South Carolina-Stanford clash headlines early look at NCAA basketball schedule

Aliyah Boston leads South Carolina into 2022-23 after a trophy-filled junior season. (Bri Lewerke/Just Women's Sports)

We’re officially closer to the start of the upcoming NCAA basketball season than the end of the last one, and teams are beginning to announce their non-conference matchups for 2022-23.

Just Women’s Sports highlights a few that stand out as the new season inches closer.

Nov. 20: Stanford vs. South Carolina

The battle between the two most recent national champions has the potential to be the matchup of the fall.

While both teams have lost some key players, each is still stacked with talent.

Stanford’s Haley Jones will be in her senior season and looking to continue her upward trajectory. Last year, Jones averaged 13.2 points per game. The team also features Cameron Brink.

The Gamecocks’ Aliyah Boston, meanwhile, is still just a junior and already could be considered one of the greatest college basketball players of all time. She averaged 16.8 points per game last season and was fourth in the nation in rebounds per game with 12.5 on average.

This game seems destined to be a top-10 matchup, and it could pit No. 1 vs. No. 2. Just Women’s Sports’ way-too-early Top 25 placed South Carolina first in the country and Stanford second looking ahead to the new season.

Dec. 1: Iowa vs. NC State

Will Iowa live up to sky-high expectations? With Caitlin Clark entering her junior season and Monika Czinano returning for a fifth year, signs point to yes.

On the other side, NC State may have lost Elissa Cunane to professional basketball, but Diamond Johnson and Jakia Brown-Turner should be able to step in and fill the void.

That makes this a possible top-10 matchup, as long as both teams enter December having played to their potential.

Also on Dec. 1: Maryland vs. Notre Dame, North Carolina vs. Indiana

Nov. 25 & 27: Phil Knight Legacy Tournament

This year’s tournament features Duke, Iowa, Oregon State and UConn. A possible matchup between Iowa and UConn would offer a rematch of the 2021 NCAA tournament Sweet 16, a 92-72 win for the Huskies. But both teams look very different than they did then.

UConn is without stars Olivia Nelson-Ododa and Christyn Williams but should have both Azzi Fudd and Paige Bueckers back and healthy. Iowa, meanwhile, will have both Czinano and Clark — both notably more seasoned than they were in 2021. While UConn did a good job of shutting down Clark last time, it might not be as easy the second time around.

There’s also Duke to consider. The Blue Devils could be a sneaky contender in Kara Lawson’s third season as coach.