Women's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament Louisville Regional Overview

Women’s NCAA Tournament Louisville Regional Overview

After a couple of seasons where Tennessee wasn’t even among the elite teams in the country contending for a championship, order has been restored in Knoxville. Well, at least Tennessee is a No. 1 seed once again. So why was Louisville designated as a regional site? It has to do most likely with the fact Louisville tends to draw very well to the YUM! Center regardless if it is a men’s game or a women’s contest. This regional not only features Louisville and the Lady Vols, a West Virginia team that has flown under the radar in recent years is now at full visibility.

#1 Tennessee, #2 West Virginia, #3 Louisville, #4 Maryland, #5 Texas, #6 Iowa, #7 LSU, #8 St. John's, #9 USC, #10 Georgia Tech, #11 Marist, #12 Penn, #13 Army, #14 Idaho, #15 Albany, #16 Northwestern State


Who Can Win?
With the potent duo of Meighan Simmons and Isabelle Harrison, Tennessee is a team that could surprise some people, but it is not the deepest team in the country so the Volunteers may face some trouble if things don’t work out as planned. West Virginia, one of the top teams in the Big 12, has beaten Oklahoma State and Baylor this year and could be a team to watch as the tournament progresses. Even though Louisville was a third seed, this is a team that could sweep through to the Final Four. Shoni Schimmel and sister Jude Schimmel guided the Cardinals to 30 wins in a conference (American) that was not as good as the Big East a year ago.

Who Can Surprise?
Senior forward Alyssa Thomas has been called one of the best players in the country, and she’s certainly one of the best players in the Atlantic Coast Conference not at North Carolina or Duke. This means Maryland may have a fighting chance to at least reach the Sweet 16. Thomas averages a double-double of nearly 19 points and 11 rebounds a game, and that has helped the Terrapins to a strong ACC record and great in-season visibility. But will it translate to the postseason?

Who’s Hot?
West Virginia was one of the top men’s teams in the country in recent years, but the women really didn’t get a lot of press until now. With Bria Holmes and Asya Bussie leading the way, the Mountaineers are among the favorite teams to advance to at least the sweet 16, if not the round of eight. (More on a potentially good matchup later.) As previously mentioned, West Virginia has beaten Oklahoma State and Baylor this season and could be a surprise team to watch as a No. 2 seed.

Who’s Cold?
Despite the fact LSU has three potent scorers in Theresa Plaisance, Jeanne Kelley and Raigyne Moncrief, LSU might be in trouble in this regional. The Tigers enter the tournament having gone 7-9 in SEC play and 19-12 overall. So why are they a potential problem? The Tigers have three losses in recent games against Georgia, Arkansas and Alabama, and the last thing a team wants to have happen is to go into the postseason tournament on a cold streak. This might be a team to take an early stumble.

Upset Alert!
With this in mind, look for the 7-10 matchup with LSU and Georgia Tech to result in a mild upset for the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech boasts two of the ACC’s more impressive scorers in Tyaunna Marshall and Kaela Davis, who have averaged close to 40 points a game for Georgia Tech. With good wins over North Carolina and Florida State, two NCAA qualifiers, the Yellow Jackets are positioned for a first-round upset.

What Possible Matchup is Interesting?
Two games stand out as potentially great contests. Assuming Georgia Tech upsets LSU, the Georgia Tech-West Virginia contest could be interesting. A more likely matchup may come in the round of 16 when Louisville takes on West Virginia. With the Schimmel sisters going up against Bria Holmes and Asya Bussie, two strong scorers on both teams could spell a potentially strong game. Assuming this game takes place, this is Louisville’s biggest risk early in the tournament.

Which Players Will Dominate?
Simmons and Harrison are solid for Tennessee, as are Holmes and Bussie in West Virginia, Marshall and Davis for Georgia Tech, and the LSU trio isn’t bad either. This means a lively region that could produce its share of upsets or really good games.


Louisville Region 1st Round Game Breakdowns


Tournament Central