The NCAA women’s basketball bracket 2011 continues to go as expected. Even though the women’s basketball tournament has a No. 11 seed in the Elite Eight, like the men’s bracket, it was almost predictable since Gonzaga is playing at home. While they continued their run at Spokane, Tennessee and Stanford bent a bit, but did not break in their Sweet 16 matchups. In fact, Notre Dame was the only one to cruise in yesterday’s tournament action, although at least one favorite will likely have it easy today.
The Sweet 16 now moves to Philadelphia and Dallas, as Connecticut and Baylor look to keep sailing through to the Final Four. The Huskies haven’t been tested so far, as usual, yet the Volunteers and Cardinal have met a speed bump or two.
Yesterday, Tennessee got through their second straight difficult game, as Ohio State stayed close with them this time. But after Pat Summit lit into the Volunteers at the half, Ohio State finally gave way, as Tennessee survived an 85-75 win. Next up, the Volunteers take on Notre Dame, after the Irish throttled the Sooners by 78-53.
Things were closer in the Spokane bracket, as Gonzaga won their third straight game on their home court, despite nearly blowing a 20 point lead to Louisville. Yet the Lady Bulldogs pulled it out by 76-69, as they captured the same magic that the men had way back when. But they have a more difficult task ahead against Stanford in the regional final, though the Cardinal proved vulnerable against North Carolina.
Stanford fell behind early against St. John’s in the second round, then blew them out in the second half. They took longer to finish off the Tar Heels last night, yet they finally won by 72-65. Technically, they still have an easy route to the Final Four, although they face No. 11 Gonzaga in a quasi-road game on Monday.
The women’s basketball favorites are still on track to outlast the field, despite a few scares, and a No. 11 seed hanging around. Connecticut looks to keep things easy, however, as they take on Big East rival Georgetown at noon today in Philadelphia.
In spite of the close calls in the rest of the bracket, the Huskies are considered too powerful to get scared this early. If they blow by the Hoyas, the Huskies would next face either Duke or DePaul, as they face each other at around 2:30 pm.
Afterwards, the action moves to Dallas, as two local Big 12 favorites try to set up an Elite Eight showdown with each other. Texas A&M takes on Georgia at 4:30 pm, followed by top seeded Baylor facing Wisconsin Green-Bay a half hour later.
The last pieces of the Elite Eight bracket will be filled on ESPN and ESPN 2 today, before women’s basketball has its Final Four on Monday and Tuesday.
ESPN- “NCAA Tournament Bracket – 2011”
Boston Globe- “After rant, Vols get raves”
San Francisco Chronicle- “Stanford beats North Carolina, 1 win from Final Four”
New York Times- “No Place Like Home In Women’s Tournament”