Balancing the Madness: Women's NCAA Tournament Predictions


They're back! That's what most people are saying now that we've finally made it to March, and the basketball tournament championship's are back after last season's cancellation. Not only are they back, they are back with a vengeance. The top teams are looking even more deadly, as UConn, NC State, Stanford, and South Carolina are all 1 seeds this season. However, not all of the top teams made this years tourney, as it marks the first time in a long time that Notre Dame did not make the tourney, being ranked #3 in the first 4 out, meaning if Covid protocols come in to play, they could still make the tourney, however it'd take 3 teams to have issues for it to boost Notre Dame in. Hopefully that's not the case, as this tournament has the makings of a very exciting one for all. Here's a look at my predictions by each bracket region:

ALAMO REGION Region Winner: 1 Stanford

Round 1 Winners:

1 Stanford

8 Oklahoma State

5 Missouri State

4 Arkansas

6 Oregon

3 Georgia

10 UCF

2 Louisville

Round 2 Winners:

1 Stanford

4 Arkansas

6 Oregon

2 Louisville

Sweet 16 Winners:

1 Stanford

6 Oregon

Region Winner:

1 Stanford

HEMISFAIR REGION Region Winner: 1 South Carolina

Round 1 Winners:

1 South Carolina

9 Florida State

5 Georgia Tech

4 West Virginia

6 Texas

3 UCLA

7 Alabama

2 Maryland


Round 2 Winners:

1 South Carolina

4 West Virginia

3 UCLA

2 Maryland


Sweet 16 Winners:

1 South Carolina

2 Maryland


Region Winner:

1 South Carolina

RIVER WALK REGION Region Winner: 1 UConn

Round 1 Winners:

1 UConn

9 South Dakota State

5 Iowa

4 Kentucky

11 Florida Gulf Coast

3 Tennessee

10 Marquette

2 Baylor

Round 2 Winners:

1 UConn

5 Iowa

11 Florida Gulf Coast

2 Baylor

Sweet 16 Winners:

1 UConn

2 Baylor

Region Winner:

1 UConn

MERCADO REGION Region Winner: 2 Texas A&M

Round 1 Winners:

1 NC State

8 South Florida

5 Gonzaga

4 Indiana

6 Rutgers

3 Arizona

10 Michigan State

2 Texas A&M


Round 2 Winners

1 NC State

5 Gonzaga

3 Arizona

2 Texas A&M


Sweet 16 Winners:

1 NC State

2 Texas A&M


Regional Winner:

2 Texas A&M



FINAL FOUR

1 Stanford vs 1 South Carolina

This game will pit the overall number 1 seed in Stanford against Dawn Staley and a very hungry South Carolina team. While each team rolled to get to this point thus far in the bracket, I have Dawn Staley and this South Carolina team taking a very close matchup. This one will be decided in the turnover battle, as I have South Carolina dominating that statistic and hounding Stanford through much of the game.


Winner: 1 South Carolina

1 UConn vs 2 Texas A&M

It's rare we don't see all 1 seeds in a Women's Final Four, however Texas A&M rightfully had a case to be the 4th number 1 team, and if not for 1 loss, they would've likely held the edge over NC State. However, it's all for show really, Geno Auriemma's squad, led by the incredible freshman Paige Bueckers, is looking like the UConn teams of old with Maya Moore, Breanna Stewart, and Rebecca Lobo, despite this teams lack of experience. Look for Bueckers to run the show, and pick Texas A&M's defense apart with her passing and driving skills.


Winner: 1 UConn

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME


1 South Carolina vs 1 UConn

This game makes me so excited, I hope this our National Championship game. This one pits the ever present Auriemma against Dawn Staley, and her incredible coaching acumen. On top of that we get to watch two outstanding younger players go at each other all game, albeit from two different spots on the floor. Sophomore Aliyah Boston for South Carolina is one of the, if not the, best low post players offensively, and that's not to take away from her SEC leading block shots total of 2.8 BPG. While freshman standout Paige Bueckers is in a split decision for Freshman Player of the Year (down to her and Iowa G Caitlin Clark), it's not even a question of whether or not this freshman can play. Averaging 19.7 PPG and 6 APG, Bueckers will be the player UConn lives and dies by. Not a bad request for someone who ranked Top 5 in 8 statistical categories this season. I give the edge to UConn, and it's not a huge edge mind you, but when I look at these rosters, the one thing that hurts South Carolina is the loss of LeLe Grissett, being able to deploy her as a 3 and play a jumbo lineup would've killed an attack like UConn's. Now however it'll be up to the starters for South Carolina and the bench play of their team to try and stave off the relentless nature of UConn. This one stays close until late and UConn wins the title by a score of 71-63.


NATIONAL CHAMPION: 1 UCONN

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