Resume Over Record: Stanford WBB Nabs No. 1 Seed

Unpacking the seeding and its implications

By Sam Weyen | 3-13-2023 06:36 PM PT

Photo by Stanford Athletics

All Selection Sunday, Cardinal fans throughout the country (but mostly the Bay Area, let's be honest) had been wondering... could a five-loss Stanford, who dropped 2 of their last 3, who shared the regular season crown with Utah, who got knocked out of the Pac-12 Tournament in the semis... could that team secure an elusive No. 1 seed in the 2023 March Madness Tournament bracket?

Rest easy, because at last the committee has given us an answer, and it's a resounding yes:

Stanford WBB earns the final No. 1 seed in this year's Big Dance, proving that resume matters more than record. Despite going 28-5 on the year—a miracle record if applied to the men's team, a bit of a disappointing one when applied to the women's—the Card had 20 wins over top-100 opponents and the second most top-50 NET wins behind only South Carolina. Stanford WBB's Twitter account is also boasting the most top-25 wins in the country, though it's unclear if they mean NET or AP, the former being more important to the committee.

And boy are folks mad—particularly UConn fans who saw their team take a No. 2 seed despite a similar strength of schedule metric and five losses of their own. They have... a point. UConn has more top-25 NET wins and a slightly better strength of schedule than Stanford. The key difference is that while Stanford dropped a few late season games, those games were ensconsed on either side by wins against ranked teams—suggesting less of systemic issue and more of a rough schedule break at fault. UConn can't say the same.

Despite UConn fans actually having a decent reason to be upset, they still manage to be hilariously unreasonable, with one comment accusing a bracketologist of bias for Stanford and against UConn. Media bias AGAINST UConn??? I almost spit water out of my mouth when I read it.

Charlie went to St. Bonaventure, for what it's worth.

Either way, the Huskies may have lucked out. Stanford's path (as well as path of Iowa, whose fans are equally angry about their seeding) intersects with South Carolina in the Final Four rather than in the Championship Game. UConn by contrast has no resistance from recent powerhouses until the chip. Yes, it's premature to talk Final Four, but I was the one cursing when UConn and Stanford had a chance to meet in the Final Four last year and swore it would be the end of us. And it was. Say what you want, but WBB is heavy at the top and experience has tended to matter more than not. UConn has avoided some of the heaviest historical hitters thanks to their seeding and UConn stans should be happy to be paired in region with a Virginia Tech No. 1 seed that many aren't afraid of.

Stanford will play their first game in Maples on Friday 3/17 (time TBD) against the winner of a play-in between the Sacred Heart Pioneers (18-13, NEC) and the Southern Jaguars (18-14, SWAC).

Keep a close watch for my next article detailing the road ahead, including probable opponents and expected matchups, and Go Card!

--Fear The Me.

TAGS: Cardinal Stanford Card UConn SWAC Charlie NEC the Sacred Heart Pioneers AP NET Stanford WBB's Virginia Tech No Go Card
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