Posted 4 hours ago | By Jeff Mezydlo
The 2021 women’s NCAA Tournament is back — played exclusively in the San Antonio area. This season, more so than in recent years, there is plenty of parity when it comes to a national championship favorite.
That also means there’s plenty of individual X-factors in this year’s field. Some players are undisputed stars, while others are valuable to their respective teams in ways not always seen on the scoresheet. Here are 20 such players to keep an eye on.
1 of 20
Aliyah Boston, Forward, South Carolina
One of several semifinalists for the Naismith Women’s Player of the Year Award on this list. The sophomore will be making her NCAA Tournament debut for the No. 1 seed Gamecocks. Thus, plenty of eyes will be fixed on the way Boston deals with the bright lights of the Big Dance. She averaged 13.7 points and 11.7 rebounds this season as a sophomore. As South Carolina’s most complete player, she needs to play at a high level if the Gamecocks are to live up to their seed.
2 of 20
Paige Bueckers, Guard, Connecticut
Fans and analysts of women’s college basketball will be talking about Bueckers’ freshman season for a long time. Regardless of the No.1-ranked Huskies increase their NCAA record with a 12th national title. Bueckers averaged 19.7 points, shot 47.4-percent from 3-point range, and 6.1 assists to earn both Big East Player and Freshman of the Year. Sure, UConn has plenty of talent, but if Bueckers is anything less than her usual spectacular self, then the Huskies could be in trouble.
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