#4 Duke v. #5 Mississippi State
Well, we know ONE official (or set of officials) that won’t be moving on. ’cause that was a clear offensive foul. But, Vic – remember what the Caterpillar said to Alice: “Keep. Your. Temper.” ’cause that T just hamstrung any comeback MSU had in its tank. The Escaping Devils say, “Next!” Writes Mechelle:
She was also the only player on either side to play all 40 minutes — the first time this season that Stevens has done that — and Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie joked about it afterward.
“I guess I forgot that I never took her out,” McCallie said, “but she was absolutely fantastic. If you saw Azura play in December, she couldn’t play 20 straight minutes. She would have been just dying to come out.”
Sunday, the only people who were dying for Stevens to leave the game were on the Mississippi State side, to get some relief from having to guard her. Stevens — whose first name is pronounced AZ-er-ray — acknowledged she was “very nervous” before Friday’s NCAA opener, and thinks that showed in her play. However, it’s not as if she didn’t help Duke a lot in a 54-52 victory in which every point and rebound counted. She had 11 points and nine rebounds against the Great Danes.
#11 Miami v. #3 Iowa
#2 Baylor v. #10 Arkansas
#2 Kentucky v. #7 Dayton
#1 South Carolina v. #8 Syracuse
Another great crowd. This is what folks are talking about when they say athletes want a “championship feel.” They don’t care that it’s the opposition’s fans… they just don’t want to play in an arena where they can hear their sneakers squeak. The Gamecocks move into the Sweet Sixteen looking ready for bear. From Mechelle: Depth, Dozier lead Gameocks
South Carolina guard Asia Dozier recalls attending Gamecock women’s games when she was in junior high school, and not having any problem getting a good seat. Dozier, a Columbia native whose father and uncle are twins who played basketball at South Carolina in the 1980s, realized she had a chance to help improve the atmosphere at Colonial Life Arena.
“I probably came to my first women’s game here in seventh grade,” Dozier said. “At halftime, they used to announce to everybody who was in the upper deck to come down and fill in the empty seats close to the court. Now to see the fans rush in when the doors open, it’s a complete turnaround. It’s an amazing feeling to know we played a role in changing the fan support here.”
#3 Oregon State v. #11 Gonzaga
#1 Notre Dame v. #9 DePaul
#4 Cal v. #5 Texas
After a strong start got derailed by injuries, Texas was dismissed by some. They’re out to prove folks wrong. They faced Cal on Hess Court and triumphing, 73-70, reaching the Sweet Sixteen for the first time in 11 years. From Michelle:
McGee-Stafford was the centerpiece of a dominate-the-paint strategy on both ends of the floor that propelled fifth-seeded Texas to a 73-70 win over No. 4 seed Cal at Haas Pavilion on Sunday and into the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2004.
“This is how we start our legacy,” McGee-Stafford said. “We were able to do something that hasn’t been done in over a decade and it just goes to show that hard work eventually pays off.”
From Graham: Five Observations From Sunday
Half of the Sweet 16 is set. Here are five takeaways from Day 3 of the women’s NCAA tournament.
1. You come at the king …: You probably know how the rest of the famous line from “The Wire” goes. No. 11 Gonzaga wasn’t whistling “The Farmer in the Dell” or anything else in the final seconds of its second-round game against No. 3 seed Oregon State in Corvallis, Oregon — although Gill Coliseum was probably about as quiet as a deserted street at night — but the basic premise is the same.
The Pacific Northwest is still property of the team from Spokane. Changing that goes through the Bulldogs.
Take a breath, ’cause up next:
#7 FCGU v. #2 Florida State
From the Cape Coral Breeze: FSU next for streaking FGCU women
From the News-Press: Notes: FGCU knows task gets tougher against FSU
#8 Princeton v. #1 Maryland
Arguably the loudest ovation of the day inside the Xfinity Center on Saturday was not the one that greeted the man who works in the Oval Office. That had nothing to do with politics or partisanship on a day that saw President Barack Obama take in his niece’s game. Abraham Lincoln could have walked in during the opening game between Princeton and Green Bay, when the stands were still more empty than full save for concentrated patches of orange and green, and the reception would have paled in comparison to that a few hours later when Alyssa Thomas appeared on the video board during the game between Maryland and New Mexico State.
A year removed from her final college game, the best player in Maryland women’s basketball history is a hard act to follow.
So, too, is Niveen Rasheed, still perhaps the best player in Princeton history two years after she last played college ball.
#10 Pittsburgh v. #2 Tennessee
From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pitt women’s basketball team hopes to reach ‘Summitt’ of dreams at Tennessee
From the Knoxville Sentinel: Mike Strange: Pitt women’s improbable story leads to Knoxville
From the Chattanooga: John Shearer: Remembering Meeting The Pittsburgh Women’s Coach
#5 Oklahoma v. #4 Stanford
From the Oklahoma Daily: Women’s basketball to battle Stanford in second round
From the Stanford Daily: Card to play Oklahoma for Sweet 16 Berth
From the Santa Cruz Sentinel: Stanford women to face physical Oklahoma in NCAA Tournament on Monday
#5 Ohio State v. #4 North Carolina
From the Columbus Dispatch: Buckeyes, Tar Heels like to run
The NCAA tournament mountaintop that the Ohio State women’s basketball team intends to reach will take on a slightly steeper grade at 6:30 Monday night when the Buckeyes face North Carolina on its Carmichael Arena home court.
Fifth-seeded Ohio State (24-10) stopped 12th-seeded James Madison 90-80 in a fast-paced first-round game on Saturday to get a shot at the fourth-seeded Tar Heels (25-8), a traditional power out of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
From OSU The Lantern: Alston, Mitchell fueling Ohio State women’s basketball in NCAA Tournament
From the Daily Tar Heel: UNC women’s basketball wins for ‘mama bear’
From the New York Times: A New Start for Sylvia Hatchell, a Veteran Tar Heel
In this season of many returns — to health, to basketball, to the N.C.A.A. tournament — Sylvia Hatchell has embraced a saying.
“I tell people, ‘This is my 40th year,’ but in a lot of ways, it feels like my first,” Hatchell, the 63-year-old coach of the North Carolina women’s basketball team for the past 29 years, said of her coaching career after her fourth-seeded Tar Heels survived No. 13 Liberty, 71-65, in the first round of the N.C.A.A. tournament on Saturday at Carmichael Arena.
#8 Rutgers v. #1 Connecticut
From Keith Sergeant: Rutgers women’s basketball team to President Obama: ‘We busted your bracket!’
From the Courant: Effort, Unselfishness Are The Keys To UConn’s Success and Rutgers Works To Return To UConn’s Level, Courant
From the Register: UConn women well aware of what Rutgers brings to the table, Register
The Knicks lost *again*, so from the NY Times: Rutgers’s Coach Is Used to Winning, but Not When She Faces UConn, NY Times
From NorthJersey.com: Tall task in Storrs for Rutgers women,
#6 South Florida v. #3 Louisville
From the Courier-Journal: USF a familiar foe for U of L women
Also from the C-J: USF’s Courtney Williams to test U of L women
From the Oracle: Bulls charge to second round
From the AP’s Mark Didtler: Louisville and USF look to advance to Sweet 16
”The one thing that we take great pride here at Louisville is the ability to play different ways for different opponents,” Cardinals coach Jeff Walz said. ”We’re quite aware we’re not going to be able to play that same way defensively, so we’ll have to figure out a new game plan and move on from there.”
#11 Arkansas-Little Rock v. #3 Arizona State
From the Merced Sun-Star: Sun Devils in for tough test against Trojans
From FoxSports: UALR-Arizona St. Preview
The bigger Aggies pushed the Trojans, bumped them, fouled them when they tried to get off shots.
What caught the Sun Devils‘ attention was the reaction of UALR’s players: Nothing.
”You can tell that nothing really bothers them,” Arizona State forward Sophie Brunner said. ”They just make things work.”
From the Examiner.com: Women’s NCAA second round matches ASU and UALR in Tempe Monday night