This year's women's college basketball tournament has been one of the most chaotic in recent memory. Two No. 1 seeds are already out before the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1998!
That said, let's rank the remaining teams based on their likelihood to reach the final stage.
Well, yeah. The 34-0 Gamecocks are the No. 1 team in the country... probably because they have not lost a game since March of 2021. They could draw a tough Elite Eight match against Maryland, but neither UCLA nor Notre Dame, with two injured stars, should scare them much.
None of the other top-4 teams in their corner of the bracket are still with us.
No. 8 Ole Miss knocked off their biggest threat to a trip to Dallas, shocking No. 1 Stanford, then No. 6 Colorado took down No. 3 Duke. No. 5 Louisville handled No. 4 Texas, too. Each team remaining in this region has shown what they can do on any given night, but Iowa couldn't have asked for a smoother trip than this.
Speaking of teams who had some help in their own field, LSU has a clearer path to glory after No. 1 Indiana's collapse to No. 8 Miami in the Round of 32. The Tigers will have a tough game against Utah before facing the winner of Miami/Villanova, but this team is ready. They've won their first two games by 23 and 24 points.
Take the same notes as the above and apply them to Utah. LSU should be their toughest matchup until Dallas, should they get there.
The Huskies only rank slight above the rest of the top-seeded teams remaining because their matchup against Ohio State doesn't look so intimidating based on the Buckeyes' performance so far. They escaped with just a 14-point win over James Madison in the opening round, and two-point win over UNC.
It feels chaotic to have Louisville, a team that many thought could be a first-round upset, onto the Final Four, but with a Sweet 16 matchup against Ole Miss, they couldn't have asked for a better outcome. A potential Elite Eight game against Iowa could be tough... if Iowa gets there.
Tennessee is on a roll, and I'd have trouble picking against them, though they may be playing in the most stacked region of the bracket to date. They're set to play top-seed Virginia Tech next, but the Vols are fresh off a 47-point Round of 32 win. That's tough. UConn could be the tougher team in their way.
Villanova isn't as strong of a team as some of the others below it on this list, but their matchup against Miami is favorable — and both Utah and LSU have had up-and-down showings against elite competition.
Why the heck not? I'd be lying if I said I saw this coming, but now, with that upset-heavy portion of the bracket, anything goes.
I'm lower on Tech than most, but nothing about their first two rounds of play suggests they're in danger. They just have one of the most difficult remaining schedules left.
The final team in the wonkiest region still kicking. An upset over Iowa feels unlikely, but the Hawkeyes already had a scare against No. 10 Georgia. Nothing is impossible here.
They probably have to play South Carolina. That's the only reason they're this low.
They've left a lot to be desired thus far in the tournament and for that reason, they feel like the unlikeliest to move on.
Hurricanes, y'all have absolutely overachieved. I hope fans are super happy with what they've been treated to. I just don't know that I see them having the size to outlast both Maddie Siegrist and then Angel Reese or Alissa Pili.
Too injured :(
Great season though, and amazing coaching job by Niele Ivey.
Playing South Carolina next :(
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