Women's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Lexington Regional Overview

Lexington Regional Overview
Louisville earned their first ever #1 seed by going 32-2 on the year. However, they are in a region with plenty of traditional powers. Baylor, Tennessee and Stanford are all programs that are no strangers to the Final Four. It will be a tough road for any team to get through the Lexington Regional.
Who Can Win?
Louisville is the favorite, but they will be seriously tested in this region. And those tests could come pretty early. Should Louisville stumble, Baylor, Tennessee and Stanford will be ready to pounce. The Bears went 31-1 in the regular season, the Lady Vols have some big wins this season and the Cardinal have plenty of talent.
Who Can Surprise?
Oregon State has had a bit of a disappointing season, but they are tough team to play in the NCAA Tournament. They are good on the glass and play superb defense. That can frustrate any team in the field. The Beavers will need to continue to shoot well from long range to help create space for Marie Gulich in the paint, and vice versa, but that has not been a problem much at all this season.
Who’s Hot?
Baylor lost at UCLA back on November 18th. They have not lost since. And in that stretch they beat teams like Stanford, Oklahoma twice and Texas three times. They have not played the toughest schedule, at least compared to some teams in the ACC and SEC, but this is a very, very good two seed even without recently injured Kristy Wallace.
Upset Alert!
By Stanford’s standards losing ten games is not a good year. The Cardinal have some quality wins, but they also have some tough losses. But with Brittany McPhee leading the way, Stanford should be able to at least get past Gonzaga. The Bulldogs will not make it a simple task though. Junior forward Jill Barta has played in big games. With a decent defense and an offense that does not turn the ball over too often, Gonzaga can stay close enough to give Barta the opportunity to lead her team to victory.
What Possible Matchup is Interesting?
This region is full of big games. Stanford or Missouri will start Louisville’s tough string of games in the Sweet Sixteen and beyond. Whoever Louisville plays from that point on will be a very, very tough game. The potential Oregon State and Tennessee game should be interesting as well. Whoever wins that contest will head to Lexington with high hopes of beating a Baylor team without Kristy Wallace.
Which Player Will Dominate?
This region is loaded with superstars…from JaVonna Layfield at Dayton and Katelynn Flaherty at Michigan to Brittany McPhee at Stanford and Kalani Brown at Baylor and Sophie Cunningham at Missouri. Just about every team in this region relies heavily on a key player or two. Those players will have to carry their teams.