Women’s NCAA Tournament 2023: Bracket winners and losers

The general consensus this women’s college basketball season has been that the women’s best hope of making the Final Four is to avoid a run in defending champion South Carolina first.

With the release of the brackets for the 2023 Women’s NCAA Tournament on Sunday — which this year turns into two regionals instead of four — Dallas’ path is set. The undefeated Gamecocks, as practically written in stone throughout the season, are the overall No. 1 seed and will not need to leave their state to go to the program’s fifth Final Four. Dallas is also the location where the Gamecocks won their first national championship in 2017.

South Carolina, Stanford and UConn have all reached the Final Four in the last two seasons. For the 11-time champion Huskies, the streak goes back to 2008. But the two No. 1 seeds on the right side of the bracket — Indiana and Virginia Tech — have never been that far in the women’s tournament. History can be created this March.

Here’s a look at who will try to stop the Gamecocks’ run and end their perfect season, as well as reveals of the biggest winners and losers from the bracket.

Brackets are open! Head on over to the Women’s Tournament Challenge and fill out your bracket now!



Don Staley talks about South Carolina’s pursuit of back-to-back titles

Don Staley and Aliyah Boston react to South Carolina’s path to the NCAA Tournament as the brackets are revealed.

What is the South Carolina way to Dallas?

No one is debating the Gamecocks as the top seed and favorite. No mystery there, because South Carolina hasn’t opened the door for anyone else. The Gamecocks’ closest calls have been two overtime games: one expected and one not.

Back on November 20, no one was surprised to see South Carolina go into overtime at Stanford, as they are the last two national champions. The Gamecocks won 76–71, and then also had single-digit wins against UCLA and UConn in regulation. South Carolina’s other OT win was more of a surprise, as the Gamecocks won by seven points at Ole Miss on February 19. When the Gamecocks played Ole Miss again in the SEC Tournament, they won 29.

Superstars like Aliyah Boston and talented and experienced depth means that catching South Carolina on a bad day/night is extremely unlikely.

The Gamecocks, which host the opening round at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, South Carolina, begin at No. 16 Norfolk State. Only one 16-seed has upstaged the No. 1 seed in women’s NCAA tournament history — Harvard over Stanford in 1998 — and it’s not happening here again.

Could be an interesting second round with South Carolina taking on the winner of the South Florida-Marquette game. South Florida won the American Athletic Conference regular-season title and had some nice non-conference wins over Texas and Alabama. But the Bulls were upset in the first round of the American tournament, which was a surprise.

Marquette has good wins over UConn, Texas and Gonzaga. Will South Carolina Make It To The Preliminary Round? Yes, but the Bulls or Golden Eagles may provide some challenges.

In the Sweet 16 in Greenville, South Carolina – about 100 miles from the Gamecocks’ campus – a rematch could take place with UCLA, which lost 73–64 to South Carolina on November 29. Bruce performed brilliantly in the PAC. -12 tournament, defeating Arizona and top-seeded Stanford before falling to Washington State in the finals. Exciting freshman Kiki Rice is a player to watch for UCLA. That said, watch out for No. 5 Oklahoma as well. They are the Big 12 co-champions of the regular season and could rival UCLA if they meet in the second round.

If South Carolina advances to the Elite Eight, the teams they could face are No. 2 seed Maryland and No. 3 Notre Dame. The Terps were no match for South Carolina when they fell 81–56 on November 11 in College Park, Maryland. But that early version isn’t much like Team Maryland. The Terps have lost just three times since the calendar changed to 2023, and two of those were to defending Big 12 Tournament champion Iowa.

Notre Dame clinches the ACC regular-season title, but uncertainty regarding star guard Olivia Miles’ status due to injury leaves the Irish a question mark, especially as they return last season’s giant-killer, No. 1 in the preliminary round bracket. 6 Cretan. As the No. 10 seed last year, the Bluejays made the Elite Eight.

Should we be seeing South Carolina in the Final Four for the third year in a row? Yes, especially since the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville is their home away from home. But the Gamecocks have enough talent on their sidelines to make it work.

bracket winner

Tennessee Women Volunteers
Seed: No. 4 in the Seattle 3 Regional

Tennessee lost 11 games, the most among the top 16 seeds. But a tough schedule with several marquee opponents helped them in the eyes of the committee—despite the fact they didn’t actually win any of those big games until the no-no. 4-ranked LSU 69–67 in the SEC Tournament semifinals. Tennessee lost five of its last 12, but two were to South Carolina, including the SEC Tournament Final. Tennessee was in the top 16 in net rating, but behind Iowa State, which had won the Big 12 Tournament, yet received the No. 5 seed in the region.

Tennessee has complained over the past two months about being undervalued by the SEC, but the Lady Vols have no complaints about this seed. This gives senior stars Jordan Horston and Rickia Jackson a chance to advance to the Sweet 16 in front of their own fans in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Indiana Hoosiers
Seed: No. 1 in Greenville 2 Regional

The Big Ten regular-season champion is the only No. 1 seed that does not have a previous national champion in its region. The Hoosiers have a three-time champion coach in LSU’s Kim Mulkey, but he won those titles at Baylor. In fact, only two programs in the region have reached the Final Four: LSU, most recently in 2008, and NC State, in 1998.

Indiana lost its regular-season finale on a buzzer-beater to Iowa, and then lost a huge lead to Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals. But the committee placed more emphasis on how good the Hoosiers were throughout the season. Behind fifth-year senior Grace Berger and senior Mackenzie Holmes, Indiana is strong on both sides of the ball. As the No. 1 seed should be, they should be favored in every potential matchup going their way in Dallas.



Why UConn Is A Dangerous Team Heading To The Big Dance

Rebecca Lobo makes the case that UConn is the favorite to win the Seattle regional, despite being the 2-seed.

Yukon Huskies
Seed: No. 2 in Seattle 3 Regional

Sure, if they win the opening round, the Huskies will have to move up to the Pacific Northwest. But it is a well-discussed point that UConn generally does not have to travel to most teams in the post-season due to higher seeds in several nearby regional regions.

As long as they are relatively healthy, which they seem to be, the Huskies don’t care where they play. They will match up well with the other top three seeds in their region: No. 1 Virginia Tech, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Tennessee. They have already played the Lady Vols in Knoxville on January 26 and defeated them 84–67. Who hasn’t smelled the last four yet.

Big Ten Conference

The league has been lauded all season, and has been ratified by the committee. Seven teams field a Big Ten record, and four – No. 1 Indiana, No. 2 seeds Iowa and Maryland and No. 3 Ohio State – are in the Top 16.

The league has had just one national champion (Purdue in 1999), and has been to the Final Four only once since 2005.

bracket losers

Big 12 Conference

The tournament features six league teams, but only one – the regular-season co-champion Texas Longhorns – is in the Top 16 that hosts the opening round games. Still, the Longhorns have a potentially tough second-round matchup with Louisville. The other co-winner Oklahoma was sent to UCLA as the No. 5 seed. Iowa State — the reigning Big 12 Tournament champion who clinched its title by defeating both Oklahoma and Texas just hours before the NCAA brackets were released — is also the No. 5 seed. Iowa State was two spots ahead of Tennessee in the net rankings, but would go to Knoxville for the opening round.

It is only the second time in Big 12 history, beginning in 1996–97, that the league tournament champion has not been a top 16 seed in the NCAA tournament. This also happened in 2017, when West Virginia upset Baylor in the Big 12 Finals and were the No. 6 NCAA seed. But those Mountaineers had double-digit losses that season.

There was good news for West Virginia this year: the Mountaineers took the field as the No. 10 seed, despite losing in the Big 12 quarterfinals. However, Kansas’ loss to TCU in the opening round of the Big 12 Tournament cost them dearly, as the Jayhawks did not make the NCAA Tournament.

If the Big 12 is to make an appearance in the Sweet 16 this season, the league’s teams will really have to work for it.

North Carolina Tar Heels
Seed: No. 6 in the Seattle 3 Regional

The Tar Heels were believed to be strange in ACC play, at one point losing four in a row and going 4–5 in their last nine games. Still, some thought they would be a higher seed with two wins over Duke and one win against Notre Dame. Instead, they could play a tough first round game against Purdue/St. John’s first four winners, and then potentially face Ohio State on the Buckeyes’ home court.

Washington State Cougars
Seed: No. 5 in the Greenville 2 Regional

Like Iowa State, the Cougars won their conference tournament, but are not in the Top 16. This is not nearly as surprising, however, since Washington State finished seventh in the Pac-12 and did not beat the top two seeds en route to the tournament title, while the Cyclones were ranked third in the Big 12 and won their tournament by defeating the top two seeds. took.

That said, the Cougars would have to travel to Philadelphia for the opening round, held in Villanova, and face the always-tough Florida Gulf Coast in the first round. FGCU has won 14 in a row; Its last loss came in overtime on January 21 at the Liberty Lady Flames. Considering Washington State’s history, any tournament appearance should be celebrated, and winning the automatic bid was epic. But things can turn bad fast in this bracket for the Cougars.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button