2022 Women’s NCAA Tournament – Reseeding the Elite Eight



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If you were to finish in your 2022 NCAA women’s tournament class, you could still be in pretty good shape. The No. 1 seeds each advanced to the Elite Eight. Reseeding at the top doesn’t need much adjustment, except to explain how impressive the Stanford Cardinals have been. The reigning National Champions took the No. 1 overall spot en route to the Sweet 16, and they remain at the top for the Regional Finals.

With a pair of No. 2 seeds ahead of the ride — the UConn Huskies and Texas Longhorns — a tournament that had racked up the most wins by double-digit seeds in the history of the women’s NCAA tournament has grown into a heavyweight march during the final two days before we reach Minneapolis.

No. 10 Creighton crashed the game as the first double-digit seed to reach the Elite Eight in five years. The Bluejays have surprised everyone outside of Omaha, Nebraska, and have given the Big East — the eighth-ranked conference in the country, according to the NET, behind both the West Coast Conference and the American — more teams in the Elite Eight (two) than the SEC, the Big Ten, the Big 12 or the Pac-12.

The Big 12 had four teams in the top four seeds. There’s nothing left. The Big Ten placed four teams in the Sweet 16, but only sent one to the Elite Eight.

Of course there are still four number 1 seeds alive, but this was a wild tournament. This is how we rank the field now that the regional finals have been set.

1. Stanford Cardinal
Original seed: No. 1
Elite Eight Seeds: No. 1 Overall
2022 NCAA Tournament Record: Defeated No. 16 Montana State 78-37; defeated Kansas 91-65; defeated Maryland 72-66

After the final six minutes of Friday’s game against Maryland, the Cardinal was the top team in the NCAA tournament and retains top spot. Maryland’s complete shutdown on Friday was another example that Stanford has multiple ways to win. This time it was a defense that held on to the seventh-highest scoring team in the country with 33.8% shots and won the rebound battle 50-32. Even better news for Stanford: Haley Jones had 17 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists after a total of 11 points in the first two wins. A potential cause for concern as the Cardinal prepares for Texas defensive intensity: At 21, Stanford made four turnovers and missed five free throws in the final 5:40 am on Friday as the Terps turned up the pressure.

Next one: vs. Texas (Sunday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN)

2. South Carolina Gamecocks
Original seed: No. 1. General
Elite Eight seed: No. 1

Tournament Record 2022: Defeated No. 16 Howard 79-21; defeated Miami 49-33; defeated North Carolina 69-61

Dawn Staley has said that the Gamecocks will win with their defense and rebounding. That assessment was on display in Friday’s win over North Carolina. Although much better than the 49-point second round against Miami, the offense still sputtered for pieces, especially in the second half. But 25 offensive rebounds that turned the Gamecocks into 27 second chance points wiped out the flaws. Aliyah Boston, who had 12 of those offensive rebounds (and 22 in all), scored 28 points on the day many National Player of the Year ballots were due. Despite South Carolina making an encouraging 7 out of 19 3-pointers, it might not have escaped the Sweet 16 without Boston’s dominance in the paint.

Next one: vs. Creighton (Sunday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN)

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NC State overcomes a late deficit to take home the win to advance to the second Elite Eight in program history.

3. NC State Wolfpack
Original seed: No. 1
Elite Eight seed: No. 1
Tournament Record 2022: Defeated No. 16 Longwood 96-68; defeated the state of Kansas 89-57; defeated Notre Dame 66-63

Raina Perez has probably played 100 better games than the one she had on Saturday. But she’s never had a more important 21 seconds. The steal from Notre Dame’s Dara Mabrey and subsequent layup gave the Wolfpack their first lead since the second quarter. When a Maddy Westbeld missed a three-pointer, Perez made the crucial defensive rebound from 5 feet 4. The two free throws that followed NC State’s first trip to the Elite Eight since 1998 left Perez just 2-of-9 from the field with seven points and two assists, but her late-game actions extended her own career and those of teammates Elissa Cunane, Kai Crutchfield and Kayla Jones. A second straight defeat in the Sweet 16 would have been devastating to this group of players who would otherwise have been so successful over the past three seasons.

Next one: vs. UConn (Monday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN)

4. Louisville Cardinals
Original seed: No. 1
Elite Eight seed: No. 1
Tournament Record 2022: Defeated No. 16 Albany 83-51; defeated Gonzaga 68-57; defeated Tennessee 76-64

Emily Engstler scored 20 points in the Cardinals’ regional win over Tennessee, which is the least valuable contribution she makes to Louisville’s success. The senior’s 2.6 steals per game and 1.8 blocks per game anchor a defense that is the sixth best in the country according to Her Hoops stats. Engstler delivers constant energy and is a relentless rebounder. On Saturday, Engstler grabbed 10 boards and blocked three shots, then joined forces with Olivia Cochran and Liz Dixon to nearly eliminate Lady Vols’ greatest strength: the frontcourt. Tennessee’s Alexus Dye and Tamari Key combined for just 12 points on 4-for-17 shooting. That’s why the Cardinals are in their fourth straight Elite Eight and remain firmly on the No. 1 line.

Next one: vs. TBD (Monday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN)

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UConn comes out of halftime with a blistering 16-0 run against Indiana.

5. UConn Huskies
Original seed: No. 2
Elite Eight Seed: No. 2
Tournament Record 2022: Defeated No. 15 Mercer 83-38; defeated UCF 52-47; defeated Indiana 75-58

The 16-0 run to kick off the third quarter against Indiana on Saturday was UConn old-fashioned: offensive execution, relentless offensive rebound, and teeming domestic defense. That 4:45 stretch ultimately decided the game, and given the level of competition, it was the best the Huskies have seen since Paige Bueckers’ return. The Hoosiers are an experienced team. They have been at this time before. But Indiana had no response to the UConn attack. For the remainder of the game, the Huskies’ scoring balance and the rebound from Olivia Nelson-Ododa and Aaliyah Edwards kept Indiana at bay. The two UConn posts combined for 24 rebounds, 10 of them on the offensive to keep numerous possessions alive. The Huskies’ shooting was a huge improvement from Monday’s 29% against UCF, but they still made only 5 of 20 three-pointers and missed six free throws. Those numbers aren’t vintage UConn.

Next one: vs. NC State (Monday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN)

6. Texas Longhorns
Original seed: No. 2
Elite Eight Seed: No. 2
Tournament Record 2022: Defeated No. 15 Fairfield 70-52; defeated Utah 78-56; defeated Ohio State 66-63

During the celebration after the Buckeyes win, Texas coach Vic Schaefer could hear Aaliyah Moore talk about how big her block was. He referred to the freshman denial of Taylor Thierry’s short jumper who could have given Ohio State a one-point lead with 18 seconds left on Friday. It wasn’t just big. It was crucial. Texas then prevented the Buckeyes from even getting a shot on their last possession. As has been the case all season, the defense has paved the way for the Longhorns and their second straight trip to the Elite Eight. Veterans headlined Texas last season, but a nine-player rotation, including three sophomores and two freshmen, is now leading the way. Two of the rookies, Moore and Rori Harmon, were introduced to the great college basketball in the second game of the season, an upset win over the same Stanford team they will play for a place in the Final Four.

Next one: vs. Stanford (Sunday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN)

7. Michigan Wolverines
Original seed: No. 3
Elite Eight Seed: No. 2
Tournament Record 2022: Defeated No. 14 American 74-39; defeated Villanova 64-49; defeated South Dakota 52-49

Michigan’s first trip to the Elite Eight was well deserved. Having to play South Dakota has proven difficult enough, but with the Coyotes’ fans showing up in their thousands at the INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas, the Sweet 16 matchup became a de facto road game for the Wolverines in one of the best atmospheres. in the tournament. And it was a brawl between two physical teams. Naz Hillmon became the first star player in the tournament to have any success against the South Dakota defense, and the Wolverines needed 17 points and 10 rebounds each. They also needed missed 3s from South Dakota’s Chloe Lamb and Kyah Watson in the final 19 seconds to survive what was one of the best matches of the past two weekends.

Next one: vs. Louisville (Monday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN)

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Monica McNutt explains what Creighton has to do to cause a shock against Aliyah Boston and top seeded South Carolina.

8. Creighton Blue Jays
Original seed: No. 10
Elite Eight Seed: No. 2
Tournament Record 2022: Defeated No. 7 Colorado 84-74; defeated Iowa 64-62; defeated the state of Iowa 76-68

Add the Bluejays to the long list of teams proving that season-end momentum is unrelated to NCAA tournament success. Creighton lost the last two games in Big East play and then had almost two weeks off. And now the Bluejays have defeated Colorado, Iowa and Iowa State. Coach Jim Flanery allowed his team to refocus on what it did best – sharing the ball, relying on each other and shooting three-pointers – fueling Creighton’s run to the Elite Eight, where it is the first double-digit series in the regional finals since 2017. With the Bluejays’ scattered attack and affinity for 3-point shooting — they rank third in the country in three-pointers made per game — it’s no secret what they’re going to do. The question is which player? is going to do it. Emma Ronsiek was the top scorer of the Bluejays in the regular competition (14.7 points per game). She scored two points in the Cyclones region. Morgan Maly comes off the bench and has led Creighton to score in two of the three tournament games.

Next one: vs. South Carolina (Sunday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN)

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