The NCAA women’s basketball bracket 2011 is an anomaly this March. Everyone knows that women’s basketball is for the Goliaths, and not for the Cinderellas – although Cinderellas are everyone other than Connecticut in this sport. But that difference is greater than ever this March, since the men’s Final Four bracket is consumed with massive underdogs. Meanwhile, the other NCAA Final Four is about to be flooded with favorites, as always, with only one major underdog left to try to break in.
The lady’s Elite Eight was filled out yesterday, as Connecticut, Baylor, Texas A&M and Duke defended their favorite status. Perhaps the greatest difference between the two Division I tournaments was shown in Philadelphia, as Connecticut was actually taken to the brink against Georgetown.
A few hours later, the Kansas men were stunned in the first half by VCU, then nearly came back in the second half. But their rally fell short, as Cinderella would not be denied. On the other hand, Connecticut rallied back over Georgetown and didn’t let up, as they survived their massive upset bid by 68-63.
Connecticut joined Tennessee and Stanford as No. 1s who have been pushed a bit so far. Baylor would join them later on, as the Bears got a scare from Wisconsin Green-Bay. But unlike all of the male No. 1s, the women’s basketball giants all survived, with Baylor getting by in an 86-76 victory.
Convention also held when Duke got by DePaul 70-63, and Texas A&M slaughtered Georgia by 79-38. As such, three out of the four regional finals in this bracket pit No. 1 vs No. 2 – whereas no 1s or 2s are left for the men. The one Cinderella left is Gonzaga, as the No. 11 in the Spokane region looks for their fourth straight home victory.
The Bulldogs try to do exactly what the VCU men did last night, and stun a No. 1 favorite to reach the Final Four. In their case, their No. 1 foe is Stanford, and they will have virtually every fan on their side in Spokane. But they need more than that to be the lowest seed to ever reach the Final Four.
Beforehand, the first 1 vs 2 battle is held in Dayton, as Tennessee takes on Notre Dame. The Volunteers have already survived scares against Marquette and Ohio State, with the Irish looking to go one step further. The winner gets either Connecticut or Duke in the Final Four – as only the Blue Devils and Irish stand between a Huskies-Volunteers reunion.
For those tired of upsets in one Big Dance, the women’s basketball tournament could offer relief, as it has much of the way. The first half of the Final Four bracket is filled with Tennessee vs Notre Dame at 7 p.m. est, and Stanford vs Gonzaga at 9 p.m. on ESPN.
ESPN- “NCAA Tournament Bracket – 2011”
Philadelphia Inquirer- “UConn rallies and beats Georgetown, 68-63”
SI.com- “No. 11 seed Gonzaga ready for top-seeded Stanford”