March 13, 2023
Locked On Women’s Basketball: Breaking down the field of 68 – March Madness is here!
Missy Heidrick recaps who made the cut and who missed it plus, games to watch.
The 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament field is set and the bracket is out. National college basketball analyst Missy Heidrick looks at the overall bracket on this special March Madness episode of the Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. She reviewed the last four in and the first four out, plus identified early games to keep an eye on and broke down the play-in games. The action starts March 15th – get your pencils and brackets ready – it’s time to get to work.
She started with the No. 1 seeds which include South Carolina, Indiana, Virginia Tech and Stanford. While the Hokies may have been a surprise pick to some, Heidrick said their assignment as the top seed in Seattle Regional 3 makes total sense.
“I think Virginia Tech 100 percent deserves that number one seed,” Heidrick said. “I like this team that they have, the balance that they were able to show in the ACC tournament. It is just quiet, very workman-like. It’s not going to be splashy. But that’s the thing about trying to beat Virginia Tech, you are going to have to be really, really good night in and night out. And when they’ve got the ACC Player of the Year in Elizabeth Kitley. And then you’ve got a player like Georgia Amoore, or who runs the point for Kenny Brooks. I really liked this Virginia Tech Squad.”
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Then, Heidrick took a closer look at the first four in and first four out, referencing her conversation from earlier this season with Lisa Peterson, who is Chair of the NCAA DI Women’s Basketball Committee. On that episode, she explained the committee’s unique approach to selecting teams through a combination of factors.
“The NET is obviously something that teams have to look at it is about efficiency and it really does dictate and show how teams play,” Heidrick said. “There are also other criteria that have been used. We know they look at the last 10 games, how teams are trending as they move forward. Do they have an availability of talent? That is something that has come up whether it was head-to-head outcomes or your conference strength of schedule. Significant wins, and significant losses, all things that are taken into account as this committee looks at where not only the teams that are selected into the tournament, but also where teams are placed on their seed lines.”
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Heidrick then turned her attention again to the Seattle Regional 3 bracket where UConn, Ohio State, Tennessee and Iowa State are seeded behind the Hokies as the most surprising development as we enter March Madness.
“One that really was interesting for me, number one, was Tennessee coming in as a No. 4 seed. Well, part of that comes from the fact that the only team in Tennessee is lost to over the course of the last few weeks has been South Carolina both in the regular season and in the SEC tournament. That bode well for the Lady Vols to be able to garner that No. 4 seed, be in that top 16, and be able to host in Knoxville.”
She continued: “What was a surprise was Iowa State even though they did win the Big 12 postseason tournament yesterday. On Sunday. They did not move up. We know what type of crowds they draw and Hilton Coliseum and in Ames Iowa could they have just enough juice with that wind to get them over the hunt by beating Texas. It didn’t happen. The Cyclones stay at that No. 5 line and they will play Toledo.”
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