Women’s March Madness Ranking, Schedule, and Season Highlights

March is here, and women's basketball is in full swing. Find everything you need to know about this season's top competitors before filling out your bracket.
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  • The women's March Madness Tournament starts on March 15.
  • Last season's champion, South Carolina, is still in the No. 1 position just weeks away from the tournament's start.
  • April 2 marks the end of the season, when two teams will compete for the national title in Dallas.

For women's sports, 2022 was a pivotal year. Women's college basketball, in particular, has gained momentum in the past year with increases in viewership, sponsorship deals, and coverage.

In the first full year of name, image, and likeness (NIL) rule changes, women's basketball accounted for over 15% of total NIL compensation across both men's and women's college sports, according to a report from Opendorse.

In 2022, 4.85 million people viewed the women's national championship game on ESPN networks, the highest number of viewers in almost two decades.

Before this year's tournament gets underway, study up on this season's facts, rankings, and highlights in our report. We'll keep you updated throughout the best (sports) month of the year.

Women's College Basketball Schedule

So far, the NCAA has only released the outline schedule for the women's March Madness Tournament. Be sure to tune in on Selection Sunday, when 64 teams will be added to the bracket.

Selection Sunday March 12
First Four March 15-16
First Round March 17-18
Second Round March 19-20
Sweet 16 March 24-25
Elite Eight March 26-27
Final Four March 31
NCAA Championship April 2

Out of the 64 teams, half of them will receive automatic qualifications, and 32 others will be selected on an at-large basis by the Division I Women's Basketball Championship Sport Committee, according to the NCAA.

Unlike the men's tournament, first and second rounds will be held on college campuses. Regionals, including the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight, will be held in Seattle and in Greenville, South Carolina, this year.

The national championship game will be held in Dallas on April 2.

Women's College Basketball Rankings

Although South Carolina's ranking stayed consistent throughout the season, other teams have moved up and down in the ranks since the first week. See how the Top 25 teams progressed.

Top Five Breakdown

  • The South Carolina Gamecocks have stayed at the top of the AP Poll rankings for the entire season. After winning the national championship last season, South Carolina is seeking a second consecutive title.
  • Two teams in the top five are in the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
  • Tennessee's Lady Volunteers started in the top five in Week 1, but they are now unranked, as of March 1.
  • Utah made a leap from No. 8 to No. 3 in the matter of a week with a recent win against Stanford.
  • Maryland continues to rise in the ranks, landing at No. 5 in Week 17.

Player And Team Highlights

Discover the top performers, including best shooters and rebounders in the country, according to statistics from the NCAA.

  • Maddy Siegrist, the top scorer in the NCAA with an average of 29 points per game, as of Feb. 28, has brought Villanova back into the national conversation. She has racked up over 2,650 points in her career as a Wildcat with a season high of 50 points in a single game.
  • Lauren Gustin from BYU has 16.5 rebounds per game on average. She grabbed a career high of 24 rebounds against Portland at the end of February and now has the BYU single-season rebound record with more than 463 boards.
  • No. 7 Iowa has the highest-scoring offense in the country. They score on average 87.5 points per game. National Player of the Year contender Caitlin Clark scores 27.2 points per game on average. She had a season high of 45 points against North Carolina State in December.
  • Clark also has the highest average assists per game and total assists on the season, at 237 assists.
  • Norfolk State, a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC), allows only 49.8 points per game on average.

What Made This Season Memorable

South Carolina Holds Onto No. 1 For 36 Consecutive Weeks

Even though plenty of teams have impressed the nation this season, the 2022 national champs secured their position as the favorite heading into March.

Not only is South Carolina the only undefeated college basketball team in the country, the Gamecocks have also held onto a 36-week position at No. 1 in the AP Polls. They have secured massive wins this season, including their overtime win early in the season against Stanford and their recent win against the LSU Tigers.

Head coach Dawn Staley — six-time SEC tournament title winner — is breaking records left and right this season, but she isn't done yet.

Hoosiers Making History

For the first time in 40 years, the Hoosiers were Big Ten regular season champions. Now No. 2 in the country, the Hoosiers are 26-2, their only losses to Michigan State and a buzzer-beater loss to Iowa on Feb. 26.

Mackenzie Holmes, a senior forward, has earned conference recognition as Big Ten player of the week four times this season.

She, along with Chloe Moore-McNeil, a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Athlete, and TikTok star Sydney Parrish all make an impact on the starting lineup for the Hoosiers.

Tigers Rise in the Ranks With Legendary Leadership

Playing and coaching legend Kim Mulkey — the only person in the history of college basketball to win a national championship as a head coach, assistant coach, and player — was named the LSU women's basketball team head coach in 2021.

She has helped the Tigers rise from No. 16 in the first week of the season to No. 4 in a matter of weeks.

Angel Reese, sophomore forward and six-time SEC Player of the Week, had a season high of 36 points in a tight game against Ole Miss. She has helped the Tigers achieve a nearly flawless season. Their only loss on the year was to South Carolina on Feb. 12.

Maryland Steps Up to the Plate When It Counts

In the first week of the season, Maryland was ranked No. 17 in the country. Since then, the Terrapins have truly made a name for themselves, currently tied for the most wins against top-10 ranked opponents in the country.

So far, they have beat ranked teams Iowa, Ohio State, UConn, and Notre Dame.

These massive wins, combined with only five losses on the season, have placed Maryland at No. 5 in Week 17.

Senior Diamond Miller, National Player of the Year candidate, recently scored 29 points against Michigan State. She was 9-of-16 from the field and 11-of-19 from the freethrow line.

Teams Rise From the Woodwork

Villanova, Duke, UCLA, Colorado, UNLV, Middle Tennessee, and South Florida have all risen in the ranks since the first week of the season, finally making a mark on the AP Poll.

No. 13 Duke is currently 24-5 and nearly undefeated from Cameron Indoor Stadium.

UNLV is undefeated in the Mountain West Conference, earning NCAA Team of the Week honors on Feb. 14. The Lady Rebels currently hold the best record since the 1989-90 season.

Full-Time Hoopers, Part-Time TikTokers

During the NCAA championship tournament in 2021, Sedona Prince, a women's basketball player who has since graduated from Oregon, used her platform to expose disparities between the men's and women's tournaments.

Now, college players are using their platforms to grow a following, build a personal brand, and even make some NIL money.

Paige Bueckers, 2021 Naismith College Player of the Year from UConn, is one of the most-followed college women's basketball players in the country, with just under 470,000 followers. She showcases sponsorships with Bose, Nerf, Cash App, and Chegg.

@paigebueckers What are we listening to?? @bose #teambose ♬ original sound - Paige Bueckers

LSU's Angel Reese has 390,300 followers on her TikTok platform. There, she showcases her "Bayou Barbie" merchandise, along with "typical day in the life" videos.

Sydney Parrish has 196,200 followers and 7.9 million likes on her platform. She started making content as an Oregon Duck, but has since transferred to Indiana.

Stanford's 6-foot-4-inch junior forward Cameron Brink has 100,000 followers on the app. She is known for posting dance videos with her teammates.

South Carolina starters Zia Cooke, Aliyah Boston, and Brea Beal each have upwards of 35,000 TikTok followers.