South Carolina is favored to repeat as national champion, but who are the other contenders vying to cut down the nets in Dallas?
Women’s college basketball hasn’t had this clear of a national championship favorite in the preseason since Breanna Stewart‘s senior year at UConn.
And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that this year, that favorite is the South Carolina Gamecocks. Dawn Staley’s group beat UConn in the title game last year and returns national player of the year frontrunner Aliyah Boston along with three of the other four starters from that team.
But champions aren’t crowned in November. South Carolina still has to navigate a loaded SEC and a non-conference schedule that includes games against Maryland, Stanford, UCLA, and UConn…not to mention actually winning six NCAA Tournament games next March and April.
So if the Gamecocks can’t get it done, who’s next in line? Boardroom takes a look at the 2022-23 women’s college basketball futures odds.
Women’s Basketball Futures Odds: National Champion
South Carolina Gamecocks: +135
Stanford Cardinal: +450
Texas Longhorns: +1000
UConn Huskies: +1000
Tennessee Volunteers: +1000
Iowa Hawkeyes: +1000
Louisville Cardinals: +2000
Notre Dame Fighting Irish: +2500
Iowa State Cyclones: +3000
NC State Wolfpack: +3500
Indiana Hoosiers: +4000
Virginia Tech Hokies: +4000
North Carolina Tar Heels: +4000
Ohio State Buckeyes: +5000
Maryland Terrapins: +5000
LSU Tigers: +5000
Baylor Bears: +5000
Having any team at just +135 to win the national championship in November is bonkers and it feels like you might not even be able to get them at plus odds at the start of the tournament in March — if the season unfolds as expected. It’s no surprise to see Stanford coming in right behind the Gamecocks. It returns four of its top five scorers from last year and enrolls the No. 1 recruit in the country in Lauren Betts.
After that, there are a lot of question marks. Could Iowa be a decent pick at +1000? Sure, Caitlin Clark and Monika Czinano are as good a 1-2 punch as there is in the country, but the team needs to learn how to defend. Is Tennessee ready to take that next step? Maybe. The Vols dominated the transfer portal, but all that talent needs to mesh in a league that’s going to be a gauntlet. Can UConn get back to the title game without Paige Bueckers? Well, Azzi Fudd will be an All-American and Caroline Ducharme has All-Big East potential, but asking the team that wasn’t quite good enough last year to run it back without their best player is a tall order.
There’s a lot to consider and there’s also a lot to be excited about. This is opening week, where everyone is 0-0 and no one is eliminated from contention. So let’s roll the balls out and get to it.
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