Kansas City Primer: Sooners could defeat No. 1 Huskers
With Connecticut's historic run this season, it might be easy to forget that before the Big 12 Tournament, Nebraska was in the same category as the defending national champions -- unbeaten. A loss to Texas A&M in the Big 12 semifinals ended the Huskers' win streak at 30, but it definitely shouldn't shake their confidence. Three of their victories came against teams in the Kansas City regional, including No. 3 seed Oklahoma.
Heading into the NCAA Tournament with a loss shouldn't worry Nebraska fans. After all, it's not easy going undefeated, let alone undefeated in the Big 12. The Huskers are the first to make it through the regular season unscathed. The opening round of the conference tournament is a prime example why the Huskers are a solid postseason pick. They knocked off Kansas State despite missing all but one of 21 three-pointers and shooting just 36.5 percent.
That's because Nebraska does so many other things well. The Huskers are the top scorers in arguably the toughest league, averaging 77 points. They're one of the best in defense, holding teams under 60 a game, and control the boards better than anyone, averaging nearly 20 rebounds more than their conference foes.
A potential matchup with
"We believe you need to do a lot of things well to win in this league," Nebraska Coach
North Carolina State has already played the role of bracketbuster once this season, upsetting Virginia in the second round of the ACC Tournament. In clawing their way to the championship game, the Wolfpack took themselves from a bubble team to a No. 9 seed in their first NCAA Tournament team bid in three years.
The players at UCLA and North Carolina State may not have a ton of tournament experience, but their head coaches sure do. Bruins leader
Big 12 player of the year
"She's got a great drive, but it's the maturity that she competes with and the confidence, and she's made the game easier for everyone around her," Kansas State coach
The 6-foot-1 junior forward has scored more than 30 points nine times this season. Reed put up a Sun Belt Conference tournament-record 41 points in the semifinals, nearly doubling her average of 25.3 points, which is fourth best in the country. Reed, who holds the UALR career scoring and rebounding records, has fared pretty well outside the Sun Belt Conference, too. She has 23 points and rebounds against top-seeded Nebraska.
Notre Dame point guard
That's how many NCAA Tournament wins Nebraska has under its belt. The Huskers have never made it past the second round.
Nebraska may seem like the obvious choice, but don't count out the Sooners. Although Oklahoma's only loss came at the hands of the Huskers, they have the best point guard in the region. And guard play is huge in the tournament. The last time San Antonio hosted the Final Four, point guard
"There is not a phase of the game that she is not committed to being excellent at and I think that sets her apart and puts her maybe, if not in a league of her own a league that's not very crowded," OU coach