2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament: Odds, Tips for Sunday’s Bracket
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The field for the 2023 NCAA women’s basketball tournament has been cut in half over the past two days. 64 teams entered the first round (which took place on Friday and Saturday) and now there are only 32 left.
The number of teams shrinks even further on Sunday when the second round begins with eight pairings. Three No. 1 seeds (South Carolina, Stanford, and Virginia Tech) and three No. 2 seeds (Iowa, Maryland, and Utah) will all be in action, with each of these programs trying not to get excited while trying to secure a ticket to beat to the sweet 16.
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Several teams that caused surprises in the first round want to do it again. Among the teams facing court on Sunday are Georgia and Princeton, a No. 10 pair, and Mississippi State at No. 11.
Here’s the full schedule for Sunday’s second round, along with the odds for each game. Then we take a look at some of the best matchups to bet on.
Sunday schedule, odds
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No. 1 South Carolina (-25.5) vs. No. 8 South Florida, 1 p.m. ET, ABC
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No. 2 Iowa (-12) vs. No. 10 Georgia, 3 p.m. ET, ABC
No. 3 Notre Dame (-6) vs. No. 11 Mississippi State, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
No. 1 Virginia Tech (-9) vs. No. 9 South Dakota State, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN2
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No. 2 Maryland (-8) vs. No. 7 Arizona, 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
#2 Utah (no line) vs. #10 Princeton, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2
No. 3 LSU (-9.5) vs. No. 6 Michigan, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
No. 1 Stanford (-10.5) vs. No. 8 Ole Miss, 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Odds on DraftKings sportsbook
#2 Iowa (-12) vs. #10 Georgia
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Iowa was as dominant as expected in his first round win. The Hawkeyes beat No. 15 seeded SE Louisiana in a 95-43 win, with junior guard Caitlin Clark amassing 26 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds to take the lead.
Clark, a two-time first-team All-American, continued to be one of the best players in the country this season. She’s averaging 27 points, 8.5 assists and 7.5 rebounds per game, and she’ll likely be the main reason Iowa is having a deep run through the NCAA tournament.
Georgia may have beaten 7th-seeded Baylor in the first round with a 66-54 win, but it will have trouble stopping Clark and the Hawkeyes. The Lady Bulldogs are averaging just 67.1 points per game (which ranks 11th in the SEC), so they probably can’t match offensively either.
A 12-point spread might seem like a decent amount, but Iowa should have no trouble erasing it. The Hawkeyes’ win might not be as one-sided as their first-round matchup, but they should easily win by at least 13 points, thanks largely to Clark’s play.
No. 3 Notre Dame (-6) vs. No. 11 Mississippi State
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The betting line for this second-round matchup might be underestimating Notre Dame, who earned an 82-56 win over 14th-ranked Southern Utah in the first round. The Fighting Irish have now won eight of their last nine games, losing only to Louisville in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament.
Even though Notre Dame no longer has All-American point guard Olivia Miles (who is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury), she still has Sonia Citron in backcourt. The sophomore guard is averaging 14.7 points per game and could become a difficult matchup for Mississippi State on Sunday.
The Bulldogs have previously played two teams in the NCAA tournament, defeating Illinois in a First Four match before defeating No. 6 seed Creighton in the opening round. So it was an impressive start to March Madness for the state of Mississippi.
But the size of the Fighting Irish and their ability to overtake their opponents should prove the difference to the Bulldogs. It might be a tight game for three quarters, but expect Notre Dame to pull away in the fourth quarter to win by at least seven points.
No. 2 Maryland vs. No. 7 Arizona (+8)
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If you’re looking to bet on an underdog team that could cover Sunday’s spread, look no further than seventh-place Arizona. While the Wildcats are unlikely to beat second-place Maryland (who will play at their home court), they may only lose by seven points or fewer.
Arizona ended a three-game losing streak with their solid first-round win over West Virginia, which they won 75-62. Senior forward Cate Reese (who averages 13 points per game) scored 25 on a 10-for-19 shooting against the Mountaineers.
The Terrapins haven’t blown out some of the better competitors they’ve played. They played some close competitions in the regular season.
The Wildcats have the potential to make this another one and they should, especially if they pull off another standout performance from Reese. It’s worth giving them a chance to cover the span as eight-point underdogs.
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