I had so many thoughts running down my head when they unveiled the 2023 NCAA Women’s Tournament Bracket live. So many questions and comments that I decided to write a blog post about it.
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First off, let’s start with the obvious. #1 overall seed South Carolina is going to do extremely well. They should be able to handle Norfolk State in the Round of 64, and whatever teams they encounter in the whole tournament.
In this tournament, the 8th versus 9th seed games are always so much fun. South Florida versus Marquette could go either way. Don’t be afraid to pick either winner. Both are two strong teams.
Oklahoma versus Portland is an interesting first round matchup. While Oklahoma wasn’t as strong this season and Portland got an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament when they defeated Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference tournament title game, I personally feel this game isn’t going to be that interesting. I think Oklahoma will take care of Portland.
Another Round of 64 game to watch is Arizona versus West Virginia. While I still think Arizona will win this game, I think West Virginia will make it very interesting.
As mentioned above, #1 South Carolina will do well but watch out for Maryland. A potential South Carolina versus Maryland Elite 8 game will be worth watching for in Greenville 1.
Indiana is the team to watch as they should be able to handle all of the teams that come at them. I’ve even got them going to the title game to face South Carolina.
The trend of great 8th versus 9th seed games continues. Oklahoma State versus Miami should be another fun game. Don’t be afraid of picking either winner.
While there has been attention recently towards the Washington State versus FGCU Round of 64 game being a possible upset, I’m not quite as sure. Yes, Florida Gulf Coast is very talented team and can play really well, but I’ve seen Washington State’s resurgence and while I do think it very be a close and tightly contested game, Charlisse Leger-Walker comes through in making crunch time decisions.
The game to watch in Greenville 2 in the Round of 64 is the 7th seed versus 10th seed game. I think that Princeton will upset NC State. NC State hasn’t been as solid this season as in past years and Princeton is a sharp and dangerous team. This game will be exciting to watch.
Two potential Round of 32 games to watch is between LSU versus Utah and Villanova versus Washington State. Both games could be very intriguing.
A potential Elite 8 game between Indiana versus Utah could be very interesting as this game could reveal Indiana’s strength over all of the other teams in Greenville 2.
This part of the bracket is one worth tuning in for. It has so many excellent teams and so much history. While Virginia Tech is the #1 seed, they are going to be greatly contested by UConn, Ohio State, Tennessee, North Carolina and potentially Iowa State. It is not going to be easy. At all.
There’s so much potential scenarios that could occur on this side of the bracket. For example, I have UConn facing Virginia Tech in the Elite 8. Or it could be Tennessee versus UConn in the Elite 8 instead. Virginia Tech could beat the odds and go to the Final Four. This side of the bracket is why we watch the NCAA Tournament. To see underdogs thrive and make great things happen.
Upon viewing this bracket, Stanford as a #1 seed over Iowa is a tad bit confusing. While Stanford is a very talented team and the Pac-12 was tougher this season than in years past, Iowa showed their strengths and also were deserving of a #1 seed. They won the Big 10 conference tournament and blew out Ohio State in the title game. Caitlin Clark has become a household name for casual viewers.
A potential Sweet 16 matchup between Stanford versus Texas could be very good. Texas played well this season and have a terrific playmaker in Rori Harmon. For Stanford, Cameron Brink was excellent and senior Haley Jones is an elite player as well.
Final note is that a potential Elite 8 game between Stanford and Iowa could be very good. A test between offense versus defense.
Final note: The Final Four isn’t as easy to pick as previous years. Women’s college basketball has risen, the parity has increased and it is more tougher than ever to pick the top 4 teams. It shall be an excellent tournament to tune in and watch it all unfold on our TV screens.