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NCAAW Sweet Sixteen Preview (Day 2): Stanford-Missouri State matchup stands out in today’s packed schedule

Missouri State looks to continue its improbable run, Baylor and Notre Dame are in prime form and Iowa faces a tough challenge against NC State.

Alanna Smith and Stanford look to get back to the Elite Eight after failing to advance in 2018.
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

With the Albany and Portland regions sorted, the Greensboro and Chicago regions prepare to advance to the Elite Eight.

Today’s format is the same as yesterday’s: the action begins and ends with the No. 2 seed matchups with the No. 1 seeds sandwiched in the middle. The difference today is that the games are spread out over time, allowing fans to view each in its entirety.

Stanford and Missouri State get primetime billing and is likely the most anticipated matchup. If Missouri State gets past Stanford, they will be just the second No. 11 seed ever to advance to the Elite Eight. The first team to do so was Gonzaga in 2011.

South Carolina and Notre Dame are the only teams to have made the Elite Eight in 2018. Another four of today’s teams were featured in the Sweet 16 last year, but failed to advance: Baylor, Stanford, Texas A&M and NC State.

One of two Elite Eight droughts will end today when the Iowa-NC State game goes final. Iowa has not appeared in a regional final since 1993, and NC State has not advanced to the round since 1998.


NCAAW Tournament — Sweet Sixteen

No. 2 Iowa Hawkeyes vs. No. 3 NC State Wolfpack

When: Saturday, March 30, at 11:30 a.m. ET

Where: Greenboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC

How to watch: ESPN

Keys to the matchup: NC State started the season 21-0, but finished 4-4 to end the regular season. However, they have looked good in the tournament thus far, winning by double digits in both of their games. Iowa suffered a scare against Mercer but put away Missouri with ease. The Hawkeyes seemingly have the advantage as long as Megan Gustafson is on the floor.

No. 1 Baylor Lady Bears vs. No. 4 South Carolina Gamecocks

When: Saturday, March 30, at 1:30 p.m. ET

Where: Greenboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC

How to watch: ESPN

Keys to the matchup: Baylor has seemed unstoppable, with just six of their 34 games being decided by single digits. The Bears lost just one of those six, to Stanford in December. South Carolina has plenty of tournament experience and they will need all of it. The two teams faced each other earlier in the year and it was all Baylor, who won 94-69.

No. 1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. No. 4 Texas A&M Aggies

When: Saturday, March 30, at 4 p.m. ET

Where: Wintrust Arena, Chicago, IL

How to watch: ESPN2

Keys to the matchup: This matchup is a clash of styles. Texas A&M keeps teams in the 50-60 point range while scoring just below 70 points a contest. Offensively, Notre Dame is a juggernaut. The Irish are a high-scoring team, averaging just below 90 points every time they step on the floor. They also shoot the ball extremely well at 51 percent. Texas A&M has its work cut out for them.

No. 2 Stanford Cardinal vs. No. 11 Missouri State Lady Bears

When: Saturday, March 30, at 6 p.m. ET

Where: Wintrust Arena, Chicago, IL

How to watch: ESPN2

Keys to the matchup: Missouri State allowed Bridget Carleton to score 31 points while holding the rest of the Cyclones to 29 points in their 69-60 win over Iowa State. If they can employ the same strategy against Alanna Smith and Stanford, that could be enough to keep their run going. Stanford has more than enough firepower to get past Missouri State, but it is March and anything can happen.


NCAAW Tournament game information

Sweet Sixteen

When: Friday, March 29; Saturday, March 30 (see above)

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? Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight and Final Four tickets can be found on the websites of the hosting arenas, or here.