No, these picks won't be perfect, but yes, there is a method to the madness.
With the 2023 NCAA women's tournament bracket live, it's time to take a look at where upsets may come from. And yes, they happen plenty in WCBB. Just look at No. 10 Creighton's shocking Elite Eight run last year.
If you haven't filled out a bracket with us, please do so by the way! A perfect bracket earns $100,000, and whoever comes in first place will win signed Chelsea Gray merch and a cash prize!
Anywho, some potential upsets we're looking at.
The Fighting Irish have had some absolute crap luck. Star guard Dara Mabrey tore her ACL in January, and now the team's best overall player in junior Olivia Miles is sidelined with a knee injury as well. It's unclear if Miles, who averages 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.9 assists will return in the tournament, and if she does, how effective she'll be. Without Miles, Notre Dame lost 64-38 in the ACC Tournament against Louisville. Yikes.
Notre Dame will play No. 14 seed Southern Utah in the opening round, and would play the winner of No. 11 seed Mississippi State vs. No. 11 seed Illinois or No. 6 seed Creighton in the Round of 32.
It's difficult to gauge just how good the 31-2 Runnin' Rebels are because of their weak schedule, but this team hasn't lost in 2023 and has a true star. Desi-Rae Young is Her Hoops Stats' seventh-best player by win share numbers, averaging 18.0 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.
In the opening round, UNLV plays No. 6 seed Michigan, which has lost four of its last six games. Should everything go chalk, they'd play another team that hasn't been battle-tested much in No. 3 seed LSU next.
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The preseason No. 5 overall Volunteers have too much talent to be as so-so as they were this season. Part of their struggle was out of their control as star center Tamari Key played just nine games until it was revealed she had blood clots in her lungs. She plans to return next season.
Still, Tennessee has a pair of players expected to be first-round draft picks in April's WNBA Draft in guard Jordan Horston and forward Rickea Jackson. The team showed what they can do when they play to their potential, handing LSU its second loss of the season to reach the SEC tournament final last week. But they've also lost to the other eight ranked teams they've played this year.
They're debtably the gutsiest top-4 seed to pick to make a run, but they're playing in one of the most wide-open regions. Tennessee plays No. 13 seed Saint Louis in the first round, and would face either No. 5 seed Iowa State or No. 12 seed Toledo to reach the Sweet 16.
The Cardinals reached last year's Final Four, but after losing both Emily Engstler and Kiana Smith to the WNBA Draft, weren't able to recover as swiftly as anticipated. Louisville's seen big losses by 18 to Middle Tennessee and 19 to Ohio State. Even unranked Gonzaga and South Dakota State were able to pull off early season double-digit wins against them.
Louisville does have a win over then No. 3 Texas, and No. 11 North Carolina, but a win over an Olivia Miles-less Notre Dame team shouldn't count for much. (When healthy, she beat them twice.) A 5-seed feels generous for Louisville.
In the opening round, Louisville will face No. 12 seed Drake, which took No. 4 overall Iowa to overtime, lost by just four points to No. 18 Creighton, and beat No. 22 Nebraska this year.
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