The 2013 women’s NCAA tournament promises to be one of the more thrilling events in sports this year.
With a 64-team field that is sure to be chock-full of talent, there’s bound to be plenty of buzzer-beaters and wild upsets when things finally get started later this month.
Let’s take a look at some of the key dates for this March Madness action, where you can catch all the drama unfolding, make some predictions on the outcome of the tourney and more.
Selection Monday: March 18
First and Second Rounds: Saturday, March 23 through Tuesday, March 26
Regionals: Saturday, March 30 through Tuesday, April 2
Final Four: Sunday, April 7
Championship Game: Tuesday, April 9
TV Schedule and Live Stream
Complete scheduling information can be found here.
First and Second Rounds
Watch: ESPN and ESPN2 (whip-around format with home market protection), ESPN Full Court (pay-per-view, full games).
Live Stream: ESPN3
Regionals through Championship
Watch: ESPN and ESPN2
Live Stream: ESPN3
The Flyers are currently well under the radar, despite holding a 26-1 record and looking to be one of the more dangerous teams heading towards the tournament.
With so many reliable scorers (Samantha MacKay, Amber Dean, Ally Malott and Andrea Hoover all averaged at least 10 points per game), athletic defenders and three-point snipers, there’s no reason to think the Flyers can’t make a deep run in 2013.
Dayton proved its worth against the best in the country this past season, finishing the season with only one ugly loss to Bowling Green.
This group may not have the pedigree of some of the other programs in this tournament, but they’ll have a chance to start a legacy together.
Runner-Up: Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish are led by superstar guard Skylar Diggins, and are hoping to navigate all the way back to the championship game.
If Notre Dame can reach the finals in New Orleans for a third straight season, it will be hoping to finally win one.
This team lost to Texas A&M back in 2011 by a narrow margin, but was absolutely blown out of the water by Brittney Griner and the Baylor women just over a year ago.
Unfortunately, we see that latter result repeating itself for Diggins and company in 2013.
The Irish just don’t possess the defensive intensity needed to beat the Bears and will be hard-pressed to get the tough stops needed to contain Griner and the rest of the capable scorers from Texas.
Considering this squad is a ridiculous 102-4 over the past three seasons, it’s not a stretch to say they’ll be back in the title game and repeating as champions at the conclusion of the 2013 NCAA tournament.
Brittney Griner is arguably the most dominant player to ever pick up a basketball in the history of women’s collegiate basketball, and her brilliance will once again be on display as she helps guide the Bears to another championship.
With this being her last year eligible to play with Baylor, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Griner elevate her game to a whole new level and just destroy the opposition in the early rounds.
While there may be a tough game or two that comes down to the final few minutes, Baylor is the superior team in this tournament and should be crowned the winner when all is said and done.