Chat with Charlie Creme
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPN.com's women's basketball Bracketology expert Charlie Creme stops by to talk about his latest tournament projections.
To see his latest bracket, check out the women's basketball Bracketology index.
Send your questions now and join Creme Friday at 1 p.m. ET!
Charlie Creme (1:01 PM)
Welcome everyone. I don't know about you, but I can't for Monday.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who do you think will be the 4 Number 1 Seeds in the NCAA Women's NCAA College Basketball Tournament?
Charlie Creme (1:02 PM)
Tenn, Baylor, UConn, Stanford and you can write those in with pen.
What would you approximate the odds are that one of the Big 4, one of the four #1 seeds gets upset this year?
Charlie Creme (1:03 PM)
I was my understanding there would be no math :), but I'll put it in the 25-30% range. How's that?
Who is your NCAA Tournament surprise star that is not from the list of the usual suspects, whether senior through frosh usual suspects?
Charlie Creme (1:06 PM)
Good question but that's hard to answer because I think most of the players you are probably looking for won't necessarily be around for a long time in the tournament if the "usual suspects" win. Dawn Evans at JMU if they make it and Chastity Reed at UALR, who is already in, are good scorers. Going to the other end of the spectrum. Melissa Jones is always key for Baylor. Hopefully, she's fully healthy. Special Jennings for Xavier has to play well if the Musketeers are going to threaten the very top teams.
You've got only one superstar to pick to lead your team, the Creme State Collegiate team (CSC) in the NCAA finals -- from Chamique Holdsclaw, Cheryl Miller, Di Taurasi or Maya Moore -- who do you pick to get CSC's first Natl Champ.?
Charlie Creme (1:07 PM)
Perhaps I'm biased to what I'm seeing right now or its just freshest in my mind, but I'll go with Maya Moore. And I'll take my team with Moore leading it to win the whole thing.
Are the Regions set up vs. each of the other Regions by the "S" Curve or locked in stone every year so that East plays Mideast and Midwest plays West?
Charlie Creme (1:09 PM)
Great question that always needs some clarification. The committee will pit the regions, as to which regional winners would meet in the FF, after the s-curve is established. So we don't know yet, which potential #1 seeds would meet in the national semifinals as some have also asked. So, will there be a Tenn-UConn matchup? Could be if the committee decides UConn is the #1 overall and Tenn is the fourth #1 seed AND they both make it all the way through. That's how I would have them lined up right now.
Nadia (Manhanttan, Ny)
Charlie, honestly, do you see another Uconn and Tenn game this post season? And why do you think South Carolina is out?
Charlie Creme (1:10 PM)
For the first question, Nadia, see my previous answer. As to South Carolina -- the Gamecocks just weren't good down the stretch and an overall record of 17-14 is hard to sell unless there are some huge wins along the way and the schedule was incredibly hard.
Kelley Rusnak (Spokane, Wa)
Why does Spokane's 1st round games keep moving between the Philadelphia region and the Dallas Region? Why not put Spokane in the Spokane region? It doesn't seem fair for the teams to come from the deep south to Spokane for Regional games, just to keep Gonzaga from potentially staying in Spokane.
Charlie Creme (1:12 PM)
The sub-regional sites can go to any region. The NCAA set it up that way when it went to pre-determined sites to give the committee more flexibility when placing teams in the field. As for Gonzaga, by rule, since the 'Zags are the host school in Spokane, they have to be sent there. Just as Tenn has to play in Knoxville and Penn State has to play in State College. Those have been the rules for a while now.
charlie do you think we will see a u conn baylor rematch in the final 4?
Charlie Creme (1:13 PM)
We could. It depends #1 how the committee establishes its s-curve and, thus, how the regions are aligned. #2 they both have to get there. If you use my s-curve as the guide they would need to each reach the finals to meet again.
Since the UConn streak ended, it seems like we haven't heard as much about them....are they still the strongest team out there?
Charlie Creme (1:15 PM)
Interesting observation, Paul. You are right to some degree or maybe we were so inundated with UConn stuff that any reduction in attention seemed like a lot. I'm not sure which. But they did seem to go about their business quietly once the calendar flipped to 2011. I do lean toward them still being the best team, but the margin is, obviously, slimmer than it has been. They aren't clearcut by any means this year.
Does UConn win another title?
Charlie Creme (1:17 PM)
They would be my pick right now. But I wouldn't put the mortgage on it. Not anywhere near the same as the previous two seasons. But those were incredibly special teams and historical kinds of seasons.
Marc (Malden, MA)
I would pick Holdsclaw, but let's also add Candace Parker to the list of choices.
Charlie Creme (1:17 PM)
Wouldn't get any argument from me. Couldn't really go wrong. And, yes, Parker, should probably be in that conversation.
How hard is it to project the bracket?
Charlie Creme (1:23 PM)
Jeff, so glad you asked. It's not easy at all. The constant comparisons of teams who are all so very close and trying to essentially guess how a collection of 10 very different people will ultimately see things is tough. But, the other tough part is placing teams in the bracket will all the rules and considerations at play. That alone takes hours to do sometimes. The committee's job is extremely difficult.
when you're putting togethery our bracket, are you worried more about getting the seeds right or getting the correct teams in?
Charlie Creme (1:25 PM)
Another good one. The answer is both. The number that most fans measure is how many did I get right for inclusion. That's an easy one to look at an examine. But after the fact I do spend a lot of time seeing how close I was on every team's seed. That tells me if I've evaluated a larger number of teams properly, or at least in the same manner as the committee did, and, ultimately, that's my job, to do what I think the committee would be or is doing. The seed accuracy is a very important part to me, but it's probably much harder to break down and explain what is good and what isn't.
What's been the hardest team to get a hold of, in terms of predicting a seed?
Charlie Creme (1:28 PM)
You know, Harry, this year there are a few. Just for inclusion I've lost some hair evaluating Texas, USC, LSU, Dayton, Duq, Michigan. And then just seeding for teams that are in -- I'm not sure how the committee will exactly look at Green Bay's season or Marist's. Or Houston's. Then the Big East teams because all of them after Notre Dame and DePaul and UConn are similar or have a few areas that look good and a few that don't. It hasn't been an easy year overall after the first few teams.
Does the women's tournament still do the pods? They did away with that, right? Now they ahve host schools or no?
Charlie Creme (1:29 PM)
They do have host schools, but the sites of the opening two rounds aren't already locked into a region. Opening round sites can be placed in any region.
Donnell (New Orleans)
Charlie how close to not making the Tournament is LSU and if they don't make it do you think Van will be coaching there next season!
Charlie Creme (1:31 PM)
I couldn't even begin to speculate on the coaching thing. I imagine if he would want to coach there he would be there. I think they are right there teetering, but I do believe they will get in unless there are some big upsets in the next couple of days. Watch that C-USA though. While Houston dominated the regular season they have played a bunch of close games lately and are far from a guarantee to win the tournament. That could be a bid stealing situation. It wouldn't necessarily be LSU at this point, but it wouldn't help.
Kelley Rusnak (Spokane)
Do you think Spokane will be put into the Spokane Region?
Charlie Creme (1:34 PM)
It could be, but it would have nothing to do with an attempt by the committee to do so. It would just depend on the teams involved. And it is really irrelevent anyway. These are separate weekends and teams are going to be traveling home in between anyway. I will say this. Since Washington State is the host in the Spokane REGION, Spokane could be placed in that region because Gonzaga would be allowed to go there. Unlike Dayton where the Flyers, if they make it, can't be placed in the Dayton REGION.
Wendy (Birmingham, AL)
based on your current bracket line up, which #1 seed will have the toughest bracket to get through, and which team will give them the biggest headache?
Charlie Creme (1:35 PM)
I would think Tenn trying to overcome potentially A&M would be tough. Notre Dame there too presents an interesting challenge given the Irish's experience and ability to score.
Are you constantly updating your bracket, or do you sit down and do all of the updates at once?
Charlie Creme (1:40 PM)
A little of both, Danny. Most of the time at this time of year I'll wait until the end of the day to do any adjusting, but I'm keeping an eye all the time on what teams may need to be moved up or down, in or out. This has been an particularly difficult season. Frankly, I've changed my mind a few times on teams or situations without anything in their profile changing. The beauty of America. I'm allowed to re-evaluate my decisions and look at something from, perhaps, a different perspective after looking away for a bit. I just don't get ice cream breaks when I do it like the committee.
We keep hearing about parity in the men's game this year....do you think we're seeing some of the same parity in the women's game?
Charlie Creme (1:42 PM)
Perhaps more from the point of view that no one is going to say the championship is all UConn's like in the previous two seasons. But I do believe the parity only goes so far. There are still a limited number of teams who can win six in a row for title. The #1 seeds would be those teams this year. I'm not convinced anyone else can do that having to go through those aforementioned top seeds at some point.
Donnell (New Orleans)
Charlie, if put in the right bracket against the right teams can LSU make a run at the SWEET 16 since it is so hard to prepare for their defense.
Charlie Creme (1:44 PM)
I'm not sure I agree with the specifics of what you are saying, although no disagreement on LSU's defense. They do need to also score though and that's been a challenge. What I do agree with 100% is that matchups can make or break teams in the tournament. Holler all you want about your team not getting a #3 seed and instead having a #4, but if the matchups for your teams style of play are better then the seed difference is more than irrelevent.
How great would it be to see a UConn-TN championship game? Could a good game there get a revamping of that regular season game?
Charlie Creme (1:45 PM)
I really don't think it would jumpstart any change in the current status of the two playing in the regular season. But, of course a title game matchup between the two would be fun. It would create the biggest possible buzz and that's always a good thing.
Wendy (Birmingham, AL)
Which team based on recent play and great coaching experience has the best chance to make a surprise appearance in the final four?
Charlie Creme (1:48 PM)
Recent play -- Ohio State. Past history -- no way. How about Notre Dame? The truth is defense doesn't win championships. To go through an entire NCAA Tournament you better be able to score, first and foremost. Of course, you need to play defense, but teams who win are ones that find different ways to score and can score more easily. Notre Dame is that type of team.
Wendy (Birmingham, AL)
Love watching Oklahoma's Danielle RObinson and that team's never say die attitude.. how deep do you think OU can go in the tourney?
Charlie Creme (2:01 PM)
Robinson is wonderful to watch. Sweet 16 though may be the max for this team. They are probably looking at a 1 or 2 seed once they get there.
Charlie Creme (2:04 PM)
Looks like that's all the questions for today. Great stuff everyone. Really enjoyed it. Keep checking back to ESPN.com for updates on the bracket, follow me on Twitter for some other, smaller updates and I'll be back for a chat after the selections on Monday. Thanks again.
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