clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Get to know the teams coming to Tucson for the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament

What do UNLV, North Carolina, and Stephen F. Austin do well?


The Arizona Wildcats will face UNLV in the opening round of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament. The other side of the bracket features No. 5 seed North Carolina and No. 12 seed Stephen F. Austin.

If Arizona is to get back to the Final Four, it starts here. Draft Kings sets the odds for the Wildcats to reach the Final Four at +1500. The odds for the team to win the title sit at +5000.

No. 13 seed UNLV Lady Rebels

Opening opponent: No. 4 seed Arizona

When: Saturday, March 19 at 7 p.m. MST/PDT (10 p.m. EDT)


Campus location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Conference: Mountain West

Record: 26-6 overall, 15-3 MWC

Season results: UNLV won both the regular season and tournament championship in the MWC this season. It was the first conference tournament title for the team since the Lady Rebels won the Big West tournament in 1994. Arizona will be the first ranked team they have faced this season.

NCAA history: This is the first appearance for the Lady Rebels since 2002.

Head coach: The Lady Rebels are coached by Lindy La Rocque, who took over the program in 2021. The former assistant to Tara VanDerveer at Stanford has led a quick turnaround for the program which is back in the Big Dance for the first time in 20 years.

Notable players: UNLV has three players who score in double figures: Essence Booker (15.6 PPG), Desi-Rae Young (15.1 PPG), and Nneka Obiazor (11.2 PPG). Young also leads them in rebounding with 8.6 RPG.

Tendencies: The Lady Rebels score 75.6 PPG, which is their highest scoring average since at least the 2009-10 season. They allow their opponents to score 64.5 PPG. They shoot 45.2 percent overall, including 49.3 percent from inside the arc and 35.8 percent outside. As a team, they average 40.5 rebounds per game.*

No. 5 seed North Carolina

Opening opponent: No. 12 seed Stephen F. Austin

When: Saturday, March 19 at 4:30 p.m. MST/PDT (7:30 p.m. EDT)


Campus location: Chapel Hill, NC

Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference

Record: 23-6 overall, 13-5 ACC

Season results: UNC was third in the ACC this season behind North Carolina State and Louisville. Both of those teams are No. 1 seeds.

NCAA history: The Tar Heels won the national title in 1994 under Sylvia Hatchell, who led the program for 33 years. They have been to 28 tournaments, advancing to the Sweet Sixteen 17 times and the Final Four three times. This season marks the 29th appearance in program history.

Head coach: UNC is coached by Courtney Banghart who is in her third season in Chapel Hill after a successful run at Princeton. This will be the team’s second straight tournament appearance under her watch.

Notable players: The Tar Heels have three players averaging double figures and another just shy of it: Deja Kelly (15.9 PPG), Alyssa Ustby (13.2 PPG), Kennedy Todd-Williams (10.6 PPG), and Eva Hodgson (9.5 PPG). Ustby leads the teams with 8.6 rebounds per game.

Tendencies: The team averages 73.7 PPG while allowing opponents to score just 55.3 PPG. Both of those are in the 93rd percentile or higher in Division I women’s basketball. They shoot 41.1 percent from the floor, but most of that success is inside the arc. The team hits just 31.2 percent of their 3-point shots.

No. 12 seed Stephen F. Austin

Opening opponent: No. 5 seed North Carolina Tar Heels

When: Saturday, March 19 at 4:30 p.m. MST/PDT (7:30 p.m. EDT)


Campus location: Nacogdoches, Texas

Conference: Western Athletic Conference

Record: 28-4 overall, 17-1 WAC

Season results: In their first year in the WAC, the Ladyjacks were almost perfect in conference play on the way to the top seed in their tournament. They faced off against No. 2 seed GCU, winning 74-57 to add the conference tournament title to their regular-season crown.

NCAA history: The Ladyjacks are making their 20th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Their best result has been the Sweet Sixteen, which they have reached five times. The last time they participated in the second weekend was 1996.

Head coach: Head coach Mark Kellogg is completing his eighth season at the helm of SFA this season.

Notable players: Three players average double figures in scoring for SFA. Stephanie Visscher scores 14.3 PPG. While overall the team doesn’t shoot great from 3-point distance, Visscher has hit 38.2 percent of the 144 3-point shots she has taken this season. Aiyana Johnson scores 14 PPG and is tied with Visscher for the team lead with 6.5 rebounds per game. Zya Nugent scores 12.4 PPG.

Tendencies: The team averages 72.5 PPG. On the other end of the floor, they limit their opponents to 55.9 PPG. Both marks put them in the 90th percentile of DI women’s basketball. They shoot 43.9 percent from the floor, primarily on the back of a 50.5 shooting percentage from two-point range.

*All historical stats and percentiles come from Her Hoop Stats. The HHS database goes back to the 2009-10 season. Current stats come from both HHS and the teams’ official sites.