NCAA Tournament 1st and 2nd Round Games 2021

Ignatius L Hoops

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Kicks off tomorrow with one of the most intriguing games of the day: Iowa versus Central Michigan. Heather Oesterle is in her second year as Chippewa head coach and has Gail Goestenkors as an assistant.


Here's an ESPN (Creme and Voepel) article on teams and players to watch by region. And they include potential bracket busters:
Team that could ruin your bracket: Missouri State. The fifth-seeded Lady Bears haven't lost since the week before Christmas and completely dominated the Missouri Valley Conference. Brice Calip, Jasmine Franklin and Abby Hipp are talented and experienced enough to scare any bigger-name program. Missouri State took down Maryland earlier this season, knocked off 23rd-ranked Minnesota two years ago upset DePaul and Iowa State on their way to the Sweet 16 in the 2019 NCAA tournament. If Missouri State makes it that far again, Stanford, the team that ended the Lady Bears' run two years ago, could be waiting.

Team that could ruin your bracket: Alabama. The Crimson Tide might just be happy to get out of the SEC, where they played some of the best teams close, but couldn't quite get over the hump against South Carolina, Texas A&M and Georgia. Now they get a fresh start. With a coach (Kristy Curry) who has been to the NCAA tournament before, potent offense and three seniors (Jordan Lewis, Jasmine Walker, and Ariyah Copeland) looking to make one last run together, Alabama might have the ingredients to whip up an upset or two.

Team that could ruin your bracket: Florida Gulf Coast. The No. 11 seed is 26-2 overall and on a 25-game winning streak, led by Atlantic Sun player of the year Kierstan Bell (24.3 PPG, 10.8 RPG). The Eagles were 16-0 in ASUN conference play, and then won the conference tournament. This is FGCU's seventh tournament appearance, and the Eagles are still looking for their first Sweet 16. They would have to get past Michigan and then probably Tennessee to get there this year.

Team that could ruin your bracket: Rutgers. The No. 6 seed didn't look like itself, especially defensively, in a 73-62 Big Ten quarterfinal loss to Iowa. But the Scarlet Knights won nine games in a row before that. If Rutgers recaptures that mojo, it could be dangerous.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Iowa took care of business winning 87-72 over Central Michigan.

Michigan is in a battle leading FGCU 38-36 at the half. Hillmon has 6 points and 3 rebounds. FGCU's Kierstan Bell (the former Buckeye) has 10 points, 3 blocks and 2 steals. Bell is doubling on Hillmon and generally giving the Wolverines problems. Hillmon sat a good portion of the half after picking up her second foul. Of Note: Michigan's Amy Dilk apparently did not make the trip to San Antonio.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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With the game 44-42 Michigan in the third quarter, Leigha Brown went on a 17-10 run propelling the Wolverines to a 87-66 win over FCGU. Brown finished the game with 28.

Stephan S Austin blew a chance to upset Georgia Tech by pointlessly dribbling away the last five minutes of regulation and overtime. SFA didn't score in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter and lost in OT 54-52.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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A Rutgers 4th quarter implosion led to a 69-66 BYU victory. Rutgers led 57-45 at 8:46 of the fourth quarter. BYU ran off 12 straight to lead 57-54 with about 4 minutes remaining. The Cougars out battled the Scarlet Knights the rest of the way.

Paisley Harden led BYU with 28 points and Arella Guirantes paced Rutgers with 30. BYU was 9-23 from three and Rutgers was 5-12.

It was the first higher seed loss of the tournament.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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A second upset. Wright State took out 4 seed Arkansas 66-62. The Raiders were led by guard Angel Baker 26 points and 11 rebounds. Baker hit a three with :29 seconds remaining to give Wright State a 64-62 lead. For the Razorbacks, Destiny Slocumb had 2 points and Chelsea Dungee 28.

 

GringaGopher

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Second day has been more exciting with a couple of lower seed upsets.
 

GringaGopher

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Bittersweet watching Pitts drain the 3. Announcers quoted coach Blair as saying she was the best 3 point shooter he had ever coached. Happy for her that she landed with a quality program.
 

Katogopher

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I like upsets but really wanted the BIG teams to do well, yes even Iowa and Maryland. I don’t think womens’s BB or softball get a lot of respect from the NCAA’s. i wanted a good showing for the league, although they seem to be doing better than their male counterparts in the tourne.
 

GringaGopher

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I like the upsets because we are beginning to see increased parity in the women's game. Even though it's not natural I do cheer for the Big teams to win. It has been a bloodbath for us on the men's side.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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feel so bad for Troy... they got robbed right in front of our eyes...

The charge call was terrible. The tripping call was probably terrible. I think not calling over and back was correct because she tipped the ball into the back court. Any way the referee made the bobble signal and that was that.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Caitlin Clark outscored Kentucky 24-22 in the first half. Iowa leads 49-22. Kentucky apparently thought they were playing some x and o team and weren't prepared for the Iowa motion.
 

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Iowa is an interesting club. With Clark and Czinano they have a potent inside/outside combo. If they can get a third person to step up offensively, they're dangerous. Not a defensive juggernaut, but always formidable because of the offensive firepower. I marvel at what a terrific post Czinano has become. She has the same catch it and shoot it style that we saw with Gustafson. Whoever coaches the posts their deserves a lot of credit, as does Czinano for working hard to become a better player. She's not that most athletic player, yet she is one of the top posts in the BIG.
 

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Caitlin Clark outscored Kentucky 24-22 in the first half. Iowa leads 49-22. Kentucky apparently thought they were playing some x and o team and weren't prepared for the Iowa motion.
Whalen and staff gonna need the whole off season to try and figure out how to stop Clark for the next three years. Maybe we will get lucky and she will declare for the draft sooner than later
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Iowa tamped down a Kentucky push early in the third quarter and then cruised to an 86-72 victory. Clark finished with 35 points 7 rebounds and 6 assists. ESPN is hyping a Bueckers versus Clark showdown if UConn finishes off Syracuse tonight.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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So far, so good for the Wolverines as they lead Tennessee 28-19 at the half. Hillmon has 8 points while trying to score against the Lady Vol's posts. Michigan's Haily Brown has the Wolverines only threes (3-10). Tennessee is 0-6 from beyond the arc.
 

thatjanelpick

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Whalen and staff gonna need the whole off season to try and figure out how to stop Clark for the next three years. Maybe we will get lucky and she will declare for the draft sooner than later
She has a January birthday, so likely just a few weeks shy of being eligible to declare early in a couple years.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Michigan closed out the Lady Vols 68-55. Leigha Brown with 23 points, Naz Hillmon with 19 points and 14 rebounds and Hailey Brown with 14 points (4-6 from three). Michigan controlled the pace and matched Tennessee's physicality. The Wolverines are on to the Sweet 16 for the first time.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Just a note on the Troy out of bounds play dispute: I looked up the rule and it says:
RULE 7 / OUT OF BOUNDS AND THE THROW-IN

Art. 12
. After the throw-in ends, an inbounds player in the frontcourt who is not in control of the ball may cause the ball to go into the backcourt.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Can the Terps survive second round pressure?

No matter how much praise Maryland women’s basketball teams have received in the past five years, few Terps have been able to survive past the second round of the NCAA tournament.

In 2019, UCLA eliminated third-seeded Maryland, 85-80, on its home floor. In 2018, North Carolina State made it sting a little more, dropping the No. 5 seed Terps, 74-60. In 2016, No. 2 seed Maryland fell to Washington, 74-65.

Maryland last reached the Sweet Sixteen in 2017 and immediately met its end against No. 10 seed Oregon, 77-63, the second of three Pac-12 teams to cut the Terps’ NCAA tournament run short within the past four years.

That’s a dry spell the No. 2 seed Terps (25-2) fully intend to end this year as they face No. 7 seed Alabama (17-9) on Wednesday at 1 p.m. in the Round of 32. After all, the past holds no water to Maryland coach Brenda Frese.

“No,” Frese said, laughing. “I think every team, every season is different. This team is so much different from other teams we’ve had in the past. It’s really a new year. It’s a new season.”

How true is that? For starters, this year’s Terps squad entered the NCAA tournament with a higher winning percentage (.923) than each of those three teams that lost in the second round.

This season’s Maryland team, which boasts the best offense in the country, also ranks higher in points per game (91.5), 3-point shooting percentage (.406), free throws per game (16.1) and assists per game (20.1).

Six Terps players are scoring in double figures this season, including one reserve, freshman Angel Reese (10.1 points per game). The 2015-16, 2017-18 and 2018-19 Terps never had more than five such players on one team. That depth contributes to Maryland’s versatility.

“They can play any style. Yesterday, we didn’t need to lean on our 3-point shot. We got to the free-throw line 30 times,” Frese said. “You look at our unselfishness — they just have a high IQ, wanting to make the right play.”

This year’s Maryland team also reigns supreme in an area Frese pinpoints all the time: assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7).

The 2021 Terps also collect 4.4 more turnovers per game than they give up. Those three teams that exited in the second round never reached such heights, and two — the 2018-19 and 2015-16 teams — even had a negative turnover margin.

Frese also noted she’s never had a team that’s spent more time in the gym.

“When you watch us, this team just keeps adding things to our game,” Frese said.

Alabama — which is shooting 43% from the field and 36.2% from 3-point range — might be averaging its most points (75.0) in almost 20 years, but it pales in comparison with Maryland’s 91.5. While the Crimson Tide’s scoring arsenal includes three players who consistently hit double figures, the offense simply isn’t as deep as the Terps’. Jasmine Walker leads with 19 points per game, with fellow seniors Jordan Lewis (17.4) and Ariyah Copeland (14.8) not far behind.

Frese notes that some of Monday’s upsets demonstrate how much of a “neutral” playing field this year’s tournament is. No. 6 seed Rutgers bowed to No. 11 seed BYU and No. 4 seed Arkansas lost to No. 13 seed Wright State.

She knows second-seeded Maryland has what it takes to hold off Alabama.

“Our league has really prepared us,” Frese said. “I think they [Alabama] have a balanced attack, an inside-outside approach that we’ve seen with other teams in our conference.”

That said, Frese respects the threat Alabama’s top three pose. Lewis had a career-high 32 points against North Carolina, one point shy of the program record in an NCAA tournament game, and nearly hit a triple double with 11 rebounds and eight assists. Three others surpassed double figures, too; junior guard Hannah Barber had 14 points, Walker posted 13 and Copeland netted 11.

Frese also anticipates dangerous collective team defense from the veteran-led Crimson Tide.

“For us, the standard doesn’t change. We’ve got our work cut out for us with their big three. You saw the monster game that Lewis had yesterday, [as well as] Walker, Copeland,” Frese said. “And they got contributions from a lot of their other players, so for us, it’s just a collective team effort for 40 minutes.”

Redshirt freshman Mimi Collins felt pride in Maryland’s ability to box out against Mount St. Mary’s on Monday, when the Terps pulled down 18 offensive and 31 defensive rebounds in the 98-45 first-round win. Collins, who played against Alabama during her freshman year at Tennessee, thinks rebounds will help turn the tide against the Crimson Tide.

“When we play Maryland defense, nobody can stop us,” Collins said.
 

Katogopher

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The Paige/Caitlin Sweet 16 match-up is an ESPN dream. The best two freshmen and quite probably the best known players if not the best two players in the country.
You are right, this is an ESPN dream and probably will be for the next 4 years. I’m actually looking forward to this matchup. I guess I was speaking more broadly earlier, ESPN when it come to Women’s BB it’s all about the SEC UCon. Nice to see the BIG get some hard earn wins against the SEC.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Ducks take out Georgia 57-50. Sedona Prince with 22 points and 4 blocks on plays like these:.

 

Ignatius L Hoops

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In a bit of a grinder Indiana leads Belmont 30-18 at the half. Belmont scored 6 points in the second quarter.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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Fun evening games: 37 all BYU/Arizona heading to the fourth quarter. And Iowa State leads A&M 57-48 at the end of three.
 
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