After detailing the 3-point shooting prowess that the Creighton Bluejays used to take out the Syracuse Orange in the first round of the tournament, Chris Pendley of Rocky Top Talk zeroed in on what might be most important for the Tennessee Lady Vols (7:05 p.m. EDT today) in the second round of the tournament.
Defend the wings. Look, you know as well as I do that perimeter D matters and Tennessee's going to have a height advantage across the floor. You know as well I do that Kamiko Williams is going to matter as a third guard, and you know as well as I do that we're going to see a healthy dose of three-guard action. What matters as much for Tennessee is the ability of Taber Spani and Cierra Burdick (along with a bit of Jasmine Jones, who seems made for games like this right now) to defend the perimeter shot; having a height advantage on wing defense should translate into all kinds of defensive matchup issues for the Bluejays, and if things go well that should be a huge swing.
Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman insisted that the zone defense wasn't the issue against Creighton - instead, he focused on their surprisingly inefficient scoring and the fact that they lost the rebounding battle.
But it's fair to say that the Lady Vols probably won't risk zoning up a 3-point team too much.