The field of 64 teams for the women’s NCAA tournament was finalized on Monday, and the first round will kick off on Sunday, March 21. Unlike years past, all games will be played in San Antonio. The NCAA decided to move forward with a tournament bubble due to the ongoing pandemic.
This year, the women’s bracket has a new look with updated region names. Rather than the typical North, South, East, and West regions, the NCAA has updated the names to Alamo, Riverwalk, Hemisfair, and Mercado.
Stanford was named the overall No. 1, and they lead the Alamo Region. They have the potential to face both Arkansas and Louisville on their way to the Final Four. Arkansas is led by senior Chelsea Dungee, a high-powered scorer that could lead her team to a few upsets if set off. While Louisville seems more well-rounded and could be a tough-but-even matchup for the Cardinal in the Elite Eight.
South Carolina leads this region and seeks to claim the title they could not last year due to the global health crisis and the NCAA shutting down the season. Though a sixth seed, Texas proves to be a potential threat to the gamecocks, making it to the Final Four. The Longhorns have a high ceiling and the projected WNBA No. 1 draft pick Charli Collier.
UConn, lead by freshman Paige Bueckers, leads the Riverwalk region with the Baylor Bears, a two seed, as their biggest competition. With that said, Iowa and Michigan have the chance of pulling upsets that could shake up the region in an exciting way.
The Mercado region is lead by ACC champions, NC State. They are arguably the most balanced team of all the teams in the tournament. While the road to the Final Four looks relatively straight for NC State, keep an eye on Texas A&M and Arizona. They have a chance of battling in the Sweet Sixteen and potentially face NC State in the Elite Eight. On the other hand, Rutgers could be the team to pull off an upset.
Fill out your printable bracket for the 2021 women’s NCAA tournament now
While the competition seems well balanced across the whole bracket, things never truly go as planned during March Madness. Fill out your printable bracket and predict the upsets, who will win each region, and ultimately, which team will be named 2021 NCAA champions.