All statistics, standings, and information are current and accurate as of March 8, 2022.
Women’s D-1 basketball has been battling for a conference tournament win since last week. With 22 conference tournaments still in progress and no champion yet decided for them, some have already punched their tickets to March Madness. There are 10 conferences who have concluded their tournament play and have announced their winners, guaranteeing themselves a spot. One thing’s for certain, there will be plenty of drama across this week.
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessWBB) March 8, 2022
Tickets Already Punched
The Ohio Valley Conference was the first to announce their conference champion. The Belmont Bruins (22-7) beat the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (20-10) by 22 points. Belmont ended the regular season as the #1 team in the OVC with a conference record of 16-2. The Bruins enter their 7th NCAA tournament behind their leading scorer, Destinee Wells, who averages 16.6 PPG.
In the Southern Conference, the Mercer Bears (23-6) beat the Furman Paladins (19-12) by 19 points. Mercer ended regular season play top of their conference with an in-conference record of 13-1. The Bears enter their 4th NCAA tournament behind their leading scorer, Amoria Neal-Tysor, who averages 17.0 PPG.
In the Atlantic Coast Conference, the North Carolina State Wolfpack (29-3) beat the Miami Hurricanes (20-12) to win the conference championship by 13. NC State ended the regular season at the top of the ACC with a 17-1 record; however, their matchup against Miami might have been unexpected as they were ranked 8th in the ACC with a 10-8 record. The Wolfpack enters their 27th NCAA tournament behind their leading scorer, Elissa Cunane, who averages 13.8 PPG. The ACC is still expected to send 8 teams into the tournament, with six top-25 ranked teams, and Miami may have just strengthened their case to take one of the last two remaining spots given they made it to the championship game.
UMASS Minutewomen (26-6) became Atlantic 10 Conference champions after beating the Dayton Flyers by 8 points. The Minutewomen enter their 3rd NCAA tournament behind their leading scorer, Sam Breen, who average 16.9 PPG. This outcome came as a surprise and upset since Dayton ended the season as #1 in the A-10 with a 14-1 record compared to UMass’ 11-4 conference record. With this win, the A-10 is now expected to send two teams to March Madness instead of one, meaning the Minutewomen became bid-stealers. It appears the additional A-10 team will be at the expense of a Big 10 team (See Big 10 section below for more detail).
UMass A10 CHAMPS!
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessWBB) March 6, 2022
The Southeastern Conference or SEC featured a shocking upset. The SEC has the number one team in the country, the South Carolina Gamecocks (29-2). Although they played in the championship game, the Gamecocks were upset by a three-pointer in the final seconds, which put the Kentucky Wildcats (19-11) ahead by 2. Kentucky ended the regular season at 7th in the SEC with an 8-8 conference record, whereas South Carolina was 1st with a 15-1 record. The Wildcats enter their 17th NCAA tournament behind leading scorer, Rhyne Howard, who averages 20.6 PPG. Despite this upset, South Carolina will find themselves playing in March Madness and the SEC still expects to send an additional 7 teams to join South Carolina and Kentucky. Four teams in the SEC are ranked in the top 25, excluding South Carolina, and are expected to take the remaining 7 spots.
— Kentucky WBB (@KentuckyWBB) March 7, 2022
The Big 10 Conference announced that the Iowa Hawkeyes (23-7) beat the Indiana Hoosiers (22-8) to win the conference champion by 7 points. Although the Ohio State Buckeyes were considered #1 in the BIG10, Iowa had the same in-conference record as them at 14-4 whereas Indiana had a 11-5 record. The Hawkeyes enter their 28th NCAA tournament behind their leading scorer, Caitlin Clark, who averages 27.4 PPG. Given how conference tournament play has turned out, the BIG10 is no longer expected to send 7 teams, but 6, with the extra spot given to the A-10 conference. Ohio State, Iowa, and Indiana were all ranked in the top 25 and all three are expected, if not guaranteed, to make it to March Madness. The BIG10 has two more teams in the top 25, who are likely to claim 2 of the 3 remaining spots.
The Pacific-12 Conference crown went to the Standford Cardinals (27-3) after beating the Utah Utes (20-11) by 25 points. Stanford ended the regular season undefeated in Pac-12 play (16-0) and in first place in the conference, whereas Utah had a conference record of 8-7 and ended the season in 6th place. The Cardinals enter their 35th NCAA tournament behind leading scorer, Cameron Brink, who averages 13.6 PPG. Standford is expected to be joined by 5 more teams from the Pac-12, likely including Arizona who was ranked in the top 25. By making it into the championship game, Utah has strengthened their resume as they try to claim one of the remaining four spots.
The Big South Conference will be represented by the Longwood Lancers (21-11) after they beat the Campbell Camels (23-7) by 39 points. The Lancers’ punched their ticket after a 9-game winning streak and unfortunately for the Camels, they are also on a streak, by losing the conference tournament championship for the third straight year. With this win, both Campbell and Longwood ended the season with a 15-3 record, although Campbell was #1 going into the tournament. The Lancers enter their first NCAA tournament behind their leading scorer, Kyla McMakin, who averages 18.1 PPG. Longwood is expected to be the only team from this conference participating in March Madness this year.
The Sun Belt Conference just announced on Monday (3/7) that their conference tournament winner was the UT Arlington (UTA) Mavericks (19-7) after beating the Troy Trojans (24-7) by 15 Points. With this loss, Troy’s 10 game winning streak ended, and they were first in the regular season conference standings with a 13-2 record, although UTA was right behind them at #2 in the conference with an 11-4 record. The Mavericks enter just their 3rd NCAA tournament behind their leading scorer, Starr Jacobs, who averages 21.1 PPG. UTA is expected to be the only team from this conference participating in March Madness this year.
— UTA Lady Mavs (@UTAMavsWBB) March 7, 2022
Late last night, the (#7) University of Connecticut Huskies (25-5) beat the Villanova Wildcats (23-8) by 30 points to win the Big East Conference. The Big East’s regular season standings saw UConn at #1 with a 16-1 record and Villanova at #2 with a 15-4 record. The Huskies enter their 33rd straight NCAA tournament behind their leading scorer, Paige Bueckers, who averages 14.3 PPG and has only returned to the court about two weeks after a surgery-requiring knee injury kept her sidelined since early December. Although the Big East is expected to send two teams to March Madness; the second team is still undetermined. Villanova made it to the conference championship game and ended the regular season at #2 in the conference, but they are currently listed as one of the First Four Out. For now, the Wildcats must wait until Selection Sunday to know if their season is done or not.
Tickets Still To-Be Punched
There are six days remaining before the official bracket for Women’s March Madness is announced and at least one conference will be hosting their championship game each of those days.
Tuesday, March 8th
The first ticket to get punched on Tuesday (3/8) will be for the Horizon League. The Horizon League will see a matchup between the Cleveland State Vikings (19-7), ranked 4th in the conference, and the IUPUI Jaguars (23-4), ranked 1st in the conference, at 12 PM (noon) EST. The next ticket to be punched will follow this game at 2 PM EST. The Summit League will see a matchup between the two teams tied for first place in the conference, the South Dakota Coyotes (26-5) and the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. The last ticket of the day to be punched will be for the West Coast Conference (WCC). Starting at 4 PM EST, the WCC will see a matchup between the Gonzaga Bulldogs (25-6), ranked 2nd in the conference, and the (#17) BYU Cougars (26-2), ranked 1st in the conference.
— Horizon League (@HorizonLeague) March 8, 2022
Wednesday, March 9th
The Mountain West Conference
Thursday, March 10th
The American Athletic Conference
Friday, March 11th
The Big Sky Conference
The America East Conference
Saturday, March 12th
The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
The Mid-American Conference
The Southwestern Athletic Conference
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
The Ivy League
The Western Athletic Conference
The Big West Conference
Sunday, March 13th
The Northeast Conference
The Colonial Athletic Association
The Big 12 Conference
The Missouri Valley Conference
The Southland Conference
The ASUN Conference
The Patriot League
The Last Four Byes list has two teams whose conference tournament has concluded. Those two teams are the Arkansas Razorbacks (18-13) of the SEC and the Washington State Cougars (19-10) of the Pac-12. The two teams in the Last Four Byes whose conference tournaments are still active are the South Dakota Coyotes (25-5) of the Summit League and the Gonzaga Bulldogs (24-6) of the WCC. Both teams play in their respective conference championship game on Tuesday (3/8) at 2 PM and 4 PM (EST) respectively.
The Last Four In list also has teams whose conference tournament has concluded. Those three teams are the Missouri Tigers (18-12) of the SEC, the Florida State Seminoles (17-13) of the ACC, and the Dayton Flyers (25-5) of the A-10 who lost in their conference championship matchup. The remaining team in the Last Four In who’s conference tournament is still active is the Missouri State Lady Bears (23-6) of the MVC which has one of the last conference championship games (3/13).
The First Four Out and Next Four Out are all teams whose conference tournament has concluded. The Northwestern Wildcats (17-12) of the BIG10 and the UCLA Bruins (14-12) of the Pac-12 each find themselves on the First Four Out list. The Alabama Crimson Tide (17-13) is the only team from the SEC to find themselves on either of theses lists, although, they are on the Next Four Out instead of First Four Out. The ACC sees two teams on these lists, the Boston College Eagles (19-11) and the Duke Blue Devils (17-13). The Eagles find themselves on the First Four Out, whereas the Blue Devils find themselves on the Next Four Out. The conference keeping a very close eye on these lists is the Big East. Prior to the conclusion of the Monday night championship game, three teams find themselves on these lists. The Villanova Wildcats (23-7), despite playing in the championship game, are on the First Four Out while the DePaul Blue Demons (22-10) and the Marquette Golden Eagles (21-10) are on the Next Four Out.