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

Determining the final No. 1 seed in this projection might have been the most difficult decision in the history of women's Bracketology. Iowa, LSU and Stanford all were in the running. If we have learned anything from recent selection committees, they have liked quality wins and don't like suspect schedules. That's why Stanford, despite Sunday's loss at Washington, won out by a sliver. LSU's schedule, among the worst for all major conference teams, remains an anchor for the Tigers. Stanford and Iowa have played top-10 schedules, and the Cardinal are 5-1 against the NET top 25 -- tied with Indiana and North Carolina for the second-most such wins in the country, behind UConn. Stanford also is tied with the Huskies for the most top-50 NET wins (10). LSU's unbeaten record is not discounted nor is the Hawkeyes' recent hot streak, but Stanford still has the better overall resume. We will find out exactly what this committee thinks when it reveals its current top-16 teams in seed order at halftime of Thursday's Stanford-Arizona game (9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App).

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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