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

Kansas City Region Round of 64 Game Breakdowns
The Bulldogs have earned their number one seed by winning the SEC regular season championship and playing an excellent out of conference schedule. Victoria Vivians is one of the top playmaking guards in all the nation and should have another 20-point type of effort against a Nicholls State team that shocked Stephen F. Austin to get the automatic bid out of the Southland Conference.
Syracuse has some nice quality wins over Florida State and Duke and have continued to consistently win at a nice level under the leadership of head coach Quentin Hillsmann. The Orange are led by Tiana Mangakahia, who is averaging 17.8 points per game on the season to pace a balanced scoring attack. Oklahoma State is looking to get back on track after stumbling a bit down the stretch. It is going to be important for the Cowgirls to start fast and take care of the basketball against an aggressive Syracuse defense.
#5 Maryland vs. #12 Princeton
Maryland had a rare bout of adversity during Big Ten play as they lost three games in a row at one point before bouncing back to win three out of their last four games. The Terrapins have a nice mix of an inside-outside game that will cause teams like Princeton issues throughout the NCAA Tournament. Kaila Charles headlines a scoring attack for Maryland that is averaging over 81 points per game. Princeton won the Ivy League this season and the Tigers are led by Bella Alarie who is averaging 13.3 points per game on the season. Look for the Tigers to try and control tempo to get this game to the fourth quarter with a chance to pull the upset.
NC State has already played Elon once this season back on December 16th as the Wolfpack won by a score of 70-57. Chelsea Nelson led NC State with 15 points and 11 rebounds and the Wolfpack led for over 37 minutes during this matchup. The mission in the rematch for head coach Wes Moore is just to start fast and not lot the Phoenix hang around into the third quarter. For Elon, the duo of Ra’Shika White and Shay Burnett will need to combine for at least 40 points to give the Phoenix a shot in this contest.
#6 Iowa vs. #11 Creighton
These two Midwest regional foes will get together out in Los Angeles in what should be a fiercely competitive contest. Megan Gustafson leads Iowa and is averaging 25.6 points per game, along with 12.7 rebounds. Creighton is back in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season and will look to Sydney Lamberty to lead them to an upset win over the Hawkeyes. This game will be close throughout, but the Hawkeyes should be able to pull away late.
#3 UCLA vs. #14 American
UCLA should be able to wear down American with their overall depth in the backcourt and their physical advantage in the post with Monique Billings. The Bruins have a bad taste in their mouth after losing to Oregon for the third straight time this season and should be locked in from the opening tip. American will need a great performance out of Emily Kinneston in her matchup with Jordin Canada as the Eagles will need to grind the tempo down to stay in this contest throughout.
This should be a tightly contested matchup that will boil down to which team can get into a rhythm offensively and stay consistent for four quarters. The Sun Devils gained some momentum from the Pac-12 Tournament as they upset Oregon State before losing to Stanford. Nebraska had some close calls with top teams in the Big Ten and will need to get this game into the 70’s to upset Arizona State.
#2 Texas vs. #15 Maine
The Longhorns have a backcourt combination in Brooke McCarty and Ariel Atkins that can dominate a game, which then opens things up for Jatarie White down low in the post to take care of business for head coach Karen Aston. Maine was the automatic qualifier out of the America East Conference and is led by Bianca Millian, who is averaging 17.8 points per game for the Black Bears. She will need to have a 25-plus point effort against Texas to keep this game competitive.