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

Albany Region Round of 64 Game Breakdowns
St. Francis boasts a potent offense that will pass the ball around and attempt plenty of three-pointers. Jessica Kovatch is a great scorer too, but that will not be enough to hand Connecticut their first loss of the season. The Huskies will not be seriously tested for a while and just have way too much athleticism and firepower for St. Francis.
Quinnipiac has a balanced scoring attack and are very prolific shooting the basketball. The Bobcats also have not lost a game since December 18th. Yet, they have not been tested much since then either. Miami will certainly test Quinnipiac in this game. The Hurricanes do need to avoid turnovers and much of that will fall on the shoulders of freshmen Mykea Gray, Endia Banks and Kelsey Marshall, who are all playing in their first ever NCAA Tournament game.
#5 Duke vs. #12 Belmont
Belmont boasts a very experienced team that does just about everything well. They play good defense, are very strong on the glass and rarely turn the ball over. The backcourt duo of Kylee Smith and Darby Maggard can score in bunches and dish out plenty of assists. This Belmont team does not lack size in the paint either. Center Sally McCabe is averaging 14.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.0 blocks. She can keep Duke’s offense at bay. The Blue Devils have a lot of perimeter talent as well, most notably Lexie Brown and Rebecca Greenwell. Duke will need to hit their three-pointers, which they usually do, in order to avoid an upset.
#4 Georgia vs. #13 Mercer
Mercer has only lost twice all year long. But one of those losses came against Georgia. The Bulldogs won that game at home by a score of 72-54. Georgia dominated the glass in that contest and that should happen again in this replay. Mercer will have to shoot better this time around if they want to pull off the upset. Kahlia Lawrence and KeKe Calloway are big time scorers, but both will need to be at their best for Mercer to go back to Athens and come away with a win.
Buffalo earned an at-large bid out of the Mid-American Conference and will head down to Florida to take on a South Florida team that finished with a 26-7 overall record. The battle of the Bulls should be one of the more competitive games in this region. Buffalo boasts a dynamic, balanced scoring offense, led by Cierra Dillard, Cassie Oursler and Stephanie Reid. It will be important for Oursler and forward Summer Hemphill to contain the strong rebounding of USF’s Maria Jespersen, Laura Ferreira and Tamara Henshaw. The biggest key to this game could be in the turnover department. South Florida commits 12.5 per game, while Buffalo commits 16.8.
Florida State averages 81.5 points per game, while Arkansas-Little Rock allows just 52.5 points. Something will have to give. The Trojans want to slow down the game and eventually attack the basket. That is not a great matchup against a big FSU team that will make it very tough for UALR to get to the rim. That means the Trojans will need to hit some three-pointers to open things up, but this is a team that ranks 344th in the nation with just 3.1 three-point field-goals per game.
#7 California vs. #10 Virginia
Virginia has lost six of their last nine games, but still are making their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2010. If the Cavaliers can continue to play solid defense, they can certainly keep this game close and give themselves a chance to win at the end. The key will be containing Cal center Kristin Anigwe. She averages 16.7 points and 8.8 rebounds on the year.
Coming off their SEC Tournament title, South Carolina will have a little time to get things rolling in the right direction in the NCAA Tournament. North Carolina A&T has had a great season and has some young talent that will be on display, but they will not be any match for the Gamecocks talent and depth.