Women's Bracketology: 2023 NCAA tournament

The women's NCAA tournament will undergo significant change for the second consecutive season. The field expanded to 68 teams last year. This season, the customary four regional sites have been reduced to two: Seattle and Greenville, South Carolina. The top 16 teams will continue to host the first and second rounds, and the First Four games will again be played at the site of the first-round games to which they feed. Defending champion South Carolina is the heavy favorite, and the Gamecocks seek to become the first repeat champions since UConn in 2015-16. The Final Four is March 31 and April 2 at American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Bracket Watch

Columbia grabbing sole possession of first place from Penn means the Ivy League is now a one-bid league. Since the Lions already were in as at-large, it opens another spot for a bubble team, and it goes to Georgia in this update. This scenario could play out again, perhaps even multiple times, during Championship Week, so let this serve as an early primer for the bid-stealer conversation. Gonzaga (WCC) and Middle Tennessee (C-USA) are virtual locks to make the field. But if they stumble in the conference tournament and the automatic bid goes to another squad, those leagues are getting two teams into the field. That means a bubble team gets left out. Columbia, Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN) and South Dakota State (Summit) aren't quite as guaranteed as at-large selections, but they would be thrown into the bubble mix if they don't win their conference tournaments. That also applies to UNLV (MWC). These are teams that could make the bubble bigger, creating more competition and nervous moments for the Last Four In or even the Last Four Byes.

68-Team Bracket

Conference Breakdown

Photo illo by ESPN Illustration, additional photos courtesy of Getty Images, Associated Press, Imagn, Icon Sportswire, EPA/Shutterstock

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