Getty Images

The 2024 NCAA Women's Tournament is just around the corner. Things will commence tomorrow and Thursday with the First Four to round out the field to 64 teams. After that it's full steam ahead for the competing teams, each hoping to be the next NCAA champion. 

If last year saw record numbers at the Final Four, the 2023-24 season has shown women's college basketball is on the rise for regular season and conference play too. And for those worried the game will miss names like Caitlin Clark or Cameron Brink -- both stars who've announced their intentions to enter the 2024 WNBA Draft -- there is no need to worry when standouts like Paige Bueckers, Hannah Hidalgo, JuJu Watkins and Madison Booker all return next season. 

However, we don't have to wait until this summer or the next NCAA season to see which elite players will cement their spot in women's basketball history. Here are 10 players to watch in the NCAA Women's Tournament. Let's start with top two prospects for the 2024 WNBA Draft. 

Caitlin Clark -- Guard, Iowa

You may know about Clark's numerous scoring records and the sold-out crowds she drew along the way. However, her ability to facilitate is often overlooked. Clark has 64 career double-doubles and is the only player in Division I history to record 3,700+ points, 1,000+ assists and 850+ rebounds in a career. Oh, and this is all before the 2024 NCAA Women's Tournament.  The Iowa guard leads the nation with 31.9 points per game. 

Cameron Brink -- Forward, Stanford

Like Clark, Brink has already decided she'll forgo her additional year of eligibility and enter the 2024 WNBA Draft next month. until then, the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year will be a key piece to the No. 2 overall seed. Brink leads the nation in blocks per game (3.52), and her 12 rebounds per game is third nationally, behind only BYU's Lauren Gustin and LSU's Angel Reese. 

Angel Reese -- Forward/center, LSU

Speaking of the Bayou Barbie, Reese and LSU are once again entering the NCAA Women's Tournament as a No. 3 seed. Her 19 points per game was best in the SEC this season, and she also led the conference in with over 13.1 rebounds per game. And if you enjoy smack talk, Reese is definitely a player to watch, as she famously taunted Caitlin Clark in the dying seconds of the 2023 national title game. We may see Reese vs. Clark II later this tournament as their teams could meet in the Elite Eight

Kamilla Cardoso -- Center, South Carolina

Speaking of South Carolina, Kamilla Cardoso is a must-watch. She has been a strong post presence for South Carolina all season and a veteran leader to balance a younger backcourt for the Gamecocks. She averages 9.5 rebounds per game and tallied a career-high 74 blocks for South Carolina this season. Unfortunately for the Gamecocks, Cardoso was given the lone suspension in the SEC championship scuffle with LSU and will not be eligible for the opening round game. However, Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks are widely expected to advance to the second round. 

Georgia Amoore -- Guard, Virginia Tech

Amoore proved last year she and the Hokies are the real deal. In the 2023 NCAA Women's Tournament, the Australian guard dropped a record 23 3-pointers en route to the first-ever Final Four appearance in program history. 

Amoore tallied a program-high 39 points against Virginia earlier this month and recorded the first-ever triple-double in program history last season against Nebraska. The senior dazzled again in the 2024 ACC Women's Tournament, and she's a good reason why -- despite Elizabeth Kitley's injury concern -- Virginia Tech secured a No. 4 seed in the Portland 3 region. 

Paige Bueckers -- Guard, UConn

Injuries continue to plague Bueckers and her UConn squad. However, that doesn't change the fact that Paige is a game changer. She is also the leader the Huskies need and is willing to evolve her game to make her team successful. This season, that has meant beefing up her defensive efforts to forge the Huskies ahead to a 22nd Big East conference title. Bueckers is averaging a team-high 21.9 points and 3.9 assists per game. 

JuJu Watkins -- Guard, USC

Watkins will be our first freshman on the list. The USC guard is the leading candidate to surpass Clark as the new all-time scoring champion, and she's only a freshman. The USC guard is averaging 27 points per game, good enough for second in the country. She broke Cheryl Miller's USC record for most double digit scoring games (10) with 12 this season, including a 51-point performance against Stanford

Hannah Hidalgo -- Guard, Notre Dame

It's fitting, perhaps, that Hannah Hidalgo's introduction to a national audience was a preseason game in Paris. In the City of Lights, the Notre Dame freshman guard stole the show. The end result was unfavorable to the Fighting Irish from a win-loss perspective, but it placed Hidalgo in the limelight. She scored 31 points against South Carolina, the most in a Notre Dame freshman debut in the last 31 years. That was just the beginning. Hidalgo averaged 23.3 points for the Irish and dropped a career-high 35 points against Georgia Tech last month. She led Notre Dame to their first ACC championship in five years and was named MVP of the tournament. 

MiLaysia Fulwiley -- Guard, South Carolina

Speaking of freshmen in Paris, if Hidalgo became a star in the lopsided loss, Fulwiley did that and more. Although Fulwiley hasn't carried the offensive load of Hidalgo and other players on the list, she has a hankering for coming up clutch for Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks. Her game is built for big moments, and that makes her a player to watch in the win-or-go home NCAA Women's Tournament. Her 24 points led all scorers in the spicy SEC Women's Tournament championship win over LSU, and her play has led to NIL deals -- including a multiyear deal with Curry Brand

Madison Booker -- Forward, Texas

Texas is the No. 1 seed the average fan might be sleeping on -- to their peril. One need look no further than Madison Booker, the first-ever freshman to win Big 12 Player of the Year. Booker averages 17.8 points per game and five assists for the Longhorns this season. She tallied 20+ points in 13 games, including against other tournament teams like Baylor, UConn and Iowa State. Her mid-range game makes her a dynamic scorer, and she's stepped up to be Vic Shaefer's go-to floor general after a season-ending injury to point guard Rori Harmon back in December.