Ladies’s NCAA event 2022 – Prime seeds roll, trio of double-digit seeds pull upsets on Day 1


Iowa‘s Monika Czinano admitted she was fairly hyped whereas making an attempt to get to sleep the evening earlier than the Hawkeyes opened the 2022 NCAA ladies’s event on Friday.

“I stared on the ceiling for some time,” Czinano stated.

However as soon as she was on court docket, Czinano appeared well-rested and able to go, as she went 6-for-6 from each the sector and foul line. The No. 2 seed Hawkeyes set a faculty report for factors in an NCAA event sport of their 98-58 victory over Illinois State. They have been one of many top-16 seeds who stepped on the gasoline and did not let as much as get the primary spherical began, together with the top-seeded South Carolina Gamecocks, Louisville Cardinals and Stanford Cardinal, the No. 2-seeded Baylor Bears and Texas Longhorns and the fourth-seeded Maryland Terrapins.

Nevertheless it wasn’t simply a gap day of chalk; three double-digit seeds triumphed because the No. 10-seeded South Dakota Coyotes and Creighton Bluejays and the No. 12 seed Florida Gulf Coast Eagles moved on. And Stanford junior ahead Fran Belibi threw down the third dunk in NCAA ladies’s event historical past.

Here is a take a look at what stood out most on the primary full day of girls’s March Insanity and a peek forward at what to anticipate in Saturday’s video games.

Comply with this hyperlink for an entire take a look at Friday’s games, that are all on the ESPN household of networks. Go to this hyperlink to examine your Women’s Tournament Challenge bracket. By means of the primary 16 video games, 1,305 stay excellent.

Maryland’s season was filled with accidents and inconsistent play, and the Terps suffered their earliest Large Ten event exit. What stood out of their bounce-back win Friday, and the way do they match up with Florida Gulf Coast?



Diamond Miller steals the rock and lays it in to increase the Terrapins’ lead within the fourth quarter.

Voepel: We simply by no means count on Maryland to wrestle offensively, it doesn’t matter what season it’s. However they did within the Large Ten event remaining with a 62-51 loss to Indiana on March 4, which despatched the Terps into the NCAA event on a bitter observe.

If we take a look at the place the Terps’ offensive points occurred throughout Large Ten play general, it was largely in opposition to two groups they misplaced to twice: Indiana and Michigan. What we noticed Friday of their 102-71 blowout in opposition to Delaware was the stability that’s Maryland at its finest: All 5 starters scored in double figures, and the crew shot 59.4% from the sector and 50% from behind the arc.

That model of Maryland is the crew most anticipated to win the Large Ten this season. Now, we are going to discover out if the Terps can stick with it in opposition to Florida Gulf Coast, among the best mid-major applications within the nation the final a number of years.

The No. 12 Eagles’ 84-81 upset over No. 5 Virginia Tech was a masterpiece in sticking to the sport plan. Did the Eagles have anybody to decelerate ACC Participant of the Yr Elizabeth Kitley? No, however they gained anyway, permitting Kitley to get 42 factors however limiting the remainder of the Hokies.

The Eagles have been outrebounded 40-29, however had simply three turnovers, made 15 3-pointers and shot 46.9% from the sector. They gained all of the classes they completely needed to so as to win the sport.

Will they be outrebounded by Maryland? Nearly actually. However they are going to attempt to win the 3-point battle (which is usually a problem in opposition to the Terps), and so they should cope with Maryland’s higher number of offensive weapons.



Karli Seay places Virginia Tech out of attain with a late 3-pointer to advance the 12-seed Florida Gulf Coast.

Philippou: Ashley Owusu and Diamond Miller burst out of the gates to start out the event in a approach we’ve not seen them do constantly this season. Partly responsible is that each handled accidents and/or sickness at instances this 12 months, with Owusu lacking 5 video games and Miller lacking 10. And whereas Angel Reese has taken an enormous step ahead for the Terps, Friday confirmed simply how dominant Maryland might be, particularly offensively, when Owusu and Miller are clicking. That trio mixed for 62 of the Terps’ 102 factors, which is probably going music to Brenda Frese’s ears. Again within the beginning lineup for the primary time since early February, Owusu completed with a team-high 24 factors on 10 of 14 capturing, to associate with six assists, whereas Miller was equally environment friendly at 23 factors on 8-for-12 capturing, together with 2-for-5 on 3s.

After the sport, Frese proclaimed the clichéd but true adage for this time of 12 months: “It is a new season. All anybody actually remembers is March Insanity and the way you end.” If a lastly wholesome, surging and balanced Maryland takes that to coronary heart, the Terps might remind the world why everybody was so excessive on them this preseason.

As for Sunday, now we have a crew recognized for its run-and-gun fashion taking up one other whose motto has been “all gasoline, no breaks.” Maryland has allowed opponents to shoot 34.5% on 3s this season, among the many worst marks within the nation, and FGCU simply hit 15-of-38 from the arc to beat Virginia Tech. The Eagles might want to get scorching from deep to have any probability of knocking off the Terps.



Creighton pulls away within the fourth quarter behind Morgan Maly’s 20 factors to defeat Colorado 84-74.

What was your largest shock from Friday’s video games?

Philippou: I believe some of us have been shocked that No. 10 seed Creighton, which was one among three Large East groups to earn at-large bids into the event, was in a position to draw back No. 7 seed Colorado of the Pac-12. The Buffaloes are sometimes a reasonably good defensive crew, however Creighton’s movement offense constantly offers opposing defenses a tricky time.

“I believe we guarded fairly successfully, all issues thought of,” Colorado coach JR Payne stated. But when the Buffs have been good at 98% of issues defensively, she added, the Bluejays “dwell in that 2%.”

What did that appear like for Creighton? The Bluejays shot 50.9% from the sector, together with 8-for-19 (42.1%) on 3s, and knocked down 18 of 20 free throws. Creighton has a bunch of offensive threats who can damage you, and on Friday, Molly Mogensen (16 factors) and Morgan Maly (20 factors) did the majority of the injury.

I am intrigued to see how Creighton-Iowa pans out on Sunday. They’re each wonderful 3-point capturing groups, although Creighton sometimes performs at a extra deliberate tempo in comparison with transition-heavy Iowa. The groups frequently scrimmage one another within the preseason, so they’re conversant in one another.

Voepel: South Dakota beating Ole Miss did not come out of nowhere. The Coyotes had misplaced just one sport since November, and that was at rival South Dakota State on Feb. 5. Their different 4 losses have been all in opposition to Energy 5 groups within the first month of the season. South Dakota was a harmful No. 10 seed.

However the shock was that the Coyotes did not simply beat the Rebels, they dominated the sport 75-61, capturing 55.8% from the sector and holding Ole Miss to 39%. And within the battle of facilities, South Dakota’s 6-2 Hannah Sjerven had 20 factors on 7 of seven capturing from the sector, whereas Ole Miss’ 6-5 Shakira Austin went Three of 16 for 9 factors, her lowest level complete since scoring 9 in a loss to Georgia on Jan. 30.

It was Ole Miss’ first NCAA event look since 2007, and Friday’s efficiency was a disappointment for a program that has made nice strides the previous two years. As for Austin, she continues to be anticipated to be a excessive first-round WNBA draft choose in April, however this sport ought to inspire her about what she must do to maintain enhancing as a professional.

Plenty of data — each program and NCAA event marks data — have been damaged Friday. Though they have been set in blowouts, is there something to glean from them?

Voepel: The primary spherical is often a combined bag, and this 12 months isn’t any exception. Groups like South Carolina and Stanford appeared like large bulldozers, and several other different groups dominated as nicely.

It may be arduous to evaluate how nicely a crew or particular person seems to be if the competitors would not actually stand an opportunity, however we are able to collect a couple of nuggets from the blowouts. South Carolina’s protection was suffocating in opposition to Howard; the Bison needed to struggle like heck for all 21 factors they bought (they scored the fewest points in an NCAA tournament game). That is precisely what Gamecocks coach Daybreak Staley needs to see: No mercy defensively.

Louisville compelled 26 turnovers in beating Albany, and Stanford’s protection was equally spectacular in opposition to Montana State (the Cardinal led 23-Zero earlier than the Bobcats scored). Iowa outscored Illinois State 34-2 in transition and made 12 3-pointers, a deadly mixture. Baylor appeared like Baylor with NaLyssa Smith and Queen Egbo each getting double-doubles.

Of these groups, Iowa and Stanford got here into the NCAA event off convention event titles, whereas South Carolina and Baylor misplaced their league finals and Louisville fell within the quarterfinals. All of them appeared actually sharp on Friday.

Philippou: My essential addendum to that is that we have to haven’t simply extra dunks in ladies’s school basketball, however extra dunks in ladies’s NCAA event video games! You realize Stanford is feeling it when Belibi decides to throw it down, as she did halfway by means of the second quarter in opposition to Montana State to place the Cardinal up 31-6. It was simply the third dunk within the historical past of the ladies’s event after Brittney Griner and Candace Parker did it for Baylor (2013) and Tennessee (2006).

In all seriousness, Belibi’s 12-point, 13-rebound double-double is an efficient signal for the Cardinal, no matter whether or not any dunking was concerned.



Rebecca Lobo says a wholesome Paige Bueckers and Azzi Fudd make the Huskies a severe national-championship contender.

Which sport most intrigues you on Saturday’s schedule?

Voepel Friday was good for the Large 12, which went 4-Zero with victories by No. 2 seeds Baylor and Texas, No. Three Iowa State and No. Eight Kansas; the Jayhawks’ final journey to the event was in 2013.

Two extra Large 12 groups are in motion Saturday, with No. Four seed Oklahoma internet hosting IUPUI (10 p.m. ET, ESPNU) and No. 9 Kansas State in opposition to No. Eight Washington State (11:30 a.m. ET, ESPN2). Each video games have some intrigue. As we wrote Friday, IUPUI is a extremely powerful No. 13 seed for the Sooners to face. And the way will the Cougars deal with Wildcats heart Ayoka Lee?

In the meantime, the SEC took a few bumps on Friday with Ole Miss and Arkansas falling, albeit the latter was not an upset. How good will LSU, Tennessee, Kentucky and Florida look Saturday? Can Kentucky preserve the momentum that bought them a shocking SEC event title?

Philippou: Mechelle talked about how dominant the Nos. 1, 2 and three seeds appeared Friday, so I will be seeking to see how the likes of NC State, UConn, Michigan, LSU and Indiana look. NC State is coming off a pleasant run within the ACC event, and Elissa Cunane is anticipated to be wonderful after tweaking her ankle within the remaining. As for the second-seeded Huskies, Geno Auriemma has been happy with Paige Bueckers‘ progress in follow for the reason that Large East event, so I will be seeking to see how assertive and aggressive she performs, and what number of minutes she finally ends up taking the ground.

The standing of LSU’s Alexis Morris continues to be unsure going into the Tigers’ sport in opposition to Jackson State, and I am desperate to see if the final week off did any good for Indiana’s Mackenzie Holmes as she works her approach again from damage.

Kentucky-Princeton tops my checklist of video games to look at. Might the Wildcats’ historic run by means of the SEC event be in peril dealing with off in opposition to a stingy Princeton protection?

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