Spotlight on NCAA Women’s Basketball

Anticipation for March Madness heightens as collegiate-level women’s basketball turns up the heat with veteran key players, intense rivalry games, and comeback programs. 

By Charlie Forrester 

The NCAA has taken off in regard to all sports, as viewership, news coverage, and attendance continues to grow in comparison to its professional league counterparts. Some could say the collegiate level of sports has gained a larger following due to the fact that loyal fan bases have an array of sports to support. The incredible talent from young, fresh faces as well as authentic grit without the politics and monetary motives of the big leagues is key to sports fans. 

In women’s basketball, this has been just the case. So far this season, games have become even more competitive and entertaining as the pool of talented young women in the game expands. Right now the top five teams in the AP Polls include South Carolina, Ohio State, Stanford, LSU, and Connecticut. Other teams to keep an eye on this season include the Tennessee Vols, the Indiana Hoosiers, and the Ole Miss Rebels. 

The Vols put up a fight against UConn’s sharpshooters in a tough loss on Thursday (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

South Carolina remains undefeated and holds their number one position in the polls. The team is coached by Dawn Staley, an American Hall of Famer and three-time Olympic gold medalist. Their talented squad includes senior Aliyah Boston. Boston is not only the biggest talent to return to the Gamecocks this season but possibly to the NCAA as a whole. She has been named the best returning player in the NCAA this year, a title she clearly deserves judging by the number of double-doubles she’s been putting up lately. 

After enduring a 15-year-long drought without a championship banner, the Tennessee Vols have made a name for themselves this year as they hope to secure a seed in March. In recent news, the Tennessee Vols (16-7) fell 64-87 in a Thursday night matchup against their longtime rivals, the No 5. Connecticut Huskies (18-2). Coach Kelly Harper of Tennessee has been proving her team’s strength thus far and stated she was “proud of their fight,” in a post-game interview with 247Sports Tennessee. The intense game and packed stands generated a high-energy atmosphere in the Vols home arena. 

Despite Connecticut missing key player Paige “Buckets” Bueckers on the court this season due to a season-ending ACL injury, they haven’t let up on their momentum from last year’s championship appearance. As games continue to roll on, anticipation for March Madness heightens. Not much has changed from last year’s championship matchup as the top-seeded teams will most likely include the Carolina Gamecocks and UConn’s Huskies, yet again. 

Tune into to catch the latest news, upcoming games, and key players as the NCAA Women’s Basketball season ramps up.

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