Could final conferences move the magic number?
Monday is the day when the NCAA will announce which 72 women’s teams will be participating in NCAA regional competition and to which of three regionals they will be sent. Before that happens, however, there is still some unfinished business.
Seven league titles are left to be determined, and the magic number remains at 62.
59.) Coastal Carolina
60.) North Carolina St.
65.) Coll. Of Charleston
66.) Colorado St.
67.) East Carolina
55.) North Carolina
56.) Iowa State
58.) Coastal Carolina
61.) Colorado State
65.) Oral Roberts
66.) Coll. of Charleston
Let’s take a closer look at what’s left. In three of the seven remaining league championships, we will see only the winner get into NCAA regional play by winning the league’s AQ.
• Ohio Valley
That leaves four conferences where if there were to be an upset, it would reduce the magic number.
• Big Ten: Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State and Northwestern are locks. Four more teams in this league are bubble teams: Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. I predict Indiana and Minnesota will get in, as long as they don’t have a complete meltdown. The Hoosiers and Gophers need to finish ahead of Michigan and Wisconsin – and also hope the other leagues hold their form – to keep that magic number where it is. Michigan and Wisconsin are hoping that they can finish in the top half and would also need to beat Indiana and Minnesota to improve.
• Big 12: Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Baylor are locks. Iowa State is most likely in, but could be a bit on the bubble if the Cyclones don’t play well. After that, Colorado and Missouri are sitting directly on the fault line, with Nebraska needing to play very well. Colorado is No. 62 by Golfstat and Missouri is No. 63. Golfweek has Missouri one spot better at No. 62 and has Colorado at No. 68.
• Ivy: The bubble teams will be pulling for Harvard to win. A victory by any other team would reduce the number.
• Mid-American: Same thing in the MAC as we see in the Ivy. Kent State is the only team in the league that is inside the number, and a victory by any other squad will reduce that magic number.
My original prediction allowed for one upset, but we have seen two with Charleston Southern winning the Big South Conference and Stetson repeating at the A-Sun Conference Championship. With two upsets to date, the number is at 62 and will stay there as long as this weekend holds form.