Women's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Lexington Region Sweet 16 Game Breakdowns

Lexington Region Sweet Sixteen Game Breakdowns
Notre Dame survived an overtime thriller against upset minded Purdue. A knee injury to Irish superstar Brianna Turner gave Purdue an opportunity to attack the basket and they did it very effectively. Still, Notre Dame got enough from Marina Mabrey and Arike Ogunbowale to pull off the win and advance to the Sweet 16. They will take on an Ohio State team that beat Kentucky 82-68. Kelsey Mitchell was not efficient shooting the basketball and hit just 3-of-12 shots from beyond the arc, but her 21 points led the Buckeyes to victory.
Mitchell has not been playing her best so far during this NCAA Tournament. And that is a scary thought for Notre Dame. If Mitchell goes off for 30 or more points and starts connecting on her three-pointers on a more consistent basis, this is looking like a Buckeyes team that can come out of Lexington on top and reach the Final Four. Players like Shayla Cooper and Tori McCoy are playing well in the frontcourt and there are plenty of other scoring threats on the perimeter besides Mitchell. The availability of Turner will make a huge difference in this game. That is something we should know on Tuesday so both Notre Dame and Ohio State will have plenty of time to change their game plans. Notre Dame has enough frontcourt depth to fill the void, but nobody that can replace Turner’s 15.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. That last number could be the most important one. Purdue was able to take advantage of the lack of a shot blocker in the second half and Ohio State certainly has plenty of slashers who can finish at the basket.
#2 Stanford vs. #3 Texas
Stanford could not host a regional this year, but they still made it to another Sweet 16 by beating Kansas State 69-48 on their home court. Brittany McPhee scored a team high 21 points in the win and reserve forward Alanna Smith had a big game with 19 points and seven rebounds. They will face a Texas team that mounted a fourth quarter comeback, after blowing a big early lead, to beat sixth seeded North Carolina State 84-80. It was Brooke McCarty and Joyner Holmes who led the team to victory with a combined 39 points.
This will be a tough battle. Both Stanford and Texas are great on the glass and both play very good defense. Nothing is going to come easy for either team. While rebounding and defense will be important, those could also be a wash in this particular contest. It could come down to which team can step up and be better at taking care of the ball and knocking down free-throws. The Cardinal have a slight edge when it comes to turnovers, committing just under 14 per game, while the Longhorns are over 15. Texas also committed 19 in their faster paced win over North Carolina State. The Cardinal committed 14 against Kansas State. Both teams are quite poor when it comes to free-throw shooting, but again it is Stanford that has the slight advantage. On a neutral floor, Stanford should have the slight advantage in this one, but expect a very close, relatively low scoring contest.