SEC Tennessee South Carolina Basketball

South Carolina's Aliyah Boston holds up her piece of the the net after defeating Tennessee 74-58 to win the championship game of the SEC Women's Tournament in Greenville, S.C., Sunday, March 5, 2023.

It would be one thing if Arizona was set to potentially face just strong offenses or unyielding defenses, glass cleaners or shot blockers, those who drop dimes and those who sneak away with steals.

But a quick look at the rest of the Greenville 1 Regional reveals a collection of some of the nation’s superlatives, some of the best in the country at what they do, however they do it. It’s not just South Carolina, either, even though the Gamecocks rank among the country’s best in a bevy of categories. Let’s put it this way: The No. 16 seed in this quadrant of the bracket — Norfolk State — actually leads the nation in fewest points allowed per game. That’s scary.

Here is a breakdown of that stat and 15 other eye-popping numbers from the Greenville 1 Regional, in which the Wildcats are the No. 7 seed:

1. South Carolina

One big number: 9.0

Out of all of South Carolina's absurd numbers, this one stands out the most: The Gamecocks lead the nation with 9.0 blocks per game, a full 2.0 more than No. 2 Stanford. Here’s another number: 31.4%, as in USC’s field goal percentage defense, which ranks second nationally. The undefeated Gamecocks, who are vying to repeat as national champions, are led defensively by Aliyah Boston and Kamilla Cardoso, who both average 2.0 blocks per game as well as 9.7 and 8.9 rebounds per game, respectively.

2. Maryland

One big number: 50.46

A gritty senior guard who turned it around this year after regressing last season, Maryland's Diamond Miller puts her body on the line, night in, night out. She has attempted 234 free throws, sixth nationally, with nine games in double-figure attempts. It's a big reason she leads the seventh-ranked Terrapins in scoring at 19.7 points per game.

Boston College Notre Dame Basketball

Notre Dame's Olivia Miles, right, points at Boston College's Taina Mair during the first half of their game Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023 in South Bend, Ind.

3. Notre Dame

One big number: 6.9

While her outside shooting leaves a lot to be desired, Fighting Irish guard Olivia Miles is one of the best all-around players in the country. Her 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.1 steals are all nice, but her 6.9 assists per game are truly special. That mark ranks sixth nationally.


One big number: 14.94

The Bruins owned the offensive glass in the Pac-12, averaging 14.94 offensive boards per game, far above No. 2 Stanford at 13.79. Seven UCLA players have at least 45 offensive rebounds on the year.

5. Oklahoma

One big number: 84.5

With a balanced lineup led by Madi Williams (15.5 points per game), another three who average between 11.5 and 11.7 points and three more who chip in at least 6.0, the Sooners have one of the most formidable offenses in the country. Oklahoma averages 84.5 points per game to rank second nationally, drastically better than the next-best offense in the Big 12, Oklahoma State (75.8).

6. Creighton

One big number: 1.47

The Bluejays rank fourth in the country in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.47, and it's a team effort: All 10 players who average between 8.8 and 33.8 minutes also average between 0.5 and 3.5 assists. Junior guard Molly Mogensen is the top distributor on the team at 3.5 dimes per contest.

BEast Creighton Villanova Basketball

Creighton's Molly Mogensen, right, is guarded by Villanova's Lucy Olsen during the first half of their game in the semifinals of the Big East Conference Tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena, Sunday, March 5, 2023, in Uncasville, Conn.

7. Arizona

One big number: 6.13

Long the mark of Adia Barnes' program, once again the Cats are feisty. The Wildcats have forced 554 turnovers and committed just 340 themselves, with a turnover margin of plus-6.13 that ranks ninth in the country. The Wildcats lead the league in that category by an extraordinary margin; No. 2 Arizona State checks in at a 2.71 margin.

8. South Florida

One big number: 10.5

It's not just that the Bulls average an impressive 41.0 rebounds per game, it's that they allow just 30.5 boards, a margin of 10.5. That mark ranks fourth in the country.

9. Marquette

One big number: 57.9

Forget UConn and Villanova, Creighton and more: Marquette had the best defense in the always-competitive Big East, allowing just 57.9 points per game, the fewest in the conference. The Golden Eagles also ranked third in the conference in opposing field goal percentage at 39.0%.

West Virginia Oklahoma St Basketball

West Virginia guard JJ Quinerly, center, shoots between Oklahoma State forward Lior Garzon, left, and center Kassidy De Lapp in the first half of their game Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in Stillwater, Okla.

10. West Virginia

One big number: 6.10

Both stingy and opportunistic, the Mountaineers have been a terror when it comes to turnovers. WVU ranks 10th nationally in turnover margin, forcing 590 on the year while only committing 407. It helps to have six players averaging more than a steal per game, including JJ Quinerly, who averages 2.1 per game.

11. Illinois/Mississippi State

One big number: 37.75

Led by Genesis Bryant, one of the top 20 3-point shooters in the country (42.01%), the Illini are among the best teams in the country from deep. Illinois ranked seventh in the country at 37.75% from beyond the arc.

12. Portland

One big number: 58.38

A four-year starter who has averaged at least 16.8 points per game every season since 2019-20, Portland junior forward Alex Fowler ranks among top 20 field goal percentage leaders at 58.38% from the field. She's hit 202 of her 346 shot attempts this season.

13. Sacramento State

One big number: 38.64

The Hornets are deadly from deep, shooting 38.64% from behind the arc (fourth nationally). It's not just accuracy, it's volume: Six Sac State players have attempted 49 or more threes, including Kahlaijah Dean and her 77-for-200 shooting from 3-point range.

BSKY Sacramento St N Arizona Basketball

Sacramento State's Kahlaijah Dean, right, battles with Northern Arizona guard Emily Rodabaugh for a loose ball in the first half of their game for the championship of the Big Sky Women's Tournament in Boise, Idaho, Wednesday, March 8, 2023, in Boise, Idaho.

14. Southern Utah

One big number: 42.12

The Thunderbirds are most certainly glass cleaners. They rank 17th in the country in rebounding at 42.12 per game behind the strength of center Lizzy Williamson (10.1 rpg) and five other players who average more than 3.3 rebounds per game. Problem is, their first-round opponent, Notre Dame, ranks 13th in the country at 42.67 rebounds per game.

15. Holy Cross

One big number: 54.8

The Patriot League Tournament champion Crusaders rank among the stingiest defenses in the country. They allow just 54.8 points per game, ranking 17th nationally. The Crusaders allowed 45 points or less to a half-dozen teams.

16. Norfolk State

One big number: 50.1

The Spartans’ 31.0 percent opposing field goal percentage leads the nation, as does their 50.1 points per game allowed. In their matchup with South Carolina, these two teams might not break 30% from the field.

Originally published on, part of the BLOX Digital Content Exchange.


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