Winners and losers from the women's NCAA tournament bracket

There are always winners and losers when the NCAA tournament bracket is revealed. Which teams benefited from their region and seed draw and which ones have a tougher path because of it? Here's a breakdown of the winners and losers from the women's bracket:


South Carolina: The top-ranked and defending national champion Gamecocks are the clear winners from the bracket. They earned the No. 1 overall seed and a relatively straightforward path to the Final Four in their home state. While they could face Iowa or LSU in the Elite Eight, they avoided being placed in the same region as any of the other top teams and shouldn't have to leave their hometown of Columbia until the final weekend.

USC: The Trojans are another team that came out as a winner. They earned their first No. 1 seed in program history and avoided a potential second-round matchup with a tough opponent. While they may have to face UConn in the Elite Eight, that's a winnable game for USC and would give them a chance to play on their home court in the semifinals.

Texas: Despite losing star guard Rori Harmon for the season, the Longhorns earned a No. 1 seed after winning the Big 12 tournament. They have a winnable path to the Elite Eight and Vic Schaefer, who has taken Texas to the Elite Eight in each of his seasons as head coach.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes may have the most challenging path of any No. 1 seed, but they also have the experience and talent to navigate it. They earned the top seed in the Albany bracket, which means they'll have to face fellow powerhouses LSU and UCLA just to get to the Final Four. However, they have the advantage of being in the same bracket as the SEC and Pac-12 champions.

Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish have been one of the best teams in the country this season and earned the No. 2 seed in South Carolina's regional. They already beat the Gamecocks once this season and will have a chance to do it again if both make it to the Elite Eight.

Princeton: The Tigers are another winner after earning an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. They won the Ivy League tournament championship over Columbia, which earned them the automatic bid. This is just the second time two Ivy League teams have made the NCAA tournament.


UCLA: The Bruins may have the toughest path of any team in the field. They are the No. 3 seed in a region with the No. 1 and No. 2 overall seeds and will likely have to face LSU and Iowa back-to-back if they want to make it to the Final Four. Despite being a historically strong program, the Bruins have never made it to the Final Four in the NCAA era.

LSU: The defending national champions may have the next toughest path after UCLA. The Tigers will likely have to face UCLA and then Iowa (assuming seeds hold) to get back to the Final Four. That's a tall order, even for a team with as much experience as LSU has.

Iowa: Despite being the No. 1 seed in their region, the Hawkeyes have the toughest path to the Final Four. They'll have to face a tough 8-9 game, likely Kansas State, and then potentially LSU and UCLA back-to-back. Additionally, they'll be without the services of Caitlin Clark, who is out with an injury.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers may have the potential to be a dangerous 8-9 game for Iowa. They lead the Big 12 in steals and could give the Hawkeyes fits with their press.

Miami (Florida): The Hurricanes were one of the biggest stories of March last year after they reached the Elite Eight as a No. 9 seed. However, they won't be making another run this year after going 19-12 and finishing eighth in the ACC. Their loss to North Carolina State in the ACC tournament may have sealed their fate.

This year's women's NCAA tournament looks to be an exciting and challenging one, with plenty of opportunities for upsets and standout performances. Stay tuned!

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