Tomorrow, Nov. 7, begins the four-month journey towards Choice Sunday to find out the 2023 NCAA girls’s basketball match subject.
Within the spirit of the 2022-23 season tipping off, it is by no means too early for a bracket prediction. Let’s have a look forward of opening evening at how I imagine groups can be seeded by the choice committee in March. I created my subject of 68 that features my at-large bids after which stuffed out the remaining with my computerized qualifiers (listed beneath).
It’s worthy to notice that many groups have skilled large turnover in a wide range of methods. Some applications misplaced stars to the switch portal, commencement or the WNBA, whereas others have returned sturdy cores of starters or revamped their roster by both benefiting from the portal or recruiting some first-year, heavy hitters. I took all of this into consideration, together with preseason convention favorites and extra.
Right here is my first bracket of the season. I am going to revisit my bracket all season lengthy to make further and revised picks, figuring out the success or struggles of every group’s season.
|SEED||Greenville – Quad 1||Seattle – Quad 2||Greenville – Quad 3||Seattle – Quad 4|
|16||Albany / Longwood||Montana State||Howard||Fairleigh Dickinson / Texas A&M|
|12||SFA||Colorado / South Dakota||Florida State / Mississippi State||UNLV|
|4||LSU||Oklahoma||Virginia Tech||Ohio State|
|13||UMass||Toledo||Jackson State||Center Tennessee|
|6||Arizona||Oregon||Princeton||South Dakota State|
|11||Alabama||Georgia Tech||Oregon State||Washington State|
|3||North Carolina||Indiana||NC State||Notre Dame|
|14||Drexel||Youngstown State||Troy||Tennessee Tech|
|10||DePaul||Arkansas||Florida Gulf Coast||Florida|
No. 1 seeds: South Carolina, Stanford, Tennessee and Texas
It is no shock that South Carolina is featured in my 1-line. In actual fact, the defending nationwide champions are my No. 1 total seed and 2023 nationwide champion choose.
If South Carolina can run it again and minimize down the web (once more) this season, that will make three nationwide titles in seven years. This squad is in good situation to take action. For sure, what head coach Daybreak Staley is constructing in Columbia is particular.
The eventual dynasty may very well be the primary group to go back-to-back since UConn had its four-peat, which led to 2016. March appears shiny for South Carolina, returning Nationwide Participant of the 12 months and Defensive Participant of the 12 months Aliyah Boston, who’s now getting into her senior marketing campaign. Boston may also have her entrance court docket drive, Victaria Saxton and Kamilla Cardoso.
However the expertise and most significantly expertise doesn’t cease there. Though former level guard Destanni Henderson is off to the WNBA, South Carolina can look towards Zia Cooke, Raven Johnson (getting back from damage) and Georgia Tech switch Kierra Fletcher to fill this position. The Gamecocks additionally return two-way nightmares Brea Beal and Laeticia Amihere. And that, girls and gents, is why I can see extra rings, trophies and confetti in South Carolina’s future.
As for my different No. 1 seeds, Stanford loses three starters — Lexi and Lacie Hull, plus Anna Wilson — however the Cardinal nonetheless herald sturdy veteran management, like 2021 MOP Haley Jones and Pac-12 Participant of the 12 months Cameron Brink. Head coach Tara VanDerveer additionally snags one other No. 1 recruit within the nation, Lauren Betts. The 6-7 ahead can be a harmful duo with the 6-4 Brink. Literal bushes within the paint for Stanford (see what I did there?). This group is aware of what it take to win a championship. There’s little question that the Cardinal have a chip on their shoulder after a disappointing exit in March, falling to UConn by 5 factors within the Remaining 4.
Talking of the Remaining 4, be careful for Tennessee. This group went so far as the Candy 16 final season, however I imagine the Vols are a robust Remaining 4 contender this season. Tennessee misplaced one in every of its high scorers in Rae Burrell to the WNBA, however head coach Kellie Harper hit the switch portal jackpot, securing Rickea Jackson, Jillian Hollingshed, Jasmine Powell and Jasmine Franklin. The Vols look deep, harmful, lengthy and athletic with their new items, together with the No. 11 recruit, Justine Pissott. Tons of recent faces, however in fact acquainted faces, like Tennessee’s lead scorer, Jordan Horston, and the nation’s chief in blocks, Tamari Key. If the Vols can stay wholesome this season, there’s no query that this group can go far.
Final however not least, we now have to speak about Texas. This could be the 12 months the Longhorns recover from the hump after making back-to-back Elite Eight appearances. Their final journey was led by Huge 12 freshman of the 12 months, Rori Harmon. Think about how expertise as Texas’ ground normal will do for this squad? The sky is the restrict in my view. The Huge 12 defending champs are literally my computerized qualifier over Baylor and Iowa State. We’ll see how that shakes out.
Iowa eye my 1-line as a No. 2 seed
Be careful for the Iowa Hawkeyes. The defending Huge Ten champs wish to make extra program historical past. This squad has the potential of breaking into my one line. The Remaining 4 contender is supplied with the identical scoring machines, who produced the second nationally ranked offense, which options the dynamic duo Caitlin Clark and Monika Czinano. Additionally, Clark was the nation’s chief in factors, and Czinano led the nation in subject objective proportion final season.
The offense and expertise is there, however as everyone knows the enduring motto, protection wins championships. Iowa’s scoring protection was ranked twelfth within the Huge Ten and 306th within the nation, permitting opponents 70.5 factors per sport. Iowa was surprised by Creighton within the second spherical of the 2022 March Insanity match as they tried to seek out a solution to Creighton’s scoring threats, together with Lauren Jensen’s iconic game-dagger, earlier than falling to the Blue Jays by one possession. I’ll be retaining a glance out for Iowa on the defensive finish of the ground this season.
Iowa has some sturdy and early resume-boosting video games in opposition to non-conference groups, like Belmont, Oregon State, NC State and Iowa State for alternatives to climb to a one seed in my bracket. This can be a enjoyable group to observe this season.
Additionally on the 2-line, I’ve Iowa State, UConn and Louisville on this first projection.
Final 4 in
- Florida State
- South Dakota
- Mississippi State
Final 4 out
- Texas A&M
- Kansas State
The automated qualifiers
Listed below are my 32 computerized qualifiers, based mostly off of who I feel will lock in spots by changing into the champs of their respective convention tournaments:
|American Athletic||South Florida|
|ASUN||Florida Gulf Coast|
|Huge Sky||Montana State|
|Colonial Athletic Affiliation||Drexel|
|Convention USA||Center Tennessee|
|Ohio Valley||Tennessee Tech|
|Summit League||South Dakota|
|Western Athletic Convention||Stephen F. Austin|