Women's NCAA Tournament Bridgeport Second Round Game Breakdowns

Women's NCAA Tournament Bridgeport Second Round Game Breakdowns


#1 Connecticut vs. #8 Vanderbilt (Storrs, Connecticut)

There were some questions about Connecticut heading into the 2013 NCAA Tournament, but they looked pretty darn good in their opener against Idaho, thumping the Vandals 105-37. With forward Breanna Stewart, the team’s third leading scorer and rebounder, expected to return, the Huskies are only getting better. But so is the competition. Vanderbilt hung on to beat a feisty Saint Joseph’s squad. The Commodores are an experienced team, led by junior guards Jasmine Lister and Christina Foggie and senior forward Tiffany Clarke, especially when it comes to NCAA Tournament experience. However, Connecticut at home is tough to beat and with or without Stewart, the Huskies have way too much firepower not to make the short trip to Bridgeport.


#4 Maryland vs. #5 Michigan State (College Park, Maryland)

Michigan State has defied the odds for most of the 2012-2013 campaign and they will have to do it again when they face off against Maryland in College Park. The Terrapins pulled away from Quinnipiac on Saturday in the second half thanks to 29 points from Alyssa Thomas and 23 points from Tianna Hawkins. The Spartans grinded out a 55-47 win over Marist. Michigan State has a pretty good defense and finding a way to stop Thomas and Hawkins will be key. Behind those two, Maryland takes a big drop off when it comes to scoring production and turning the Terps into a one-dimensional team is the only way to contain the offense. With Courtney Schiffauer, Becca Mills, Jasmine Hines and Annalise Pickrel, the Spartans do have plenty of athletic post players who can at least make life difficult for Thomas and Hawkins, but the trio in the backcourt will have to knock down some shots and put points on the board or the MSU offense will be stagnant.


#3 North Carolina vs. #6 Delaware (Newark, Delaware)

Down by five at the half, North Carolina got all they could handle in their 59-54 win over Albany. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt saved the day and scored over half of the Tar Heels points. Delaware won the first ever NCAA Tournament game in the state of Delaware 66-53 over West Virginia, with 33 points from superstar Elena Delle Donne. The Blue Hens will need another solid outing from Delle Donne, but they almost always get it. North Carolina has been up and down all season, so a close win against Albany may not be too telling. However, there is not much time to fix their turnover problem. UNC committed 21 on Sunday, which is about their season average, and the Blue Hens can force quite a few of their own and get the number even higher. Unless the Tar Heels have another great shooting day from Ruffin-Pratt and a way to stop Delle Donne, do not be surprised if Delaware has a huge win in the turnover battle and an even bigger win for the program.


#2 Kentucky vs. #7 Dayton (Queens, New York)

Dayton got a very tough draw in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. The Atlantic 10 was a pretty tough conference and they ended up going 28-2 overall. They were rewarded with a seven seed and had to play Saint John’s in Queens. But Dayton pulled together and held off the Red Storm in double overtime. Kentucky got off to a slow start against Navy, but they did end up winning 61-41. The Flyers can prove a lot more with a win over Kentucky and they have the momentum to pull it off. Andrea Hoover had another big game against the Red Storm and Coach Jim Jabir has plenty of other scoring threats, including reserve Kelley Austria who exploded for 23 points in the first round. Yet, stopping Kentucky could be a big problem for the Flyers. The Wildcats average over 77 points per game and are going up against a defense that is not particularly strong. Even if Kentucky struggles to shoot from outside like they did against Navy, they can still do enough damage inside the arc.


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Women's NCAA Tournament Central