While most folks dote about the men's tournament play, we're here to set the record straight that the women's games have been just as action-packed. On March 31, 2023, the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX will play host to the 2023 Women’s Final Four, and it is set to be one for the ages.
Ending an almost 30-year tradition, this year’s Women's Final Four will not see UConn, Tennessee, or Stanford—programs that are synonymous with women's college basketball—for the first time since 1995.
The undeniable favorite and the No.1 overall seed South Carolina Gamecocks are seeking to make history by winning back-to-back NCAA Tournaments. They arrived at the Final Four on a 42-game winning streak going back to last season.
Dawn Staley, one of the best coaches in sports, has turned South Carolina into a perennial contender since taking over the reins of leadership in 2008.
"This is a new history that we're venturing into because there are so many great players and parity in our league that we need to start documenting," Staley said in a statement.
Known for their intense defense, the Gamecocks have the top-scoring margin in the nation at 29.5 points per game. Posting 22 points and 10 rebounds, South Carolina is led by superstar forward Aliyah Boston, who earned her 82nd career double-double in a hard-fought victory over the University of Maryland on Monday.
The Gamecocks will face the No. 2 seed Iowa Hawkeyes led by Caitlin Clark, following her historic performance on Sunday against Louisville. Clark scored the first 40-point triple-double (41 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists) in the history of the Women and Men’s Tournament. Boasting the best offensive team in the nation, the Hawkeyes deploy an explosive scoring attack, where they put up 90 points several times during the season. The Hawkeyes are making their return to the Final Four for the first time since 1993.
In the second game, the No.1 seed Louisiana State University Tigers will take on the No. 3 seed Virginia Hokies. After notching 31 wins, Kim Mulkey has made an instant impact on the Tigers program. Led by Angel Reese, a national Player of the Year candidate who’s averaging 23.2 points and 15.7 rebounds per game, she set a new SEC record by recording her 32nd double-double in their defeat of the Miami Hurricanes. The Tigers are celebrating their first Final Four appearance since the 2007-08 season.
The Virginia Tech Hokies were victorious against the Ohio State University Buckeyes by a score of 84-74 in Seattle. For the first time in the program’s history, the Hokies will play in the Final Four. In another historical feat for the school, Kenny Brooks, who became the third Black male coach to lead a team to the Final Four, along with Winthrop "Windy" McGriff with Cheyney in 1984 and Quentin Hillsman with Syracuse in 2016.
"I think I have a little bit of credibility now, a little bit of equity," Brooks said, "that I can go say some things that would help people that look like me because there are a lot of them out there that are really, really good and can be really, really good for this game."
The stage is set for another exciting 2023 Women's Final Four. Either South Carolina will establish itself as college basketball’s newest dynasty, or Iowa, LSU, or Virginia Tech will bring home their school’s first national championship. For basketball enthusiasts across the world, the 2023 NCAA Women's Tournament is one of the crown jewels of collegiate sports.