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NCAAW Tournament Preview (Round 1, Day 2): The WCC’s top teams could be in trouble

BYU takes on a power conference foe, while Gonzaga is down two players going against the Sun Belt champion.

NCAA Womens Basketball: West Coast Conference Tournament-Gonzaga vs BYU
Shaylee Gonzales led BYU to a WCC Tournament title. BYU will need her against Auburn to stave off an upset.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The second day of the first round presents some very intriguing matchups. Highly-seeded mid-majors will take the court as will the tournament’s top overall seed, Baylor. As with yesterday, the ability to man multiple devices will be key in the ability to switch between games, as they are all slated for broadcast on ESPN2.

If your bracket is still in good shape, they probably will not be after today. At least one 12-seed has advanced for five years straight, and Gonzaga is the last remaining No. 5 seed. Last year’s tournament saw three No. 11 seeds advance, and there are two in action today: a team with tournament pedigree in Tennessee, and Quinnipiac, who has advanced to the second round for two straight years.

As always, this tournament is about the teams in the middle, while the teams at the top should advance easily.


NCAAW Tournament — Round 1, Day 2

3 key matchups

No. 6 UCLA vs. No. 11 Tennessee

When: Saturday, March 23, at 1 p.m. ET

Where: Xfinity Center, College Park, MD

How to watch: ESPN2

Notes: Tennessee was all the talk after the bracket was released on Monday. Tennessee had made the tournament 36 years in a row, and with their third double-digit loss season in four years, there was question as whether or not they would be included for a 37th straight season. The Volunteers have also advanced to the second round in 35 out of their 36 tournament appearances, not advancing in 2009. Meanwhile, UCLA finished fourth in a stacked Pac-12 and beat Oregon in the regular season.

No. 7 BYU vs. No. 10 Auburn

When: Saturday, March 23, at 3:30 p.m. ET

Where: Maples Pavillion, Stanford, CA

How to watch: ESPN2

Notes: WCC tournament champion BYU takes on the “last four in” Auburn Tigers. BYU beat Gonzaga three times, including in the WCC Tournament final. BYU’s strength is the three-point shot, as three players shot at a clip of 35 percent. Auburn is in the tournament because they have do not have any bad losses. However, they do not have any season-defining wins, as they went 0-7 against the AP Top 25. That said, a lower-seeded power-conference school against a mid-major is always must-watch tournament basketball.

No. 5 Gonzaga vs. No. 12 Little Rock

When: Saturday, March 23, at 3:30 p.m. ET

Where: Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, OR

How to watch: ESPN2

Notes: Gonzaga beat just about everybody ... except for BYU. Little Rock won the Sun Belt Conference, claiming both the regular-season and conference tournament titles. With Gonzaga coming in without two key players, Jill Townsend and Laura Stockton, this could be an upset in the making. Gonzaga has plenty of talent to advance here, but any edge in a seeding that is known for its upsets this is going to be a tough one for Gonzaga.


The day’s other games

No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 16 Bethune-Cookman, 11 a.m. ET, ESPN2

No. 3 Maryland vs. No. 14 Radford, 11 a.m. ET, ESPN2

No. 6 South Dakota State vs. No. 11 Quinnipiac, 11 a.m. ET, ESPN2

No. 3 NC State vs. No. 14 Radford, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN2

No. 3 Syracuse vs. No. 14 Fordham, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN2

No. 8 Central Michigan vs. No. 9 Michigan State, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN2

No. 6 DePaul vs. No. 11 Missouri State, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2

No. 8 California vs. No. 9 North Carolina, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2

No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 16 Abilene Christian, 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2

No. 2 Stanford vs. No. 15 UC Davis, 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2

No. 3 Iowa State vs. No. 14 New Mexico State, 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2

No. 4 Oregon State vs. No. 13 Boise State, 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2


NCAAW Tournament game information

First round

When: Friday, March 22; Saturday, March 23

Where: Campus sites (teams seeded 1-4 host)

How to watch: ESPN2, WatchESPN

Second round

When: Sunday, March 24; Monday, March 25

Where: Campus sites (teams seeded 1-4 host)

How to watch: ESPN, ESPN2, WatchESPN

Sweet Sixteen

When: Friday, March 29; Saturday, March 30 (click for times)

Where: Albany, NY; Chicago, IL; Greensboro, NC; Portland, OR

How to watch: ESPN, ESPN2, WatchESPN

Elite Eight

When: Sunday, March 31; Monday, April 1 (click for times)

Where: Albany, NY; Chicago, IL; Greensboro, NC; Portland, OR

How to watch: ESPN, ESPN2, WatchESPN

Final Four

When: Friday, April 5, at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET

Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL

How to watch: ESPN2, WatchESPN

National Championship

When: Sunday, April 7, at 6 p.m. ET

Where: Amalie Arena, Tampa, FL

How to watch: ESPN, WatchESPN


More ways to watch the games

Want to watch in person? Tickets for the first two rounds can be purchased on the websites of the 16 hosting teams, listed below as the first through fourth seeds. Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight and Final Four tickets can be found on the websites of the hosting arenas, or here.