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NCAA DI women's tournament features NJCAA alumni

Charlotte, NC - The 2023 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament kicked off on March 15 and 16 with the first four play-in games. The first round of the tournament kicks off March 17-18 as 68 teams chase history and a national title. The NJCAA is highlighting notable alumni that continued their success at the four-year level, including nearly 30 student-athletes and 30 coaches across 31 teams.

2023 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament Schedule and Bracket

Norfolk State's roster boasts the most former two-year student-athletes with four suiting up for the Spartans: Alana Swift (Panola), Camille Downs (Butler), Mahoganie Williams (Trinity Valley), and Kierra Wheeler (Daytona State).  As a No. 16 seed, Norfolk State will face No. 1 South Carolina in the first round on Friday.  Downs and Wheeler are the leading scorers for the Spartans this season, averaging 11.9 and 11.0 points per game this season respectively.  Downs spent two seasons at Butler (KS) from 2018-20.  As a sophomore, Downs led the Grizzlies to an NJCAA DI Women's Basketball Championship berth and averaged 12.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game.  In one season with Daytona State (FL), Wheeler averaged 12.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 1.2 assists, and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 49.1 percent from the field. 

Last-Tear Poa will suit up with No. 3 seed LSU.  Poa, a former Northwest Florida State standout, is no stranger to postseason success.  During her freshman season with the Raiders, Poa led Northwest Florida State to claim the 2021 NJCAA DI Women's Basketball Championship title and earned Tournament MVP accolades.  As a sophomore, Poa was named a First Team All-American, averaged 14.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per game, and helped Northwest Florida State earn a No. 4 seed at the national tournament.  Poa has seen action in 30 games with the Tigers so far this season. 

Former Gulf Coast State (FL) forward D'Asia Gregg will take the court with No. 1 seed Virginia Tech.  The Hokies will take on No. 16 seed Chattanooga State on Friday.  Gregg has seen action in 31 games this season while averaging 5.2 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.  While competing at the two-year level, Gregg helped the Commodores to a top-10 ranking and a No. 5 seed in the NJCAA DI Women's Basketball Championship.  Gregg averaged 15.3 points per game while shooting 47.0 percent from the field and 6.1 rebounds per contest with Gulf Coast State. 

On the coaching side, seven head coaches in the NCAA tournament have ties to the NJCAA as either a student-athlete or a coach.  In his third season in Austin, Vic Schaefer has led Texas to earn the No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament.  Prior to beginning his historic coaching career, Schaefer spent two seasons as a student-athlete in the NJCAA at Alvin (TX).  Yolett McPhee-McCuin is in her fifth season at the helm of the Ole Miss women's basketball program.  During the 2022 season, McPhee-McCuin led Ole Miss to its first NCAA tournament appearance in 15 seasons.  This year, Ole Miss earned a No. 8 seed in the national tournament and will take on No. 9 Gonzaga on Friday.  McPhee-McCuin's ties to the NJCAA are as a student-athlete, playing for Miami Dade (FL) for two seasons in the early 2000s.

The 2023 NJCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship Tournament is being held March 22-27 at the Rip Griffin Center in Lubbock, TX, with 24 teams competing for the title and the national championship final airing on ESPNU. For more, visit: 2023 NJCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship Home