Women's NCAA Tournament 2010: Elite Eight Preview

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Women's NCAA Tournament 2010: Elite Eight Preview

Three rounds into the Women's NCAA Tournament—the Elite Eight (March 29-30) brackets are now set.

The Sweet 16 did not disappoint—two pretty significant upsets resulted in two more No. 1 seeds falling. And who will forget the instant classic from K.C.?

 

Dayton

Connecticut (1) rolled over Iowa State (4) in the regional semifinals. This game was over within minutes of the opening tip. Maya Moore continued her dominant play; at this point, Moore is playing on a different level than everyone else in the tournament.

Florida State (3), led by Alysha Havin's scoring and Angel Gray's defense, is coming off a very competitive game against upstart Mississippi State (7).

UConn and FSU have already met once this year—a 78-59 thrashing in Tallahassee on Dec. 28.

The result won't be much different this time—UConn advances to the Final Four.

 

Memphis

Baylor (4) delivered a knock-out blow to top seed Tennessee to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time since winning it all in 2005. Brittney Griner had probably her best game as a collegian against Pat Summitt's Lady Vols, and Baylor rolled to a surprisingly easy 77-62 victory.

Duke (2), led by junior guard Jasmine Thomas's 29 points and six assists, held off a scrappy San Diego State University (11) team.

I originally picked Duke to advance to the Final Four, and I'll stick with it, but I expected them to be facing Tennessee in this game, not Baylor. I was wrong about Baylor once already—I'll go for two.

Who cares if they have to face one of the most dominant players in the game—Duke gets their transition game going, neutralizes Griner, and advances to face UConn in the Final Four.

 

Sacramento

Stanford (1) seems to be matching UConn step-for-step. Both have won each game so far by 20-plus points. The Cardinal crushed Georgia (5) by a score of 73-36 in a game just as lopsided as UConn's with Iowa State. Jayne Appel continues her brilliant run through the tournament, all while nursing a sore right ankle.

Xavier (3) had surprisingly little trouble with upset-minded Gonzaga (7). The 'Zags just had no answer for Xavier's size inside.

Xavier has lost just three games this season, they're a legit three-seed, they have a very solid inside-outside game—do they have a chance against Stanford? No, no they don't.

Stanford will march to San Antonio unscathed and untested.

 

Kansas City

Guess we can't call this the "Nebraska Region" any longer.

One day after the Kentucky men's team got bounced in the Sweet 16 (Yeah!), the women's team, seeded fourth, dominated top seed Nebraska. Don't let the 76-67 score fool you, this game was Kentucky's from start to finish. The 'Huskers shockingly seemed to have no answers for the UK's overall team speed.

Oklahoma (3) and Notre Dame (2) was bound to be a great game. I had it pegged as a "must see," but I certainly wasn't expecting the OT classic that was ultimately delivered. OU's 77-72 victory over Big East runner-up Notre Dame was, hands down, the game of the round—well played, hard fought, and exciting finish—just a great basketball game.

Will OU dominate inside? Will UK's speed kill?

The smart pick here is OU, but since I've been inadvertently slighting the Big 12 all season, I'll go with the upset—maybe I'll get lucky and look smart.

Kentucky crashes the party on the River Walk.

 

All four games have to be considered "must see" at this point. UConn and Stanford need to be watched because you'll be seeing, in my opinion, the highest level of women's college hoops being played today. Duke-Baylor and OU-UK should both be very well-played games with a legitimate chance of an upset in both.

Happy viewing!

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