Greatest Women’s College Basketball Players (1997-2020) Bracket Challenge Selection Committee Weighs in on the Final Four.

The Final Four for the Greatest Women’s Basketball Players from 1997-2020 is set. The selection committee has been crucial in terms of deciding what players would make the the top 64. Now that we are down to the Final Four, it is time to get the selection committee members thoughts on what they thought of the Final Four as well as their general thoughts about it all.

Question 1: At first glance, what do you make of the Final Four that was voted on by Twitter?

Alexandria:  I believe that the final four women players are made up of players that have done and/or still doing great things for women’s basketball and are some of the popular players.

Porter: There was no surprises when it came to the Final Four as all 1 seeds made it.

Colleen: I think the final four is well represented and was well chosen.

Katie: I’m not that surprised by the Final Four results. I was expecting it to be chalk, especially given who the #1 seeds were. I may be a little surprised that Sabrina Ionescu didn’t overtake Maya Moore with all the publicity that Ionescu received(s), but it’s Maya. Also, Sabrina didn’t have the opportunity in the tournament last year to add to her legacy.

Mary: I’m surprised it went chalk. I really expected A’ja to surge to a victory. 

Jaison: It seems very UCONN-centric and they are some of the more popular WNBA players.

Mike: Not surprising. Those players are amazing and they were the #1 seeds for a reason. 

Glenn: To me, it’s not surprising that the top #1 seeds made it to the Final Four. You could make a strong case for A’ja Wilson had she been in a different bracket and Sabrina Ionescu had a strong case for making the Final Four as well.

Question 2: As a selection committee member, what surprised you the most about the whole process?

Alexandria: Nothing really surprised me about this process. 

Porter: The biggest surprise was the reaction from the players who liked and shared the polls via their Instagram Stories, retweets on Twitter, etc. It was nice to see the women’s basketball players appreciate it!

Colleen: I am a newer women’s basketball fan, so I did not watch some of these women play in college, so having the input and opinions of others was surprising, in a good way.

Katie: The entire process was very difficult. Any time you make a “best of” list, it’s going to be hard because everyone brings their own value set to the rankings. Do you favor championships? Stats? Meaningfulness to your team? Position? Era? All these things factor in. I guess I was surprised that everyone’s pool of 64 players wasn’t all that different. There were maybe like 10 spots that were disputed? (I don’t know the exact number, but that’s what it seemed like). But the rankings within the 64 were very different, especially beyond the 1 and 2 seeds. 

Mary: How hard it was to pick a 64 person field. And then initially I misunderstood the possible choices, because of what years were involved, but that just made it harder to choose. (I still think Husker legend Kelsey Griffin belongs in this 64. (Joking of course!)

Jaison: There weren’t any surprises to me really. Wait, I thought Britney Griner would have made it to the Final Four.

Mike: I was surprised how many players were seeded higher based on team championships won rather than individual accomplishments.

Glenn: I would have seeded them very differently in my personal opinion. I think that if certain players should have been seeded a bit higher and some lower than they were originally seeded. But it is difficult, because it is hard to judge what the general public will do.

Question 3: Who do you think will be named the Greatest Women’s College Basketball Player (1997-2020)?

Alexandria: I think Diana Taurasi will be named greatest women’s college player

Porter: I think Diana Taurasi will be the winner as she in my opinion was the greatest to ever play for UCONN and all of college basketball.

Colleen: I think ultimately it will be Breanna Stewart.

Katie: I think it’s going to come down to Taurasi and Stewart. Personally, I think Breanna Stewart is the greatest women’s college basketball player ever, but Diana Taurasi is the greatest women’s basketball player (as of right now), if that makes sense. It’s hard to argue with 4 championships, 4 Tournament MOPs, and 3 POYs. Diana has the benefit of age to accumulate the WNBA championships and Olympic gold medals. I remember Stewie’s freshman year in the Final Four… she single-handedly (it seemed) beat my Notre Dame team. If she weren’t out there, ND would’ve won the game, and presumably the National Championship. She did that as a freshman. So, a long-winded way of saying, I think Breanna Stewart will be named the Greatest Women’s College Basketball Player.

Mary: Breanna Stewart.

Jaison: Breanna Stewart

Mike:  Breanna Stewart, because of the 4 championships.

Glenn: Breanna Stewart, I think will win because of the 4 consecutive championships she won in college.

Question 4: During the voting process, were you surprised by any of the results? If so, why? Or why not?

Alexandria:  No, I wasn’t shocked by any results. When there is a mass vote like this some people vote of pure popularity and not off talent so with some of the votes I expected that to happen.   

Porter: I think this went great and wouldn’t change a thing. 

Colleen: I was surprised by some of the closer polls, some of the matchups I thought would be blow outs but the polls were close. 

Katie: I’m not too surprised by the voting. Some results here and there made me raise my eyebrows, but it was fairly chalk. I guess maybe that’s what surprised me the most– that there weren’t more upsets.

Jaison: I’m not surprised. I think basketball is relatively new to some people so the voting process went the way it did.

Mike: .Not surprised. It’s Twitter, so it becomes a bit of a popularity contest. Seems like some players won based on their WNBA career instead of their NCAA career.

Final question: What are your final thoughts on the Greatest Women’s College Basketball Players Challenge? Do you think it was different? What would you have done differently?

Alexandria: My final thoughts about the bracket is that I enjoyed it. It’s fun creating the list and thinking of memories of all these great players. Then to watch it all to come together and people vote is exciting. I appreciate being apart of this and I enjoyed it very much. Thank you.

Porter: The votes and the committee having different inputs were awesome and can’t wait to do the next one!

Colleen: I liked it. I would be interested to do another in a smaller one. Instead of the greatest of all time, doing potentially the greatest of of the early 2000’s or the greatest of a certain conference. There is nothing I would do differently. 

Katie: As I said earlier, with everyone bringing different criteria to the conversation of who is “best”, I thought there would be more discrepancy in who would move on. I guess the committee got it mostly right! 🙂

Mary: I tried to clear my mind of expectations as I found the final field of 64 to contain folks I had not thought of in spaces I had not thought of. I would order my 64 now very differently having seen the field as selected. I learned a lot. 

Jaison: This is first I’ve ever seen or heard about something like this. I think it was done very well and it takes a lot of work to put something like this together. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Mike: It was fun. Only thing to do differently would be to maybe extend the time period to the 80’s and early 90’s. But there was already a bit of a recency bias in some of the matchups in this challenge, so it might have been worse to include those players who many people on Twitter never saw. 

Glenn: Yes, I would shake up the bracket! It’s because I have been a women’s college basketball fan for so long and I have seen some great players play that were in my opinion, under seeded or over seeded. I would place them in different brackets so I could see the results differently. Other than that, I am thankful to be apart of this Greatest Women’s College Basketball Bracket Challenge and it was very nice to see how well received the challenge was.

WNIT Semifinals Recaps

Ole Miss women's basketball

The WNIT semifinals took place in Memphis, Tennessee. Four teams were battling for a spot in the final. Delaware, Rice, Ole Miss and Northern Iowa. Before they reached the semifinals, here’s a quick refresher on how they got here. Day 1, Day 2 and Regional Final results/recaps.

Rice vs Delaware

Coming into this game, both Rice and Delaware had impressive victories beforehand. It was going to be a battle between Nancy Mulkey and Jasmine Dickey. However, Nancy Mulkey was held scoreless in this game and Jasmine Dickey struggled shooting in this game. Rice led 6-0 early in the game and it just got bigger as the game went on. Rice was up by as many as 20 points at one point in the game, due to the shooting struggles of Delaware. Rice was able to pull away and were able to hold off Delaware in the fourth quarter to advance to the WNIT Final.

Ole Miss vs Northern Iowa

Coming into this game, Ole Miss was looking to make some more noise as head coach Yolett McCuin was back on the sidelines after Covid protocols kept her out. Northern Iowa was looking to prove themselves as well. But, it was Ole Miss who won out. They won because of their defense, their ability to draw fouls and getting to the free throw line. Northern Iowa did make it a game, but they could never get more closer than 8 or 9 points and Ole Miss held on to win the game and advance to the WNIT final. They will face Rice in the final and it should be very interesting. The final will air on FloHoops and will be played at 1 pm local time, 2 pm EST on Sunday afternoon.

2021 WNBA Draft Declaration Tracker

2021 WNBA Draft

The WNBA Draft is rapidly approaching and seniors as well as redshirt juniors who are eligible for the WNBA Draft have to opt in this year due to the NCAA granting an extra year of eligibility. It can be tough to figure out who is leaving and who is staying, so this tracker will keep track of the WNBA Draft Prospects who have declared for the draft. It will also include the links in which they have stated that they are declaring for the 2021 WNBA Draft.

Players who are not playing in the Final Four have until April 1st, and college seniors/red shirt juniors who are playing in the Final Four will have 48 hours to decide.

*Please note, I only have players who have posted publicly about leaving and or there are indications that they are leaving.*

*The official WNBA college draft prospects list is now out. I have added the other 21 names that did also declare, but not publicly.*

2021 WNBA Draft Declaration Tracker

WNIT Quarterfinals(Regional Finals) Results/Recaps

Rice Women's Basketball

The WNIT quarterfinals kicked off tonight and 8 teams were competing for a chance to become regional champions as well as a spot in the WNIT Final Four. Here’s the recap from Day 1 and Day 2 that got us to this point.

Charlotte Regional

Delaware vs Villanova

Delaware and Villanova battled each other all night long. Neither team could gain much seperation until the last 3 minutes of the game. Villanova star Maddy Siegrist fouled out of the game and the Blue Hens took advantage of it. They were able to play solid defense down the stretch and execute on offense. Despite Villanova trying to make a comeback, the Delaware Blue Hens were able to withstand it. They are the Charlotte regional champions and advance to the WNIT Final Four.

Fort Worth Regional

Rice vs California Baptist

California Baptist came into this game undefeated with a record of 26-0. They were looking to improve to 27-0. Rice threw a wrench into that plan. From the beginning of the game, Rice attacked California Baptist at the basket, forced turnovers, made excellent plays on offense and did not let Brittney Thomas get going on offense. Rice looked very good against California Baptist and held a 30 point lead in the 4th quarter. They are Fort Worth regional champions and advance to the WNIT Final Four where they will face Delaware in the WNIT semifinals.

Rockford Regional

Saint Louis vs Northern Iowa

Saint Louis and Northern Iowa struggled to score early in the game and it was a low scoring game until Northern Iowa started to hit some baskets down the stretch of the game. Even when Saint Louis was threatening to come back, Northern Iowa was able to control it and they held on to win. They are the Rockford regional champions and advance to the WNIT Final Four.

Memphis Regional

Colorado vs Ole Miss

Colorado and Ole Miss both came into this game after solid outings against previous teams. But, it was Ole Miss who controlled the first half with their defense, ball pressure and getting to the free throw line. In the second half, it was a different story. Colorado was able to get some key stops, they got into Ole Miss players heads a little bit and kept it close until the last minutes of the game. Had Colorado played like they did in the second half in the first half, Colorado may have won the game. Instead, Ole Miss was able to hold on and win. They are the Memphis regional champions and advance to the WNIT Final Four to face Northern Iowa in the WNIT semifinals.

WNIT Day 2 Results/Mini Recaps

The WNIT started Day 2 with consolation games and the second round games. For this post, it will be focused on the 8 second round games only. At the end of the evening, 4 teams advanced to the WNIT quarterfinals (regional championship games). Click here for a recap of Day 1’s WNIT action.

Charlotte Regional

Delaware vs Clemson

The first game of this regional was a very good game during the first half. It was a battle between Jasmine Dickey of Delaware and Delicia Washington of Clemson. Delaware hit a buzzer beating three pointer at half to lead Clemson by 5. Delaware then hit yet another buzzer beating three pointer at the end of the third quarter. Delaware took control in the fourth quarter over Clemson and never looked back to advance to the quarterfinals.

Villanova vs Florida

Villanova took full control of this game early in the first quarter and Florida was not able to get past Villanova because they were so strong. Villanova advanced to face Delaware in the quarterfinals on Monday.

Fort Worth Regional

Rice vs Fresno State

Rice came out hot early and were able to control the tempo in this game. They lead by as many as 15 points but Fresno State just wouldn’t let them go easily. Fresno State did battle Rice, but Rice’s ability to score and defend was too much for Fresno State to overcome. Rice advances to the WNIT quarterfinals on Monday.

California Baptist vs San Francisco

The California Baptist team was looking to stay undefeated and they succeeded in doing so. San Francisco just didn’t have the size to battle with Brittney Thomas in the paint, but they did have heart. They battled California Baptist in the 4th quarter, but California Baptist prevailed despite losing their top player, the point guard Ane Olaeta to injury early 1st quarter. They will face Rice in the WNIT quarterfinals on Monday.

Rockford Regional

Northern Iowa vs Creighton

This was the first game in the Rockford regional and it was a tight game throughout. Neither team was able to get much seperation and Northern Iowa was able to squeak by Creighton in the last seconds of the game. Northern Iowa advances to the WNIT quarterfinals on Monday.

Saint Louis vs Milawaukee

Saint Louis came out swinging in this game and Milwaukee struggled to score early on. This lead to a large lead for Saint Louis in which they were able to maintain the entire game. Saint Louis advances to the WNIT quarterfinals to face Northern Iowa on Monday.

Memphis Regional

Nebraska vs Colorado

Nebraska vs Colorado was a battle of two Power 5 teams. Colorado was able to establish their game against Nebraska’s pesky defense and managed to hold on and just squeeze out the win. Colorado advances to the WNIT quarterfinals on Monday.

Tulane vs Ole Miss

In the last game in this regional, it was a barn burner. Tulane and Ole Miss were tied and went back and forth until late 4th quarter. Ole Miss tuned up their defense and were able to get some key stops and some timely baskets to win over Tulane. Ole Miss advances to face Colorado in the WNIT quarterfinals on Monday.

The WNIT quarterfinals will take place on Monday evening and will stream on FloHoops.