Women's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Lexington Region Round of 32 Game Breakdowns

Lexington Region Round of 32 Game Breakdowns
Not surprisingly Louisville had very little problems with Boise State, cruising to a 74-42 win. The Cardinals were able to use a lot of the pieces on their bench and stars Asia Durr and Myisha Hines-Allen were very quiet, combining for just 13 points. Marquette was on the opposite side of the surprise spectrum. Most expected a tight game with #9 Dayton. However, the Golden Eagles got out to an early lead and cruised to an 84-65 win behind 32 points from Natisha Hiedeman.
Hiedeman went 8-of-12 from beyond the arc in the first round and it will take another game like that in order for Marquette to get a massive upset over Louisville. The Golden Eagles usually shoot well from the floor, but not so much from beyond the arc. If Hiedeman and Allazia Blockton are knocking down their shots, this is a tough team to defend. Louisville is well rested and more than capable of having an offensive explosion.
Florida Gulf Coast pulled off the biggest upset of the first round of the NCAA Tournament with an 80-70 win over #5 Missouri. The Eagles are a prolific three-point shooting team, but went just 7-of-17 from beyond the arc in their upset victory. The play of China Dow off the bench made all of the difference. She scored 21 points and was very aggressive attacking the basket. Stanford had a tough first round game against Gonzaga, but they were in control of most of the game and won 82-68.
The Cardinal will have to be aware of FGCU’s shooting ability. The Eagles are capable of scoring in bunches and can drop 80 points on Stanford as well. However, against the Cardinal defense, they will likely have to be more prolific and efficient from beyond the arc. And containing Stanford’s Brittany McPhee will not be an easy task either.
Seven players scored in double figures in Tennessee’s 100-60 victory over Liberty in the first round. The Lady Vols were never seriously tested and Coach Holly Warlick got an opportunity to rest her starters in the second half. Oregon State did not have much trouble with Western Kentucky either. Marie Gulich dominated in the paint, scoring 29 points and grabbing 15 rebounds.
Both sides will have a much tougher time in the second round. The Beavers have a superb defense and one of the more efficient offenses in the country. They shoot well from everywhere on the floor and share the ball extremely well. Even with their potent offense, Tennessee is not going to blowout a team like Oregon State. The battle between Mercedes Russell and Gulich in the paint should be very entertaining and very important to each team’s hopes of advancing to the Sweet Sixteen.
#2 Baylor vs. #7 Michigan
Baylor outscored Grambling 27-6 in the first quarter. They margin only got bigger from there. Lauren Cox and Kalani Brown had their way in the paint and combined for 52 points. Like the Bears, Michigan dominated in the paint against Northern Colorado. They outrebounded the Bears 33-18 and center Hallie Thome scored a team high 24 points.
The Wolverines will not have an advantage in the paint against Baylor. Both teams are superb on the glass, but Baylor is the nation’s top rebounding team. That will put the pressure on Michigan superstar Hallie Thome to keep up her high scoring ways. She scored 20 against Northern Colorado. If Michigan can limit Baylor’s dominance in the frontcourt and stretch the defense with consistent outside shooting, the Wolverines can beat a Baylor team that will start missing injured guard Kristy Wallace very soon.