Women's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Albany Regional Overview

Women's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Albany Regional Overview

Connecticut is going to highlight any region they are in and, of course, they are in the Albany Region. The road to the Final Four is considered easy for the Huskies and massively difficult for everybody else in the region. There is just too much talent for Connecticut not to make it to Tampa Bay. However, teams like California, Kentucky and Louisville will hope to take advantage of their difficult conference schedules and recent tough games. Connecticut could potentially be caught off guard when the going gets tough in the Sweet Sixteen since they have only played one truly tough game this calendar year.


#1 Connecticut, #2 Kentucky, #3 Louisville, #4 California, #5 Texas, #6 South Florida, #7 Dayton, #8 Rutgers, #9 Seton Hall, #10 Iowa State, #11 LSU, #12 Western Kentucky, #13 Wichita State, #14 BYU, #15 Tennessee State, #16 St. Francis Brooklyn


Who Can Win?

Teams like Kentucky, Louisville, Cal and Texas cannot be happy that they ended up in the same region with Connecticut. The Huskies, the top overall #1 seed, are the team to beat in the entire tournament and the favorites to win yet another championship. But we do know Connecticut is beatable this year and everybody in this region hopes to pull off an upset. Kentucky has had to deal with injuries, but they do have a lot of talent and they are the team that has the best chance to pull of that upset if they can reach the Elite Eight.


Who Can Surprise?

South Florida and Iowa State stick out as a couple of teams that have the potential to win a couple of games. USF has a tough matchup against LSU in the first round, but the first two rounds are in Tampa Bay. That is a huge benefit to this team. They only lost twice at home all season long. If they can get past LSU, the home crowd will be ready to cheer the team on against Louisville. It is also worth noting that back on November 29th, South Florida lost by just four points to potential Sweet Sixteen opponent Kentucky at the Paradise Jam. And with a win there, USF could play familiar foe UConn, who beat them three times this year. Iowa State has been terribly inconsistent this year, but they are capable of beating just about anybody. Three games ago, back on February 28th, the Cyclones knocked off Baylor 76-61. They have also beaten Texas twice this year and are certainly capable of giving Kentucky an interesting game in Lexington…if they can get past Dayton.


Who’s Hot?

Seton Hall lost in the Big East championship game to DePaul, but before that they won six games in a row and have only lost five games all season long. The Big East may not have been too tough this year, but road trips to places like Villanova, Creighton, Butler and Xavier were certainly not easy. Wichita State absolutely dominated the MVC, going 17-1. They have only lost one game since losing 54-51 at Tennessee. Alex Harden and Jamillah Bonner are a dangerous duo who will look to continue their current 12 game winning streak.


Who’s Cold?

Rutgers has struggled lately after their extremely impressive start to the season. The Scarlet Knights have not beaten anybody except Indiana since February 17th. That is just two wins in their last five games. It is also worth noting BYU here. Prior to the West Coast Conference tournament, this team had lost four of their last five games. They beat Saint Mary’s, Gonzaga and San Francisco to earn the conference’s automatic bid, but it was not long ago when this team was reeling.


Upset Alert!

Western Kentucky could fit into the who’s hot category and they also fit here. The Lady Toppers have won a dozen games in a row and that includes one game against Middle Tennessee and Southern Miss and two against a 20 win Old Dominion squad. This is a high scoring offense that can knock down shots consistently thanks to the fine interior play of Alexis Govan and Chastity Gooch. Texas will be tough to get past, but they have a young team and not a whole lot of frontcourt depth. If WKU can get Kelsey Lang or Imani McGee-Stafford into foul trouble, the Lady Toppers have a great shot at pulling off a 12/5 upset.


What Possible Matchup is Interesting?

A potential rematch of the 2013 National Championship game between Louisville and Connecticut in the Elite Eight would be interesting. That was the year Louisville really turned into a national powerhouse and plenty of players on both teams remember that game. The Cardinals may be massive underdogs again, as anybody is against Connecticut, but the seniors on Louisville and Coach Jeff Walz will be ready to give it another shot. 


Which Players Will Dominate?

The easy answer is the Connecticut starting five. Moriah Jefferson, Kia Nurse, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck all average double digits in the scoring column. But it was not any of those players that led the AAC in scoring; it was South Florida’s Courtney Williams and her 20.2 points per game. The Bulls will go as far as she can carry them. This region also has some of the best scorers and players at the mid-major level. Most notable are Dayton teammates Andrea Hoover and Ally Malott and the BYU duo of Lexi Eaton and Morgan Bailey.


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