By Charlie Creme Updated: 4/27/2021 at 10:00 a.m. ET
The best part of putting together the first bracket projection for the 2022 women’s NCAA tournament is that it represents another step toward normalcy. After an unprecedented 2020-21 season and the most unusual NCAA tournament in women’s college basketball history, March Madness next season is expected to mark the return of four regionals, 16 first- and second-round sites, fans, bands and a traditional schedule of games. Until the official bracket is revealed, ESPN will project the women’s NCAA field, including the teams on the bubble and those considered the biggest contenders to raise the trophy in Minneapolis on April 3, 2022.
The offseason has been anything but typical with so much player movement. But the biggest move was coach Kim Mulkey leaving Baylor for LSU. The move will obviously impact the Lady Bears, but they are a No. 1 seed at this point because the rest of a talented roster is still there. UConn, reigning champion Stanford and South Carolina also start on the top line of our first bracket for the 2022 women’s NCAA tournament. NC State, Louisville, Maryland and Indiana are right behind them in the pursuit for a No. 1 seed. The bracket will undoubtedly change throughout the offseason as player movement continues to reshuffle rosters around the country. In this projection, the SEC leads the way with nine teams, but the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 each have seven teams in the field.
On the Bubble
First Four Out
Last Four In
Next Four Out
New Team to Bracket
Photo illo by ESPN Illustration, additional photos courtesy of Getty Images, Associated Press, Imagn, Icon Sportswire, EPA/Shutterstock