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  • Writer's pictureKate Stiger

Predicting NCAA Women's Basketball Conference Tournament Champions

The college basketball regular season has wrapped up which means it’s tournament time. Conference championships will be held around the country and will give teams one more test before the NCAA tournament. With a lot on the line for many teams heading into March Madness, these are the predictions for who will win each of the Power 5 conference tournaments. 

Tournament play will begin on Wednesday, March 6 for the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12, and SEC, and Thursday, March 7 for the Big 12.

ACC - Notre Dame

Even as the No. 4 seed in this tournament, Notre Dame will be looking to make a statement. With a win, they would likely secure the opportunity to host the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, which is huge to minimize travel and have home home-court advantage. The Fighting Irish are peaking at the right time having won their last 5 games of the regular season. Led by freshman superstar Hannah Hidalgo, winning the ACC tournament will give them a boost heading into March Madness. 

The team most likely that stands in their way is Virginia Tech. Assuming both teams win their first game, it will set up a semifinal matchup with a Hokies team that has high hopes of being a No.1 seed in the NCAA tournament. But Notre Dame beat Virginia Tech 71-58 recently on February 29, and Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech’s leading scorer, suffered a knee injury during their final regular season game and her status is still up in the air.

Big Ten - Ohio State 

The Big Ten championship college basketball fans are hoping for is Ohio State versus Iowa. The home team has won in both instances of this matchup this season, so at the neutral site of this tournament, Ohio State feels like the team that has what it takes to win. Led by Jacy Sheldon and Cotie McMahon, Ohio State won the regular season Big Ten title by playing well on both sides of the ball. Up until their final loss to Iowa, the Buckeyes won 15 games in a row and will be confident heading into the tournament. 

With the NCAA leading scorer Catlin Clark leading their team, Iowa will certainly have a competitive tournament. But their supporting cast will need to step up if they want a chance to beat the other top teams in the conference. With Molly Davis suffering a knee injury and scheduled to miss the Big Ten tournament, other players will need to fill her role. 

Big 12 - Texas

Texas is the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 tournament and one of the top teams in the country. Even though they recently suffered a loss to Oklahoma, head coach Vic Schaefer will look to rally his team and use that as fuel for redemption. Madison Booker leads the way for the Longhorns and is having an excellent freshman season alongside players like Taylor Jones and Rori Harmon. Texas has the ability to win the Big 12 tournament and go far come March. 

Oklahoma will look to challenge Texas for the title. They are the Big 12 regular season champions and will be using the momentum from their win over Texas to propel them into the tournament. 

Pac-12 - UCLA

The Pac-12 has been one of the most competitive conferences all season, with half of the conference going into this tournament ranked in the top 25. Any one of these teams could win this tournament, but UCLA feels is a well-rounded team that could take the trophy. With Lauren Betts dominating in the post and guards Charisma Osborne and Kiki Rice stretching the floor, the Bruins have scoring options at every position. 

UCLA will face some tough challenges in this tournament, and Stanford will likely be one of them. The Cardinal have dominated this tournament in the past and will certainly be looking to win one more before Pac-12 teams move to new conferences.

SEC - South Carolina

After going undefeated during the regular season, South Carolina is on a roll with no signs of slowing down. As the No.1 team in the country, the Gamecocks have beaten teams with their high-powered offense and stifling defense. With a brand new starting lineup from last season, players such as Kamilla Cordoso and Raven Johnson have stepped up big time, and transfer Te-Hina Paopao has this team playing great team basketball. 

It will be a shocking upset if South Carolina does not win the SEC tournament, but LSU will also be in contention. Led by Angel Reese, they pose the biggest threat to South Carolina but it will be a tough task.


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