2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament: Here’s What You Need to Know



March is upon us and the best in women’s college basketball are ready to battle it out to decide who will win the prestigious NCAA Division I title – let the madness begin.

Since the addition of the women’s tournament in 1982, it has become an important part of the sporting calendar and already has a rich history of amazing moments.

Arike Ogunbowale of Notre Dame was nothing more than the most important moment in basketball history when he drained late shots from deep in the Final Four to lead the Irish to the 2018 title. university.

Fans will be hoping for a similar level of drama in the 2023 edition of the tournament as they fill out their brackets for the upcoming Big Dance.

South Carolina won the 2022 national championship game after defeating Connecticut 64-49. Led by Destanni Henderson’s 26 points and Aaliyah Boston’s double-double in the finals, the Gamecocks dominated throughout the tournament to win.

Boston — likely the No. 1 pick in the upcoming WNBA draft — will lead the undefeated Gamecocks again this year, with South Carolina looking to retain the title.

Gamecocks also have the advantage of being coached by Dawn Staley. The 52-year-old was named the 2022 Naismith Women’s College Coach of the Year and is now considered by many to be the best coach in women’s college basketball.

As always, March Madness isn’t complete without a Cinderella along the way.

One last time it was the Creighton Bluejays’ turn to shock the world. The No. 10 seed defeated No. 2 seed Iowa in the second round and then Iowa State for the third straight time in Sweet 16 Stadium.

Their run ended in the Elite Eight, but the Bluejays made history by reaching that stage as a double-digit seed — only the fourth team to do so.

68 teams will participate in the tournament for the second year in a row – since 2011, the format of the men’s competition has been used.

Thirty-two of those teams automatically enter as the winners of their respective Division I conferences.

The following 36 will be selected as NCAA at-large applicants. The Selection Committee will present the overall teams as part of the entire field on Selection Sunday.

The first stage of March Madness is called the first four. This round consists of the four lowest-ranked automatic qualifiers and the playoffs with the four lowest-ranked teams overall. The winners of these matches will determine the 1/8 finals.

The top 16 teams will play their first and second round matches from March 15-19, which is slightly different from the men’s tournament as all men’s matches will be played on neutral grounds.

After that, the Regional Semi-Finals, known as the Sweet 16, and the Regional Finals, the Elite Eight Finals, will decide who will qualify for the Final Four.

This year’s regional rounds will be held in two arenas that have changed from last year, with Bon Secours Wellness Arena in South Carolina and Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle hosting matches from March 24-27.

The regional winners advance to the Final Four on March 31 at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas.

The NCAA championship game will be played in the same arena two days later.

As March Madness proves to be an audition for professional leagues, the WNBA always has stars who surprise during the tournament before going on to successful careers.

Here are three key players looking to make their mark on the big dance:

Aliyah Boston, South Carolina

The 6-foot-5 forward helped lead the Gamecocks to the 2022 title, and South Carolina will be one of the favorites to continue.

Aaliyah Boston played for the Gamecocks last year and could be the first pick in the upcoming WNBA draft.

Last year, Boston became the first player to win the Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year Award and the Naismith Women’s Player of the Year Award, the honor given to the top women’s basketball player in the game. university, and he should make a big impact this year. tournament at both ends of the field.

Not only did the 21-year-old win the NCAA Championship last year, Boston also earned the 2022 Player of the Year award in recognition of the elder’s efforts in the Final Four.

Caitlin Clark, Iowa

Clark shut out the Big Ten Conference for Iowa.

The junior season culminated in the Big Ten Championship Finals, where the 21-year-old filled the stat sheet in just 33 minutes. Clark had 30 points, 17 assists and 10 boards in the Hokies’ 105-72 demolition of the Iowa Buckeyes — becoming the first player in Big Ten tournament championship history to record a triple-double.

Caitlin Clark has been on fire for the Iowa Hawkeyes this year and will be one to watch in March.

The Iowa State native hopes to take the Hawkeyes all the way in March Madness — and the result could lead to a huge personal reward; she was a finalist for the 2022 Naismith Female Player of the Year Award.

Cameron Brink, Stanford

Every time Brink is in town, there’s a block party.

The 21-year-old is a defensive phenom for the Cardinals and will be a tough matchup for anyone with his big presence in the paint. Despite Stanford falling to the UCLA Bruins in the Pac-12 finals, the junior managed a double-double in the big event with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Brink’s impressive footwork and touch in the paint mean he’s a huge threat on offense as well.

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