The opening day of the ladies’s NCAA match is behind us, and the sphere might be narrowed to 32 groups on Saturday. Charlie Creme and Mechelle Voepel of espnW weigh in on the perfect and worst of Friday, and sit up for what we would anticipate from one other thrilling day of video games.
What shocked you most from the primary day of the match?
Charlie Creme: It hasn’t been a classic season within the Massive 12, however the way in which No. 9 seed Kansas State and No. 7 seed Texas went out within the first spherical was disappointing. The Wildcats’ loss to Michigan wasn’t sudden; the Wolverines entered the match having gained 9 of their final 11. However a 30-point margin in an Eight-9 recreation is surprising. Michigan shot the ball effectively, however was simply more durable with an almost-unheard-of 50-19 rebounding benefit.
Take a look at Event Problem for reside updates with an opportunity to win $5,000 in Amazon.com reward playing cards!
Texas gained the battle of the boards, however it wasn’t sufficient to beat an offense that routinely appeared out of sync, struggled from the Three-point line (Four-of-17), and turned over the ball 23 instances. These identical points plagued the Longhorns all season, and the entire by no means equaled the sum of the components. After 4 straight journeys to the Candy 16, Texas is gone on the match’s first day after falling 69-65 to Indiana.
Mechelle Voepel: How shut No. 15 seed Mercer got here to knocking off No. 2 Iowa at dwelling. Sure, the Bears got here in on a 17-game profitable streak, however did anybody actually anticipate them to push the Massive Ten match champion Hawkeyes to the buzzer?
No. 12 Bucknell scaring No. 5 Florida State was one other shock. The Seminoles gained 70-67, and needed to be completely happy they escaped a Bison crew that almost pulled the upset regardless of being outrebounded by 21.
Sophomore Jaelynn Penn had 24 factors and No. 10 seed Indiana upended No. 7 seed Texas 69-65. The Hoosiers face No .2 seed Oregon on Sunday. AP Photograph/Chris Pietsch
What crew do you’re feeling in another way about now than you probably did coming into the day?
Creme: Iowa received a monster recreation from Megan Gustafson and shot 55 % from the sphere, but nonetheless struggled to beat Mercer at dwelling. Maybe it is a case of getting that first win out of the way in which after which taking part in higher — however the Hawkeyes did not seem like a No. 2 seed. Gustafson is sweet sufficient to hold a crew, however she wants assist. Guards Tania Davis and Kathleen Doyle have had good seasons, however weren’t good on Friday. They must be higher capturing the ball and caring for it. Now, Iowa will get to play one other crew in Missouri that simply escaped a decrease seed and has a celebrity senior. Gustafson and Sophie Cunningham received to outlive one other day, however one will see a profession finish on Sunday.
Voepel: As Creme mentioned, No. Eight seed Michigan was spectacular. I assumed the Wolverines is perhaps challenged by No. 9 Kansas State, however as a substitute they blew the Wildcats off the courtroom 84-54. Michigan fully shut down the Wildcats inside, holding their beginning frontcourt to a mixed 5 factors along with outrebounding Ok-State 50-19. Michigan has performed effectively because the begin of February, and nearly knocked off Maryland within the Massive Ten match. Subsequent up is No. 1 Louisville, and that may very well be attention-grabbing.
What was the perfect second from Friday?
Creme: Buffalo is making a house within the NCAA match. The look on senior Cierra Dillard’s face because the Bulls had been salting away their win over Rutgers to win this system’s third match recreation in two years mentioned all of it. It was a glance of full confidence. She was extolling the gang in Storrs to benefit from the second as a lot as she and her teammates had been. Dillard, the nation’s second-leading scorer at 25.2 PPG, performed an impressive ground recreation in opposition to the Scarlet Knights, with 20 factors, six assists, 4 rebounds and 4 steals, taking part in all 40 minutes. How lengthy she will be able to keep that confidence is the important thing, particularly with Buffalo set to face UConn at Gampel Pavilion within the second spherical.
Cierra Dillard and 10-seed Buffalo face UConn on Sunday (ESPN/ESPN App, 7 p.m. ET). AP Photograph/Stephen Dunn
Voepel: Missouri senior ahead Cierra Porter hit a Three-pointer in opposition to Drake to tie the rating 70-70 with Three:18 left in additional time. It was simply her third trey of the season, and was even larger than her second. That got here late in a Feb. 14 recreation when Missouri upset Mississippi State. Porter began this season away from basketball, medically retiring due to knee points. However then she felt effectively sufficient to return in late December, and has made an enormous distinction for the Tigers. She had 18 factors in opposition to Drake, and that Three was as essential because it was sudden.
Give us one Saturday upset decide that may shock a lot of the world however wouldn’t shock you.
A have a look at the perfect of the primary spherical on Friday within the 2019 girls’s NCAA match.
After shedding within the NCAA title recreation the previous two seasons, coach Vic Schaefer will not permit any letup. Friday, the Bulldogs rolled to a 57-point rout.
Katie Lou Samuelson appeared simply superb in her return from harm. The No. 2 seed Huskies appeared even higher in a giant win over Towson.
Creme: Merely taking a look at their seeds, it’d come as a shock to suppose that Little Rock will beat Gonzaga, however a No. 12 seed has crushed a No. 5 in three straight tournaments. To this point, three of the 5-seeds — Arizona State, Florida State and Marquette — have superior. Historical past and math depart Gonzaga susceptible on Saturday (ESPN2/ESPN App, Three:30 p.m. ET).
However seeds apart, accidents are the true motive the Zags is perhaps inclined. With start line guard Laura Stockton and second-leading scorer Laura Townsend out with accidents suffered within the West Coast Convention match semifinals, and coach Lisa Fortier nonetheless coping with the demise of her brother two days later, Gonzaga is not the identical crew that gained the WCC common season and upset Stanford early within the season.
The Trojans, wanting a mid-February stumble, dominated the Solar Belt and have a harmful tandem in Ronjanae DeGray and Kyra Collier.
Voepel: I will not be shocked if No. 11 seed Missouri State is ready to get previous No. 6 DePaul (ESPN2/ESPN App, Three:30 p.m. ET). The Woman Bears beat Drake twice this season, and we noticed how shut the No. 10 seed Bulldogs got here to upsetting No. 7 Missouri on Friday. Missouri State appeared very robust in profitable the Missouri Valley Convention match title.