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.