Where LSU women's basketball's March Madness resume stands for NCAA Tournament
Does the NCAA Tournament selection committee have as little of faith in LSU women's basketball as the Associated Press voters following its semifinal loss at the SEC Tournament last weekend?
Kim Mulkey's Tigers (28-2) dropped five spots to No. 9 in the AP Top 25 after the now-No. 23 Tennessee Lady Vols edged them, 69-67 at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina, on Saturday night.
That's in contrast to the results of this week's USA Today Coaches Poll, in which LSU only dropped from No. 3 to No. 4.
If the committee's thoughts are similar to those of the AP voters, LSU could end up a No. 3 seed as the full, 68-team field is unveiled on Selection Sunday (7 p.m., ESPN).
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What latest bracketology says about LSU women's basketball
It appears another win over the Lady Vols would've cemented the Tigers as a No. 2 seed in March Madness, which has felt like LSU's ceiling considering a weak, nonconference slate.
But the loss now has them listed as a No. 3 in both ESPN's and CBS' projections.
Before the SEC Tournament, ESPN's women's basketball bracketologist Charlie Creme conjectured that LSU could have played its way into a No. 1 seed by beating South Carolina for the league title. Projections following the Tennessee loss suggest LSU is positioned closer to the 3-line than 1-line.
LSU women's basketball resume
LSU has a 1-2 record against currently ranked teams. The victory was a home win over the Lady Vols in late January, and is easily the team's best win.
Compared to other teams competing for a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the one win is the least among the pack of Utah, Iowa, UConn, Notre Dame, Maryland and Duke. LSU's RPI of 13 is also the lowest among that group.
What will selection committee value more with LSU?
In the NCAA's own measurement system, the NET ranking, LSU is listed at No. 3, behind only UConn and South Carolina.
The NET was introduced a couple of seasons ago to as a tool to determine how teams should be evaluated, using a two-component system that includes Team Value Index, which is a results-based metric that factors in the quality of wins, and an efficiency rating, which adjusts strength of opponent and puts emphasis on location.
Despite a high NET ranking, the Tigers have one of the poorest nonconference strengths of schedule (314). Because LSU matched up with just one Power Five team, Oregon State, outside of league play, its overall strength of schedule (83) has been badly effected.
How can LSU earn a No. 2 seed?
LSU only has two losses. Only one team has fewer losses and that is No. 1 South Carolina, which is undefeated.
The Tigers also have some style points on their resume as well. Sophomore Angel Reese ranks fifth nationally in scoring at 23.4 points per game and second in rebounding at 15.5, so they have one of the top players.
The strength and perception of the Southeastern Conference should help LSU's resume as well. It finished second in the league and had no losses against what could end being four other NCAA Tournament teams in Ole Miss, Georgia, and Alabama, all Quad 1 wins, and Mississippi State, a Quad 2 victory.
Cory Diaz covers the LSU Tigers and Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns for The Daily Advertiser as part of the USA TODAY Network. Follow his Tigers and Cajuns coverage on Twitter: @ByCoryDiaz. Got questions regarding LSU/UL athletics? Send them to Cory Diaz at email@example.com.