NCAA Tournament 2022-23

Women's NCAA Tournament viewership up significantly​

First Round Viewership Up Significantly

Second Round Games Earn Big Viewships

"According to Awful Announcing, two second-round games on ABC on Sunday topped 1 million viewers each. Iowa, led by star Caitlin Clark, defeated Georgia as 1.457 million tuned in.

Undefeated No. 1 seed South Carolina’s win over South Florida had 1.139 million viewers."

ESPN's Charlie Creme, Alexa Philippou and M.A. Voepel rank their top 25 players heading into the regional semifinals, which open Friday and will be played in Seattle and Grenville, South Carolina.

(Note: Notre Dame star Olivia Miles is not included, as she has been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to a knee injury.)


1. Caitlin Clark, Iowa

G | 6-foot | junior | Previous: 1
2022-23 stats:
26.8 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 8.6 APG

Clark's passing (24 assists) has been as much of a key to Iowa's two NCAA tournament victories as her scoring (48 points). After cruising against SE Louisiana in the first round, the Hawkeyes were tested by Georgia's defense. Clark was able to keep her cool against the Lady Bulldogs even when things got tense, scoring the last six points in a 74-66 victory. This will be her second Sweet 16 appearance; the other was in her freshman season. -- Voepel


2. Angel Reese, LSU

F | 6-foot-3 | sophomore | Previous: 5
2022-23 stats:
23.8 PPG, 15.7 RPG, 2.2 APG, 53.6% FG

March Madness hasn't changed Reese's ability to put up eye-popping production. Against Michigan, she became the first player since 2000 to tally 25 points, 20 rebounds and five blocks in an NCAA tournament game, according to ESPN Stats & Information data. Reese's domination around the rim was especially impressive against the Wolverines, who were fourth in the Big Ten in rebounding margin and third in field goal percentage. Her numbers propelled the Tigers to a pair of easy wins and their first Sweet 16 since 2014. -- Creme


3. Aliyah Boston, South Carolina

F | 6-foot-5 | senior | Previous: 2
2022-23 stats:
13.1 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 2.0 BPG, 56.5% FG

Presence over points. That's what Boston is all about. Her numbers -- 9.0 PPG, 10.0 RPG -- in two NCAA tournament games have been pedestrian, but with South Carolina's thorough dominance, no individual player on the team is putting up gaudy stats. Defensively, Boston remains a force; she played a major role in shutting down South Florida's co-AAC player of the year Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu, and that was a key factor in the Gamecocks' 31-point win over the Bulls. -- Creme

4. Diamond Miller, Maryland

G | 6-foot-3 | senior | Previous: 7
2022-23 stats:
19.7 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.1 SPG

One of Miller's biggest baskets of the regular season was her buzzer-beating fadeaway to defeat Notre Dame 74-72 on Dec. 1. She had 31 points and 12 rebounds in that game. Now look who the Terps face in the Greenville 1 Regional semifinals: the Fighting Irish. Miller's 24 points, six rebounds and seven assists in Maryland's second-round win over Arizona was Miller at her best. -- Voepel

5. Aaliyah Edwards, UConn​

F | 6-foot-3 | junior | Previous: 8
2022-23 stats:
17.0 PPG, 9.0 RPG

Edwards picked up where she left off in the Big East tournament, coming away with a career-high 28 points in UConn's first-round game versus Vermont and managing an impactful 19 points on 9-for-11 shooting against Baylor despite playing with foul trouble most of the game. She and teammate Dorka Juhasz have worked together well in the post and have made UConn's interior game its strong suit most of the season. The Huskies will need Edwards to continue to set that tone on both ends to help get them to Dallas. -- Philippou

6. Maddy Siegrist, Villanova

F | 6-foot-1 | senior | Previous: 9
2022-23 stats:
29.2 PPG, 9.1 RPG

Siegrist has continued her dominance through the early rounds of the NCAA tournament, propelling Villanova to its first Sweet 16 since 2003. Her 66 points through two NCAA tournament games are tied for the fourth most by a player since at least 2000, behind Elena Delle Donne, Kelsey Mitchell and Kelsey Plum, per ESPN Stats & Info research. Thirty-one of those points came in the second round against Florida Gulf Coast, one of the most consistently strong mid-majors in the country. Siegrist, who also tallied six rebounds, four blocks and four steals against FGCU, will face tougher defenses down the line, but her 28-for-52 shooting is nonetheless impressive. -- Philippou

7. Alissa Pili, Utah

F | 6-foot-2 | junior | Previous: 10
2022-23 stats:
21.0 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 2.1 APG, 59.1% FG

Pili vs. LSU's Reese will be a subplot to one of the most compelling matchups in the regional semifinals because the two superstars have carried their teams through the first two rounds. The Utes needed every bit of Pili's 28 points and 10 rebounds against Princeton, which forced Utah into 20 turnovers and 1-of-15 in 3-point shooting. Only Villanova's Siegrist scored more points through two rounds than Pili's 61, which came on just 30 shots. -- Creme

8. Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech

F | 6-foot-6 | senior | Previous: 6
2022-23 stats:
18.2 PPG, 10.85 RPG, 2.3 BPG

The Hokies are a No. 1 seed for the first time, but they haven't seemed to suffer any jitters yet, winning their first two games by 25 points and 12 points. Kitley, the repeat ACC player of the year, has 26 points and 28 rebounds in the tournament. In a 59-56 regular-season win on Dec. 4 against Tennessee, the Hokies' next opponent, she struggled with just six points on 3-of-13 shooting, along with nine rebounds. Will she fare better this time? -- Voepel

9. Rickea Jackson, Tennessee

F | 6-foot-2 | senior | Previous: 11
2022-23 stats:
19.3 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 1.5 APG

Both Tennessee and Jackson have looked sharp this postseason. Jackson totaled 77 points and 23 rebounds in the SEC tournament, and she tallied 30 points, nine rebounds and seven assists as the Lady Vols cruised through the first two rounds, crushing Saint Louis and Toledo. It will be intriguing to see how Jackson does in the Sweet 16 vs. Virginia Tech. In the Lady Vols' 59-56 loss to the Hokies in December, Jackson didn't play in what was deemed a coach's decision. But she has started every game since Jan. 22 for Tennessee. -- Voepel

10. Georgia Amoore, Virginia Tech

G | 5-foot-6 | junior | Previous: 16
2022-23 stats:
15.7 PPG, 5.1 APG

The Hokies have won 13 straight games. Amoore has hit at least one 3-pointer in 12 straight. Coincidence? Not at all. Even though she wasn't her most efficient against South Dakota State in the second round, she hit big shots at important times: a trio of treys to help build a 19-7 first-quarter advantage for Virginia Tech then three more in the fourth to put the game away when the Jackrabbits threatened to make things interesting. The ball is in her hands now more than ever (she has already taken 17 more shots than teammate Kitley in the tournament), and Amoore is undoubtedly one of the most prolific 3-point shooters remaining in the field. -- Philippou

11. Jacy Sheldon, Ohio State

G | 5-foot-10 | senior | Previous: NR
2022-23 stats:
12.4 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 3.5 APG, 3.9 SPG

The Buckeyes might have had a good season without Sheldon, who missed 23 games, but they wouldn't be in the Sweet 16 without her. Having her back for the postseason has been vital. Sheldon has been able to take over at the point; she spearheads the disruptive Ohio State press and makes big plays. Her seven fourth-quarter points -- including the game-winning runner with 1.8 seconds left -- against North Carolina in the second round were crucial. That she has played 76 of a possible 80 minutes so far in the tournament -- coming off the leg injury that kept her out so long -- is a testament to her toughness. -- Creme

12. Hailey Van Lith, Louisville

G | 5-foot-7 | junior | Previous: NR
2022-23 stats:
19.5 PPG, 3.2 APG

Van Lith's stellar start to the NCAA tournament has Louisville eyeing a fifth-consecutive Elite Eight berth. She is averaging 23.5 points on 51.4% shooting, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals over the first two games, and her clutch shot-making was critical for the Cardinals to outlast a tough Drake squad. Louisville needs more contributors around her and must play outstanding on the defensive end should it wish to return to the Final Four for the second consecutive year. But there's no doubt Van Lith is the head of the snake; when she gets going, she and Louisville can be difficult to stop. -- Philippou

13. Zia Cooke, South Carolina​

G | 5-foot-9 | senior | Previous: 17
2022-23 stats:
15.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 2.0 APG

Cooke has a career-best 61 3-pointers this season, as she leads the No. 1 overall seed Gamecocks in that category and in scoring. South Carolina won its opening-round games by a combined 63 points, with Cooke getting 11 points and 21 points. She has been a consistent, steadying factor that South Carolina has been able to rely on all season. And in the Sweet 16 matchup against UCLA, she and her fellow guards will need to be their usual stifling selves on defense. -- Voepel

14. Monika Czinano, Iowa​

F/C | 6-foot-3 | senior | Previous: 19
2022-23 stats:
17.5 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 67.5% FG

We first think of Czinano's ultra-reliable offense in the paint, and it's been excellent: She made 19 of 28 shots in the early rounds for a combined 42 points. But against the size of Georgia inside during the Hawkeyes' second-round win, Czinano also had to come up big defensively. She had nine rebounds and two steals, with both of those coming in the final three minutes. -- Voepel

15. Azzi Fudd, UConn​

G | 5-foot-11 | sophomore | Previous: NR
2022-23 stats:
15.2 PPG, 2.0 APG

Fudd might not yet be at 100 percent, but Monday's 22-point outing versus Baylor was a huge step in that direction. After an inefficient first half, the sharpshooter exploded for 16 points in the third quarter (7-for-12 from the floor) to single-handedly outscore the Bears in that frame and help put the game away. She also logged 37 minutes, the most she has seen the court since her injury, and was aggressive in hunting her shot. With that second-round outburst behind them, coach Geno Auriemma & Co. have to feel good about the post-injury/rehab progress of their star and her ability to help the team win over the next two weeks. -- Philippou

16. Jordan Horston, Tennessee

G | 6-foot-2 | senior | Previous: 20
2022-23 stats:
15.5 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.5 SPG

Through so many ups and downs in Knoxville over the past few seasons, Horston has been a constant. She and Jackson have formed a 1-2 punch that has continued to evolve after the Lady Vols began the season 2-4. Her ballhandling skills, length and athleticism make Horston an equal threat to start a fast break or finish one. Her 21 points led the way for Tennessee in the first round against Saint Louis. The Lady Vols have trailed for a total of just 32 seconds in two games. -- Creme

17. Charisma Osborne, UCLA Bruins

Guard | 5-foot-9 | senior | Previous: NR
2022-23 stats:
15.9 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 2.9 APG

With both her offense and defense, Osborne single-handedly changed the way Oklahoma had to play in the Bruins' 82-73 second-round victory. She finished with 36 points, going 12-of-12 from the foul line. She also had eight rebounds and four assists. That followed her 11 points, 12 rebounds and five assists in the Bruins' opening win against Sacramento State. Facing South Carolina's guards next is a tall task, but Osborne is veteran up for the challenge. -- Voepel

18. Shyanne Sellers, Maryland​

G | 6-foot-2 | sophomore | Previous: NR
2022-23 stats:
13.8 PPG, 3.7 APG

Miller is Maryland's best player, but Sellers might be its most important. Take, for instance, what happened in the first half when Sellers checked out of the Terps' second-round game versus Arizona after picking up two fouls: The Wildcats outscored the Terps 25-15 in the second period. Once Sellers re-entered the game, she swung the momentum back in Maryland's favor, ultimately finishing with 15 points, five assists, five rebounds, two steals, two blocks and defense not encapsulated on the stat-sheet. She's only a sophomore but the Terps need her to be at her best on both ends to extend their tournament run. -- Philippou

19. Gabbie Marshall, Iowa​

G | 5-foot-9 | senior | Previous: NR
2022-23 stats:
6.0 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 38.2% 3FG

Marshall's season-long averages don't stand out, but her performance in March does. In Iowa's five games this month, in the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments, Marshall is averaging 11.8 points and has made 20 of 39 shots from behind the arc (51.3%). Marshall, also Iowa's best perimeter defender, picked the best time to get hot offensively. -- Voepel

20. Lou Lopez Sénéchal, UConn​

F | 6-foot-1 | senior | Previous: 18
2022-23 stats:
15.3 PPG, 1.6 APG

After tweaking something in UConn's first-round game, and with Fudd's big night the next outing, Lopez Sénéchal hasn't been asked to do a ton for the Huskies so far this tournament. But the more attention on Fudd, and even inside on Edwards, should help her become a go-to option if the Huskies are having trouble getting others going. Auriemma said Monday his team is best when everyone is playing well, not just a superstar like Fudd; Lopez Sénéchal is a big part of that effort. -- Philippou

21. Kamilla Cardoso, South Carolina​

C | 6-foot-7 | junior | Previous: 21
2022-23 stats:
9.7 PPG, 8.6 RPG

Cardoso similarly hasn't been tasked with playing huge minutes to start March Madness for the Gamecocks, who have massively shut down their first two opponents, particularly after the second half. She'll remain critical in South Carolina's dominance on the glass, in the paint and with their depth, especially as the competition gets tougher. Even then, teams will face the difficulty of matching her at 6-7, let alone coming in off the bench. -- Philippou

22. Sonia Citron, Notre Dame​

G | 6-foot-1 | sophomore | Previous: 23
2022-23 stats:
14.7 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.4 APG, 41.4% 3FG

With the injuries to Olivia Miles and Dara Mabrey, much has been asked of Citron. With just a little help from KK Bransford, Citron has had to take over at point guard and still be a primary scorer and shooter. Some of that responsibility seemed to take a toll with a 2-for-12 shooting performance against Mississippi State on Sunday. But great players find a way, and Citron did just that. She got to the free throw line 14 times, made 10, and willed the Irish to another Sweet 16. -- Creme

23. Jaylyn Sherrod, Colorado Buffaloes

G | 5-foot-7 | senior | Previous: NR
2022-23 stats:
11.3 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 4.9 APG, 2.4 SPG

No player in the tournament, perhaps no player in college basketball, is as fast with the ball in her hand than Sherrod. Her explosiveness from baseline to baseline creates a one-player fast break. Even a defense as good as Duke had trouble containing that speed. Sherrod was vital in Colorado's quick start against the Blue Devils, and then her composure was key in the overtime as the Buffs held on in Durham for their first Sweet 16 in 21 years. -- Creme

24. Angel Baker, Ole Miss Rebels

G | 5-foot-8 | senior | Previous: NR
2022-23 stats:
14.9 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.5 APG

Very few brackets had No. 8 seed Ole Miss upsetting three-time NCAA champion and No. 1 seed Stanford 54-49 in the second round, but Baker helped make it happen. She has had a big March Madness moment before, though. Baker spent her first three seasons at Wright State, and had 26 points and 12 rebounds in the Raiders' 2021 NCAA first-round upset of then-No. 4 seed Arkansas. Her 13 points Sunday led the offense in the Rebels' defensive stranglehold on Stanford. She will be a big key for Ole Miss to now try to beat another 2022 Final Four team, Louisville. -- Voepel

25. Cotie McMahon, Ohio State​

F | 6-foot-0 | freshman | Previous: NR
2022-23 stats:
14.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 2.4 APG

She's a fearless freshman, and the Buckeyes will need that kind of confidence vs. UConn in the Sweet 16. She led Ohio State with 18 points in the first-round comeback win against James Madison, and then had 14 points and nine rebounds as the Buckeyes edged North Carolina 71-69. Limiting turnovers and keeping her cool are important for this rising star against the Huskies. -- Voepel
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And over in the WNIT tournament:

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Bowling Green State University women's basketball player Elissa Brett was punched by Memphis's Jamirah Shutes in the handshake line following the Falcons' 73-60 win over the Tigers at a WNIT home game Thursday.
The incident has been turned over to the BGSU Police Department, the university said Thursday night.

I hope she is charged and arrested for that sucker punch, the Memphis player. That's assault, and deserves to be prosecuted by the County. It's on film with several eye witnesses.
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Jenna Johnson for Utah missed both free throws down 1 with 3 seconds left against LSU. Live now.



2 seconds left and now down 3.

Miami is a story this year.



Both advance to the Elite Eight.

Independent media expert Ed Desser estimated the annual broadcast rights for women's basketball would be worth between $81 million and $112 million in 2025.

The report points out that number is multiple times higher than the current deal, which pays $34 million annually for its championships package.

The NCAA is expected to make a decision by the fall, so it can then begin negotiations.

"It should happen," Staley said Friday, the day before her Gamecocks play UCLA in the Sweet 16. "We're at that place where we're in high demand. I do believe women's basketball can stand on its own and be a huge revenue-producing sport that could do, to a certain extent, what men's basketball has done for all those other sports, all those other Olympic sports and women's basketball.

"I do believe we were probably at a place years ago, but until we're able to have the decision-makers give us that opportunity ... It's slowly building up to that because there's proof in the numbers."

South Carolina's 64-49 win over UConn in the national championship game last year had 4.85 million viewers, the most-watched college basketball game on ESPN (men or women) since 2008. Overall, last year's tournament saw a 16% increase in viewers and the Final Four weekend was the most watched.

Earlier this year, 1.5 million viewers tuned to ESPN to watch South Carolina beat LSU, the most watched regular-season women's basketball game since 2010.

This year's national title game will be on ABC, the first time that has happened on network television since 1995.

In addition to wanting it's tournament to be negotiated as a separate rights package, Close is in favor of a unit distribution model similar to what the men receive for participation in the NCAA tournament. Close, who also serves as WBCA president, said other coaches she has talked to are in favor of this model as well.

"I think it needs to happen hand in hand," Close said. "It was one of the major parts of the Kaplan report a few years back. As a new media rights deal is worked on hopefully by the NCAA for a standalone deal with women's basketball in that space, I think there needs to be a meaningful unit distribution associated with that.

"I don't think any of us are asking for it to be just like the men. Obviously, they're ahead of us in that deal. But I do think it's the next right step."

I bet the Louisville game is now getting higher TV ratings.

TV ratings go up when teams have a "story," like star Caitlin Clark or superpower South Carolina.

Louisville is an elite team almost nobody knew about until now.




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High Ratings Alert


And anything South Carolina or UConn

I enjoyed the professional lip readers version of the HVL exchange. She’s not wrong they r making a big deal because it’s woman but the forgotten issue here is that sportsmanship issues are becoming worse in the woman’s game as well. I call it the “ Taurasi effect “ but with another playing punching an opponent in the hand shake line I hope the coaches get back to enforcing improved sportsmanship.

Diamond Miller and Shyanne Sellers with 18 points and 5 rebounds each as Maryland stomps Notre Dame in the second half to win 76-59. Imagine how good Maryland would be if Angel Reese didn't leave via the transfer portal to LSU.

Diamond Miller

Mayland next will fall to South Carolina unless SC has a slip.

Will UCLA again against SC play a strong game, tied in the 4th, and then flounder at the end again? (Sounds like the Gophers of past years). UCLA thinks they are ready to win.

Once plagued by fourth-quarter meltdowns, UCLA WBB started winning tight games to keep its season alive.



On to the Elite Eight.

It would be nice to see this in Minnesota. I mean in any sport. Most Minnesota sports have underperformed for awhile now.

A Sweet 16 appearance would be nice.

Checking out Ohio State versus UConn right now. Uconnn was getting some layups early on but now the buckeyes pressure is really getting to them. Aaannd now the UConn point guard just had some sort of non-contact injury.

Checking out Ohio State versus UConn right now. Uconnn was getting some layups early on but now the buckeyes pressure is really getting to them. Aaannd now the UConn point guard just had some sort of non-contact injury.

With the way Ohio State folded against Iowa in the B1G tournament, I'm shocked by this score.


On to the Elite Eight.

It would be nice to see this in Minnesota. I mean in any sport. Most Minnesota sports have underperformed for awhile now.

A Sweet 16 appearance would be nice.
MD fortunate to play ND without their star PG n leading 3 point shooter= about 1/2 their points n assists. ND overachieved to make the Sweet 16 n MD will lose to SC. I am enjoying the overall improved parity in the woman’s game but it’s hard to see anybody beating Staley n co.

Dominating defensive performance. 13 steals and 25 turnovers.

Coaching/systems/scheming can made a difference. I think Ohio State plays better than the talent this way. It's not shocking to imagine South Carolina losing to this.



In the Big Ten Tournament, Ohio State lost when they came out with a typical-team bland plan. Maybe they thought the press wouldn't work with Iowa. Now look at the difference with a clever defense game turned back on.

I am looking forward to what this new defensive-minded, systems Minnesota coach can do to make the Gophers better than their talent alone.

I wonder how much it factored into OSU's impressive intensity that Juhasz left the Buckeyes so she could play for a national championship?

Georgia Amoore for Virginia Tech has 15 points at the half, leading Tennessee by 13 at the half. She's from Australia. She earned several honors.

We are seeing a few of these Australian players making a difference in college basketball. I don't think Australia has a good AAU training network like USA. Instead the national youth teams and local basketball clubs with sometimes older women let the girls play and learn that way.


Elite 8 is set. 3 B1G teams are in.


Iowa is favored by 5.5 over Louisville.

LSU is favored by 10.5 points over Cinderella team Miami.

The other games do not have odds yet. I will guess South Carolina is favored by 10. Virginia Tech / Ohio State would be tough to project. I'll guess Virginia Tech is favored by Ohio State wins.

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This news below is a couple weeks old but relates to viewership being up for the NCAA women's basketball Tournament.


Not advocating that the Gophers absorb her energy but VT's Ashley Owusu seems like she'll be available. Again. She could not look less engaged as she rides the bench.

Not advocating that the Gophers absorb her energy but VT's Ashley Owusu seems like she'll be available. Again. She could not look less engaged as she rides the bench.

Sounds like a potential overlooked player. She transferred last season and not sure about this year.

Another overlooked player entering the transfer portal is North Carolina's 6' 3" Destiny Adams originally from New Jersey. She was the #20-something ranked 2022 prospect but is a role player coming off the bench. I'm guessing she went to North Carolina to be a star and not happy in a role player role.

I'm not sure about some of these coastal players wanting to come to Minnesota, especially if they originally eyed schools like UNC.


From this region:

Grace BergerIndiana
Leigha BrownMichigan
Caitlin ClarkIowa
Makira CookIllinois
Monika CzinanoIowa
Aaliyah EdwardsConnecticut
Mackenzie HolmesIndiana
Taylor MikesellOhio State
Diamond MillerMaryland
Aneesah MorrowDePaul
Lou Lopez SénéchalConnecticut
Madison SiegristVillanova


Aliyah Boston of South Carolina

Caitlin Clark of Iowa

Mackenzie Holmes of Indiana

Maddy Siegrist of Villanova


Elite 8 is set. 3 B1G teams are in.

View attachment 24793

Iowa is favored by 5.5 over Louisville.

LSU is favored by 10.5 points over Cinderella team Miami.

The other games do not have odds yet. I will guess South Carolina is favored by 10. Virginia Tech / Ohio State would be tough to project. I'll guess Virginia Tech is favored by Ohio State wins.


Maryland is a whopping 14.5 point underdog to South Carolina.

Ohio State is a 1.5 point underdog to Virginia Tech.

Maybe the only chance against South Carolina is the Ohio State disrupt defense somehow stumbling SC.


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