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Women's NCAA Selection Show, 7 PM Eastern

In which we spin the NCAA wheel and hope it lands on Baylor.

Wait, you mean Baylor gets an SEC team no matter what?
Wait, you mean Baylor gets an SEC team no matter what?
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The show will be on ESPN, and likely available on WatchESPN as well.  It'll start at 7, and Tennessee's drama will likely be over very quickly, as the only questions are (a) are they a 1 seed, and (b) who's their opposing 1/2 seed?

Are they a 1 seed?

In Tennessee's favor are the #1 SoS, the #2 RPI, the toughest conference slate (or second-toughest, depending on how you weight the bottom feeders and account for number of teams), and no losses to anybody below 21 in RPI (that being Texas, who dropped many games after an injury and could easily have been top 10 RPI at the time they played Tennessee).  All of these metrics are better than those for Maryland or Baylor (who isn't really a contender for a 1 seed, but are fun to compare nonetheless).  To Tennessee's disadvantage are 5 total losses: Chattanooga (#20 RPI), Texas, Notre Dame, and 2xSouth Carolina.  Four losses came with Harrison injured (which is still a problem), but Maryland has two and Baylor has three.  Losses are the easy metric for committees to use because they're such easy numbers to compare.  Also, Maryland and Baylor won their conference tournaments, which again goes straight to the argument of results vs. competition, and results being so much easier to point to.

So it all depends on how the committee looks at things this year.  Charlie Creme is convinced Tennessee will be a 2 seed, though he has acknowledge the 1 is a possibility.  Opinions are split around the Rocky Top Talk house, so we'll leave this as a push for now.

What region, and what 1/2 partner?

This obviously depends on the answer to the first question.  If Tennessee is a 2, they could land in UConn's bracket if the committee decides to go geography über alles, which isn't entirely out of the realm of possibility even though it would be placing the top 1 and 2 seeds together.  In honor of UT's esteemed administrative staff, we'll call this the Dave Hart option due to the wrath of the Lady Vol horde that would surely follow. For our part, bring UConn on, but while we're were: if you really want to hear howling about unfairness, just imagine the #1 overall seed losing in the Elite Eight to the best 2 seed in the tournament.

The other easy option is if Tennessee is a 1 seed.  In this case, they'll be the final 1 seed and get sent to Spokane.  End of story.  They'd likely get Louisville (or perhaps Arizona State, depending again on committee opinion).  But because this is the only option that leaves an outside shot at getting Baylor in the region, we'll call this the Pendley option.

Back to a 2 seed: if not UConn, then they almost certainly go to Notre Dame's region, be it in Greensboro or Oklahoma City.  Either is fine, and either ends up likely pairing Baylor with South Carolina.  For that reason, we'll call it the Dawn Staley option, as we'd love to watch Carolina's battalion of posts against Baylor.

The long-shot is as a 2 seed in Spokane against Maryland.  This happens if the committee realizes that Tennessee fans will travel to Spokane as readily as they would go to Albany, OKC, or Greensboro.  That's a level of cognitive awareness I'm not ready to assign to the committee yet, so let's call this the Angie 3jorklund option in honor of Tennessee's former long-shot specialist, who happened to come from this very region.

We'll find out soon enough which way the committee rolls.