Women’s March Madness Recap



The Women’s Tournament Final Four was held in Dallas, Tx. 2023. Angel Reese was named Most Outstanding Player

Gianna Postiglione, Sports Writer

The 2023 NCAA Women’s Division 1 Basketball tournament ended April 2. This year’s tournament was like no other. This year’s final four consisted of the University of Iowa, Louisiana State University, Virginia Tech, and the University of South Carolina. The championship game came down to the Louisiana State University Tigers and the University of Iowa Hawkeyes. In a high-scoring game, the Tigers took the victory with a score of 102-85.   

 This year’s history has been made in more ways than one, including the championship game which had the most fans in attendance at a Women’s Final Four game in the tournament’s history with 19,482  fans. Along with the highest overall tournament attendance at 357,542 fans.  In addition, it was the highest-scoring final game in women’s tournament history. As well as the highest-scoring half in a final game with LSU scoring 59 points.  

 On top of its history-making year, the tournament saw its fair share of upsets. One of the biggest upsets included the No. 8 seed University of Mississippi taking a 54-49 victory over the No. 1 seed Stanford University. This is only the second time in Women’s NCAA history that a team in the No. 1 seed has been knocked out, leaving them short of the Sweet 16.

Another upset of the tournament includes a Princeton victory over North Carolina State. The intense game concluded with a final score of 64-63 in favor of the Tigers. Finally, the always favored No. 2 seed University of Connecticut Huskies lost to No. 3 seed Ohio State 73-61 in the Sweet 16. With this loss, it was the first time since 2005 – totaling 14 consecutive NCAA tournaments – that the female Huskies did not reach the Elite 8 or better. The increase in upsets over the tournament’s recent history shows growth in the competition of the game, which is important for women’s basketball.

  Over the course of the tournament, many moments were filled with notable superstars and achievements including Iowa’s junior, Caitlin Clark who received the 2023 Naismith Trophy. Clark was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Year, averaging 27.8 points per game which is second among all players. Additionally, the junior guard placed second scoring 1,055 points throughout the year, leading the NCAA in assists with 327, as well as leading with an average of 8.6 assists per game. 

Regarding the award, Clark is very honored, “Winning this award is a huge accomplishment. This is such a huge honor for our family and program.” In addition to the award, during this year’s tournament, Clark broke the record for most points scored throughout the tournament, with 191 points.  

Another tournament superstar was LSU’s sophomore, Angel Reese. Reese assisted the Tigers to a victorious season while breaking a record for the most double-doubles scored in a women’s season with 34. The sophomore forward scored 15 points over 29 minutes in the final game against Iowa. Reese led the Tigers to a victory scoring 24 points with 12 rebounds over LSU’s victory over Virginia Tech. Over the season she averaged 23 points per game, with a total of 829 points this season. Additionally, Reese received recognition for her talents when she was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player in 2023.

 There was some controversy around the names Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark when Reese did the “you can’t see me” gesture and pointed to her ring finger after the victory over Iowa. Some fans have said this to be trashy, and unsportsmanlike. However, Clark has done something very similar before and she was praised for it. Clark has spoken on the matter saying she gets it and is not upset like some fans are. When talking about trash-talking during the game Reese said, “I appreciate Caitlin, I mean me and her competed for a really long time now and me and her have never had beef. We’ve always been super competitive every time we play against each, so I think it just helps grow the game. It’s fun she does it, I do it, a lot of players do it, and not just women, but men do it as well and I just feel like we were criticized just because we talk trash sometimes, we are who we are, and I think that brings entertainment to the game.”