NCAAW: May South Carolina, LSU meet for the nationwide championship?

March Insanity is right here! It’s time to fill out brackets, bursting with hope, solely to have them bust by the tip of the primary week of play.

Right here at Swish Enchantment, we’re sharing a few of our brackets, together with takes that vary from the measured to the delicate to the recent.

We kick issues off with Cat Ariail’s bracket breakdown:

Click here to see Cat’s bracket

The Tree falls within the first spherical?

Solely as soon as has a No. 1 seed misplaced a first-round sport within the NCAA ladies’s basketball event, with Stanford falling to Harvard in 1998. May the Cardinal repeat ignominious historical past, turning into the primary No. 2 seed to lose a first-round sport? (Final 12 months, Stanford, a No. 1 seed, grew to become solely the eighth No. 1 or No. 2 seed to lose earlier than the Candy Sixteen.)

This prediction just isn’t meant to select on Stanford; relatively, it’s about boosting Norfolk State. The common season and event champions from the MEAC are led by a scoring star with high-major cred, senior guard Diamond Johnson. A Large Ten All-Freshman honoree in her first collegiate season at Rutgers who transferred to NC State the place she gained ACC Sixth Participant of the Yr in 2021-22 earlier than incomes All-ACC recognition final season, Johnson has averaged higher than 20 factors per sport for 27-5 Spartans, thriving as a high-volume scorer from all three ranges of the ground. The MEAC Newcomer of the Yr and MEAC Match Most Excellent Participant additionally had fashioned a dynamic duo with MEAC Participant of the Yr Kierra Wheeler. The junior ahead is a near-automatic double-double, averaging 17.6 factors and 9.7 boards per sport.

Sure, Stanford has their very own dynamic duo of senior ahead Cameron Brink and junior ahead Kiki Iriafen. But when both encounters foul hassle, the Cardinal might discover themselves in a better sport than anticipated. And in clutch moments, Johnson has the potential to empty the dagger, gorgeous the Stanford devoted in Maples Pavilion.

If the Spartans pull off the inconceivable and spark a Cinderella run, they might even meet certainly one of Johnson’s former squads, NC State, within the Candy Sixteen.

Bueckers would be the tourney’s finest

Among the many stars anticipated to shine on this 12 months’s NCAA Match, UConn redshirt junior Paige Bueckers would be the brightest.

Bueckers’ good Big East Tournament—the place she was named MVP after scoring 27.7 factors per sport on higher than 50 % capturing from the sector whereas additionally averaging 8.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 4.0 blocks and three.0 steals per sport—was merely the appetizer for the principle course: carrying the depleted Huskies again to the Remaining 4. By the point the Huskies arrive in Cleveland, the prevailing query from the ladies’s hoops commentariat will probably be: Is Paige—not Caitlin, not Cameron, not anybody else—the most effective participant within the ladies’s faculty sport?

South Carolina vs. LSU III

One other South Carolina-LSU showdown? Yep, one other South Carolina-LSU showdown.

Whereas South Carolina will maintain NC State within the Remaining 4, LSU will survive a nationwide championship sport rematch with Iowa within the Elite Eight earlier than outlasting UConn within the Remaining 4, giving us a 3rd and last chapter of a burgeoning rivalry that has dripped with drama.

The regular-season contest was marred by LSU junior ahead Angel Reese fouling out, permitting South Carolina to flee Baton Rouge unscathed. Within the SEC Tournament championship sport, overflowing feelings resulted in an absurd variety of end-of-game absences and an oddly anti-climatic ending, with the Gamecocks once more victorious. Let’s hope spherical three brings extra heroics than histrionics, with a good, fully-loaded struggle that goes right down to wire.

However ultimately, the end result will stay the identical, with Daybreak Staley’s squad developing larger and higher within the sport’s closing moments to complete off an ideal season and seize this system’s third nationwide championship.