The first weekend of March Madness for women’s basketball begins this Friday. With 32 games happening over two days… what games should I watch? We answer that question by identifying the top games for each region.
Greenville Region #1
#8 USF (26-6) vs #9 Marquette (21-10) (3/17 11:30am ET)
Each team beat Texas by at least five points, lost to Villanova at least once, and has two wins against a Top 25 team this season. USF averages more points per game than Marquette, but Marquette holds opponents to fewer points per game than USF.
#4 UCLA (25-9) vs #13 Sacramento (25-7) (3/18 11:30pm ET)
UCLA has had their chance to prove themselves against Top 25 teams (4-6); however, Sacramento hasn’t matched up against any Top 25 opponents. This game will be a chance for them to prove themselves against a higher rated seed. The two teams are evenly matched when it comes to PPG and opponents’ PPG.
Greenville Region #2
#8 Oklahoma State (21-11) vs #9 Miami (19-12) (3/18 2:00pm ET)
Both teams have played Florida State – Oklahoma was victorious against them while Miami went 1-1. Miami allows fewer points per game, but Oklahoma State averages more points per game. Each team has five loses when matched up against a Top 25 opponent, but Miami has one more win against them than Oklahoma State.
#5 Washington State (23-10) vs #12 FGCU (32-3) (3/18 2:30pm ET)
FGCU averages more points per game, by almost 10, and gives up fewer points per game, by almost five points. Washington State has a better resume, haven played 11 Top 25 teams (6-5), while FGCU has only played one (0-1), though both teams lost to Standford by double digits – Washington State by 33 and FGCU by 24. This is a 5 vs 12 matchup that I wouldn’t be shocked if it resulted in an upset.
#7 NC State (20-11) vs #10 Princeton (23-5) (3/17 10:00pm ET)
Princeton gives up fewer points per game while NC State scores more points per game. Both teams have a losing record against Top 25 teams – NC State (3-6), Princeton (0-2) – and have lost to UConn. Princeton kept their loss to UConn closer, only losing by 5 points, compared to the 22 NC State lost by. This is a close 7 vs 10 matchup that could prove hard to predict.
Seattle Region #3
#8 USC (21-9) vs #9 S. Dakota State (28-5) (3/17 8:00pm ET)
USC has beat Washington State twice, while S. Dakota has lost to Washington State by 20 points. Each team has two wins against Top 25 teams. USC gives up fewer points per game while S. Dakota averages more points per game, by almost 15 more points! USC ended conference play 11-7 while S. Dakota State is undefeated in their conference this season (18-0).
The Trojans have arrived in Virginia! pic.twitter.com/l82farOAHJ
— USC Women's Basketball (@USCWBB) March 15, 2023
Seattle Region #4
#8 Ole Miss (23-8) vs #9 Gonzaga (28-4) (3/17 10:00pm ET)
Neither team has beaten South Carolina, LSU, or Tennessee. Gonzaga has a winning record against Top 25 teams (2-1) compared to Ole Miss (0-4). Ole Miss holds opponents to fewer points per game, but Gonzaga averages more points per game.
#6 Colorado (23-8) vs #11 Middle Tennessee (28-4) (3/18 7:00pm ET)
Middle Tennessee averages more points per game and holds their opponents to fewer points per game. Colorado has played more Top 25 teams (3-5) than Middle Tennessee (1-0), resulting in more wins against better opponents. Overall, these two teams are fairly matched and could result in a close, interesting game.
The Playbook is powered by Genius Sports, the exclusive distributor of Official NCAA Data. Our NCAA LiveStats solution is courtise throughout March Madness, capturing location and statistical data for every play in real-time.