No one has yet given Connecticut a game in the 2010 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament. But anyone who thought that Stanford, also seeded No. 1, would also sail through the tournament enjoying one blow-out after another got a huge surprise on Monday night as Stanford met Xavier in the Elite Eight of the Sacramento Regional.
Jeannette Pohlen went the length of the court in the final 4.4 seconds to hit a layup that propelled Stanford to its third consecutive Final Four, with a 55-53 win over the Musketeers. The play was reminiscent of Tyus Edney of UCLA slicing through Missouri 15 years ago to stave off a second-round upset in the mens tournament. It was the ending of an intriguing game that was close throughout with Xavier hanging in against huge odds and playing the second-ranked Cardinal even for 39 minutes and 55.6 seconds.
In a game where little seemed to go right for Baylor for much of the Memphis Regional final, freshmen Brittney Griner and Kimetria Nae-Nae Hayden combined to spark a furious late rally Monday evening to lift the fourth-seeded Lady Bears to a 51-48 comeback victory over second-seeded Duke and a spot in the 2010 Womens Final Four.
While the eyes of the country have, for the most part, been directed elsewhere, four teams out of an original field of 64 have played their way into the "other" Final Four and are now ready to have a go at the tournament championship as the post-season WNIT heads into the final week of action.
Michigan (21-13) ended the historic season of Syracuse and will host Miami (21-13) at 7 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 31. Meanwhile, Illinois State (28-7) will entertain Cal (22-13) at 8:05 ET/7:05 CDT on Thursday, April 1.