ESPN bracketologists Joe Lunardi (men's college basketball) and Charlie Creme (women's college basketball) discussed their predictions for the upcoming NCAA Tournaments as Selection Sunday (men) and Selection Monday (women) approach.
Two questions involved the Cal women, and here is what Crème said:
Q: Charlie, I was going to ask you about the Cal women's team. I think in your latest bracket you've got them in that 8‑9 game. What do you like about their resume and kind of the eye test what you see from them this season?
Charlie Creme: Well, the good wins they have are good, but they mostly have struggled against the upper echelon teams that they've played, and they didn't exactly dominate the teams in maybe the lower half of the Pac‑12 that perhaps they should have. So the overall record is certainly not great. I mean, the great start they had in the nonconference has carried them quite a bit throughout most of the conference season.
But picking up that win over Stanford was huge because they were really slipping, and that sort of let them hang on. And I definitely see them in that 8‑9 range. In fact, I'm pretty sold on them as an 8 right now, and I don't ‑‑ I certainly don't see anything higher than that. That overall record is just not enough to get over the hump, and not quite doing enough in the Pac‑12 tournament. If they'd have been a little bit more competitive with Stanford, perhaps. Not that they weren't in the game, but the end result was they were never really a threat to win it. I think that would have been the only chance they would have had to give themselves a better seed.
Q: I'm just wondering about star power. Does the committee consider much a player like Kristine Anigwe when they're looking at teams for the bracket?
Creme: No. It's about results. It's about who you played and how you did against that schedule. I know that's something that people tend to point to ‑‑ you know, we're going to put stars in the tournament, but it's never really happened. There's enough examples where star players didn't make the tournament, and it's because it's really just about their team and their results. It's nice to have them in the tournament for sure, and Kristine will be in the tournament this year, but it's not a factor for the committee, no.