The Oregon Ducks. Sure, this comes as no surprise, as the Ducks and head coach Kelly Graves were the preseason No. 1 team in the country. In looking back at the last 17 champions though, how many surprises are there? One? Maybe two? The Ducks have the best all-around player in the country in Sabrina Ionescu, while having, arguably, the country’s best starting five. Following an early-season loss to Louisville, the Ducks have rattled off four consecutive wins, with the closest being a 36-point margin. They have three players likely to be selected in the first or second round of next year’s WNBA Draft in Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard, and Satou Sabally.
They also have a head coach who has been there before. Graves has been an extremely successful head coach and is not only one of the country’s best coaches, but one of the best recruiters. The Ducks are currently ranking 4th in scoring offense and 34th in scoring defense. They can score inside and out, defend, rebound, have tons of experience, and have the depth to get through an extremely difficult conference schedule, that will only work to prepare them for the NCAA Tournament come March.