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The 2023 women’s NCAA tournament is headlined by plenty of well-known programs like reigning champions South Carolina, Indiana, Iowa, Stanford and UConn. However, in a deep 68-team field, there are plenty of potential spoilers throughout the bracket. All eyes will be on the Gamecocks and star Aliyah Boston; as well as the Hawkeyes and sharpshooter Caitlin Clark; but there are other teams and talent capable of making deep runs. Here’s who can bust some brackets as March Madness gets underway.

No. 4 Tennessee

The Lady Vols may not have lived up to their No. 5 AP preseason ranking after dropping early-season games to Ohio State and Indiana, but Tennessee has had a strong finish to the 2022–23 campaign. Downing LSU in the SEC tournament semifinals in a thrilling 69–67 victory, Kellie Harper’s squad enters the Big Dance with added confidence. Finishing with a 23–11 record, the Lady Vols’ résumé has some blemishes, but they are battle-tested with a solid nonconference schedule under. Lifting the NCAA trophy may be a long shot, but Tennessee's upset over the Tigers shows what Jordan Horston, Rickea Jackson and the Vols are capable of.

No. 2 Maryland

With wins over tough Big Ten opponents in Ohio State, Iowa and Michigan, as well as results against Notre Dame and an Azzi Fudd–less UConn, Maryland is not a No. 2 seed to take lightly. The Terps’ offense is anchored by Diamond Miller, who is third in the Big Ten in scoring—behind Iowa’s Clark and Indiana’s Mackenzie Holmes—averaging 19.7 points per game. Losses to unranked opponents like Nebraska and DePaul exposed Maryland’s potential weaknesses, with the team’s defense ranked only eighth in conference play. However, if projected top draft pick Miller is on, the Terps could be hard to stop.

No. 3 Ohio State

The Buckeyes are flying high after taking out top-ranked Indiana in the Big Ten tournament semifinals, showing off their explosiveness in a thrilling 79–75 win. With its offense ranked eighth in the country, averaging 80.8 points per game, Ohio State has the firepower to punish anyone. Kevin McGuff’s team is equally suffocating on the other side of the ball, implementing a full-court press that can easily fluster opponents. Boasting experience in a stacked conference, the Buckeyes have critical big-game knowledge and an ability to knock off stiff competition.

No. 3 LSU

Hype follows the Tigers, and rightfully so. Coach Kim Mulkey provides an animated presence on the bench, while star Angel Reese brings flare to the court. This LSU team isn’t all style without substance, though, finishing the season with an offense ranked third in the country. Reese plays a major part in that, averaging a staggering 23.4 points per game. However, there is a point held against this 28–2 squad: a weak nonconference schedule. Without much in the way of tough matchups, it will be interesting to see how LSU holds up in the tournament environment.

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No. 4 Texas

There were high hopes for this Texas team heading into the year, with the Longhorns ranked third in the AP preseason poll. But after a series of early losses to UConn, Marquette and Louisville, Texas quickly tumbled down the rankings, unable to live up to the preseason hype. It would be a mistake to overlook Vic Schaefer’s side despite its faults, with Texas possessing the Big 12’s top-ranked defense. Allowing an average of 57.4 points per game through conference play, the Longhorns know how to make teams work for a bucket. If this group can make big stops and hold opponents in the 50s, then it may just pull off a Final Four run.

Honorable mentions

No.12 Florida Gulf Coast is riding a 14-game winning streak into the tournament, finishing out an impressive 32–3 season, making the Eagles a potential Cinderella story to watch. No. 11 Middle Tennessee is another double-digit seed to keep an eye on, taking a 10-game winning streak to the Big Dance. The Blue Raiders won their last four regular-season games by double digits, with an offense that overwhelms the opposition.