Women’s NCAA Tournament Norfolk Regional Overview

Notre Dame Women's College Basketball

Women’s NCAA Tournament Norfolk Regional Overview


There are four top teams in women’s basketball this year. In the Norfolk Region that dominating team is Notre Dame. The Irish have had an amazing season, yet there are plenty of talented teams in the Norfolk Region that can make things interesting for the Irish as we move forward on the road to New Orleans. This region has some interesting teams. Duke is obviously a national power and Texas A&M is on a roll right now. South Carolina has had a superb season and Colorado is back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004. Throw in a team like Nebraska who competed for a Big Ten title and a DePaul squad that is full of potential, and the competition is quite stiff in the Norfolk Region.


#1 Notre Dame, #2 Duke, #3 Texas A&M, #4 South Carolina, #5 Colorado, #6 Nebraska, #7 Oklahoma State, #8 Miami, #9 Iowa, #10 DePaul, #11 Chattanooga, #12 Kansas, #13 South Dakota State, #14 Wichita State, #15 Hampton, #16 Tennessee-Martin


Who Can Win?

The Irish are the obvious favorite. Heading into the NCAA Tournament with a 31-1 record is amazing for a team that played Connecticut three times. Notre Dame’s only loss came back in early December to Baylor. This is a deep and talented squad led by Skylar Diggins. She can will her team to the Final Four on her own, but she will get plenty of help from Jewell Loyd, Kayla McBride and Natalie Achonwa. But there will be challenges. Watch out for Texas A&M who is fresh off of an SEC Tournament title run.


Who Can Surprise?

Colorado has flown under the radar thanks to conference mates Stanford, Cal and UCLA, but this is a good Buffaloes team. The draw was relatively kind for Colorado. They will host the first two rounds and will take on Kansas and, likely, South Carolina. With Chucky Jeffery and Arielle Roberson leading the way, Coach Linda Lappe could take her team to the Sweet Sixteen.


Who’s Hot?

Not many teams are hotter than Chattanooga right now. The Mocs have not lost since January 7th. Sure the competition has not been all that tough in the Southern Conference, but that is still quite impressive. And this is a team that did beat Tennessee on opening day. Texas A&M does not have a long winning streak, but many wrote off the Aggies after they lost their final three regular season games. But the Aggies turned things around in the SEC Tournament and knocked off South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky in three straight days. If they keep that up, the Aggies are a legitimate Final Four threat.


Who’s Cold?

Oklahoma State has been up and down since the New Year. They started 12-0, but could never make a serious run in the Big 12…even for second place behind Baylor. The Cowgirls have lost four of their last seven contests and have only won two games in a row once since the middle of January. They will need two wins in a row if they hope to reach Norfolk, but that will be a tall order in Durham.


Upset Alert!

We go back to the Mocs for this one. Chattanooga plays solid defense and that could be trouble for Nebraska in the first round. The Cornhuskers are built around Lindsey Moore and Jordan Hooper and if the Mocs have any luck stopping those two, they could pull off the upset. Chattanooga also boasts a very experienced lineup and Coach Wes Moore will likely start five upperclassmen. This may not be a group deep on tournament experience, but they have played some big games and will be ready for Nebraska in College Station.


What Possible Matchup is Interesting?

Texas A&M has proven that they can beat anybody on any given day. If they can get past Duke, we should see a Notre Dame against Texas A&M matchup with a trip to New Orleans on the line. Those two met back on December 21st and the Irish came away with an 83-74 victory. But the Aggies have grown a lot since then throughout the brutal SEC slate and the handful of freshmen are now much, much more experienced. In the neutral site of Norfolk, the Aggies and the Irish have the makings of a classic.


Which Players Will Dominate?

The Irish are full of talent, most notably Skylar Diggins. The senior point guard leads the second best scoring offense in the nation. When she is not scoring, she is creating open looks for her teammates and is an absolute thrill to watch run Notre Dame’s offense. On the other side of the spectrum is Duke center Elizabeth Williams. She averages 15.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per contest. With Duke losing Chelsea Gray to an injury, they will have to rely on Williams to lead the way.


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Women's NCAA Tournament Central