March Madness: Who to Watch
The greatest time of year in basketball has returned: March Madness. With the brackets set and games kicking off, it might be hard to choose what teams to watch and which players to keep an eye out for, whether it’s the top teams or the underdogs nothing is ever set in stone during March Madness.
#12 Florida Gulf Coast University
Only two teams in the NCAA tournament have 32 wins under their belt. It’s no surprise defending champions, South Carolina are one of these teams, but FGCU takes the second spot. FGCU is no stranger to upsets during NCAA tournaments, taking out a fifth-seed team last year. FGCU will face #5 Washington State who finished 7th in the PAC-12 division on Saturday, March 18.
The Wildcats have gone 28-6 in their regular season putting them at 2nd in the Big East conference. 6 '1 senior guard Maddy Siegrist has helped lead the team to success averaging 28.9 points per game, 9.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 51.8% on field goals. During the season, Siegrist broke Villanova’s single-game scoring record with 50 points against Seton Hall, along with those 50 points, she put 2 steals, 2 assists, and 10 rebounds on the board. All these accomplishments have led Siegrist to be named to the Associated Press All-American Team, making her the first in program history for Villanova.
#3 Notre Dame
While the rest of the Irish are feeling pretty lucky the Notre Dame team is feeling less than after losing Olivia Miles to a season-ending knee injury. The sophomore point guard who was named to The Associated Press Second Team All- American suffered a knee injury in the last regular season game which could potentially hurt the fighting Irish throughout the tournament. Although Notre Dame is missing Miles and Dana Mabrey due to season-ending injuries the Irish still have a chance to keep on fighting with Guard Sonia Citron on the court. Citron was named to the Associated Press All-American Honorable Mention list, she’s been averaging 14.7 points per game, 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 49.5% on field goals.
A big topic this March Madness go-around is how Iowa has been awarded the number 2 seed in the Seattle 4 Region after competitors Stanford took the loss in two of their last three games. Iowa has been dominating with guard Caitlin Clark on the court. Clark has averaged 27 points this season ranking her 3rd overall, 7.5 rebounds, 8.3 assists which puts her at 1st overall, and 46.9% for field goals. Clark has been awarded Big Ten Player of the Year two years in a row and named to The Associated Press All-American Team unanimously.
#1 South Carolina
The defending champions have been fighting for their repeat all season. The Gamecocks finished the season undefeated 32-0. Senior and captain Aliyah Boston has had another stellar season averaging 13.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 56.8% on field goals. Boston was unanimously named to The Associated Press All-American team for the third year, making her only one of ten players to be awarded this three times.