As Brian Floyd of SBN Seattle wrote yesterday, upsets were almost non-existent on the first day of the 2011 NCAA women's basketball tournament.
Even games the biggest upset by seed - the Gonzaga Bulldogs' 92-86 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes - was actually quite predictable. Nevertheless, the sell-out crowd created a great atmosphere and with point guard Courtney Vandersloot approaching a milestone as berkie noted at SBN's The Slipper Still Fits.
#11 Gonzaga 92, #6 Iowa 96
GU Women - The Slipper Still Fits
CV has 1990 points and 1085 assists on her career, if she gets 10 points in their second round game she will be the only player in the history of NCAA womens basketball with 2000 points and 1000 assists in a career. She is also the nations assist leader with more assists than then second and third place players combined.
Not to diminish Vandersloot's game, but Gonzaga forward Kayla Standish dropping 30 points on Iowa was impressive to watch and possibly as strong as a performance as she's ever put in.
#10 Temple 63, #7 Arizona State 45
We know at least one Swish Appeal contributor probably expected this and really there were three of us who did. For Arizona State, it was essentially a continuation of the story of their season: depth, but very little synergy as they committed 18 turnovers compared to Temple's 10, shot 2-for-15 from three, and 30.9% overall from the floor. That's not going to win tournament games.
#10 Marist 74, #7 Iowa State 64
Again this was predictable, but Marist got this win in impressive fashion: everyone knows they can shoot and they hit 37% of their threes (10-for-27). But getting 21 assists on 24 field goals while only committing 7 turnovers is a remarkably efficient offensive game. Any questions about whether Marist is for real should be starting to grind to a half - beating a Big XII team in the tournament is no small feat for the program.
#5 Georgia Tech 69, #12 Bowling Green 58
As SBN's Hustle Belt described this game that some of us at Swish Appeal might have given to Bowling Green ended up being decided by athleticism, defensive pressure and size.
Georgia Tech 69, Bowling Green 58: Covered in Bees - Hustle Belt
What BG has always lacked during this dynasty was size. The tallest player on the current roster was 6'2" Chelsea Albert, a reserve center. Even when they reached the Sweet 16 in 2007, center Liz Honegger was a stocky 5'11" centerpiece of that offense who could launch it from three. This team didn't really have that; they had some very talented senior guards.
So not only was I wrong, but Obama was wrong too. And I'm cool with both of us going down together, because that's just how America rolls.
If even President Obama picked this to be an upset, the Georgia Tech winning must be one.
#6 Penn State 75, #11 Dayton 66
If Dayton had won this one it might not have been a major upset - this two teams played an overtime thriller to open the 2010-11 season. As described by SBN's Black Shoe Diaries, this time Alex Bentley stepped up to end this one in regulation.
#8 Marquette 68, #9 Texas 65
People often talk about how much a difference hitting free throws can make in a game. That might be especially true in a three point game. So SBN's Anonymous Eagle (Marquette) has plenty of reason to get excited about Texas' free throw attempts, or lack thereof.
MORE VICTORY BOURBON STRAIGHT FROM TENNESSEE! #8 MARQUETTE 68, #9 TEXAS 65 - Anonymous Eagle
Clare Barnard Undersung Eagle of the Game: I'm not going to give it to any one player here, but to the entire team for their defense in the game. They only committed NINE fouls the entire game, which led to Texas shooting ZERO free throws.
Just to add to the obviously exuberant post: it was actually only six personal fouls. But that's neither here nor there: it was definitely an impressive performance.
#1 Tennessee 99, #16 Stetson 34
Southern hospitality has nothing to do with the NCAA Tournament. Tennessee reminded us of that. Maybe that's all you can really take away from this one, if we agree with Chris Pendley of SBN's Rocky Top Talk (Tennessee).
Lady Vols Decimate Stetson, 99-34, Advance to 2nd Round - Rocky Top Talk
For that matter, Tennessee had two combined runs of 55-0 lasting for about a half, total. (It was 67-32 at the 16:12 mark. The final score is up there in the title.) It was fun, and if we felt bad about losing by 30 to Michigan, this should help a bit.
#3 UCLA 55, #14 Montana 47
Choppy game to watch what with a season-high tying 25 turnovers by Montana, but expected - TrueBlueBruin of SBN's Bruins Nation was looking ahead a bit before the game started.
UCLA Womens Basketball Montana/NCAA Tournament Preview - Bruins Nation
Gonzaga is playing at home, where they are 12-1 on the season losing only to Stanford by 6 points (Iowa is 6-5 on the road this year, further increasing the belief of a first round upset). Gonzaga swept through their conference season with a 16-0 record and are on an 18 game winning streak. What makes Gonzaga such a dangerous team is that they do have a star player, Point Guard Courtney Vandersloot, who on the season has a ridiculous 327 assists against only 98 turnovers, averaging over 10 assists per game, and could be very successful against UCLA’s press. Their hot streak, hot player, and home court advantage has many Bruin fans crying foul and national pundits claiming UCLA got one of the toughest matchups for a top seed.
#9 St. John's 55, Texas Tech 50
Despite Texas Tech taking down Baylor, this is just the latest example of how basketball is not about who you beat but how you matchup. This was a bad matchup for Texas Tech and that showed up in the free throw (-10) and offensive rebounding (-10%) differentials.
#1 Stanford 86, #16 UC Davis
With Davis' loss, coach Sandy Simpson - one of the more intense coaches I've seen in women's college basketball - will retire, as described by SBN's Rule of Tree (Stanford).
#4 Kentucky 66, #13 Hampton
The outcome wasn't an upset, but a four point win in overtime is a moral victory, even if everyone denies they exist at this point.
#5 North Carolina 82, #12 Fresno State 68
They get Kentucky, which will be interesting: might a scare from Hampton serve a tournament wake-up call or was that game just a fluke?
#4 Ohio State 80, #13 UCF 69
No comment...except Go Blue.
#2 Notre Dame 67, #15 Utah 54
#2 Duke 90, #15 UT-Martin 45
#3 DePaul 56, #14 Navy 43
Day 2 schedule (all times EST via SBNation.com's storystream)
No. 1 Connecticut Huskies vs. No. 16 Hartford, Sun., noon in Storrs
No. 5 Georgetown Hoyas vs. No. 12 Princeton, Sun., 2:30 in College Park
No. 4 Maryland Terrapins vs. No. 13 St. Francis, Sun. noon in College Park
No. 2 Xavier Musketeers vs. No. 15 South Dakota State, Sun., 2:30, Cincinnati
No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners vs. No. 11 James Madison, Sun., 2:30, Charlottesville
No. 3 Miami Hurricanes vs. No. 14 Gardner-Webb, Sun, noon, Charlottesville
No. 1 Baylor Bears vs. No. 16 Prairie View, Sun., 7:30 in Waco
No. 5 Green Bay vs. No. 12 Arkansas-Little Rock, Sun., 5 in Wichita
No. 4 Michigan St. Spartans vs. No. 13 Northern Iowa, Sun., 7:30 in Wichita
No. 6 Georgia Bulldogs vs. No. 11 MTSU, Sun., 7:30 in Auburn
No. 3 Florida St. Seminoles vs. No. 14 Samford, Sun., 5 in Auburn
No. 7 Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. No. 10 Louisiana Tech, Sun., 7:30 in Shreveport
No. 2 Texas A&M Aggies vs. No. 15 McNeese State, Sun., 5 in Shreveport