Women's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Spokane Regional Overview

Women's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Spokane Regional Overview

Maryland comes in as the number one seed in the Spokane Regional and is on fire and playing excellent basketball. The Terrapins have an excellent opportunity to get back to the Final Four, despite being placed all the way out west in Spokane. Tennessee has an uphill battle to get back to the Final Four without center Isabelle Harrison and watch out for Oregon State, who will have the short trip over to Spokane if they get through this opening weekend. they are strong enough defensively to get to the Final Four.


#1 Maryland, #2 Tennessee, #3 Oregon State, #4 Duke, #5 Mississippi State, #6 George Washington, #7 Chattanooga , #8 Princeton, #9 Green Bay, #10 Pittsburgh,  #11 Gonzaga, #12 Tulane, #13 Albany, #14 , #15 Boise State, #16 New Mexico State


Who Can Win?

Maryland is the favorite but they won’t have it easy as they will likely have to deal with a 31-0 Princeton team in the second round at the XFINITY Center. The Terrapins have a great deal of balance as they can hurt you either from pushing the tenpo up into the 80’s or by locking you down defensively and winning a game in the 60’s. Oregon State can win because of a nice mix of inside and outside play with Ruth Hamblin in the post and the backcourt of Sydney Wiese and Jamie Weisner that could help neutralize Lexie Brown and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough on a neutral court. You can never count out Tennessee, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if they fell in the Sweet 16 or Elite Eight.


Who Can Surprise?

Mississippi State could get through to the Sweet 16. They are strong enough defensively that they could neutralize the thin backcourt of Duke in a second round matchup. Chattanooga is going to be dangerous and they will not be intimidated by playing Tennessee in Knoxville after beating the Lady Vols back in November back in Chattanooga. Gonzaga is always a wild card in the NCAA Tournament. They are balanced enough offensively to give teams problems in a one game scenario but they do have to get past George Washington first, which won’t be easy.


Who’s Hot?

Princeton is playing excellent basketball for a team that ran the table during the regular season. There also should be plenty of motivation for the Tigers since they will probably feel a bit under seeded as a number eight seed and will want a shot at Maryland to prove a point. George Washington is on fire as well, having won eight in a row as they rolled through the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament by winning all three games by double digit margins. The Colonials could pose a fun test for Oregon State in Corvallis if they can knock off Gonzaga.


Who’s Cold?

Duke comes into the NCAA Tournament having lost four of their last six games. For the Blue Devils a loss in the ACC Semifinals was an indirect blessing as they now will have had about two weeks to rest and try to get back on track in the NCAA Tournament. Bottom line, Duke is a very strong candidate to get eliminated in the second round by Mississippi State as the lack of depth in the backcourt is taking its toll.


Upset Alert!

Gonzaga over George Washington. The Bulldogs will have more of a home-court advantage by playing in Corvallis in comparison to a Colonials team that is traveling from the East Coast, which is never the easiest task to accomplish. The other possible upset is Green Bay over Princeton if the Tigers have an off day shooting the basketball.


What Possible Matchup is Interesting?

A possible second round matchup involving Gonzaga and Oregon State could be very interesting since that would create a pretty electric atmosphere at Gill Coliseum with a trip to the Sweet 16 at stake. Also, Princeton getting a shot at Maryland in the second round would be interesting too as the nation would get a truer picture of how the Tigers truly stack up against the elite of women’s college basketball. It would also be a great test for the Terrapins to see how disciplined they could play against a team like Princeton that would not be fearful of them.


Which Player Will Dominate?

If Lexie Brown of Maryland gets rolling from behind the three-point line, the Terrapins will roll through to the Final Four once again. There are very few teams that will be able to truly slow her down if she gets in a zone. Elizabeth Williams of Duke is another player that has the ability to dominate and completely change the complexion of how a team attacks the paint against the Blue Devils.


Which System is Tough to Prepare For?

Princeton as a whole is tough to prepare for as they can crush you with outside shooting and make you pay inside if you pressure the perimeter shooters. Tulane is a very patient team that will force Mississippi State to play very disciplined. Oregon State is another team defensively that, if you don’t get great guard play, won’t give away too many easy opportunities.


Women's NCAA Tournament Central