Bring on the ladies.
With the men's NCAA tournament off to a brilliant start, fans likely are feeling insatiable for basketball. Lucky for them, another tournament sure to provide thrills will commence on Saturday, as the women's NCAA tournament kicks off.
Below, you'll find all of the information from the first day of action to ensure you don't miss a thing, along with a prediction for every game (several of which will surely be wrong, because, you know, March Madness).
For the full bracket, check out NCAA.com
TV Schedule, Streaming and Predictions
|Women's Tournament Schedule|
|11 a.m.||(15) Winthrop vs. (2) Duke||ESPN2||WatchESPN||Duke|
|11 a.m.||(14) Wright State vs. (3) Kentucky||ESPN2||WatchESPN||Kentucky|
|11 a.m.||(12) FGCU vs. (5) Oklahoma State||ESPN2||WatchESPN||Oklahoma State|
|11 a.m.||(9) Arizona State vs. (8) Vanderbilt||ESPN2||WatchESPN||Vanderbilt|
|1:30 p.m.||(16) Robert Morris vs. (1) Notre Dame||ESPN2||WatchESPN||Notre Dame|
|1:30 p.m.||(13) Akron vs. (4) Purdue||ESPN2||WatchESPN||Purdue|
|1:30 p.m.||(10) Oklahoma vs. (7) DePaul||ESPN2||WatchESPN||Oklahoma|
|1:30 p.m.||(11) Chattanooga vs. (6) Syracuse||ESPN2||WatchESPN||Chattanooga|
|4 p.m.||(16) Northwestern State vs. (1) Tennessee||ESPN2||WatchESPN||Tennessee|
|4 p.m.||(13) Fresno State vs. (4) Nebraska||ESPN2||WatchESPN||Nebraska|
|4 p.m.||(10) Fordham vs. (7) California||ESPN2||WatchESPN||California|
|4 p.m.||(10) Florida State vs. (7) Iowa State||ESPN2||WatchESPN||Florida State|
|6:30 p.m.||(15) Western Kentucky vs. (2) Baylor||ESPN2||WatchESPN||Baylor|
|6:30 p.m.||(15) South Dakota vs. (2) Stanford||ESPN2||WatchESPN||Stanford|
|6:30 p.m.||(12) BYU vs. (5) NC State||ESPN2||WatchESPN||NC State|
|6:30 p.m.||(9) USC vs. (8) St. John's||ESPN2||WatchESPN||USC|
Day 1 Outlook
The biggest upset I envision going down on the first day of action is Chattanooga knocking off Syracuse. Charlie Creme of ESPN breaks down why this upset pick is so enticing:
Sixth-seeded Syracuse comes into the tournament on a bit of a down note following a disappointing ACC tournament quarterfinal effort against NC State. No. 11 seed Chattanooga is charging into Lexington, Ky., with 25 straight wins. The Lady Mocs will have the most accomplished player on the floor in Taylor Hall, and if Chattanooga's guards can limit Brianna Butler and Brittney Sykes, the Lady Mocs will be in the game. Also noteworthy: Chattanooga's Jim Foster is the first coach to bring four teams to the women's NCAA tournament (Saint Joseph's, Vanderbilt, Ohio State).
Yup, that has all of the makings of a classic upset. Consider me sold.
Don't expect the top contenders to drop out early. Duke, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Stanford and Baylor should all roll. No. 3 Kentucky also has a huge advantage in its first two games, as those rounds are being played in Lexington in their region.
Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell said after the Wildcats learned they would be in Lexington, via Jennifer Smith of Kentucky.com, the team needed to "enjoy being at home, enjoy being in Lexington, enjoy playing at our facility, but really understand that it's not going to guarantee you a thing. You have to go out and earn you some victories here."
Both Purdue and Oklahoma State have tricky first-round matchups, but each has a great point guard that should lead them to victory. For Oklahoma State, Tiffany Bias (14.4 PPG, 6.1 APG) leads the way. For Purdue, it's Courtney Moses (15.4 PPG). These two seem destined for an intriguing second-round matchup.
There are also lower seeds to watch closely this year. California reached the Final Four but has underachieved this season. Still, the experience of a long tournament run could kick the Bears into high gear this season.
And Oklahoma has underachieved throughout the season as well, but the Sooners are a talented squad led by Aaryn Ellenberg (18.7 PPG, 4.9 RPG) and Sharane Campbell (12.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG). The Sooners might yet have a run in them.
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