Women’s March Madness Preview: Let’s Dance

Story posted March 16, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Jasper Abrahams

This is March.

In the greatest month of the year, fans all across the nation cheer for their favorite team as they prepare to go “dancing” in the NCAA Tournament. The 2023 Women’s bracket is very noteworthy as Cinderella stories brew, top-tier teams look to hoist the trophy and star players aim to rise to the occasion.

Let’s take a look at a few teams who are looking to sit at the top of the throne in Women’s basketball.

The Reigning Champions

The South Carolina Gamecocks captured the championship last March and the odds are in their favor to repeat in 2023. With Dawn Staley at the helm of the group, this team has all the assets to make another deep postseason run.

Finishing their perfect season (32-0) and as the consensus No. 1 overall team, the Gamecocks are led by senior Aliyah Boston. Boston, a senior and the 2022 AP Player of the Year, has led this team through a gritty SEC schedule. Boston can do-it-all on the hardwood as she posts 13.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.

Leading the pack with Boston, senior guard Zia Cooke leads the team in scoring with nearly 16 points per game. Cooke can score on any level and recently put up 31 points against Georgia on January 2nd.

The duo of Boston and Cooke have all the help they need to repeat. The lineup is arguably the deepest in Women’s basketball with Kamalia Cardoso and Brea Beal bringing another trophy to Colombia.

The Heart of the South

After falling in the SEC Conference Tournament semi-final, LSU comes into the Big Dance with a chip on its shoulder as a No. 3 seed. The Tigers, led by Kim Mulkey are prepared and ready to take on the nation’s best teams.

LSU brings one of the nation's best – if not, the best – players in college basketball Angel Reese on their side. Reese, only a sophomore, has one of the best box scores in the game. Reigning from Baltimore, MD., Reese averages 23.4 points and 15.5 rebounds which both rank in the top five in Division I.

Reese comes into the tournament with one of the best scoring guards in the nation, Alexis Morris. Morris, a senior, posts 15.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists a game. Adding onto the tandem of superstars, the Tigers also have Fla’jae Johnson and LaDazia Williams who both are very effective on all three levels.

The Tigers bring one of the best starting lineups into the tournament and can make a deep run in March.

The Caitlin Clark Show

It’s hard to write a preview of the Iowa Hawkeyes without going on and raving about the nation’s best player: Caitlin Clark.

The Hawkeyes finished the season 26-6 (15-2 Big Ten) and is a team to keep a tab on as they make their way through the bracket. Led by Clark, who on a nightly basis, puts up nearly a triple-double – 27.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists – the Hawkeyes can match up with any team in the nation.

Clark has posted a high of 45 points (NC State, Dec. 1) and 17 assists (Ohio State, Mar. 5) and can do anything a coach asks for on a basketball court. Her IQ is among the best in the nation, and she can find her teammates with only a slim open lane for the bucket. Drawing Steph Curry comparisons, Caitlin Clark is must-watch tv this March.

Monika Czinako and McKenna Warnock also provide insurance on the offensive side for the Hawkeyes. The pair nearly average 30 points per game combined and will be an X-factor for the group

The Huskies Are Back In Business

An overlying recipe for a deep postseason team is depth. When star players have an off-night, it all comes down to who can step up with the ball in their hands.

As UCONN prepares for yet another NCAA Tournament run, the depth of the Huskies can give them a level of deep comfort and confidence.

The Huskies have five double-digit scorers who can all thrive under the big lights. Aaliyah Edwards, Lou Lopez Senechal, Aubrey Griffin and Dorka Juhasz all give Connecticut experience down the stretch.

The four upperclassmen scorers paired with sophomore sensation Azzi Fudd provide a steep defensive game plan for any opposing teams.

Jasper Abrahams is a first-year student studying communications. To contact him, please email jpa5778@psu.edu.