either, as the matchup would take place in the second round in the west coast friendly location of Denver. Personally, I'm surprised that the Zags are still in the bracket. This projection has St. Mary's winning the autobid, and still has Gonzaga as a twelfth seed not playing in a play in game. It's very likely that another loss will throw the Zags out of the bracket.

 

CBS Sports: Jerry Palm (Updated: 1/25/11)

  • Washington Huskies: Sixth seed - New Orleans bracket - First and second-round games in Denver - Projected to play the eleventh seeded Memphis Tigers - Seed rising [Last week: Eighth Seed]
  •  Gonzaga Bulldogs: Twelfth seed - Play in game in Dayton, OH - Projected to play the twelfth seeded Miami Hurricanes - Seed falling [Last week: Ninth Seed]
  • Washington State Cougars: Eleventh seed - Play in game in Dayton, OH - Projected to play the Eleventh seeded Oklahoma State Cowboys - Seed rising [Last week: Twelfth Seed]
  • Pac-10: Arizona (Twelfth seed in Newark bracket), UCLA (Eleventh seed in Anaheim bracket)

If this bracket holds true: Holy four Pac-10 teams in the dance Batman! For the first time since the long and storied history of this bracketology preview (two weeks), more than three Pac-10 teams are projected to go dancing. The huge negative with this bracket is that both Washington State and Gonzaga will be in play-in games, which are very likely to cripple your chances to go any further to go past the second round. This projection, for the second straight week, is also the lowest seeding for the Huskies.

ESPN: Joe Lunardi (Updated: 1/24/11)

  • Washington Huskies: Fourth seed - Anaheim bracket - First and second-round games in Denver - Projected to play the Thirteen seeded Valparaiso Crusaders - Seed steady [Last week: Fourth Seed]
  •  Gonzaga Bulldogs: Tenth seed - San Antonio bracket - First and second-round games in Tulsa - Projected to play the seventh seeded Georgetown Hoyas - Seed falling [Last week: Ninth Seed]
  • Washington State Cougars: Not in bracket - Included as third team listed in "First Four Out" category
  • Pac-10: Arizona (Seventh seed in New Orleans bracket), UCLA (Twelfth seed in Newark play in game)

If this bracket holds true: For the Zags and the Huskies, this is some of the best positioning you'll find. Fourth is highest you'll find Washington out there and Gonzaga gets a ten seed, thus avoiding the dreaded play-in game. Plus, three Pac-10 schools in the dance isn't too shabby.

Again, The Cougs only make one projection. As I said last week two out of three wins in this series will put them in great position. They beat Arizona State, but blew a shot at taking out Arizona, in a heartbreaker. Now they are tasked with beating the Huskies this Sunday. A win will put Washington State in great position about halfway through the conference season, a loss would by no means end the season but it would give The Cougs an uphill battle as they move on to the second half of conference play.

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