Women's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Spokane Regional Overview

Spokane Regional Overview
The Spokane Regional has a fun mix of teams and styles led by Notre Dame as the number one seed. The Fighting Irish have had their share of adversity this season as they have lost several key players to injury, but they have only lost three games this season to Connecticut and twice to Louisville. Arike Ogunbowale is a game changing type of player that can put Notre Dame on her back and carry them a long way. Oregon is the number two seed and has their own game changer in Sabrina Ionescu. These two teams could be on a collision course to meet in the Elite Eight.
Who Can Win?
Notre Dame, Oregon, and Ohio State have the best shot to get out of this Spokane Regional. The Fighting Irish have the postseason experience to hold up well in a potential Elite Eight defacto road game against the Ducks. Oregon has the experience of getting to the Elite Eight a year ago and that should help them in this new role as one of the favorites to go deep in the NCAA Tournament. If the Ducks can stay committed to playing relentless defense they are going to be dangerous. Ohio State is playing some of their best basketball of the season and will be looking to make it to the Final Four in their hometown of Columbus.
Who Can Surprise?
Central Michigan could sneak up and cause LSU some problem in the 6-11 matchup as the Chippewas have won 28 games this season enroute to winning the MAC Tournament championship. If Central Michigan can control tempo and get clutch performances from Presley Hudson knocking down three-point shots, then things will get very interesting in Columbus.
Who’s Hot?
DePaul is on fire right now as they were dominant in the Big East Tournament and are explosive enough offensively to go on a run. Ashton Millender is the top three-point shooter for the Blue Demons as she is knocking down 42.2 percent shots from behind the arc this season.
Who’s Cold?
LSU has lost two of their last three games as they dropped a couple of tough games against South Carolina and Texas A&M. The one win was a tough 79-78 nail biter against Alabama. It will be important for the Tigers to start fast against Central Michigan and not let the game go down to the wire.
Upset Alert!
Villanova is battled tested enough to be able to pull off a minor upset in the 8-9 matchup with South Dakota State. The Wildcats have impressive wins over Duke and DePaul and won’t be intimidated by the Jackrabbits on a neutral floor.
What Possible Matchup is Interesting?
Green Bay against Oregon in the second round would be interesting because of the fun contrast in styles between these two teams. The Phoenix are a tough defensive minded team that is not afraid to grind the tempo of the game down against a team like the Ducks. While Oregon can light up the scoreboard with anyone in the country on any given night and is a tough team to prepare for on the second half of a tournament weekend.
Which Player Will Dominate?
Sabrina Ionescu is a triple-double machine and should be able to have her way with Seattle in the opening round and set up an interesting second round matchup with Green Bay or Minnesota. Kelsey Mitchell and Arike Ogunbowale can go off for 35 points a game in this NCAA Tournament and, along with Ionescu, are going to be fun to watch.
Which System is Tough to Prepare For?
Ohio State is not easy to prepare as Kelsey Mitchell is a lethal offensive player and the Buckeyes are not afraid to let it loose and push the tempo of the game into the 90-point range on a nightly basis. So, if the Buckeyes and Ducks meet in the Sweet 16, look out. Both teams could each score over 80 against each other.