Stay up to date on the latest news and notes from the 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament with Just Women’s Sports.
Plenty of surprises in the early rounds of March Madness have paved the way for an exciting Sweet 16. The next games tip off Friday, and we’ll have all the action right here, as well as the broadcast schedule and results.
Want to watch every Sweet 16 game? We’ve got you covered. See below for a full broadcast schedule, with all tipoffs listed in Eastern Time.
March 21 — ACC and SEC lead Sweet 16 slate
The ACC and SEC each had four teams advance to the Sweet 16, tied for the most of any conference in this year’s NCAA Tournament.
While the Big Ten and Pac-12 dominated the Associated Press Top 25 poll for much of the season, each of those conferences came up just short, with three teams each in the Sweet 16. The Big East has the final two in UConn and Villanova.
LSU star Angel Reese defended the strength of her team’s conference after her Tigers won their second-round game against No. 6 seed Michigan, and then No. 8 seed Ole Miss stunned No. 1 seed Stanford.
“But the SEC was light this year???” she tweeted Sunday night during the Ole Miss victory. “OH OK.”
March 18 — Seven upsets highlight first round
Seven first-round games were won by the lower seed. No. 12 seeds Florida Gulf Coast and Toledo pulled off the biggest upsets, with FGC defeating No. 5 Washington State, 74-63, and Toledo bumping off No. 5 Iowa State, 80-73.
Here’s the full list of first round upsets:
March 18 — Baylor records historic comeback
Baylor needed a historic comeback to emerge from the first round of the 2023 NCAA basketball tournament. Trailing by 18 points against Alabama, No. 7 seed Baylor went on to win the game, 78-74. The 18-point deficit is tied for third largest comeback in NCAA tournament history.
“Wow, we were really bad in the first quarter and really good after that,” Baylor head coach Nicki Collen said.
Two other teams managed 16-plus point comebacks Saturday, with Miami coming back from a 17-point deficit and Ohio State reversing a 16-point margin.
March 17 — Stanford’s Cameron Brink misses first round with non-COVID illness
Forward Cameron Brink sat out Stanford’s first round opener with a non-COVID illness. The Cardinal defeated No. 16 Sacred Heart, 92-49.
“Not how I expected March Madness to start but cheering my girls on today – just a stomach bug & I’ll be back asap,” Brink wrote on Instagram.
March 17 — NC State’s Diamond Johnson will miss opening weekend
NC State point guard Diamond Johnson will miss the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament due to injury, she revealed Thursday night on social media.
The junior is dealing with an ankle injury, which has kept her off the court since Feb. 16. Still, the Wolfpack had planned for her possible return, and indeed her absence at the end of the regular season was aimed at giving her enough time to recover ahead of the postseason, according to coach Wes Moore.
“I will not be playing in the NCAA Tournament this weekend and wanted to let everyone know,” Johnson wrote on Instagram. “I have been rehabbing my injury and taking it week by week, although it hasn’t been easy my support system has helped me get to this point both mentally and physically.”
No. 7 seed NC State will start its tournament run against No. 10 Princeton at 10 p.m. ET Friday at Utah’s Jon M. Huntsman Center.
March 16 — Florida State’s Ta’Niya Latson out for NCAA Tournament
Florida State will be without its leading scorer in Ta’Niya Latson for the NCAA Tournament, the team announced Thursday.
Latson missed the Seminoles’ most recent game, a loss to Wake Forest in the ACC Tournament, but Florida State has not released any information about the injury. The freshman guard led the team with 21.3 points per game this season.
Sophomore guard O’Mariah Gordon also will miss the NCAA Tournament due to injury. Gordon averaged 6.9 points per game for the Seminoles.
March 16 — Geno Auriemma: ‘If we weren’t called UConn, we’d be a No. 1’
Geno Auriemma’s UConn teams had earned a No. 1 seed in 13 of the last 15 NCAA Tournaments before this year. But the Huskies will begin this round of March Madness with a No. 2 seed.
While the team also was a No. 2 seed in 2022 and 2019 (and made it to the Final Four in each of those seasons), the legendary program is not used to playing second fiddle. And the Huskies only did not claim a top seed this year because they are being judged relative to their own high bar, Auriemma said.
“I think if we weren’t called UConn, we’d be a No. 1,” the coach said after the bracket reveal.
The Huskies have dealt with injuries, big and small, all season, which hampered their chances at a No. 1 seed. Star sophomore guard Azzi Fudd missed much of the regular season with a knee injury but returned for the Big East Tournament.
Auriemma called the No. 2 seed “expected” despite the disappointment, though he is not looking forward to the trip to Seattle for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight should his team make it that far.
March 13 — Holy Cross faces travel trouble ahead of first round
The No. 15 seed Crusaders are set to face No. 2 seed Maryland at 2:15 p.m. ET Friday at the Terrapins’ home arena in College Park — 393 miles from their home in Worcester, Mass.
Unfortunately for Holy Cross, that distance comes in just under 400 miles. The NCAA will reimburse schools for charter flights of 400 miles or more, so the Crusaders’ trip does not make the cut.
With a snowstorm expected in Massachusetts, the team could not find enough space on commercial flights, so the Crusaders may have to turn to a train or a bus, Stadium analyst Jeff Goodman reported.