Day 5 of the madness brings a spotlight to the women’s teams fighting for the last Sweet 16 spots. We were treated to Bear on Bear violence and unlikely runs from jackrabbits and yet another bear. Every win to this point was earned so there are no exclusions for one team’s dominance over another.
Everyone knows Cinderella looks great in blue. South Dakota State isn’t the classic Cinderella story but they’re just as special as any other. In fact, this is the deepest tournament run they’ve embarked on in program history. As a six seed they’ve come a long way but still hold plenty of weight over many of the teams in the full 68 team field.
South Dakota has beaten Quinnipiac and Syracuse by double digits. They’re now matched up with number 1 seed Oregon their toughest opponent yet.
Joining South Dakota in the first time class is Missouri State. This is the Lady Bear’s first trip to the NCAA tournament since 2016 and their first Sweet 16 appearance in 15 years. This belle of the ball is the lowest remaining seed in the tournament but after six seed DePaul and three seed Iowa State they’re just as dangerous as any team. They’ll face their toughest challenge yet in Stanford on Saturday.
If you expect mercy from the teams on display Tuesday night, then you’re sadly mistaken. The average margin of victory rounds off to about 14 points with the highest coming from Baylor’s 39 point win.
To say we saw dominant performances from early season favorites is a major understatement. Baylor’s defense swallowed up any hopes Cal star Kristine Anigwe had of propelling her team into the sweet 16.
The Bears held Anigwe, a player who just a month ago posted the first 30+ points 30+ rebound game in Division 1 since 2001, to 13 points on 4-13 shooting. Baylor has smothered her with double teams all night for the rest of the California roster to beat them.
Notre Dame dominated the entire Michigan St. starting five. The Fighting Irish held the Spartans starters to 9-40 shooting from the field and 2-14 from beyond the arc. Their defense is chilling if they can keep it up there are few teams that could overcome that defense.