Chennedy Carter and Robbi Ryan showed up in the clutch, Buffalo gave UConn a bit of a scare and we have half the Sweet 16 picture put together after Day 3 of the NCAA women's tournament.
Eight teams have booked their tickets to the Sweet 16, but we only saw one “upset” Sunday, with a thrilling affair between the Miami Hurricanes and the advancing Arizona State Sun Devils. The three 4–5 matchups were among the best games of the day while Buffalo made UConn look more mortal than we’re used to. So which teams strengthened their case to get to Tampa? Let’s get into it.
Points of Interest
Sophia Elenga is likely still breathing a sigh of relief after nearly costing the Sun Devils their shot at the Sweet 16. With the score knotted at 55 and about 13 seconds left, Elenga grabbed an offensive rebound off a miss and clanked a close-range shot instead of kicking it back out. Miami gratefully grabbed the board off the miss and had a chance to take the last shot for the win.
But Robbi Ryan got the steal on the sideline out-of-bounds play, drove to the rim and got fouled. Ryan hit both shots but left Miami with about five seconds to try and get a shot off. Emese Hoff got a good look at it, but her shot rimmed out and gave Elenga some relief as the Hurricanes were knocked out on their home floor and ASU continued the Pac-12’s dominance in the tournament. After keeping Beatrice Mompremier in check for the majority of the game, the Sun Devils will face an ever bigger test with Teaira McCowan and Mississippi State waiting for them in the Sweet 16.
Chennedy Carter is the truth. That’s it. That’s the whole blurb. Oh, you want proof?
The sophomore dropped 30 (!!) and hit the clutch three that sent the Aggies to the Sweet 16. With a potential matchup with Notre Dame to look forward to, we’re dreaming of a Carter-Arike Ogunbowale matchup.
How about this Buffalo team, huh? The winners of the MAC looked great against UConn and made the Huskies look like Thanos at the end of Infinity War—extremely powerful, but not invincible. Felisha Legette-Jack is a fantastic coach and made her team look like far more than a No. 10 seed. Few teams can keep a game in single digits and low double-digits when they’re playing UConn, but the Bulls did. With a reasonably young core and great coaching, expect to see more of Buffalo going forward.
The Triple Double Queen has done it again! Sabrina Ionescu completed her 18th (!!!) career triple double in the fourth quarter of Oregon's game against Indiana, further extending her own NCAA record. There's very little I can say about Sabrina that hasn't been printed here, here or here, so instead, I will leave this video here. She's really out here playing chess while the rest of us are playing checkers.
Best Thing I Saw
I love myself some MACtion and I think Felisha Legette-Jack might be my new favorite coach. This video is incredible and her overall energy is awesome.
Honorary mention to this video, which I will reshare at every appropriate opportunity.
Game to Watch: Gonzaga-Oregon State
After barely surviving their round of 32 matchup with Boise State, it will be interesting to see how the Beavers rebound against the Zags. The Zags looked good in their first-round game against Little Rock despite the Trojans being a popular upset pick and they have experience dealing with more touted Pac-12 teams—see their win over Stanford in December—so this should be a good one.
If we see the same Oregon State team that beat Oregon in Corvallis a month ago, then this should be a fantastic game. Keep an eye on Maryland transfer Destiny Slocum, who has a penchant for the spectacular for the Beavers. And for Gonzaga, look out for Zykera Rice, who is kinda hard to miss.