Women's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Oklahoma City Round of 64 Game Breakdowns

Oklahoma City Region Round of 64 Game Breakdowns


#1 Notre Dame vs. #16 Montana (South Bend, Indiana)

The Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season champion meets the Big Sky in this contest. Although Montana coach Robin Selvig has 21 NCAA appearances, Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw trumps that with one national title and six Final Four appearances. Notre Dame is also 46-20 in 22 NCAA appearances and has a 13-1 record against top 50 RPI teams. Led by Jewell Loyd’s 20.5 points per game, the ACC Player of the Year guides a strong squad against a Montana program led by Kellie Rubel’s 14 points and 5.7 boards per contest. Montana lost four of its first six and then rattled off six wins in a row and finding its stride. Notre Dame should have little trouble putting away its first-round opponent.


#8 Minnesota vs. #9 DePaul (South Bend, Indiana)

This 8 vs. 9 matchup puts the sixth-place Big Ten team up against the Big East champions. This is the first NCAA appearance for Minnesota coach Marlene Stollings, but the Golden Gophers have had success this year against teams like Iowa and North Carolina State. The last time Minnesota reached the tournament it advanced to the second round in 2009. DePaul made it to last year’s Sweet 16 for its best finish since 2011, and the Blue Demons have 20 NCAA appearances. Neither school is impressive against the RPI top 50, with Minnesota at 3-5 and DePaul at 2-6, but DePaul’s tournament-tested wisdom could help the Blue Demons prevail. Amanda Zahui and Rachel Banham average over 18 points per game for Minnesota and Shae Kelley is at 17.5. DePaul’s Brittany Hrynko averages 19.6 per game.


#5 Oklahoma vs #12 Quinnipiac (Stanford, California)

Make it 16 straight NCAA appearances for the girls from Norman, as Oklahoma’s 20 wins and decent Big 12 performance earned the team a decent seed. Oklahoma sophomore Peyton Little shoots 42.2 percent from the field and averages 13.2 points per game. Teammate Kaylon Williams is the Big 12’s hottest shooter at 59.3 percent. Williams also has 11.9 points and 6.7 rebounds. This is Oklahoma’s first meeting against Quinnipiac, which won 31 games overall and its last 21 games in MAAC play. Quinnipiac senior Val Driscoll averages 12.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Quinnipiac coach Tricia Fabbri won MAAC Coach of the Year honors.


#4 Stanford vs #13 Cal State Northridge (Stanford, California)

Even though a 24-9 record may confuse some college basketball fans who are accustomed to Stanford’s usual 30-win seasons, the Cardinal still got the job done at year’s end when it beat California and won its 11th Pac-12 tournament title. Stanford has a 12-3 home record and is the only team to knock Connecticut off its lofty perch. Amber Orrange (13.2 points per game) leads the way for Stanford’s team-oriented game. Cal State Northridge has 23 wins this season, which is a school record, and it is led by Ashlee Guay (16.2 points per game) and Janae Sharpe (12.6). Although Stanford should prevail, this win will not be a cakewalk by any stretch of the imagination.


#6 Washington vs. #11 Miami FL (Iowa City, Iowa)

For the first time since 2007, the Huskies are headed to the dance. This is the 17th NCAA trip to Washington but the first in eight years. When Washington does well in the tournament, like in regional final visits in 1990 and 2001, Washington is a hard team to beat. Seniors Jazmine Davis and Aminah Williams have won 84 games combined along with their teammates, the most since Washington won 92 games between 1988 and 1992. Davis is sixth on the Pac-12 all-time scoring list with 2,261 points. The Huskies face a Miami team that allows just 59.5 points a game and forces opponents into 19 turnovers a contest. And, of course, Miami is one of only two teams to figure out Notre Dame this season. This contest is the most interesting of the eight opening-round games by a landslide.


#3 Iowa vs. #14 American (Iowa City, Iowa)

Both Iowa and American have beaten Gonzaga, but that’s where the similarities end. Iowa finished 24-7 overall and took second in the Big Ten, while American won the Patriot League championship. Iowa also knocked off teams like Rutgers, Ohio State and Dayton but saved the best for Nebraska; there, the Hawkeyes won three times. Iowa has a 10-5 record against RPI top 50 teams this season. American has never been to an NCAA tournament prior to this season. Bethany Doolittle and Melissa Dixon averaged 15.3 points per game in conference play. American senior guard Jen Dumlak has 16.9 points per game this season. Iowa is 16-0 at home and nothing should change here.


#7 Northwestern vs. #10 Arkansas (Waco, Texas)

The men have never gone dancing in an NCAA tournament before, but the women have made seven trips. This is the first time since 1997 a Northwestern team is in the tournament, however, as an 8-0 mark in February kick-started the Wildcats in the right direction. Nia Coffey has 15.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest, and six players average at least 8.7 points per game. As for Arkansas, it has faced Northwestern three times and the Wildcats won the last matchup 67-55 back in December of 2009. Jessica Jackson and Kelsey Brooks average 14.9 points and 14.1 points per game, respectively. Do not be fooled by Arkansas’ ninth-place SEC finish. You know how tough that league can be.


#2 Baylor vs. #15 Northwestern State (Waco, Texas)

Baylor has been a 1 or 2 seed every year since 2011, and the last time it wasn’t Baylor had a No. 4 seed in 2010. Did we mention Baylor has won its first-round game in the last 12 times it reached the tournament? Northwestern State won the Southland Conference tournament and the automatic bid to the NCAA, but everything adds up in Baylor’s direction. Three Final Four and two national-title appearances, plus a No. 2 seed, mean Baylor should easily dispatch Northwestern State and its 19 victories and move on to face either Northwestern or Arkansas.


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