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Predicting the Top Six Teams of NCAA Women’s March Madness

ESPN's ranking projects a top six full of powerhouse teams.


With NCAA tournament brackets released, March Madness is officially underway. Last year, the Women's Final Four drew a record-breaking average audience of 6.5 million viewers. This was an 87% increase from 2022’s tournament and ESPN’s most viewed Women’s Final Four weekend. As this year’s March Madness kicks off, let’s take a look at ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI) predictions for the women’s tournament.


At the top of ESPN’s list, South Carolina – the No. 1 overall seed – has a 39% chance to win it all. However, this means that if given the choice between South Carolina and the rest of the field, BPI would take the field. The Gamecocks have displayed an impressive depth of talent and relentless drive during their successful season. This year marks their second straight season going undefeated in the regular season. If the Gamecocks are crowned the national champion, they’ll be the 10th team in history to win the title with a perfect record.


ESPN predicts that the UConn Huskies have a 13.8% chance of winning the championship title.  The Huskies lost many key players to injury this season, leaving them with only seven healthy players in their conference championship game. Still, they’ve shown resilience in the face of adversity, holding the second-best NET ranking in the country. It’s no secret that the Huskies can play like a top-three team. The question is, will they be able to do so against another elite team to win the title?


The Texas Longhorns have a 12.2% chance of taking the championship trophy home. Texas, another No. 1 seed, won its conference tournament, giving it an automatic bid for March Madness. According to ESPN’s predictions, the Longhorns’ best shot of winning the championship comes if South Carolina doesn’t reach the Final Four. However, even if they face the Gamecocks, they still have a 1-in-3 chance to defeat them. With the help of Madison Booker, their star freshman, the Longhorns have the potential to go far.


ESPN’s predictions show the Stanford Cardinal having a 9.5% probability of winning March Madness. The Cardinal was the No. 1 seed in the Pac-12 tournament and is currently ranked fifth in the AP’s poll. BPI views Stanford as the third-largest threat to SC – if the two teams were to play, it would be in the semifinals. 


The Iowa Hawkeyes and LSU Tigers have similar chances of winning the tournament: 4.7% and 4.3%, respectively. The Hawkeyes beat SC in last year's Final Four and faced LSU in the championship round. With star guard Caitlin Clark’s impeccable clutch shots, there's no doubt that Iowa – a No.1 seed – could win it all this time around. 


LSU is the reigning NCAA national champion. With new additions to the team, the Tigers are looking to bring the crown home again. If LSU and South Carolina face off in the final, it’s guaranteed to be an entertaining show. SC is 2-0 against LSU this season, but the Tigers could surprise the Gamecocks to claim the title once again.


Though BPI predictions offer insight into potential outcomes, March Madness is known for its element of surprise. In basketball, anything can happen – from game-winning buzzer beaters to the underdog knocking out the fan favorite. Unpredictability is what makes the tournament exciting, and this year’s March Madness promises more entertainment than ever.

 

Edited by Ella Chang

Social media content created by Daryl Batt


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