Women's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Spokane Region Round of 64 Game Breakdowns

Spokane Region Round of 64 Game Breakdowns
The Matadors punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament by winning the Big West Conference Tournament to improve to 19-15 on the season. Channon Fluker is going to have play at an elite level against the Fighting Irish to keep this game interesting. If Notre Dame is properly focused they should be able to put this game away early enough to be able to rest some of their starters in the fourth quarter.
South Dakota State is back in the NCAA Tournament after missing it in 2017. The Jackrabbits have knocked off teams like NC State and Oklahoma. Thus, the stage of the NCAA Tournament won’t completely intimidate them. Macy Miller is an excellent scorer as she is a threat to go off for 20-25 points every time she steps on the court. Villanova has also beaten power five teams like Duke early in the season and will look to keep the tenpo of the game down in the 60’s. This should be a game decided by single digits.
#5 DePaul vs. #12 Oklahoma
Fasten your seatbelts as DePaul and Oklahoma are going to light up the scoreboard like they did when they played each other back in November. The Blue Demons outlasted the Sooners 111-108 in overtime as Amarah Coleman’s game-winning three-point shot was the difference for DePaul. It will come down to the ability of whatever team can play just enough defense at the right time to advance. Right now, on paper, the Blue Demons are the clear favorite as they were locked in defensively in the Big East Tournament and should be able to turn the Sooners over enough to get the win.
#4 Texas A&M vs. #13 Drake
The Aggies did enough in SEC play to lock down the opportunity to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Texas A&M is 15-3 at home this season and they have upset teams like Tennessee. Guard play is going to be the difference for the Aggies as Chennedy Carter and Danni Williams are outstanding. Drake won the Missouri Valley Conference with an 18-0 record and have won 26 games this season. Becca Hittner leads the Bulldogs in scoring at 15.6 points per game. Texas A&M should be able to wear down Drake over the course of four quarters and get a solid 8 to 10-point win.
LSU has had a nice resurgence this season under the direction of head coach Nikki Fargas. The key for the Tigers in this game is just staying consistent at both ends of the court. Chloe Jackson will have to set the tone for LSU by attacking the basket to create some good quality looks at the basket. Central Michigan is the MAC champion and is going to play fearless against the Tigers as they should have plenty of fan support in Columbus. This game has some potential for an upset if LSU struggles at all shooting the ball.
Ohio State has gotten better late in the season as they have responded well after losing at South Florida late in February. The Buckeyes won the Big Ten championship in the regular season and the conference tournament and Kelsey Mitchell is a dominant type of player. George Washington won the Atlantic 10 conference automatic bid and is not going to overwhelm you offensively as they score just over 60 points per game. Look for a methodical 75-80-point performance from Ohio State as they should pick up a comfortable win over the Colonials.
#7 Green Bay vs. #10 Minnesota
This should be a game that goes down to the wire. Green Bay has consistently hung around the top 25 all season long. Minnesota is dangerous enough offensively to create their share of problems for the Phoenix. Allie Leclaire is a senior guard for Green Bay that will provide strong leadership and is averaging over 14 points per game on the season. For the Golden Gophers, it will be important for them to get the tempo of the game sped up into the 80’s or 90’s and use their great guards, led by Kenisha Bell and Carlie Wagner, to their advantage.
#2 Oregon vs. #15 Seattle
For Oregon it is going to come down to their ability to stay focused and execute on each individual game like they have all season long. The Ducks are scoring at will against most teams because of their ability to share the basketball as they are averaging 19.5 assists per game. Ruthy Hebard should be able to dominate down low and get around 15 points and ten rebounds and help Oregon cruise to an easy win over a tough Seattle team.