Only four teams remain in the 2022 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament and each of those rosters are filled with talent. Some of the top players this season have already been eliminated, including Iowa's Caitlin Clark, Baylor's NaLyssa Smith and NC State's Elissa Cunane.
However, there are still a lot of players who are expected to make an impact in the Final Four this weekend. It was a difficult task, but here's a look at the top 10 players to watch in Minneapolis.
1. Aliyah Boston, South Carolina
Aliyah Boston was named the 2022 Naismith Women's Player of the Year, as well as Defensive Player of the Year, on Wednesday. Her versatility has pushed the Gamecocks to the program's fourth Final Four appearance, even though at times they didn't look their best. The 6'5" forward leads her team with 16.8 points and 12.2 rebounds per game. She registered 27 straight double-doubles this season, and was just three rebounds away from getting another one against Creighton. South Carolina is the third best rebounding team in the nation, and Boston takes the No. 5 spot in the individual statistics.
The Gamecocks struggled offensively earlier in the tournament, particularly in the second round against Miami when they were held to under 30% shooting in a 69-61 win. Boston went 4-of-15 from the field and 2-of-6 from the free throw line, but a subpar offensive game for her showed how impactful she is in other areas. She still finished with a double-double of 10 points and 16 rebounds.
South Carolina is the third best defensive team in the nation, holding opponents to just 50.5 points per game. Boston is a big reason for that, as she leads her team in total blocks (87) and steals (45). Looking at the four rosters still dancing, Boston is the top scorer and rebounder left.
2. Paige Bueckers, UConn
Last season she lifted the 2021 Naismith Trophy with an average of 20 points, 4.9 rebounds and 5.8 assists per game. This year things have looked a bit different as Bueckers suffered a knee injury in December and sat out for two months. She is still working on getting back to her old self, and her stats are a bit more quiet by her standards -- 14.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.0 assists. A double overtime win against No. 1 seed NC State reminded everyone exactly why Bueckers is such a key piece for the Huskies and should never be taken lightly, though.
She had a slow start but heated up when her team needed her the most. Bueckers finished the night with a game-high 27 points, 15 of them in the two overtime periods. After that game, senior guard Christyn Williams gave Bueckers credit for getting the Huskies past NC State and into their 14th straight Final Four appearance by saying, "We have Paige Bueckers and they don't."
Unsurprisingly, Bueckers was named the Bridgeport regional Most Outstanding Player.
3. Haley Jones, Stanford
Jones was named Most Outstanding Player of the Spokane Regional, thanks to registering double-doubles in her last two games. She finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds against No. 2 seed Texas to help the Cardinal continue their journey to repeat as national champions. Jones is Stanford's second most consistent scorer with 12.9 points per game while shooting at 42% from the field.
Her impact on offense can also be felt when she is not scoring, as she leads the Cardinal with 118 total assists this season. Stanford averages 42.09 rebounds per game, which is 16th best nationally. Jones, along with Cameron Brink, is a key reason for this as she contributes 7.8 rebounds per game. Jones was one of the four finalists for the Naismith Player of the Year award.
4. Hailey Van Lith, Louisville
The sophomore guard leads the Louisville offense with 14.5 points per game this season. She was a solid scorer earlier in the year, but has been even more impressive lately. Van Lith has stepped up big time during the tournament as the top scorer for the Cardinals in all four rounds so far.
She helped her team advance to the Final Four -- only the fourth time in Louisville history -- with a 22-point performance on 9-of-15 shooting from the field against the No. 3 seed Michigan Wolverines. That became her fourth consecutive 20-point game. She is competing with the Mamba Mentality and talked about that during her postgame interview when she was asked about her former mentor Kobe Bryant:
5. Cameron Brink, Stanford
Brink is a solid weapon for the Cardinal in a couple different areas. The 6'4" sophomore forward leads the offense with 13.4 points per game while shooting at 56% from the field. She also leads in rebounds with 8.1 per game, as well as blocks with a total of 89 this season. The 2022 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Defensive Player of the Year takes the No. 10 spot in blocks per game nationally. She is the leading blocker in the four teams competing in the semifinals.
Stanford was able to reach its 15th Final Four appearance after a 59-50 win over Texas. It was a low-scoring affair, and Brink put out a solid effort on defense with six blocks and one steal. The six blocks tied a career-high for her.
6. Destanni Henderson, South Carolina
The senior guard averages 10.7 points and leads her team in assists with 3.9 per game. No other player remaining in any of the four teams has more assists than her this season, as she has tallied a total of 125 in 32 games. She is also just behind her teammate Boston when it comes to steals, registering a total of 42 so far this season.
The Gamecocks do not stand out when it comes to three-point shooting, only averaging 4.9 per game. However, if they were to need some clutch shots from beyond the arc, Henderson could probably help. She averages 1.5 three-pointers per game while shooting them at 38.9%. She went 2-of-2 from three-point range against Creighton to help her finish the night with 12 points. Henderson joined Boston in the Greensboro All-Region team.
7. Lexie Hull, Stanford
Hull is the third Stanford player averaging double digits while making 12.7 points per game and shooting at 40% from beyond the arc. Stanford averages 7.3 three-pointers per game, which is the most by any of the remaining teams. The most consistent three-point shooter for Stanford is Hannah Jump with 2.5 per game, but Hull is second with 1.7 per game. The senior guard leads her team in steals with a total of 75 so far, which is also the most by any remaining player in the tournament. Hull helped push her team past Texas with a game-high 20 points in the Elite Eight round. That was special for her as she was playing in her hometown.
8. Christyn Williams, UConn
Although the Huskies have one of the biggest names in college basketball on their roster, they would not be where they are this season without Williams. The senior took over the UConn offense while Bueckers worked her way back from injury, and currently matches the team-high 14.7 points per game. Williams is a consistent force for UConn. She is humble and gave credit to her teammate after the NC State win, but she deserves a lot of credit herself.
Williams started that game with nine points in the first quarter and finished the night with 21. She sealed that win with the last five points for UConn in the second overtime period. Williams can also impact defense. She is second on the team with 48 steals this season, right behind Evina Westbrook with 50.
9. Emily Engstler, Louisville
The senior forward averages 11.8 points per game and is almost averaging a double-double with 9.4 boards per game, which is a team-high for rebounds. There is no doubt Engstler is a tough challenge to face when it comes to defense, too. She has a high basketball IQ and it shows in the stat sheet as her ability to read plays has her leading her team with 89 steals and 60 blocks this season. Deservingly so, Engstler was one of the Naismith Women's Defensive Player of The Year semifinalists.
10. Olivia Nelson-Ododa, UConn
Nelson-Dododa is not one of the Huskies' four double digit scorers, but she is close with 9.4 points per game while holding the best shooting percentage on the team at 59.9% from the field. The senior forward also helps others score, registering a team high 3.6 assists per game. She is versatile and contributes in a lot of different ways. Nelson-Odoba leads in rebounds with 7.5 boards per game and blocks with a total of 54 this season. She was impactful in UConn's 75-58 win over No. 3 seed Indiana in the Sweet 16 round with a double-double of 10 points and 14 rebounds -- the first double-double of her NCAA tournament career.