Everything to Know as the Women’s NCAA Tournament Tips Off Today
One day after the men’s tournament tipped off, the women’s bracket launches today with 16 games in the first round. We’ve got First Four highlights and a preview with everything you need to know for today’s action.
First Four Highlights
Today’s NCAA Tournament Tip-Off Notes
Yesterday, we previewed the men’s bracket before first-round games tipped off. Let’s do it again for the women’s game. Here are my picks for the Final Four, upset alerts and players to watch.
My Final Four Picks: The women’s tourney gets chalky when the bracket trims towards the Final Four. It’s often a collection and 1- and 2-seeds. In fact, 85 percent of all women’s Final Fours have featured multiple No. 1 seeds. With that in mind, give me #1 South Carolina, #1 Stanford, #2 Baylor and #2 UConn getting to Minneapolis with the Gamecocks over the Huskies in the final.
Upset Alerts: The top eight-to-ten teams are head and shoulders above the field, but watch out for low seeds with star players to make deep runs. Teams like 9-seed Kansas State (star: Ayoka Lee), 7-seed Ole Miss (star: Shakira Austin) and 6-seed Kentucky (star: Rhyne Howard) are all threats to knock off top seeds.
Players to Watch: If you haven’t paid much attention to the women’s game this season, here are the names you need to know: Aliyah Boston is the tournament darling for South Carolina — the No. 1 overall seed. She’s a double-double machine. NaLyssa Smith (#2 Baylor), Caitlin Clark (#2 Iowa) and Paige Bueckers (#2 UConn) are also top tickets. No. 2 Stanford has two stars in Cameron Brink and Haley Jones. And then there’s my personal favorite — Naz Hillmon (#3 Michigan). She had 15 double doubles this season, including a 30-15 game to open the season.
Photo: Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images