The Sweet 16 of the 2021 women’s basketball tournament is set. Is it a March Madness of chalk – all the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds progressed to the regional semifinals – or one of upsets – six teams seeded No. 5 or lower are likewise as yet playing.
This marks the third consecutive NCAA competition that the main eight seeds arrived at the regionals, however the first run through since 2013 that upwards of six teams outside the best four seeds have gotten this far.
The Big Ten is the story of the field. The SEC started with six teams in the best 16 seeds, yet just two remain. For the first time in conference history, four Big Ten teams progressed to the ladies’ Sweet 16. Michigan is making its first excursion. Indiana returns interestingly since 1983. Maryland and Iowa were here in 2019, however with totally different teams.
Each of the four Big Ten teams were reseeded in our updated ranking of the Sweet 16.
- Stanford Cardinal (Original seed: No. 1. Reseed: No. 1)
The Cardinal’s margin of victory in the second round wasn’t just about as incredible as that of the other No. 1 seeds on this list, yet it was great and had every one of the makings of a brand name Stanford win. The Cardinal drove by 15 at the half and put the game in cruise control. Eight different players scored, four in twofold figures. Stanford held Oklahoma State star Natasha Mack to 13 focuses, her least absolute since Jan. 2. Haley Jones drove the group in scoring (17 focuses), the first occasion when she had done that in longer than a month. Furthermore, that Stanford flexibility was in plain view: Tuesday’s win denoted the 6th time in seven games the Cardinal had an alternate leading scorer.
- UConn Huskies (Original seed: No. 1. Reseed: No. 1)
The Huskies get mentor Geno Auriemma back from his COVID-19 isolate for the regionals and in the nick of time for Freshmen Fest, the much-desired and highly anticipated meeting of tenderfoots Caitlin Clark of Iowa and UConn’s Paige Bueckers. In the second round, the Huskies methodicallly analyzed the Syracuse zone and held the Orange to 28% shooting. Bueckers’ 20 points drove the way, however it’s another rookie, 6-foot-3 Aaliyah Edwards, who keeps on arising. She found the middle value of 18.5 focuses and 8.5 bounce back in UConn’s initial two NCAA competition wins. Edwards began for simply the third time this season on Tuesday as individual rookie Nika Mühl remained sidelined subsequent to enduring a lower leg injury in UConn’s first-round victory.
- South Carolina Gamecocks (Original seed: No. 1. Reseed: No. 1)
A year prior, the Gamecocks were the most dominant team in the nation however lost their opportunity to be charged as the favorite when the 2020 NCAA competition was dropped. This year South Carolina stays one of the top picks and is at any rate as prevailing protectively. Mercer and Oregon State shot only 34.4% in South Carolina’s two successes. The 95 joined focuses the Gamecocks permitted in the initial two rounds were the most minimal two-game all out a group has surrendered in the competition. They especially shimmered against the Beavers. Oregon State is the third-most exact 3-point shooting crew in the nation however was only 3-of-19 on Tuesday, and the Beavers’ 42 focuses were a season low. South Carolina’s own 3-point shooting (4-for-29 of every two games) may be a concern.
- Baylor Lady Bears (Original seed: No. 2. Reseed: No. 1)
It was enticing to move the Lady Bears much higher. They have likely been the most amazing group in the NCAA competition up until this point. Yet, beginning seed assumes a part in this reseeding activity, and it’s not like Stanford, UConn and South Carolina haven’t likewise been prevailing. So Baylor stays at No. 4 generally speaking. Mentor Kim Mulkey thinks her protection is No. 1 at this moment, shouting after Tuesday’s second-round prevail upon Virginia Tech, “That’s as impressive a defense as I’ve ever put on the floor in an NCAA tournament game, maybe in all of my coaching.”
Baylor is one of if not the best defensive teams in the country this season and leads the country in field objective rate safeguard, so having a game wherein a decent Hokies offense shoots just 30% is no surprise. But on the other hand it’s the same old thing for the Lady Bears. The 2019 public title group and a year ago’s 28-2 team additionally topped the nation, permitting rivals to shoot simply 31%. Baylor scores 82.6 points per game however truly wins with protection.
- Maryland Terrapins (Original seed: No. 2. Reseed: No. 2)
Maryland, the conference’s regular-season and tournament champion, leads the charge for the Big Ten. The Terps are likewise lapping much of the field with regards to offense in San Antonio. A portion of the triumphant point aggregates in Wednesday’s games were 64, 57 and 53. Maryland beat Alabama 100-64. In ladies’ NCAA competition history, just three different groups have scored at any rate 98 points in their initial two competition games (2018 Notre Dame, 1989 Stanford and 1988 Long Beach State). Against the Crimson Tide, the Terps shot 62% from the field and had two players off the seat lead the way – Angel Reese (19 focuses) and Faith Masonius (16 focuses). Their scorers are wherever in the rotation.
- NC State Wolfpack (Original seed: No. 1. Reseed: No. 2)
On Tuesday in the second round, the Wolfpack played without starter Kayla Jones. Star focus Elissa Cunane had another off day. They won just two of the four quarters against South Florida. All things considered, they beat a group with a normal season and meeting competition title on its list of qualifications by twofold figures. Durability and ability rule indeed for NC State. Jones harmed her knee in the first round, and her status for the regionals is unsure. Cunane is currently only 6-of-22 from the field with a couple of 12-point games in the NCAA competition. The term “survive and advance” started in Raleigh with the men’s group and Jim Valvano. With Jones out and Cunane battling, that is actually what the Wolfpack need to do.
- Louisville Cardinals (Original seed: No. 2. Reseed: No. 2)
On Wednesday, the Cardinals permitted their most points in the first quarter throughout the season (25), and the 10 they scored were their least yield to begin a game in 2020-21. Their 18-point shortfall additionally was their biggest of the period. But, the Cardinals eradicated everything to beat Northwestern 62-53 to arrive at the Sweet 16 for the fourth consecutive NCAA competition. After their nine field objectives and 25 points in the first quarter, the Wildcats made only 11 more field objectives and scored 28 focuses over the last 30 minutes. Louisville has no defensive worries, yet it may have worries about Dana Evans. Since the beginning of the ACC tournament, the senior star is shooting 30% from the field and averaging 13 points per game. That is after 18.1 PPG and 45 percent shooting in the normal season. Louisville’s green beans ventured to the cutting edge against Northwestern. Hailey Van Lith and Olivia Cochran each had 13 focuses as Louisville tied for the third biggest rebound in ladies’ NCAA tournament history.
- Texas A&M Aggies (Original seed: No. 2. Reseed: No. 2)
After her match dominating shot at the overtime buzzer to beat Iowa State, Jordan Nixon said that having her colleagues’ and mentors’ trust is the way in to her accomplishment in College Station. She has given them valid justification. Nixon has been Texas A&M’s top scorer in both NCAA competition games, scoring 35 while playing each of the 45 minutes against the Cyclones. The Aggies never drove until the extra time, and mentor Gary Blair – multiplying down on that trust – didn’t call break on the last belonging, rather allowing Nixon to go to work in the path for a sprinter high off the glass to win it. Two triumphs by an aggregate of six focuses have kept Texas A&M alive. The Aggies additionally endure a 32-point game by Iowa State’s Ashley Joens, who leaves with a competition best 65 absolute focuses in two games.
- Arizona Wildcats (Original seed: No. 3. Reseed: No. 3)
The Wildcats probably won’t have consummated the craft of winning monstrous, however they have visited the exhibition hall. Regardless. Arizona battled to a 52-46 second-round prevail upon BYU to arrive at the second Sweet 16 in school history – and lead trainer Adia Barnes was a senior star for the Wildcats on the main outing. This has been the objective since the time she got back to Tucson in 2016. Aari McDonald showed up as an exchange from Washington (where Barnes had been an associate) in 2017, and the two have joined forces to restore the program. McDonald, a senior who is a double cross Pac-12 defensive player of the year, scored 17 points and drove a safeguard that held BYU’s extraordinary watchman team of Paisley Harding and Shaylee Gonzales to a consolidated 6-of-22 from the field.
- Indiana Hoosiers (Original seed: No. 4. Reseed: No. 3)
A few groups, players and storylines just get more attention in the NCAA competition than others. It’s an incredible individual performance, a high-scoring game or a ringer blender that draws the heaviest interest. Indiana has had none of that. With little exhibition, the Hoosiers have continued on ahead better than the team Gene Hackman had in Hickory and are actually where they intended to be the point at which the season began. On the off chance that Big Ten accomplice Maryland is the hostile group of the competition, Indiana gets the protective honor. The Terps scored 100 of every one game. Indiana has permitted an aggregate of 80 out of two. That is a defense-first team in a league known for scoring. That will hold you under the radar for just so long.
- Iowa Hawkeyes (Original seed: No. 5. Reseed: No. 3)
Iowa is something other than Caitlin Clark. A few games she simply makes it difficult to demonstrate it. Her 24 first-half focuses in Tuesday’s second round were more than that of the whole Kentucky group. Clark’s 35 complete focuses and six 3-pointers are both Iowa school records in a NCAA competition game. To arrive at their third Sweet 16 of every six years, the Hawkeyes have adhered to the equation that has been fruitful the entire season: In their initial 27 games, they found the middle value of 86.6 focuses per game on 51.5% shooting. In two NCAA competition games, the numbers are 86.5 and 52.3. Furthermore, Clark, the country’s driving scorer, rushes to share the acclaim and the ball, particularly with junior Monika Czinano, who drives the country in field objective rate. “She has great hands, great vision, she knows when the ball is coming, even if I’m not looking straight at her,” Clark said. “I want to feed her the ball every opportunity I get.”
- Missouri State Lady Bears (Original seed: No. 5. Reseed: No. 3)
Somebody in the Missouri State program probably went through some extended periods of time watching video of Wright State’s win over Arkansas. Holy messenger Baker conveyed the Raiders in the greatest bombshell of the competition. The Lady Bears didn’t allow that to happen twice. Dough puncher’s yield went from 26 to 10 focuses. Without Baker, Wright State had no different alternatives. Missouri State was powerful from 3-point range (8-of-16) and the free toss line (14-of-17), and that was adequate for a 64-39 triumph, the least focuses the Lady Bears have permitted in a NCAA competition game. That is a second sequential Sweet 16 trip and two successes from a Final Four on the twentieth commemoration of the vital Jackie Stiles 2001 run.
- Michigan Wolverines (Original seed: No. 6. Reseed: No. 4)
Naz Hillmon commonly drives any discussion around Michigan b-ball. Maybe the Wolverines’ safeguard ought to have gotten as much consideration. Subsequent to completing fourth in the Big Ten in focuses permitted (that is in a gathering with three of the 10 most elevated scoring groups in the country), the Wolverines have flaunted their cautious strength and flexibility in San Antonio. No team faced such diverse offensive opponents and flourished so a lot. Florida Gulf Coast drove the country in made 3-point field objectives per game, however the Eagles shot 9-of-29 in the first round. Tennessee was second in the SEC in hostile bounce back and doesn’t have a starter shorter than 6-1, yet the Wolverines outrebounded the Lady Vols 42-40. Michigan held them both to 17 focuses underneath their season normal while in transit to the program’s first Sweet 16 appearance.
- Texas Longhorns (Original seed: No. 6. Reseed: No. 4)
Vic Schaefer knows the formula, having been to the Sweet 16 four times as a lead trainer at Mississippi State. He just needed to show every one of its components to his Longhorns. Consider the exercise learned. Texas monitors came up large, as Celeste Taylor scored 24 focuses, Kyra Lambert had 17 focuses and 10 bounce back and Joanne Allen-Taylor added 16 focuses. In the last round of the second round, Texas beat No. 3 seed UCLA 71-62 to turn into the 6th No. 5 seed or higher to arrive at the Sweet 16. The Longhorns got out rapidly and held the Bruins to 14 first-half focuses. Maryland is up straightaway, and the recipe for beating the Terps will request more from star center Charli Collier, who had five points and five rebounds back Wednesday.
- Oregon Ducks (Original seed: No. 6. Reseed: No. 4)
Maybe the Ducks simply required a break. In the wake of losing to Oregon State in the Pac-12 competition quarterfinals – its fifth misfortune in six games – Oregon had 18 days off until its NCAA competition opener on Monday. Presently the Ducks have two successes and a Sweet 16 billet. What’s more, who may have guessed back in November that it would be the guard driving the route in a 57-50 surprise of Georgia, coordinating with a season-low in focuses for the SEC’s third-place finishers. Sedona Prince acquired reputation for shining a light on the imbalances between the people’s NCAA competitions, yet Wednesday was about her two-way play. Sovereign, a Texas move who has fought wounds her whole vocation, coordinated with her season high with 22 focuses to go with five rebounds and four blocks.
- Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Original seed: No. 5. Reseed: No. 4)
In no way like a NCAA tournament second-round game to discover your shooting touch. Georgia Tech completed third in the ACC and procured a No. 5 seed dependent on its guard. However, the 54-52 additional time prevail upon Stephen F. Austin in the first round came in light of the fact that the Yellow Jackets got many more than one stop in the subsequent half. The offense at long last did its part in a noteworthy 73-56 triumph over West Virginia. A group that positioned thirteenth in the ACC in scoring and shot 41.3% in the normal season made over a large portion of its shots against the Mountaineers and scored its most points since Feb. 2. The safeguard was great, as well, holding West Virginia All-American Kysre Gondrezick to only three points.