Women's bracketology winners and losers for Friday

Syracuse, UCLA and South Carolina -- even on a day in which the Gamecocks were upset -- were the big winners in Friday's conference tournament games. William Howard/Icon Sportswire

Friday's conference tournament results provided the greatest shake-up to the bracket in some time. With the top teams in the ACC, SEC, Big Ten and Pac-12 taking the court for the first time, a handful of upsets changed the fortunes for a number of teams in the updated bracketology projection through Friday's games. The Nos. 1 and 2 seeds remain unscathed, but the rest of the top 16 got jolted. Here are the winners and losers from a frantic Friday.


Syracuse: The Orange played the first big game of the day and then kept gaining ground as the rest of the contests unfolded. Syracuse began Friday at No. 15 overall on the S-curve. After upsetting Miami in the ACC quarterfinals, the Orange leapfrogged Iowa State and the Hurricanes to get to No. 13. Arkansas then stunned South Carolina, followed by Washington's upset of Oregon State, the biggest shocker of the day. Syracuse passed them all, and it will wake up Saturday morning as the No. 11 overall and a No. 3 seed. That means Syracuse gets shifted to the Portland Regional, but the Orange now have a firm hold on hosting first- and second-round games.

Arkansas: The Razorbacks put up 95 points on South Carolina to become the first double-digit seed since 1993 to advance to the semifinals of the SEC tournament. Arkansas isn't going to be an at-large team, but its NCAA tournament hopes are still alive as a possible automatic qualifier, and sophomore Chelsea Dungee is becoming a household name in Fayetteville.

South Carolina: It sounds strange to call the Gamecocks a winner after they lost in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament, especially since they dropped to a No. 4 seed. But geographically speaking, it's their best-case scenario. As a No. 3 seed, South Carolina was headed to the Portland Regional. Now, Dawn Staley's bunch has a much better chance of playing the regional in nearby Greensboro, North Carolina, as the top No. 4 seed (No. 13 overall) on the board. Such are the peculiar ways of bracketology.

UCLA: Opening quarterfinal play in the Pac-12 tournament, the Bruins topped Arizona State to register one of the day's biggest wins. When Friday started, UCLA was No. 25 overall and a No. 8 seed after a procedural bump. Now, the Bruins move up to No. 23, avoid the no-longer-necessary seed adjustment and sit on the 6-line. UCLA now boasts three top-25 RPI wins on its résumé, outstanding for a team that started the season 3-5.

Tennessee: Yes, the Lady Vols lost in fairly convincing fashion to Mississippi State, but they are still in the field, for now. In a season of turbulence, that's a win -- and Tennessee will take any day that gets it closer to Selection Monday still projected to make the NCAA tournament.


Oregon State: For the second straight year, the Beavers are out of the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament -- and this time it likely cost them a No. 3 seed. Washington lost at home to Oregon State by 47 points 42 days ago. On Friday, the Huskies shocked everyone, beating the Beavers 68-67 in Las Vegas.

Kentucky: The Wildcats' chances to finish in the top 16 were dashed following an overtime loss to Missouri in the SEC tournament quarterfinals. The Tigers stay alive in the hunt to host, but it's less likely due to the ascension of Syracuse and a win by Texas A&M over Auburn.