If you’ve gone anywhere near ESPN in the past couple weeks, you’ve seen what this year’s NCAA women’s basketball tournament has to live up to: Arike Ogunbowale’s two consecutive buzzer beaters to bring Notre Dame the national championship, the truly mad conclusion to 2018’s big dance.
In their place, six other deep and talented teams have been battling all season long with an offensive (frequent 90-point-plus games) and defensive intensity that’s been thrilling to watch — and should only escalate going into the tournament.
Mississippi State The Bulldogs have been a little bit outside of the spotlight this year after dominating an uncharacteristically weak SEC over the course of the regular season and conference tournament — but after two tantalizingly close misses in a row at an NCAA title, they’re more ready than ever to make a deep run in the tournament.
Oregon After getting the program’s first-ever No. 1-overall ranking, the Ducks hit a rough patch late in the season and lost the Pac-12 title in a stunner to Stanford, resulting in a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament.
She had 47 points against a top-25 team in the last game of the regular season, and if that version of Durr shows up to the tournament, there’s no telling how far Louisville can go.