Women’s Sweet 16 picks, predictions and breakout players

For the very first time in a quarter-century, the Dessert 16 of the 2023 females’s NCAA competition will certainly consist of simply 2 No. 1 seeds: South Carolina, the protecting champ in search of an ideal period, and also Virginia Tech, which wants to make the program’s very first females’s Last 4. As well as for the very first time ever before, there are simply 2 local websites: Greenville 1 and also 2 in South Carolina, and also Seattle 3 and also 4.

Some points are really acquainted, however, such as UConn— the No. 2 seed in Seattle 3– opting for a 15th successive Last 4 look. The Huskies are most likely the healthiest they have actually been all period, at simply the correct time, consisting of the return of celebrity student guard Azzi Fudd.

No. 1 seeds Stanford and also Indiana were disturbed on their residence courts in the 2nd round, which suggests No. 8 seed Ole Miss is making its opening night in the local semifinals considering that 2007, and also No. 9 seed Miami its very first considering that 1992.

Iowa‘s Caitlin Clark and also South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston proceed their advocate nationwide gamer of the year, yet both are a lot more worried concerning their groups progressing. South Carolina is seeking its 3rd successive Last 4 look and also 5th total, while Iowa seeks its 2nd look yet initially considering that 1993.

Gamings start in both cities on Friday, with 2 local finals on Sunday and also 2 on Monday. All video games will certainly be telecasted on ESPN networks or streamed by means of the ESPN Application.

Charlie Creme, Alexa Philippou and also M.A. Voepel expect the weekend break’s activity and also anticipate the victor of each video game of the Dessert 16.

What’s the most effective video game of the local semifinals?



Why Doug Kezirian has Iowa mosting likely to the Last 4

Doug Kezirian damages down why he’s certain Caitlin Clark and also the Iowa Hawkeyes will quickly punch their ticket to the Last 4.

Creme: According to the Las vega probabilities, Virginia Technology and also Tennessee is a coin flip, and also I assume it will certainly be one of the most affordable video game. It’s tough to visualize a situation in which either group has the ability to retreat from the various other.

Any type of question concerning the Hokies’ possibilities to make a Last 4 generally hinges on their absence of experience in these minutes. However that should not be an element below. Tennessee got to the Dessert 16 a year back, yet Jordan Walker and also Tess Darby were the only gamers on the lineup that played a substantial function because loss to Louisville. Jordan Horston was injured. Rickea Jackson remained in the transfer website. Sara Puckett and also Karoline Striplin were mostly function gamers. Virginia Technology should not be anymore overloaded than the Girl Vols.

Both groups may be limited early, yet the Hokies have extra markers and also even more shooters. Georgia Amoore will certainly outshine Jackson as the most effective bucket-getter on the court, and also Virginia Technology will certainly proceed to the local last.

Voepel: No. 2 seed Utah vs. No. 3 LSU in Greenville 2 can be amusing. Utah places 3rd in Department I in racking up (83.5 PPG) and also makes 8.3 3-pointers per video game; LSU is 5th in racking up (83.2) and also depends a little much less on the 3 (5.3 ). Forwards Angel Reese of LSU and also Alissa Pili of Utah are both in the leading 10 of ESPN’s position of the leading 25 gamers in the Dessert 16.

Utah connected for the Pac-12 regular-season title this period, a large innovation for the program. With No. 1 Indiana out, the Utes are the top-seeded group left in this quarter of the brace. LSU hasn’t been to the Last 4 considering that 2008, yet train Kim Mulkey won her latest championship game with Baylor in 2019. It would certainly go over to make it that much in her 2nd period at LSU. However to obtain that possibility, the Tigers will certainly require to reduce Utah’s violation initially.

Philippou: I’m captivated by the rematch in between South Carolina and alsoUCLA When they fulfilled previously in the period, ball game was connected entering into the 4th quarter prior to the Gamecocks won the last framework by 9. Train Dawn Staley’s South Carolina team has generally carried out far better when encountering a group a 2nd time, yet can train Cori Close’s Bruins recreate a few of that “magic” from earlier in the year? Charisma Osborne, Kiki Rice and also Emily Bessoir will certainly need to have large evenings again.

Miami reduced a high-powered violation in Indiana to progress to Greenville, yet will the Hurricanes have the ability to have the country’s leading marker in Villanova‘s Maddy Siegrist? Will the Wildcats obtain even more aid beyond Siegrist? Will the Canes remain rolling offensively, both throughout?

UConn vs. Ohio State can additionally be a close one if the Huskies return to a few of their turnover-prone propensities versus the Buckeyes’ hallmark press.

Which group or gamer has thrilled you one of the most up until now in March Insanity?



Ole Miss’ McPhee-McCuin information bond with Scott, Taylor

After the distressed over 1-seed Stanford, Yolette McPhee-McCuin signs up with SEC Currently and also describes her bond improved trust fund and also love with Rebels’ Madison Scott and also Myah Taylor.

Voepel: The brace has actually worked out for Tennessee. Saint Louis was no suit for the Girl Vols in the preliminary, 95-50. As well as with No. 12 seed Toledo disturbing 5-seed Iowa State, Tennessee dealt with an additional double-digit seed in the 2nd round, and also quickly downed the Firecrackers 94-47.

Yet it’s still noteworthy Tennessee resembled 100 factors in both video games, despite the competitors. The only various other time considering that Jan. 1 that the Girl Vols struck 90 remained in a double-overtime loss to Mississippi State on Feb. 6.

While a few of the various other top-16 seeds were disturbed in your home or needed to sweat with hard video games, Tennessee travelled in the very early rounds. If absolutely nothing else, it ought to provide the Girl Vols an excellent increase of self-confidence heading right into the competition with Virginia Technology in Seattle 3 Regional.

Creme: Indiana was just one of my Last 4 choices. I saw the Hoosiers as the second-best group in the nation. So any individual that can defeat Indiana on its residence court goes over. Miami obtains my ballot.

The strategy from train Katie Meier was well-conceived, and also her gamers, such as Destiny Harden, Haley Cavinder and also Lola Pendande, implemented it well. The Hurricanes played with the blog post, remained person forever appearances from deep, bordered the protective glass and also were thorough concerning shift protection. Indiana just had 5 second-chance factors and also 4 fast-break factors. Miami really did not permit anything very easy to a group which has actually made the video game appearance very easy all period.

Philippou: Ole Miss, Miami and also Colorado all carried out large troubles and also carried out down the stretch. Complying with an uninspired ACC regular-season run, Hailey Van Lith– powered Louisville exceeded my assumptions by boat-racing Texas. LSU looked leading in its sway Michigan, although I’ll aspire to see exactly how the Tigers avert from the PMAC.

However in regards to real nationwide title challengers? It’s UConn. Fudd still isn’t totally back to her pre-injury kind, yet the Huskies quickly cared for Vermont Catamounts and also retreated in the 2nd fifty percent versus a hard Baylor group that played far better than its No. 7 seed. The Huskies’ February rut appears like a life time back. The violation is clicking (not simply Fudd yet Aaliyah Edwards and also Caroline Ducharme adding), the protection is suffocating and also their deepness is lastly beginning to find right into fulfillment (Baylor train Nicki Collen claimed UConn’s Aubrey Griffin— off the bench– was the difference-maker in the 2nd round).

Which gamer will be the celebrity over the following 4 days?



The most effective of the females’s NCAA competition up until now

Have a look back at a few of the top plays from the females’s NCAA competition, including UConn, South Carolina, Miami and also extra.

Philippou: Louisville has its worst NCAA competition seed considering that 2013, yet train Jeff Walz has a shot at obtaining his group back to the Last 4. For it to take place, Van Lith, that is racking up 20-plus factors per video game on 51% performance in the competition, will certainly need to proceed that tear and also maintain striking clutch shots when her group requires them.

The whole Greenville 2 Area screams intrigue. We have 4 reasonably unskilled groups and also 3 outright celebrities in LSU’s Reese, Utah’s Pilli and also Villanova’s Siegrist, yet each has something to confirm. Reese was highly in the nationwide gamer of the year discussion prior to a harsh regular-season video game at South Carolina. In situation there was any type of question she still belongs there, she set up a laid-back 25 factors and also 24 rebounds in the 2nd round.

Some followers do not see Pili as usually with her having fun late video games on the West Coastline, while Siegrist hasn’t traditionally obtained as much luster betting a Big East college. Whichever group developments from Greenville 2 will most certainly be powered by among these celebrities.

Creme: Fudd is topped to burst out. Given that returning for the Big East competition after missing out on 14 straight video games, Fudd has actually been relieving back right into the Huskies’ assault. She balanced simply over 8 factors per video game in the Big East competition, yet her mins boosted each video game. On Monday versus Baylor, she played 37 mins and also her most hostile video game considering that reinjuring her knee in mid-January. Her 22 basket efforts were the second-most Fudd has actually taken this period, and also her 22 factors were her most considering that Thanksgiving weekend break. It seems like we will see that November variation of Fudd when she was plainly in the nationwide gamer of the year discussion.

Voepel: Clark has actually been so reliable leading Iowa’s violation, which leads Department I at 87.4 PPG. She needs to maintain it up since the Hawkeyes have 3 great protective groups in their local.

Iowa’s following challenger, Colorado, is 3rd in the Pac-12 in racking up protection, enabling simply 58.5 PPG this period. The Buffaloes are 2nd in the organization in 3-point basket percent protection, holding challengers to 29.5% from behind the arc. Iowa fires 37.4% from lengthy array.

Louisville and also Ole Miss satisfy in the various other Seattle 4 semifinals. Permitting 63.4 PPG, the Cardinals aren’t fairly the protective group they have actually remained in previous years. However Walz is specifically proficient at game-planning for one-and-done scenarios. As well as we saw what the Rebels carried out in closing down Stanford. So Clark will certainly require to generate every video game, which she is utilized to. If she does that at her typical speed, it can unlock to Dallas for the Hawkeyes.

Pleasant 16 choices

( 9) Miami vs. (4) Villanova

Greenville 2: Friday (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Andrea Adelson: Miami
Charlie Creme: Villanova
Kevin Pelton: Villanova
Alexa Philippou: Villanova
M.A. Voepel: Miami

( 3) LSU vs. (2) Utah

Greenville 2: Friday (5 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Adelson: LSU
Creme: LSU
Pelton: LSU
Philippou: LSU
Voepel: LSU

( 6) Colorado vs. (2) Iowa

Seattle 4: Friday (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Adelson: Iowa
Creme: Iowa
Pelton: Iowa
Philippou: Iowa
Voepel: Iowa

( 8) Ole Miss vs. (5) Louisville

Seattle 4: Friday (10 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Adelson: Louisville
Creme: Louisville
Pelton: Ole Miss
Philippou: Louisville
Voepel: Louisville

( 3) Notre Dame vs. (2) Maryland

Greenville 1: Saturday (11:30 a.m. ET, ESPN)

Adelson: Maryland
Creme: Maryland
Pelton: Maryland
Philippou: Maryland
Voepel: Maryland

( 4) UCLA vs. (1) South Carolina

Greenville 1: Saturday (2 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Adelson: South Carolina
Creme: South Carolina
Pelton: South Carolina
Philippou: South Carolina
Voepel: South Carolina

( 3) Ohio State vs. (2) UConn

Seattle 3: Saturday (4 p.m. ET, ABC)

Adelson: UConn
Creme: UConn
Pelton: UConn
Philippou: UConn
Voepel: UConn

( 4) Tennessee vs. (1) Virginia Technology

Seattle 3: Saturday (6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Adelson: Tennessee
Creme: Virginia Technology
Pelton: Tennessee
Philippou: Virginia Technology
Voepel: Tennessee

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