Women’s NCAA Tournament Des Moines Region Sweet Sixteen Breakdown
Baylor has some momentum after a nice victory over #9 seed Florida on Tuesday. They also got a big throw down jam from Brittney Griner that got the team pulling away in the second half and everybody else talking for a while. But this effort was about more than Griner, as all five scorers reached the double digit plateau in the points column. Georgia Tech is the next in line to find a way to stop Griner and company. The Yellow Jackets got another huge game out of freshman Sydney Wallace in their second round victory over Georgetown. Wallace is on fire right now and brimming with confidence.
If Georgia Tech wants to pull off the upset against Baylor, Wallace will need to have another big day. The Yellow Jackets have plenty of talent in the starting lineup, but getting an offensive spark off of the bench from Wallace is huge. Few teams in the nation can force the opposition into scoring slumps like Baylor can and Wallace may be an important piece of the game plan. However, Sasha Goodlett is the player who has to match up with Griner and that will likely be where this game is decided. Georgia Tech may not have a ton of depth, but they do have more than Baylor and we are getting to the point in the tournament where that could make a difference. If reserve Mo Bennett can at least contain Griner while Goodlett is resting, the Yellow Jackets could make things at least a little interesting.
Tennessee beat DePaul on the glass. Glory Johnson alone pulled down 21 boards and the team outrebounded the Blue Demons 47 to 30. Even though the Lady Vols did not shoot particularly well from the floor, there was no way DePaul could stick with Coach Pat Summitt and company allowing all of those second chance opportunities. Next up for Tennessee is an intriguing game in Des Moines against Kansas. The Jayhawks were heavy underdogs against Nebraska and Delaware, but they found a way to win. Kansas did not shut down Elena Delle Donne, but they did make her work for her points and the rest of the Fightin’ Blue Hens could not pick up the slack.
Junior Angel Goodrich has led Kansas to the Sweet Sixteen, scoring 27 points against Delaware, and the point guard will have to be the one who takes her team even further. But that will not be a simple task against Tennessee. The Jayhawks are a young team, but at this point in the tournament that does not matter. This team has not been intimidated and they will not be by Tennessee either. The Lady Vols have some lengthy athletes, but Kansas should matchup with them pretty well. If Kansas can continue to get great point guard play from Goodrich and at least stay even with Tennessee on the glass, the Jayhawks could pull off yet another surprising upset.