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NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament 2021: Odds, Picks for Tuesday's Bracket

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2021

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives ahead of Central Michigan guard Maddy Watters (4) and guard Molly Davis (14) during the second half of a college basketball game in the first round of the women's NCAA tournament at the Alamodome, Sunday, March 21, 2021, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

The first day of the NCAA women's basketball tournament went all chalk as the higher-seeded teams punched a ticket to the second round. Now that those teams are back in action for the round of 32, perhaps Tuesday can provide some more surprises.

Here is the day's schedule and odds for each of the eight matchups:               

  • No. 8 South Florida vs. No. 1 North Carolina State (-16.5), 3 p.m. ET, ESPN2
  • No. 5 Iowa (-8) vs. No. 4 Kentucky, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU
  • No. 6 Michigan vs. No. 3 Tennessee (-6.5), 5 p.m. ET, ESPN2
  • No. 5 Georgia Tech vs. No. 4 West Virginia (-2.5), 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU
  • No. 7 Virginia Tech vs. No. 2 Baylor (-16), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2
  • No. 8 Oregon State vs. No. 1 South Carolina (-7), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
  • No. 8 Syracuse vs. No. 1 Connecticut (-20.5), 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
  • No. 8 Oklahoma State vs. No. 1 Stanford (-15.5), 9 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Bold represents the writer's pick against the spread. Betting lines are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

With No. 1 Connecticut expected to cruise past Syracuse, many will be watching Iowa's game against Kentucky since fans could get to see Paige Bueckers vs. Caitlin Clark in the Sweet 16.

Of course, that shouldn't overshadow the fact the Hawkeyes will have to stop Wildcats star Rhyne Howard on Tuesday. Howard is averaging 20.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists, and the junior guard is fresh of a first-round victory over Idaho State in which she nearly posted a double-double (14 points, nine rebounds) to go along with five assists and four steals.

Clark was similarly excellent, going for 23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as Iowa knocked out Central Michigan.

For casual fans, Iowa/Kentucky might be the one game you go out of your way to watch.

As the oddsmakers indicate, none of the four No. 1 seeds looks too vulnerable at the moment. UConn and Stanford each won by 43 points in the opening round. North Carolina State started a bit sluggish against North Carolina A&T but eventually hit its stride in the second half. And South Carolina encountered little trouble from Mercer.

The seven-point gap separating the Gamecocks from Oregon State is a somewhat surprising number.

Oregon State's 12-7 record is deceiving because of the strength of the Pac-12. According to Her Hoops Stats, the Beavers averaged 102.5 points per 100 possessions in the regular season and held opponents to a 43.7 percent effective field-goal rate.

Still, South Carolina is outscoring the opposition by 24.3 points per 100 possessions while playing against the fourth-toughest schedule in terms of opponent winning percentage, per Her Hoops Stats.

Aliyah Boston and Victaria Saxton scored 20 points apiece Sunday, with Boston adding 18 rebounds. If Boston and Saxton are controlling the game inside like that again, then the Gamecocks could make easy work of Oregon State.

             

For all the latest betting information and reaction, check out B/R Betting.

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