NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament 2018: Friday Sweet 16 Scores, Updated Bracket

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 24, 2018

North Carolina State guard Kiara Leslie (11) shoots between Mississippi State guard Blair Schaefer (1) and center Teaira McCowan (15) during the first half of a women's NCAA college basketball tournament regional semifinal game, Friday, March 23, 2018, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Orlin Wagner/Associated Press

Four trips to the Elite Eight were up for grabs Friday night as the 2018 women's NCAA tournament continued. Below, we'll break down each contest.          

For the updated bracket, be sure to check out ESPN.com.

                         

Mississippi State def. NC State, 71-57

The No. 1 Mississippi State Bulldogs cruised into the Elite Eight, knocking off the No. 4 NC State Wolfpack, 71-57, behind an incredible performance from Teaira McCowan.

The Bulldogs star put up 24 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks and a steal. Morgan William came up big as well, notching 13 points, eight assists and two blocks.

ESPN's Women's Hoops highlighted just how special her performance was:

That spoiled a solid night from Kiara Leslie, who kept things respectable for the Wolfpack with 27 points and six rebounds. While the Bulldogs had four players in double digits, only Leslie did so for NC State, which shot just 38.5 percent from the field.

The Wolfpack trailed just 36-31 at the half, but Mississippi State pulled away for good in the third quarter, outscoring NC State 22-10 in the frame.

Basketball writer Mechelle Voepel kept her eye on the action:

The Bulldogs will face the the No. 3 UCLA Bruins on Sunday night, with a trip to the Final Four hanging in the balance.

         

Oregon State def. Baylor, 72-67

The No. 6 Oregon State Beavers continued their march through the madness, knocking off another top program with a 72-67 victory over the No. 2 Baylor Lady Bears.

It was the Beavers' second straight upset after they knocked off No. 3 Tennessee in the second round, and Marie Gulich led the way. The star center scored 26 points to go along with nine rebounds and three steals.

Oregon State also shot well from distance, hitting nine of 20 shots from three (45 percent).

Baylor star Kalani Brown did all she could to keep her team dancing, going for 19 points, 10 rebounds and two steals. The Lady Bears' lack of depth and balance showed, however, as only five of their players scored.

The loss ended a 30-game winning streak.

Oregon State now awaits the No. 1 Louisville Cardinals on Sunday for a trip to the Final Four.

UCLA def. Texas, 84-75

The third-seeded UCLA Bruins advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in 19 years with an 84-75 win against the No. 2 Texas Longhorns.  

The Bruins never trailed in the game and shot 50 percent from the field. Senior Jordin Canada set the tempo for her team with 22 points (20 in the second half) and eight assists. 

Texas was unable to slow down UCLA's offense, despite shooting 7-of-16 from three-point range and holding the Bruins to 27.3 percent from behind the arc. 

In the final game of her storied career, Texas' Ariel Atkins went out on a high note. The senior star finished with 20 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. 

UCLA will attempt to reach the Final Four for the first time in program history on Sunday with a matchup against Mississippi State. The Bulldogs have just one loss this season and is looking to win a national title after losing in the championship game last year. 

Louisville def. Stanford, 86-59

Louisville's historic season has it one win away from reaching the Final Four for the first time in program history after Friday's 86-59 victory over Stanford. 

This has already been a dominant tournament run for the Cardinals, who have won each of their first three games by at least 18 points. Given the quality of Stanford's team, this was Louisville's most impressive win to this point. 

Asia Durr was an unstoppable machine with 24 points, five assists and four rebounds. Her showing came on the same day she had an article published on the Players' Tribune about playing for her brother:

"When I finally got the full story — that T.J. had a brain tumor, and it wasn’t clear what was going to happen next — it broke my heart. And it didn’t help things that the doctors initially kept telling us they weren’t sure what to do. That just added another layer of stress to what everyone in our family was already feeling."

Durr noted T.J. is currently a sophomore at Louisville, and the pair are "as inseparable as ever."

Supporting Durr in Louisville's win was Myisha Hines-Allen. She finished with 17 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals. 

Stanford was held to 43.4 percent shooting overall, and Brittany McPhee was the only Cardinal starter to reach double figures in scoring with 15 points. DiJonai Carrington did come in with 14 points off the bench, but the six other players to see action made a total of 10 field goals. 

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