Women's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Oklahoma City Regional Overview

Oklahoma City Regional Overview
Baylor is the top seed in the Oklahoma City Regional. The Bears won the regular season Big 12 title led by Alexis Jones and Nina Davis. Mississippi State and Washington, led by Kelsey Plum and Chantel Osahor are always going to be dangerous. Throw in Tennessee, Louisville and some tough lower seeded teams and you have the makings of a fiercely competitive bracket. Bottom line, this regional has the potential to be volatile if the teams at the top of this bracket are remotely off of their game on any given night.
Who Can Win?
Multiple teams are capable of winning the Oklahoma City Regional if they play at their maximum best and their superstars rise to the occasion. Baylor is able to go off offensively off for 80-90 points in a game and does an excellent job defensively when they are locked in for four quarters. Mississippi State is probably ecstatic that they get to avoid UConn in their bracket as a whole. Victoria Vivians leads a very deep attack for the Bulldogs that will be a tough out. Washington has the best scorer in the history of the sport in Kelsey Plum and a team with the experience of making it to the Final Four last year in Indianapolis. Louisville is a dangerous number four seed that is capable of upsetting Baylor if they can be efficient offensively and force teams out of their comfort zone.
Who Can Surprise?
DePaul is dynamic enough offensively to cause problems and has the ability to get to the Sweet 16. The Blue Demons are led by Brooke Schulte and Jessica January, who are averaging 31.6 points per game on the season. Schulte is also shooting 50.7 percent from the floor and will create some interesting matchup issues against Mississippi State in the second round. Dayton could step up and surprise as a number 12 seed as they are taking on a number five seed in Tennessee that has been wildly inconsistent and are coming off a loss in the SEC Tournament to Alabama.
Who’s Hot?
In spite of the loss in the Big 12 Tournament, Baylor has been playing very well as they annihilated Oklahoma on the road in Norman prior to the Big 12 Conference Tournament. Louisville has won seven of their last eight games heading into the NCAA Tournament, with their only loss occurring on a neutral floor in the ACC Tournament against Notre Dame. Asia Durr, Myisha Hines-Allen, and Mariya Moore are a very lethal trio that can put the Cardinals on their back on a given night and push them to victory.
Who’s Cold?
LSU has lost four of their last seven games as they get ready to take on California in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers have had some uneven performances with losses to teams like Vanderbilt and Georgia in that stretch run. It is going to be vital for LSU to get off to a great start early on against the Golden Bears and plant that seed of doubt in the minds of California right away.
Upset Alert!
Oklahoma needs to be on upset alert against Gonzaga in the first round. The game will be in Seattle and thus it will be a very pro Bulldog contingent in the stands. Also, the Sooners quite frankly aren't playing very good basketball after getting beat by Baylor and West Virginia in convincing fashion.
What Possible Matchup is Interesting?
Washington and Gonzaga would be fascinating to watch in the second round as it would more than likely guarantee a sellout in Seattle. The Bulldogs would not be intimidated by the Huskies as they have knocked off Stanford this season. Washington would also be looking to make a statement against Gonzaga as they would be looking to get the bad taste out of their mouths from the Oregon loss at Key Arena in the Pac-12 Tournament.
Which Player Will Dominate?
Kelsey Plum has been unstoppable at times this season for Washington as she is highly capable of scoring 40-50 points during any game while still getting her teammates involved at both ends of the court. So, even if teams try to triple team Plum, look for her to still find a way to have a very dominant impact on the game in the NCAA Tournament.
Which System is Tough to Prepare For?
Mississippi State is tough to prepare because they can beat you at just about any type of tempo. The Bulldogs have won games scoring well over 80 and 90 points, along with winning games in the 50’s and 60’s. The overall depth and athleticism is also an interesting challenge for teams to deal with when playing Mississippi State so attacking them like Tennessee did in late February is probably the best opportunity to win against the Bulldogs.