Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Looking at the Women's NCAA Tournament- First Round

Suspense? What suspense? It didn't take the cast of Law and Order to solve the mystery of where overall #1 seed UCONN would be playing in the first round of the women's NCAA Tournament. "Trenton Makes, The World Takes" is what the sign on the bridge that spans the Delaware from Trenton, NJ to Bucks County, PA. And the Huskies will take the first two games at home as they make their way to The Sweet Sixteen in the Trenton Region. UCONN is The Goliath, The Behemoth, The 800 Pound Gorilla....and the eventual national champions. They'll beat 16 seed Vermont in the first round.

Other games in the Trenton Region;
(8)Florida-(9) Temple; Temple
(5)Virginia-(12) Marist; Marist
(4)Cal-(13) Fresno State; Cal
(6)Arizona State-(11)Georgia; ASU
(3)Florida State-(14)North Carolina A&T; FSU
(7)Notre Dame-(10) Minnesota; Minnesota
(2)Texas A&M-(15)Evansville; Texas A&M

In the Berkeley Region, (1)DUKE had the tough draw of being shipped out for a potential Sweet Sixteen with (2) Stanford in a virtual home game for the Cardinal. the Blue Devils will have no problem in Round One with (16)Austin-Peay.

Other games in the Berkeley Region;
(8)Middle Tennessee State-(9)Michigan State; Michigan State
(5)Tennessee-(12)Ball State; Tennessee
(4)Iowa State-(13)East Tennessee State; Iowa State
(6)Texas-(11)Mississippi State; Texas
(3)Ohio State-(14)Sacred Heart;OSU
(7)DePaul-(10)San Diego State;DePaul
(2)Stanford-(11)UC-Santa Barbara;Stanford

The Raleigh Region took on a slightly unexpected look when (1) MARYLAND won the ACC, sending Duke and other local North Carolina to potential destinations West. The Terps will take care of (16)Dartmouth in the first round.

Other games in the Raleigh Region;
(5)Kansas State-(12)Drexel;Kansas State
(4)Vanderbilt--(13)Western Carolina;Vandy
(6)LSU-(11)Green Bay; LSU
(3)Louisville-(11)Liberty; Louisville
(7)South Dakota State-(10)TCU;TCU
(2)Baylor-(15)UT-San Antonio;Baylor

The Oklahoma City Region will feature local favorites (1)OKLAHOMA against (16)Prairie View in the first round. I saw Prairie View in a two point loss to Rutgers early this year...but the Sooners are just too big, physical, deep and talented.

Other games in the Oklahoma City Region;
(8)Iowa-(9)Georgia Tech; Georgia Tech
(3)North Carolina-(14)Central FloridaUNC
(7)Rutgers-(10)Virginia Commonwealth;Rutgers

Notes- Not too many upsets in the first round. It should play out true to form. But watch out for that second round. I'll be watching rounds one and two in Piscataway, Auburn-Lehigh and VCU-Rutgers, and see the winners play on Monday. And I'll talk about it here.

I was mildly surprised that South Florida (from the Big East) didn't get an invite. At 22-10 they looked like the eighth team in for the conference. But on closer examination eight of those wins came against mid-majors...and a 79-42 loss to UCONN in the Big East Tournament (after trailing 47-10 at the half) was probably the thing that burst USF's bubble.

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