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NCAAW Tournament Preview (Round 2, Day 1): How will teams with close Round 1 wins respond to tougher competition?

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Two teams in action today needed overtime to advance, while a handful more escaped what would have been dramatic upsets. Have these teams recovered in time to earn a Sweet Sixteen bid?

NCAA Womens Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament - Missouri vs Kentucky
Sophie Cunningham (#3) led Missouri with 21 points in the Tigers’ first-round overtime win over Drake. Next up: Iowa, another team that’s beaten Drake this season.
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Three games went to overtime in the first round of the NCAAW Tournament, tying the record set in 1995 and 2000. Today, two of those winning teams — Missouri and Marquette — are back in action against even more difficult competition.

The further teams progress in the tournament, the less the games are about seeding and the more they are about which team has everything working in their favor on the day they’re assigned to play.

Perhaps Missouri and Marquette — and Iowa, Florida State and Miami, for that matter, two more teams with uncomfortably close first-round wins — have actually benefited from having an off-day when they could afford to have one. Perhaps they’ll have learned enough from their shortcomings on Friday to come back and have better outings today.

Just about every game today has the potential to be close, at least for a while. But the teams that are looking to improve upon their last games have had enough of “close” — they want the dominant early win they hoped for from the start. Maybe that desire will power some of them through to the Sweet Sixteen after all.


NCAAW Tournament — Round 2, Day 1

3 key matchups

No. 2 Iowa Hawkeyes vs. No. 7 Missouri Tigers

When: Sunday, March 24, at 2 p.m. ET

Where: Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, IA

How to watch: ESPN2

Notes: Fresh off their first tournament win since 2015, the Hawkeyes next take on Missouri for the first time since 2004. Although the Tigers needed overtime to get past Drake in the first round, Iowa’s uneasy win over Mercer raises more questions about the Hawks’ readiness to continue further into the tournament. The teams should be fairly evenly matched, without very much recent tournament experience between them, and both have quality, top-10 wins on their résumés this season. At the end of the day, though, in spite of their recent struggles, this is Iowa’s game to lose.

No. 4 Texas A&M Aggies vs. No. 5 Marquette Golden Eagles

When: Sunday, March 24, at 2 p.m. ET

Where: Reed Arena, College Station, TX

How to watch: ESPN2

Notes: While Texas A&M was able to coast to victory in its first game, Marquette needed a furious late-game comeback and defensive dominance in overtime to overcome a 33.8 percent shooting day. Now, the Golden Eagles must figure out how to recover from that performance while facing a much trickier opponent on their home court. Aside from this last game, Texas A&M has shown some vulnerability recently, barely getting by Auburn in the SEC Tournament before falling to Arkansas. If the Golden Eagles can improve their shooting performance and lower their turnovers from Friday, they might have a chance to expose some of the Aggies’ weaknesses and grab the win.

No. 2 Oregon Ducks vs. No. 10 Indiana Hoosiers

When: Sunday, March 24, at 9 p.m. ET

Where: Matthew Knight Arena, Eugene, OR

How to watch: ESPN2

Notes: The last time the Ducks faced a Big Ten team, it didn’t go so well for them. Now, they’re not only facing another Big Ten team, but they’re facing a team that’s won 10 of its last 11 national postseason games. Showing its resilience on a big stage as the winner of last season’s WNIT, this season’s Indiana team has shown a lot of the same grit. Besides defeating UCLA on the road earlier this season — another team that’s beaten Oregon — the Hoosiers pulled off the 10-7 upset in their first-round game against Texas. It’s not easy to beat the Ducks anywhere, especially in Eugene, but Indiana has shown that it’s a team with the capacity to get the job done. (Plus, President Obama’s bracket has the Hoosiers winning this game — so why not?)


The day’s other games

No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 8 Michigan, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN2

No. 4 South Carolina vs. No. 5 Florida State, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN2

No. 2 UConn vs. No. 10 Buffalo, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

No. 4 Miami vs. No. 5 Arizona State, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

No. 1 Mississippi State vs. No. 9 Clemson, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN


NCAAW Tournament game information

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.