In a pandemic filled year that put the sports world on hold, there was no tournament, no cutting the nets, no celebrations on campus. There was nothing but thoughts of who would've been crowned the 2020 NCAA women's basketball tournament champions.
Now here we are a year later wondering who will become the last team standing. But this time, the tournament is set. The 64 best teams in the NCAA are in San Antonio and are ready to compete to become champions in a national tournament that will be one that will go down in history as the "maddest" one of all. After all, being crowned champion in a pandemic riddled season, and even competing throughout it, is an accomplishment like no other.
Without further ado, I present my March Madness bracket and predictions:
The way I chose the winner of each and every game was pretty simple, at least in my mind.
I implemented each team's NET, wins/losses against Top-25 schools, total points per-game, total points per-game allowed and a ton of my own madness to stir up the pot a little.
Some people may think that me not having Baylor, South Carolina or UCONN in the championship game is ridiculous.
Some might agree with me and be happy that I chose another school, especially one that isn't a no. 1 seed, will make it to the championship and be crowned winners.
I want to be clear, I didn't purposely choose no. 1 seeds to not make it to the Final Four or the championship. If this was 2020, South Carolina would've been my choice to win it all. I strongly believe that Maryland and Tennessee will be a great finals prediction in an unpredictable season.
This tournament is the Renia Davis revenge tour. She was undoubtedly one of the best players in the SEC who flies under the radar for a reason I'll never understand.
There are tons of games I can point at and say, this shows the ultimate strength of Tennessee that can most definitely help lead them to a championship. But, there's only one that really sealed the deal and ultimately, solidified my choice.
In a home game against then no. 2 South Carolina, Tennessee fought hard and defeated the Gamecocks 75-67. Davis recorded a 24 point and12 rebound double-double to steer the way in their "Live Pink, Bleed Orange" game. She put everything on the court, with the help of Rae Burrell (19 points) and Jordan Horston (12 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists off the bench), and there's no doubt that energy will pick up throughout this entire tournament.
Photo courtesy of Caleb Jones/Tennessee Athletics
With Davis, Burrell and Horston off the bench for the Lady Vols, the River Walk region and the rest of the 63 team pool better be on high alert.
Next time, join me as I will go into detail on after each round to explain in greater detail why I chose the way I did and to see how wrong (or right) I was.
But for now, Happy March Madness. May the odds of your bracket not busting and your team winning be ever in your favor.