Women's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Greensboro Regional Overview

Women’s NCAA Tournament Greensboro Regional Overview

South Carolina is the number one seed in the Greensboro Regional and for good reason. They won the very tough Southeastern Conference. The Gamecocks program has been building to this moment where they are a number one that will not have to go very far from campus in order to get to the Final Four. The overall bracket has some intriguing matchups as Florida State or Arizona State would provide interesting tests for South Carolina if those teams were to meet in an Elite Eight.


#1 South Carolina, #2 Florida State, #3 Arizona State, #4 North Carolina, #5 Ohio State, #6 Texas A&M, #7 Florida Gulf Coast , #8 Syracuse, #9 Nebraska, #10 Oklahoma State,  #11 Arkansas-Little Rock ,#12 James Madison, #13 Liberty , #14 Ohio , #15 Alabama State, #16 Savannah State


Who Can Win?

South Carolina is the favorite and, outside of the Connecticut game, have been very consistent all season long. They will have something to prove after losing in the Sweet 16 last year in Palo Alto to North Carolina. Tiffany Mitchell and Aleighsa Welch have the talent and experience to put South Carolina on their back and get them to the Final Four this season. Florida State could give the Gamecocks a nice challenge in an Elite Eight game down in Greensboro as the inside presence of Adut Bulgak and her ability to dominate the boards will test Elem Ibiam and Alaina Coates greatly in that potential matchup.


Who Can Surprise?

Arizona State could surprise as a number three seed and find a way to get through to the Final Four. The Sun Devils have had signature moments this season, like winning in Maples Pavilion against Stanford, which is something that not even the Connecticut Huskies were able to pull off this season. They also have been very battle tested from playing in a much more competitive Pac-12 conference than in previous years. Florida Gulf Coast is another sleeper. They have not lost a basketball game since November 29th and, no matter what conference you play in, that is hard to do.


Who’s Hot?

Besides Florida Gulf Coast being on fire, the Ohio State Buckeyes are playing very well. They made it to the Big Ten conference tournament final and gave Maryland all they wanted in the championship game. The ability to score at will gives the Buckeyes an excellent shot to win in any game they play provided they bring the proper intensity at the defensive end of the court. Arkansas Little-Rock has won 12 of 13 heading into their matchup with Texas A&M and, with the way they defend, it is very possible that the Trojans could pull the upset over the Aggies and shake up this Greensboro Regional bracket.


Who’s Cold?

Nebraska is struggling down the stretch as they went 4-6 after the loss of their best player, Rachel Theriot. Theriot was averaging 16.5 points per game and was shooting over 40 percent from behind the three-point line. Theriot was also the point guard and anytime you lose your floor general, especially with the experience of Theriot, it is a big loss to overcome no matter what.


Upset Alert!

James Madison over Ohio State in the 5-12 matchup. The Dukes pulled the upset over Gonzaga a year ago down in College Station in the NCAA Tournament so they are comfortable as the underdog. They also matchup well with the Buckeyes as defense is not the strong suit for them at all. If James Madison can control Kelsey Mitchell, the nation’s leading scorer, and be efficient offensively they have a great opportunity to strike once again this year and pull an upset.


What Possible Matchup is Interesting?

A matchup between Florida Gulf Coast and Florida State would be intriguing in the second round in Tallahassee. The Eagles can play at just about any tempo and if they get hot from three-point range, they average just under ten made three-point shots per game, that will be a great equalizer for them. It would be up to the combination of Whitney Knight and Taylor Gradinjan to try to take over the game from behind the arc and force the Seminoles to account for them which would then open up driving lanes. Also, the in-state angle would add to the drama of a matchup between these two teams.


Which Player Will Dominate?

Kelsey Mitchell of Ohio State has been dominant all season long for Coach Kevin McGuff and the Buckeyes. McGuff’s up-tempo style of play is predicated on great guard play and Mitchell has lived up to that end of the bargain and then some this season. Mitchell is averaging 25 per game as a freshman and is averaging just under four made three-point field goals per contest.


Which System is Tough to Prepare For?

South Carolina is never easy to prepare for as they have a great mix of size, speed, and athleticism and depth with players like A’ja Wilson coming off the bench. This has led to great efficiency at the offensive end as the Gamecocks are shooting nearly 48 percent. And efficiency has been there defensively too with South Carolina outscoring their opponents by an average of almost 23 points per contest. North Carolina is also tricky to prepare as they are so guard oriented that valuing the basketball is critical when attacking the Tar Heel defense.


Women's NCAA Tournament Central