College Hoops

NCAA Tournament Columbus Pod Breakdown

Mar 3, 2023; Greensboro, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Kayla McPherson (14) drives against Duke Blue Devils forward Taya Corosdale (5) and Duke Blue Devils guard Shayeann Day-Wilson (30) during the first half at Greensboro Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

The UNC Women’s Basketball team heads to Columbus, Ohio this weekend for the first weekend of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. Here is an in-depth preview of each team joining the Tar Heels in Columbus. 

The UNC Women’s Basketball team earned the 6th seed in the Seattle Region 3 bracket. They will travel to Columbus, Ohio for the first rounds of the NCAA Tournament on March 18th with hopes of advancing to the second round (and beyond). Many fans may not know much about who is joining the Lady Tar Heels in Columbus, so let’s take a look at the other schools and who Courtney Banghart’s squad could potentially match up with.

St. Johns: St. John’s is making their 11th NCAA tournament appearance, and first since 2016. They went 22-8 with a 13-7 Big East conference record. The Big East sent 5 teams to the Big Dance this season, including the Red Storm. St. John’s has wins over Creighton, Marquette, and their signature win came on February 21st in Storrs against UConn. They average 65.5 ppg while giving up 59.4 ppg. The Red Storm aren’t flashy on paper, but they have the ability to grind it out against an opponent and make it difficult to score. The Red Storm earned one of the last four spots in the NCAA Tournament and faced Purdue as an 11 seed in the play-in game Thursday night. St. John’s shot 11-23 (47.8%) from three-point range as they knocked off the Boilermakers 66-64 with a layup by Jayla Everett, the teams’ leading scorer, with 2 seconds left to advance to the Round of 64. They will face the Tar Heels in the Round of 64 on Saturday.

James Madison: The lowest-seeded team in the Columbus pod, the 14th-seeded James Madison Dukes out of the Sun Belt conference. The Dukes went 26-7 with a 13-5 conference record while earning the #1 seed in the Sun Belt conference tournament. They won 3 games in 3 days by an average margin of victory of 18.33 points per game. They faced one power 5 foe all season, and that was the North Carolina Tar Heels in November where they lost 76-65. They are 14th in the country in rebounding with 42.6 rebounds per game and 16th in the country in…

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