The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

HATCH: Bracketology, projections and predictions

Washington State could be on upset watch come tourney time
WSU+head+coach+Kyle+Smith+talks+to+Myles+Rice+as+he+dribbles+by+during+an+NCAA+men%E2%80%99s+basketball+game+against+UCLA%2C+March+2%2C+2024%2C+in+Pullman%2C+Wash.
COLE QUINN
WSU head coach Kyle Smith talks to Myles Rice as he dribbles by during an NCAA men’s basketball game against UCLA, March 2, 2024, in Pullman, Wash.

It is March and the madness has already begun. The bubble changes all the time, with teams strengthening their resume and solidifying their spot in the tournament and others taking devastating losses that will be hard to overcome to get in. Here is my bracket:

Midwest Region

1. Purdue

16. Merrimack/Stetson 

 

8. Gonzaga

9. Texas

 

5. South Carolina

12. James Madison

 

4. Illinois 

13. Akron

 

6. Wisconsin

11. Indiana State

 

3. Creighton

14. High Point

 

7. Colorado State

10. Virginia

 

2. Iowa State

15. Colgate

West Region

1. Arizona

16. South Dakota State

 

8. Boise State

9. Michigan State

 

5.  BYU

12. Grand Canyon

 

4. Alabama

13. UC Irvine

 

6. Washington State

11. Princeton

 

3. Kansas

14. Louisiana Tech

 

7.  St Mary’s

10. Mississippi State

 

2. Marquette

15. E Washington

East Region

1. UCONN 

16. Quinnipiac

 

8. Florida Atlantic

9. Oklahoma

 

5. Utah State

12. Richmond

 

4. Kentucky

13. Samford

 

6. Dayton

11. Drake/Utah

 

3. Duke

14. Vermont

 

7. Florida

10. TCU

 

2. North Carolina

15. Morehead State

South Region

1. Houston

16. Grambling/Norfolk State

 

8. Nevada

9. Northwestern

 

5. San Diego State

12. South Florida

 

4. Auburn

13. McNeese State

 

6. Clemson

11. New Mexico/Colorado

 

3. Baylor

14. College of Charleston

 

7. Texas Tech

10. Nebraska

 

2. Tennessee

15. Oakland

 

Last 4 In

New Mexico

Colorado

Drake

Utah

 

First teams out

Wake Forest

Iowa

Pitt

 

The best mid-major schools are usually seeded 11, 12, or 13. The lack of quality opponents that they play hurts their seed line, but usually these teams are better than the teams that get at-large bids ahead of them. It sounds strange, but Washington State could be in a better position if they were seeded lower to avoid potential Cinderella teams. Princeton (23-3; 11-2 Ivy League) is one of those teams.

Key players on Princeton:

Xaivian Lee: He is the favorite to win Ivy League player of the year. He was the sixth man on last year’s team that made a run to the Sweet 16 as a 15 seed. Lee averages 17.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game.

Caden Pierce: Averages 15.7 ppg, 9.3 rpg, and 3.2 apg. Pierce is a stretch-four that forces opponents’ big men to guard him on the perimeter.

Matt Allocco: Averages 12.7 ppg, shoots 42% from three and 92% from the line. He is a spot-up shooter off the ball.

Blake Peters: Comes off the bench, usually for Allocco, and has a similar style of play. Averages 7.7 ppg and 2.4 rpg.

Dalen Davis: Has come along for the Tigers recently. He does not have the stats to show it, only averaging 6.1 ppg and 1.1 rpg with 14 minutes per game off the bench, but coach Mitch Henderson is playing him more, now that he has his feet under him as a true freshman.

Princeton is one of the best mid-majors this year, if not the best. What makes them so dangerous is the ability of all five men on the court being able to make a shot when needed for the Tigers. Out of the key players, Allocco is the only senior, with Lee, Pierce, and Davis all being underclassmen. Princeton beat Rutgers on the road in November and has a chance of being the first team in Ivy League history to get an at-large spot if they do not win the conference tournament.

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About the Contributors
Jett is a sophomore broadcast news major from Prosser, Washington. He has worked as a sportswriter at the Daily Evergreen since spring 2024.
COLE QUINN
COLE QUINN, Evergreen Sports Photographer
Cole Quinn is a photographer and columnist for the Daily Evergreen. Cole primarily shoots sports for the Daily Evergreen and writes album reviews in his spare time. Cole is a junior broadcast production major and sports communication minor from Snoqualmie, Washington. Cole started working for the Evergreen in the fall of 2020 as a photographer. Cole was the Photo Editor during his sophomore year and Deputy Photo Editor for the fall 2022 semester.