GREENSBORO, N.C.—Friday night’s NCAA Greensboro Regional semifinals were a college basketball junkie’s sweetest dream, as neither game was decided until the final seconds. After South Carolina vanquished North Carolina, 67-65, to begin the evening, Florida State and Arizona State battled one another for 40 minutes, each teasing/infuriating/exasperating their fans at different points before the No. 2 seed Seminoles finally dispatched the No. 3 Sun Devils, 66-65.
OKLAHOMA CITY -- In the first-ever meeting between women's basketball programs of Baylor University and the University of Iowa, it was the inside play of a relative unknown, Sune Agbuke, that helped the second-seeded Bears to an 81-66 rout of the Hawkeyes Friday night in Oklahoma City's Chesapeake Energy Arena, earning a trip to Sunday's Elite Eight of the 2015 NCAA Women Basketball Tournament where they will take on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, the region's top seed.
GREENSBORO, NC—The University of North Carolina and the city of Greensboro have been synonymous throughout the rich history of Atlantic Coast Conference basketball, and the two joined hands once again for Friday’s NCAA regional semifinal game against top-seeded South Carolina. For years, Tar Heels have played for championships in front of hordes of blue-clad fans inside venerable Greensboro Coliseum in ACC and NCAA Tournaments alike.
That’s why it was confusing to see the coliseum awash in garnet Friday night.
If you wanted to be precise about the matter, three of the four programs coming to the Pacific Northwest for the Spokane Regional in the 2015 Women’s NCAA Tournament are looking for an elusive moment of supreme fulfillment. There’s a somewhat empty space in the worlds of three of these four schools in contexts of varying shapes and sizes.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Connecticut travels 130 miles from campus to Albany for the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, and the Huskies’ presence removes any mystery about who will advance to Tampa Bay from this region. The height of Texas presents a challenge for UConn, and upstart seventh seed Dayton could provide another upset after their dynamic victory over No. 2 Kentucky last Monday.
The WNIT’s third round, after an isolated game on Wednesday between Eastern Michigan and Southern Mississippi, ran its course with seven games on Thursday. It was a night for Philadelphia. It was not a night for Pittsburgh, as Duquesne lost a border battle with West Virginia. Third-round Thursday in the WNIT was a night for fathers, not sons, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Thursday was also not a night for the Big Sky, whose two remaining WNIT participants were bounced out of the event before Sunday’s quarterfinals. Here’s a closer look at Thursday’s seven contests:
The WNIT’s third round will burst into many hues and textures on Thursday, with seven games on the docket. Wednesday night, Southern Mississippi’s Golden Eagles booked the first of eight spots in the quarterfinals by knocking off Eastern Michigan at home. USM did not miss this opportunity to play on the final weekend of March. The Golden Eagles certainly won’t mind the extra rest they’ll get in relationship to the rest of the field.
The 2015 Women's National Invitational Tournament closed out its second round on Tuesday, creating a third-round matchup between two schools that are almost neighbors. The West Virginia Mountaineers and the Pittsburgh-based Duquesne Dukes both won their Tuesday round-two games and moveon to the WNIT’s round of 16, though they got there in decidedly different ways.
Former Big East competitors, briefly kept together for one season in the American Athletic Conference, Connecticut and Louisville may now play in different leagues, but they are no strangers to each other, nor to the second weekend of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. Connecticut’s longstanding record of consistent excellence in college basketball needs no elaboration. Louisville, a program that has come of age in the past decade under coach Jeff Walz, has now reached the Sweet 16 for the third straight season and the fourth time in five seasons.
North Carolina saw a 23-point lead evaporate before beating Ohio State, 86-84, Sunday in the final second of the second round of the 2015 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament in Chapel Hill, N.C. The victory sets up an appointment against South Carolina Friday in one regional semifinal in in Greensboro, N.C. The other game will feature Florida State and Arizona State.