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NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament 2018: Monday Scores and Updated Bracket

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2018

Connecticut's Katie Lou Samuelson (33), Gabby Williams (15), Kia Nurse (11), and Azurá Stevens (23) react on the sideline during the second half of a first-round game against Saint Francis (Pa.) in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament in in Storrs, Conn., Saturday, March 17, 2018. UConn won 140-52. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Jessica Hill/Associated Press

The final eight spots in the Sweet 16 are on the line Monday in the 2018 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship.

The tournament had seen limited upsets over the first three days of action, but four double-digit seeds are battling to keep their Cinderella hopes alive on Day 4. Top teams like UConn, Mississippi State and Texas are also in action trying to continue their potential runs to a national championship.

Follow along for a breakdown of Monday's games as they happen.

          

Monday Schedule and Scores

No. 1 Connecticut def. No. 9 Quinnipiac, 71-46 (Albany Region)

No. 11 Buffalo def. No. 3 Florida State, 86-65 (Albany Region)

No. 5 Duke def. No. 4 Georgia, 66-40 (Albany Region)

No. 11 Central Michigan def. No. 3 Ohio State, 95-78 (Spokane Region)

No. 1 Mississippi State def. No. 9 Oklahoma State, 71-56 (Kansas City Region)

No. 3 UCLA def. No. 11 Creighton, 86-64 (Kansas City Region)

No. 2 Texas def. No. 7 Arizona State, 85-65 (Kansas City Region)

No. 4 Stanford def. No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast, 90-70 (Lexington Region)

              

Bracket

NCAA WBB @ncaawbb

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Live bracket available at NCAA.com.

            

Recap

No. 1 Connecticut def. No. 9 Quinnipiac, 71-46

After its 140-52 win in the first round, UConn wasn't quite as dominant in the second round against Quinnipiac.

The Huskies chose to showcase their defense in this one instead of the offense, holding the Bobcats to just 30.4 percent shooting, including 4-of-24 from three-point range. Jen Fay was the only player in double figures with 12 points in the loss.

On the other end of the court, Connecticut remained efficient despite scoring about half of the points it scored two days ago. The team shot 59.1 percent from the field, with Napheesa Collier leading the way with 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting.

She also added eight rebounds, four assists and two steals.

The Huskies moved to 34-0 on the season and remain on track for another national championship, but Duke will try to end the winning streak in the next round.

             

No. 11 Buffalo def. No. 3 Florida State, 86-65

Buffalo has pulled off the biggest upset in the 2018 tournament so far with a 21-point win over Florida State.

The No. 11 seed didn't do anything spectacular. The squad simply played good defense and held the Seminoles to just 3-of-25 shooting from three-point range.

The Bulls used a balanced effort on offense with all five starters in double figures, led by Cierra Dillard with 22 points plus seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Even with just six points off the bench, the underdogs cruised to a dominant victory on the road in Tallahassee.

Buffalo became just the second team from the MAC ever to reach the Sweet 16 after Bowling Green accomplished the feat in 2007. Defending champions South Carolina will await the Bulls in the next round.

             

No. 5 Duke def. No. 4 Georgia, 66-40

A dominant second quarter helped Duke pull away from Georgia in a matchup that was expected to be much closer based on seeds.

The Blue Devils outscored their opponent 20-2 in the second quarter, continuing the dominance into the third quarter for what became a 26-2 run.

Although the Lady Bulldogs finally woke up from there, outscoring Duke in the fourth, it was far too little, too late after the brutal stretch in the middle of the game. Georgia made just 23.5 percent of its shots and just one three-pointer in 17 attempts.

Duke was far from perfect with 21 turnovers, but the defense was good enough Monday to beat just about anyone in the country.

This theory will be put to the test in the third round with a matchup against undefeated UConn.

               

No. 11 Central Michigan def. No. 3 Ohio State, 95-78

Central Michigan became the second double-digit seed in the Sweet 16 after a one-sided win over Ohio State.

It's the first time two No. 11 seeds or lower have reached the third round since 2011, per ESPN Women's Hoops.

Presley Hudson (28 points), Cassie Breen (22 points) and Tinara Moore (20 points) all had big days offensively for the Chippewas, which made 14 threes in the win.

Kelsey Mitchell scored 28 points but struggled with her shot. She went just 11-of-29 from the field and was unable to get any points from the free-throw line. It represents a disappointing end to the career of the three-time Big Ten Player of the Year.

Central Michigan will now have a date with Oregon in the Sweet 16, which could be a high-scoring battle between elite offenses.

    

No. 1 Mississippi State def. No. 9 Oklahoma State, 71-56

Mississippi State had its hands full with Oklahoma State throughout the first half before pulling away in the second and earning a 71-56 victory.

Teaira McCowan was unstoppable for Mississippi State inside. The junior center finished with 21 points and 18 rebounds. She single-handedly out-rebounded the Cowboys 8-4 on the offensive glass.

Victoria Vivians also scored a game-high 23 points, adding six rebounds and four assists to a strong all-around performance.

The Bulldogs needed McCowan and Vivians to deliver, considering their bench didn't score a single point over the 40 minutes.

The same applied to the Cowgirls, who saw only one shot attempt from their four bench players. Kaylee Jensen led Oklahoma State in scoring (18 points), while Loryn Goodwin narrowly missed out on a triple-double (14 points, nine rebounds and eight assists).

Mississippi State advances to its third straight Sweet 16, where it will play the fourth-seeded NC State Wolfpack.

    

No. 3 UCLA def. No. 11 Creighton, 86-64

Four starters scored in double figures for UCLA as the Bruins secured a Sweet 16 berth with an 86-64 win over Creighton.

Jordin Canada did a little bit of everything in the victory, scoring 21 points, grabbing six rebounds, dishing out eight assists and recording five steals. Canada also missed just one of her seven field-goal attempts.

Monique Billings was a rebound short of a double-double (15 points, nine rebounds) for UCLA, and Japreece Dean came off the bench to score 16 points.

Although Audrey Faber scored 20 points, the Bruins did a great job of neutralizing the Bluejays' leading scorer, Jaylyn Agnew. Agnew entered Monday night averaging 14.8 points per game, but she only managed five points on 2-of-6 shooting against UCLA.

The Bruins will take on the Texas Longhorns, who were also victorious Monday.

    

No. 2 Texas def. No. 7 Arizona State, 85-65

Texas bullied Arizona State inside en route to an 85-65 win. The Longhorns owned a 40-19 edge in rebounding and made 68 percent of their two-pointers.

Brooke McCarty had a double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds), and Lashann Higgs had a team-high 19 points. Olamide Aborowa was big off the bench as well, scoring nine points and collecting seven rebounds.

Texas didn't have an answer for Kianna Ibis, as the junior forward shot 8-of-13 and scored 27 points. Ibis was basically on her own offensively, though. She accounted for 41.5 percent of her team's total scoring, and Robbi Ryan and Kiara Russell tied for second on the team in scoring with nine points.

Take Ibis out of the equation, and the rest of the Sun Devils roster shot 32.6 percent from the field. Upsetting a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament is next to impossible when a team's offense is reliant so heavily on only one player.

     

No. 4 Stanford def. No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast, 90-70

Stanford concluded what was an anticlimactic second half of action Monday, as the Cardinal jumped out to a 33-17 lead at the end of the first quarter and kept their foot on the pedal before picking up a 90-70 win over Florida Gulf Coast.

The Eagles don't have a single player who stands taller than 5'11", which presented a big problem against Stanford, which can call upon six players who are 6'2" or taller.

The Cardinal used their height advantage to out-rebound Florida Gulf Coast 52-18, with Kaylee Johnson and Alanna Smith each grabbing 12 boards. Smith was the game's leading scorer (28 points) as well to record a double-double.

In addition to Johnson and Smith, Brittany McPhee (17 points, nine rebounds) and Kiana Williams (12 points, six assists) played key roles in the result.

Stanford will take on Louisville in the Sweet 16, setting up one of the more intriguing matchups in the regional semifinals.

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