You just can't help but appreciate Connecticut's record-setting season. The Huskies have continued their historical run toward perfection the same way they went through the regular season and Big East Tournament. They've dominated. Connecticut, which holds the longest winning streak in Division I women's basketball at 74, won each of its first two NCAA tournament games by more than 50 points.
Those who can't stomach such a fantastic feat might argue that UConn has sucked the suspense out of its part of the bracket. Even those who enjoy such perfection may welcome a few surprises now and then. And they've gotten them.
Sure, powerhouse conferences like the ACC, Big 12, Big East and SEC will be well represented in the Sweet 16, but conferences like the West Coast and Mountain West will be at the party, too. That's because a couple of west coast teams have thrown a little chaos into what many thought would be a pretty orderly event.
San Diego State has been the biggest party crasher. The 11-seeded Aztecs are headed to the Sweet 16 for the first time since the field included 64 teams. They're the lowest seed since Marist advanced in 2007, and the first 11 seed since UC-Santa Barbara in 2004.
And SDSU did it in impressive fashion. Before ending third-seeded West Virginia's season, the Aztecs took down a sixth-seeded Texas team that hired
The Aztecs weren't the only ones to surprise one of mighty Big 12 powers. After watching their men's team bring chaos to the postseason, Gonzaga took its turn in the women's bracket. That first-round win over a North Carolina team that has struggled all season might have been a fluke. However, Tuesday's win over No. 2 Texas A&M, a choice by many to upset Stanford and reach the Final Four, showed Gonzaga is for real.
"It's a shame that one of us has to go home because I think you've got two basketball teams that could go on and be great in the regional," Texas A&M coach
When these two teams met in the season opener, Tennessee coach
Both teams have improved since that November meeting. Tennessee has won 16 straight and Griner, a YouTube sensation for her dunking skills, has become a dominating force on defense. She's coming off a tournament-record 14 blocks against Georgetown. And let's not forget, the last times these teams met in the postseason. In 2004, a controversial foul called with two-tenths of a second left led to a pair of free throws that gave Tennessee a 71-69 win in the Sweet 16.
Two of the most talented point guards in the country will battle it out in Kansas City. Junior
This is the only game that doesn't include two teams from the power conferences and features an interesting matchup. Xavier has one of the best frontcourts in the country in
Stanford is a popular pick to take on the Huskies in the national championship. Georgia battled through one of the toughest conferences in the nation. With four teams in the Sweet 16, the SEC is tied with the Big 12 for most teams left in the tournament.