After plenty of fanfare and more than a few genuine chances for upsets, the top eight seeds have all advanced to the Elite Eight in the women's NCAA tournament. An exciting few days has all built up to this. Which No. 2 seeds stand a serious chance of advancing and which No. 1 seeds will be seriously tested on the road to Tampa? We’re about to find out. First, let’s go over the notable goings on from Day 6.
Chennedy Carter nearly takes Texas A&M to the Elite Eight
We all knew Chennedy Carter could get buckets, but my goodness, she was pulling up from anywhere and everywhere against the defending national champions. No shot seemed too outlandish and every time she flicked her wrist, the expectation was to see the ball fall through the net a second or so later. Here are a couple examples of her being unconscious on Saturday.
She dropped 16 points in the first half and had the Aggies looking like legit candidates to be the first team to upset a No. 1 seed this year. And when she continued her demolition of the Fighting Irish’s defense in the second half, she started talking spicy to some of Notre Dame’s players to let them know they were on upset alert. Arike Ogunbowale and the squad eventually pulled away a bit and were able to secure a seven-point win, with Ogunbowale dropping 34 points to match Carter’s 35.
One thing’s for sure, Carter is a star and with two more years of eligibility left, Texas A&M potentially has a very bright future ahead with its fiery guard in tow.
The Clock Finally Strikes Midnight for Missouri State
The Lady Bears have been eliminated from the NCAA tournament, but not without putting on a defensive masterclass against the No. 2 seed Cardinal. Missouri State held Stanford to 25% shooting and 3-of-29 from three in a grinding defensive battle that the Lady Bears momentarily looked like they could win. It seemed like the game might go down to the wire before an 11–1 Stanford run extended its lead to 13, seemingly putting the game out of reach.
Even a number of good defensive possessions and an 8–0 run couldn’t save the Cinderella, which ultimately went home with a nine-point loss but should also retain plenty of pride. Kellie Harper is a great coach and has done a fantastic job during her six seasons at Missouri State. The team will lose Danielle Gitzen this season but retains much of its core for seasons to come, meaning more good things could be yet to come in Springfield.
A Battle of the Bigs in Greensboro
It’s time to see just how good Megan Gustafson is. Gustafson has led the Hawkeyes to their first Elite Eight in 26 years and set them on a collision course with the Bears, meaning she’ll be put to the test against Baylor’s Kalani Brown and Lauren Cox.
So what happens when an unstoppable force meets two immovable objects? We’re about to find out. Cox and Brown would be enough individually, but together they form a wall that’s proved quite formidable this season. Cox is one of the best shot blockers in the country and Brown’s sheer size makes her a problem in the paint, and none of that speaks to the former’s ability as a passer and the latter’s scoring ability.
Will Iowa have enough to pull off the upset or will Baylor book its ticket to Tampa?