Women's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament Stanford Region 1st Round Game Breakdowns

2014 NCAA Tournament Stanford Regional First Round Game Breakdowns

#1 South Carolina vs. #16 Cal State Northridge (Seattle, Washington)
The Gamecocks head into this matchup with the Matadors with their first number one seed in program history. The improvement in shooting the basketball this season has been a significant reason for South Carolina’s ascension to a top seed. The Gamecocks have shot 48.1 percent from the field and have been outstanding defensively allowing teams to shoot just over 34 percent. Sophomore guard Tiffany Mitchell and junior forward Aleighsa Welch are two key leaders for South Carolina. The Matadors are the Big West Conference Champions and are led by a very guard heavy lineup that has beaten USC this season. Junior guard Ashlee Gray is the leading scorer for Cal State Northridge with 16.3 points per game. The Matadors are going to have to shoot well to have a chance to shock the Gamecocks.


#8 Middle Tennessee State vs. #9 Oregon State (Seattle, Washington)
This is a fascinating matchup. Middle Tennessee State rolled through Conference USA without much trouble. The Blue Raiders are led by senior forward Ebony Rowe who is averaging over 21 points and eleven rebounds per game. They also defend very well as teams are only scoring 55 points per game against them. One potential weakness is if Middle Tennessee State goes cold on the offensive end of the court as the Blue Raiders have shot just 39.8 percent from the floor this season. Oregon State has been one of the best under the radar teams in the nation. They gave Notre Dame one of its stiffest tests of the season back in December. The Beavers have big wins over USC and Arizona State this season as well. The ability to limit team’s quality shots is the key for Oregon State as they only allow opponents to shoot 35.4 percent from the floor. The home fans from Corvallis making the short trip to Seattle could be the difference in this matchup.
#5 Michigan State vs. #12 Hampton (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)
The Spartans return to the NCAA Tournament looking to build off last year’s run to the second round where they lost to Maryland. The big wins on the season include wins over Dayton, Nebraska, and Purdue. Freshman Aerial Powers leads the way for the Spartans with 13.4 points and eight rebounds per game to head a very balanced attack. The Hampton Pirates are the MEAC Champions and are a dangerous number 12 seed as they have wins over schools from bigger conferences such as Virginia Tech. Freshman guard Malia Tate-Defreitas is the top all-around player for the Pirates as she averages 18.5 points per game and 4.9 rebounds.
#4 North Carolina vs. #13 Tennessee-Martin (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)
North Carolina has its share of adversity with head coach Sylvia Hatchell being away fighting leukemia. Andrew Calder has filled in admirably as the head coach in the absence of Hatchell. The Tar Heels have gotten big wins over Duke twice and have beaten South Carolina. They also have had losses where the offense really struggled against Virginia Tech. Freshman guard Diamond DeShields has established herself as one of the best young scoring guards in the country. Alisha Gray adds to DeShields prowess in the backcourt scoring over 14 points per game. Tennessee-Martin comes in as the Ohio Valley Conference champions. The Skyhawks have a senior guard tandem of Heather Butler and Jasmine Newsome that combines for over 43 points per game. Overall, Tennessee-Martin is scoring 84.4 points per game and will probably not be afraid to get into a shootout with North Carolina.
#6 Dayton vs. #11 Florida (State College, Pennsylvania)
This is a tricky matchup for Dayton as they will be facing a Florida team that won’t be intimidated by them since the Gators come from a meat grinder of the Southeastern Conference. The Flyers can score with anyone in the country as they average 83.6 points per game as a team. They also bring positive tournament experience from last year when they beat St. John’s in the first round before falling to Kentucky. Junior guard Andrea Hoover paces the Dayton offense with 17.2 points per game. Florida was one of the last teams to get into the NCAA Tournament so they should be able to play free and easy with nothing to lose, which should allow them to take advantage of a Flyer defense that allows over 73 points per game. Senior guard Jaterra Bonds will need to have a big game for the Gators as she averages over 15 points per game and does a nice job of getting her teammates involved with nearly five assists per game as well.
#3 Penn State vs. #14 Wichita State (State College, Pennsylvania)
Penn State brings plenty of talent and experience to the table in this matchup. Senior guard Maggie Lucas leads the senior laden lineup on the offensive end of the court scoring 21.4 points per game. The key for the Nittany Lions is going to be getting back to playing very sound defense individually and as a team. In the Big Ten Tournament, Penn State allowed 99 points to Ohio State in a 99-82 loss in the quarterfinals. That has to change in the NCAA Tournament in order for the Nittany Lions to make a deep run. Wichita State comes in as the Missouri Valley Conference tournament champions. The Shockers will need huge performances out of the backcourt by junior guards Alex Harden and Jamillah Bonner, who combined for 30 points per game in order to control tempo and have a shot at beating Penn State.
#7 Iowa State vs. #10 Florida State (Ames, Iowa)
The Cyclones are back in the tournament once again and are looking to make that push with the home crowd behind them to get to the Sweet 16 and beyond this season. This team has steadily gotten better as the season has gone along. Senior forward Hallie Christofferson heads a balanced offensive attack for Iowa State. Christofferson is scoring 18.6 points per game and is a force on the glass with 7.3 rebounds per game. Florida State has had a bit of a roller coaster season as they had just a 7-9 record in the very tough ACC conference. Senior forward Natasha Howard is having an outstanding season as she has scored 21.2 points per game and can block shots with the best in the nation as well. Iowa State is playing better right now and should advance.
#2 Stanford vs. #15 South Dakota (Ames, Iowa)
The Cardinal are in some unchartered waters coming into the NCAA Tournament after a loss in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals to USC. They have one of the top three players in the tournament in senior forward Chiney Ogwumike who is averaging over 26 points per game and an insane 12.3 rebounds as well. Stanford will go, for the most part, in this NCAA Tournament as Ogwumike plays. South Dakota is the Summit Conference tournament champion going on a great run to get in the NCAA Tournament. The Coyotes are very effective offensively and are led by junior guards Raeshel Contreras and Nicole Seekamp. Also, senior forward Polly Harrington will need to double her just under six rebounds per game to limit second chance shots for the Cardinal for South Dakota to stay in the game.