GRWM for the women’s NCAA tournament

Preparation for the NCAA tournament extends beyond the court for women’s college basketball players.

March Madness means several weeks of nonstop travel after Selection Day. But before players hit the road, they must pack every game-day necessity, from essential beauty and skincare products to accessories to special mementos.

Here’s what some of the top players are packing in their bags for the tournament.

Raven Johnson, South Carolina

University of South Carolina basketball player Raven Johnson pulls Bath & Body Works’ Among the Clouds body spray from her travel bag at the school practice facility.

Cornell Watson for Andscape

University of South Carolina guard Raven Johnson tosses around the Aquaphor she keeps in her travel bag at the university practice facility.

Cornell Watson for Andscape

University of South Carolina sophomore guard Raven Johnson has dubbed this year her “revenge season” following last year’s Final Four loss to Iowa.

Johnson, who ranks No. 9 in the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.83), earned second team All-SEC honors this season while helping the Gamecocks earn their fourth SEC tournament title in five years.

The No. 1 seed Gamecocks (32-0) will face the winner of the No. 16 seed play-in game between Sacred Heart University and Presbyterian College in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

What’s in her bag? Johnson started using Aquaphor as a moisturizer after seeing a TikTok video recommending the product. Her other must-have items include Bath & Body Works Among the Clouds Daily Ultimate Hydration Body Cream and Fine Fragrance Mist, CeraVe facial cleanser, 99-cent lip gloss she found at a beauty supply store, Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Heat Universal Lip Luminizer + Plumper, and Bose QuietComfort Headphones. (Johnson gifted each member of her team Bose QuietComfort Ultra Wireless Earbuds two weeks ago.)

Raven Johnson’s tournament bag.

She also packs her Under Armour Flow Breakthru 3s, her favorite shoes to wear in games – except when she forgets them.

“Coach was laughing at me. She’s like, ‘Wow, [you] make sure your hair done, make sure you smell good, but you forget the shoes,’ ” Johnson said.

Aaliyah Edwards, UConn

University of Connecticut basketball player Aaliyah Edwards travels with several must-have items in her backpack.

Tony Spinelli/Andscape

University of Connecticut forward Aaliyah Edwards shows off a small purple and yellow ribbon she keeps in her backpack when traveling.

Tony Spinelli/Andscape

University of Connecticut senior forward Aaliyah Edwards earned All-Big East First Team honors this season after averaging 17.8 points and 9.3 rebounds. In late February, Edwards signed an NIL deal with Adidas Canada.

She missed the Big East tournament championship after suffering a broken nose against Providence in the conference tournament quarterfinal. Coach Geno Auriemma said Edwards should be available for the NCAA tournament.

The No. 3 seed Huskies (29-5) will face No. 14 seed Jackson State in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

What’s in her bag? To protect her signature Los Angeles Lakers-inspired purple and gold box braids, Edwards always brings her black satin hair bonnet with her on the road. To pass time on road trips, she also always brings a book. She’s currently finishing up UConn alumna Swin Cash’s autobiography Humble Journey: More Precious Than Gold. (The next book on her reading list is Dear Black Girls: How to Be True to You by Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson.) She also packs a mini Bible and a mini ribbon given to her by her brother Jermaine.

Aaliyah Edwards’ tournament bag.

One of Edwards’ favorite items in her travel bag is a necklace her mother gave to her with four Canadian quarters on it.

“[My mom] was my first life coach, but also my first basketball coach. … One of the basketball lessons that she’s taught me is to take everything that you do in life one quarter at a time,” Edwards said. “It kind of falls in the same lines of a basketball game. There’s four quarters for a reason. Even though life can get hard or each quarter can get hard and difficult, you just got to take it one quarter at a time and just be steady.”

Hannah Hidalgo, Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame basketball player Hannah Hidalgo keeps a Bible with her during travel games and tournaments.

Coliin Swavey for Andscape

Notre Dame’s Hannah Hidalgo loves to travel with a bunch of hoop earrings – even if she can’t wear them during games.

Coliin Swavey for Andscape

University of Notre Dame freshman guard Hannah Hidalgo dominated the ACC this season.

Hidalgo was named both ACC rookie of the year and defensive player of the year after leading the nation in steals (147) and average steals per game (4.59). She also led Notre Dame to its first ACC tournament title under head coach Niele Ivey and earned ACC tournament MVP honors. Hidalgo is a semifinalist for the Naismith Trophy Women’s Player of the Year.

No. 2 seed Notre Dame (26-6) will face No. 15 seed Kent State in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

What’s in her bag? Hidalgo’s must-have items include Dove Advanced Care Pink Rosa Antiperspirant Dry Spray, Carolina Herrera Good Girl perfume and Under Armour Curry 7s, which she wore and scored 34 points in during Notre Dame’s game against UConn on Jan. 27. On game days, she packs her Bible and does a pregame Bible study and prayer with teammate Cassandre Prosper.

Hidalgo also keeps several pairs of gold hoop earrings in her backpack, and Notre Dame distributed hoop earrings to promote her candidacy for ACC player of the year.

Hannah Hidalgo’s tournament bag.

“I think hoops are just like me,” Hidalgo said. “Obviously on the court I’m really aggressive, so I can put the hoops in and [they] give me this kind of girly feeling. … just having an item that just shows, ‘This is who Hannah is,’ and for the girls who could say, ‘Hey, I got the Hannah hoops.’ It is really cute, especially for the younger generation.”