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2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament: Top two players in each region including Caitlin Clark of Iowa.



March Madness is officially recognized as underground, and it’s time for star players to shine on the biggest stage. Many talents are vying for this year’s Women’s Basketball Trophy, but some players have proven their ability all season long and are itching to lead their team to ultimate success.

Many players could have made this list, but those who were chosen played a huge role in their lists. Here are the two most influential players in each region:

Greenville 1

Alia Boston (FC, South Carolina)

Last season’s Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year is just as talented as ever, even if her stats aren’t as mind-blowing on paper. She led her team to a national title last year, leading in scoring, rebounding, blocks and steals. This year she is averaging a calmer 13.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and two blocks per game by her standards, but that’s because her team shares more responsibility, and also because opponents know that they should double or triple her crew.

Boston earned the SEC Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards for the second straight season. She has also been named an AP All-American. third year in a row. She is still the same player you can expect to help the Gamecocks finish a tough game. South Carolina enters the NCAA Tournament undefeated, but their biggest fear this season was against Stanford in November. The Cardinal led most of the game, but Boston landed a decisive blow that forced overtime. She led her team to a 76-71 victory over Stanford with a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Diamond Miller (G, MD)

Things looked shaky for Maryland during the offseason after two of the Turps’ top scorers, Angel Reese and Ashley Owusu, left the program. Meanwhile, a knee injury plagued Miller in the 2021/22 season and she underwent surgery last April. Eventually Miller decided to stay and became the key to Maryland’s success.

The All-Big Ten unanimous first-team selection is the Terpov’s most reliable scorer with 19.7 points per game, ranked in the top 25 in the nation. However, it has further improved against ranked opponents, averaging 24.3 points and 6.9 rebounds in eight games against the top 25 teams this season. Miller proved she could help her team succeed in the tournament when she helped Maryland upset the then No. 7 Notre Dame on the road in December. Miller famously won the game by jumping on one foot on cue, but she contributed a double-double all night with 31 points and 12 rebounds, as well as five assists.

Greenville 2

Maddie Siegrist (W, Villanova)

The Big East Player of the Year has been a major reason the Wildcats have risen to prominence, holding back-to-back Big East Championship games for the first time since 1986-87. They ultimately lost to UConn for the third time that season, but the Wildcats kept those three final scores to the single digits. With the help of Siegrist, Villanova became competitive and enters the NCAA Tournament as No. 1 in the tournament. 10th place in the AP Top 25 poll is the highest ranking in the history of the program.

Siegrist is the nation’s leading scorer, scoring 28.9 points per game on 51.8% from the field. Senior was Villanova’s all-time leading scorer earlier this season, as well as the Big East’s all-time leading scorer, both men and women, with 1,693 career points in regular-season conference games. Her ability to score both inside and out has helped her score 20-plus points in 34 consecutive games while having a near-average double-double with 9.3 rebounds per game this season.

Angel Reese (F, LSU)

Reese left Maryland as the top player on the transfer portal last year. The Tigers were lucky when she decided to join their roster as she led LSU to one of the best seasons in the program’s history. Reese is a confident player and she has established herself as one of the strongest national candidates for the title of “Player of the Year” because her stats reflect her dynamism. Reese is averaging 23.4 points on 54% shooting from the field. She also registers 15.5 rebounds per game.

The team is strong, with five players averaging over nine points, but Reese was by far the top scoring player. She’s double-doubled in all but two of her games this season: in South Carolina and Georgia. Against the Gamecocks – one of the top five defensive teams in the country – she had the lowest shooting percentage of the season when she went 5-for-15 from the field. However, Reese still managed to score 16 points against the world No. 1. 1 team per country.

Seattle 3

Azzi Fudd (G, UConn)

Fudd has only played 12 games this season, but she shouldn’t be overlooked. University of Connecticut fans’ hearts broke after Paige Buckers tore her anterior cruciate ligament during preseason while continuing to struggle with injuries the Huskies faced last season. However, Geno Auriemma’s team is full of talent and Fudd has shown she’s not afraid to take on a bigger role. Prior to injuring her knee against Notre Dame in December, she led UConn with 20.6 points per game on 53.3% shooting from the field and 42.6% from three-point range.

The sophomore appeared in two games in January but missed all of February. She’s back this month, which, even if she still looks a little rusty, will give the Husky a good chance of success in the tournament.

Ashley Jones (G/F, Iowa)

Two-time award winner Cheryl Miller decided to return for a fifth season with The Cyclones, a decision that helped the team immensely. The Cyclones won their first Big 12 tournament title in 22 years, defeating Texas in the title game after Joens’ 15th double-double of the season (28 points and 10 rebounds). Unsurprisingly, earlier this month Joens was named “Big 12 Player of the Year” and won the tournament’s “Most Outstanding Player” award. She averaged a double-double of 21.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per game.

Jones was key to Iowa State’s 81-78 victory over Baylor in a double-overtime thriller in February. She started this game scoreless in the first quarter as she missed all five of her field attempts. However, she showed her mental strength by not giving up and ended up finishing the night as the top scorer with 27 points and 11 rebounds.

Seattle 4

Caitlin Clark (G, Iowa)

Iowa has the best offense in the nation with 87.5 points per game. Although there are a few members on the roster, Clarke is the main spark with 27 points per game – the second best player in the country behind Siegrist. She also averages 7.5 rebounds per game and leads the nation in assists with a total of 267. Along with Boston, Clarke was a unanimous first-team All-American pick. This was her second consecutive year of receiving this honor.

Clarke helped Iowa to her second consecutive Big Ten Conference Tournament title with 30 points, 10 rebounds and 17 assists, the 10th triple-double of her career. It was only the third triple-double in tournament history, and also the first in a championship game. She ranks second in NCAA women’s history in triple-doubles, behind only former Oregon legend Sabrina Ionescu (26). Clarke is the only player in the country to record over 840 points, 230 rebounds, 250 assists and 45 steals this season. He has a double-digit streak of 84 games, the best in the NCAA Division I.

Cameron Brink (F, Stanford)

Tara VanDerveer is the best coach among women’s college basketball teams, and she has been able to succeed because she selects and develops the best players, one of which is Brink. The three-time Pac-12 regular season champion was named Defensive Player of the Year at this year’s conference, just a year after he was a finalist in the Naismith competition. Brink is ranked second in the nation in blocks with 111 total blocks this season, and is Stanford’s all-time career and regular season block leader.

However, Brink has proven to be reliable on both ends of the court as she leads the Cardinal with 14.9 points per game on 49% shooting from the field. She also makes 9.5 rebounds per game. Cardinal won the 2021 NCAA championship and wanted to repeat last year until he was stunned by UCLA in the Final Four. Stanford wants to reclaim the crown, and Brink, along with Hayley Jones and the rest of the roster, will have to fight to take it back from South Carolina.

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