2022 March Madness: NCAA Women's Tournament Instant Reaction

Aliyah Boston, Victaria Saxton and the South Carolina Gamecocks are the heavy consensus favorites to win the 2022 NCAA women's basketball tournament.
Aliyah Boston, Victaria Saxton and the South Carolina Gamecocks are the heavy consensus favorites to win the 2022 NCAA women's basketball tournament. / Elsa/GettyImages

The 2022 NCAA Women's basketball tournament bracket is officially set.

As you get set to fill out your brackets and prepare for first round matchups to bet on, as well as the futures market, here's what you need to know before placing your bets and filling out your brackets for the women's tournament.

2022 NCAA Women's Tournament Matchups

Greensboro Region

  • No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 16 Howard/UIW
  • No. 2 Iowa vs. No. 15 Illinois State
  • No. 3. Iowa State vs. No. 14 Texas-Arlington
  • No. 4 Arizona vs. No. 13 UNLV
  • No. 5 North Carolina vs. No. 12 Stephen F. Austin
  • No. 6 Georgia vs. No. 11 Dayton/DePaul
  • No. 7 Colorado vs. No. 10 Creighton
  • No. 8 Miami (FL). vs. No. 9 USF


South Carolina is the class of the field, having come in as the top-seed to win it all at WynnBET Sportsbook at +175 odds from the moment they opened up NCAA basketball futures on the women's side.

I'll be rooting for chalk in the region to see Iowa's sharp-shooting Caitlin Clark (27.4 PPG) match up against Aliyah Boston, the likely Player of the Year in college basketball. The Gamecocks have the top overall net rating and defensive rating over at HerHoopStats, while also ranking sixth in offensive rating. Iowa, the most dominant offensive team in the country will fail to slow down the Gamecocks on defense, coming in ranking 108th in the field in defensive rating.

Too much South Carolina on both ends of the court to slow down.

PICK TO ADVANCE: South Carolina (1-seed)

Wichita Region

  • No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 16 Albany
  • No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 15 Hawaii
  • No. 3. Texas Tech vs. No. 14 Montana St. 
  • No. 4 Tennessee vs. No. 13 Buffalo
  • No. 5 Oregon vs. No. 12 Belmont
  • No. 6 BYU vs. No. 11 Villanova
  • No. 7 Mississippi vs. No. 10 South Dakota
  • No. 8 Nebraska. vs. No. 9 Gonzaga


The BYU Cougars are being completely overlooked here. They rank as the No. 9 overall team in the latest HerHoopStats Ratings and still find themselves as a 6-seed in the bracket. They're balanced on both sides of the ball, and can really light up the scoreboard on offense, ranking 2nd in all of college basketball in points per 100 possessions.

I expect them to match up against No. 1 seeded Louisville in the Elite Eight, which should make for a sensational matchup of two teams. The Cardinals have been through the ringer, playing a far tougher schedule than the Cougars, but it's all about matchups and BYU's overall metrics indicate they can hang around.

No. 6 seeds have only made it to the Final Four twice, going 2-7 in the history of the women's tournament, but I think BYU is set up to exceed expectations and upset Louisville.


Spokane Region

  • No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 16 Montana State
  • No. 2 Texas vs. No. 15 Fairfield
  • No. 3. LSU vs. No. 14 Jackson St. 
  • No. 4 Maryland vs. No. 13 Delaware
  • No. 5 Virginia Tech vs. No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast
  • No. 6 Ohio State vs. No. 11 Missouri State/FSU
  • No. 7 Utah vs. No. 10 Arkansas
  • No. 8 Kansas vs. No. 9 Georgia Tech


I like the Cardinal to move through this region fairly easily due to their terrific balance on both sides of the floor. Stanford ranks top 3 in net rating, top 5 in offensive rating, and top 2 behind only South Carolina in defensive rating.

Their biggest threat is likely No. 4 Maryland, led by Angel Reese who is a sensational do-it-all option for the Terps. Via HerHoopStats, she is only one of four major conference players to average 15+ points, 10+ rebounds, one steal and a block per game. They also return all of their best players from a season ago, but have dealt with notable injuries. If they return to form, that should be a hell of a Sweet 16 matchup.

PICK TO ADVANCE: Stanford (1-seed)

Bridgeport Region

  • No. 1 NC State vs. No. 16 LNG/MSM
  • No. 2 UConn vs. No. 15 Mercer
  • No. 3. Indiana vs. No. 14 Charlotte
  • No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 13 IUPUI
  • No. 5 Notre Dame vs. No. 12 UMass
  • No. 6 Kentucky vs. No. 11 Princeton
  • No. 7 UCF vs. No. 10 Florida
  • No. 8 Washington St. vs. No. 9 Kansas State


The Wolfpack have outscored opponents by 19.3 points per game and have been an absolute force all season.

Their 1-2 matchup against UConn in the Elite Eight will be fascinating as both teams match up so well against each other, and are as balanced as they come. NC State has a slight edge in net and offensive rating, while UConn has the upper hand in defensive rating and margin per game and per 100 possessions.

The Wes Moore vs. Geno Auriemma chess match should be a fascinating one, but I'll give the slight edge to Auriemma who can unlock the best out of Paige Bueckers and Christyn Williams together on the floor.

PICK TO ADVANCE: UConn (2-seed)

NCAA Women's Tournament Final Four Picks and National Champion

GREENSBORO REGION: South Carolina (1-seed)


SPOKANE REGION: Stanford (1-seed)


NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: South Carolina (1-seed) vs. Stanford (1-seed)


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