| March 28th, 2024

March Madness: Herstory

By: Autumn Haddox
March Madness: Herstory

Women’s college basketball has been making “herstory.” Not only is women’s basketball being streamed at record-breaking viewers, setting at 4.42 million and counting, but Paige Bueckers, a guard at UConn, sets record-breaking statistics, including bringing her team to “Sweet 16” appearances to 30. Caitlin Clark, one of the faces of women’s basketball, broke another Division 1 record and battled against a physical game with West Virginia. JuJu Watkins led the No. 1 seed USC to its first “Sweet 16” appearance since 1994! The women now have its sixteen teams.

Recap of History Making While Leading to the Sweet Sixteen

Iowa takes a game with physicality, not as a victory. During the span of Caitlin Clark being with the Hawkeyes, this is the fourth out of twelve games in the tournament that the team has scored under seventy points. The Hawkeyes entered the second round as the leading scoring team, with

an average of 92.2 points per game. They had their lowest scoring in the second quarter, with six points against West Virginia. “West Virginia is a really good basketball team. We found a way to win,” Clark said after the game. “We changed up our defenses. We got big rebounds when it mattered. We made big free throws. “I think that’s the biggest thing. There’s a lot of positive to take away from this when maybe we didn’t even play our best basketball or look as pretty. That’s more fulfilling of a win for us than going out there and winning by 30 points.” Caitlin Clark and the Hawkeyes now face the No. 5 seed, Colorado, the same match-up from last year’s sweet sixteen.

JuJu Watkins gets the headlines for the USC Trojans with 861 season points, and she now has the third-most points in a season for a freshman in Divison 1 history. USC had an intense night defensively, holding the Jayhawks to fifty-five points, tied for their second-worst output of the season. Now the Trojans are back in “Sweet 16” since 1994!

Will Paige Bueckers take UConn to the championship? Syracuse could not stop Paige from finishing with thirty-two points, her best NCAA tournament game. She is the first player in Division 1 with 60 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 assists through the first two games of an NCAA tournament in the past 25 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information. She also has the most points of any UConn player through the first two NCAA tournament games in the past 25 seasons.

Highlighted Players

Cameron Brink, a post-guard for Standford, earned her third Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award. Her defense was on full display against the post player Audi Crooks. After scoring 40

points in the first round against Maryland, Crooks went 3-for-21 from the field with Brink. The country’s top shot-blocker picked up five more against Iowa State.
Angel Reese, the Bayou Barbie, is one of the most reliable rebounders in Division 1, and the Tigers will need that from her against UCLA. Both Rice and Middle Tennessee made LSU work for its early-round victories, in which Reese had a combined thirty points and thirty rebounds. The Tigers could use more efficient shooting from Reese; she was a combined seven of twenty-four from the field in the first two games.

MiLaysia Fulwiley, freshman for the South Carolina Gamecocks, the most exciting and dynamic player in collegiate basketball right now. After scoring thirteen points in thirteen minutes against Tennessee and twenty-four points in seventeen minutes in the final two game of South Carolina’s SEC championship, Fulwiley was named MVP in her first SEC tournament. She’s averaging a team-high 18.5 points in two NCAA tournament games. Dawn Staley ebenched Fulwiley against North Carolina in late November for not focusing enough on defense. That seems to have changed. Fulwiley has multiple steals in six games in the past month.

Sweet Sixteen Upcoming

As the Sweet Sixteen approaches fans are excited to continue to see the madness in March. Who will take the crown? Bets are on South Carolina Gamecocks, Iowa Hawkeyes, and LSU Tigers. We will wait to see.