ESPN women's basketball bracketologist Charlie Creme's revised NCAA tournament bracket

The first round of the 2024 women's NCAA tournament should have perhaps been played on a blackboard. There's that much chalk all over it after the first round wrapped up. Higher-seeded teams went 31-1 in the first round. No bracket has played so true to form since the NCAA tournament expanded in 1994. For those who like to pick a few upsets, the plan backfired this year. Congratulations to No. 11-seeded Middle Tennessee, the only lower-seeded team allowed into the party. And it took an 18-point comeback for the Blue Raiders to upset No. 6 seed Louisville. MTSU's shocker came in Friday's third game. Not one surprise came since.

That doesn't mean that reseeding the round of 32 was a simple task. Performance matters. To some degree, this is an exercise of style points. So there was some movement. Here is how the bracket would look now if we could start it all again with 32 teams. No. 1 seeds South Carolina Gamecocks Original seed: No. 1 overall (Region 1 in Albany) First round: Defeated Presbyterian Blue Hose 91-39 (Friday) South Carolina has now beaten the Blue Hose twice this season by an average of 61 points. Starting guard Bree Hall sitting out as a precautionary measure was the biggest news from the game. The injury isn't expected to be serious, and Hall, who averages 9.7 points and 3.2 rebounds per game, is expected to play in the NCAA tournament. Te-Hina Paopao regaining her shooting stroke was the most meaningful takeaway from Friday. After making 5 of 15 3-pointers at the SEC tournament, Paopao shot 4-for-7 and scored 18 points, her highest point total in more than a month, against Presbyterian. Up next: vs. North Carolina (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, ABC) Texas Longhorns Original seed: No. 1 (Region 4 in Portland) First round: Defeated Drexel Dragons 82-42 (Friday) In a game in which the Longhorns were just bigger, faster, and stronger than Drexel, Madison Booker elected to play distributor more than scorer. The result was a 14-assist, two-turnover performance, which marks the most assists ever for a Texas player in the NCAA tournament. Booker's eight points was her lowest scoring total since a game against Long Beach State on Dec. 6, and it didn't matter at all. Texas led by 15 points midway through the second quarter, and Drexel never got closer. Up next: vs. Alabama (Sunday, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN) USC Trojans Original seed: No. 1 (Region 3 in Portland) First round: Defeated Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders 87-55 (Saturday) McKenzie Forbes has been the Robin to JuJu Watkins' Batman all season. But lately, Forbes has decided to take the Batmobile out for a few spins herself. Forbes, who averaged 13.1 points per game entering the Pac-12 tournament, scored 17 in the semifinals against UCLA, and then, with Watkins suffering through the worst game of her young career, Forbes carried the Trojans to the conference championship with 26 points against Stanford. The hot streak carried over to the NCAA tournament, where USC won its first game since 2006. She equaled Watkins' 23 points against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi but did it on fewer shots and in fewer minutes. As a No. 1 seed, USC was already among the favorites to get to Cleveland. With two superheroes, the ceiling might be even higher. Up next: vs. Kansas (Monday, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN) Iowa Hawkeyes Original seed: No. 1 (Region 2 in Albany) First round: Defeated Holy Cross Crusaders 91-65 (Saturday) For anyone concerned that Caitlin Clark didn't have a Caitlin Clark-type game against Holy Cross, let's compare. In last year's first round against SE Louisiana, Clark's numbers were 26 points, 9 of 14 field goals, 3-for-6 on 3-pointers, 7 rebounds, 12 assists, and 5 turnovers in 29 minutes. Saturday's stat line against the Crusaders: 27 points, 8 of 19 field goals, 3-for-9 on 3-pointers, 5 rebounds, 10 assists, and 6 turnovers in 32 minutes. Sure, last year's numbers were slightly better, but not appreciably. This was essentially the same game for Clark. We know what she went on to do the rest of the 2023 NCAA tournament. In other words: Nothing to see here. The outlook for Clark and Iowa moving forward is just fine. Up next: vs. West Virginia (Monday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN) No. 2 seeds Stanford Cardinal Original seed: No. 2 (Region 4 in Portland) First round: Defeated Norfolk State Spartans 79-50 (Friday) Cameron Brink and Kiki Iriafen

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