Women’s NCAA Tournament - Top takeaways from Friday’s first round
Yahoo Sports women’s college basketball writer Cassandra Negley recaps the biggest stories from the first full day of action — including South Carolina, Iowa, Virginia Tech cruising to big wins, and highlighted by 11-seed Mississippi State’s upset of Creighton.
CASSANDRA NEGLEY: This is Cassandra Negley with Yahoo Sports looking at the takeaways for the first day of the NCAA Women's Tournament. We had the most exciting game of the day in the first game between South Florida and Marquette. South Florida fought back, forced overtime, and ultimately won to advance. The rest of the morning was pretty chalky until that Mississippi State win which we will get to, but first, let's talk about the top seeds absolutely rolling on day one.
Greenville, one, had a lot of action today starting off with number one overall seed South Carolina. Norfolk State gave them a good game. This is a top defensive team and they showed it, but South Carolina was just far too much. 12 of 14 gamecocks scored in the game led by 11 points each from Zia Cooke and Laeticia Amihere.
Number two, Maryland nearly hit the century mark. They scored 93 points in a 93 to 61 win against Holy Cross. Absolutely tore into that game from the start. They were 9 of 19 on 3's nearly hitting 50% of those. And then number three, Notre Dame which announced the day before their game that Olivia Miles would not play in this tournament fared just fine without her. Maddie Westfield had a big game followed by Sonia Citron Lauren Egbo and Kylie Watson and we will see the number four seed in that region, UCLA, on day two.
In the Seattle 4 region, number two seed Iowa never gave Southern Louisiana a chance in front of another sold out crowd at Carver Hawkeye Arena. Caitlin Clark was, again, on triple double watch, but the starters were pulled early in the fourth quarter with this one put away. Southern Louisiana's head coach credited Iowa's zone defense and that game plan for stopping them. That will be a critical aspect to track as Iowa goes forward as they are more of an offensive team.
In Seattle, three, we saw number one Virginia Tech pull away late from Chattanooga with 22 points from Georgia Amoore. She is a huge key to their 12 game winning streak. She hit 5 of 8 3-pointers in this game and broke the program's single season 3-pointer record. And in Greenville too, we saw number three LSU struggle a little bit early with Hawaii, but they pulled away with a huge game from Angel Reese. She had 34 points and 18 rebounds.
This is March Madness though and we are still looking for some big time upsets. We're going to shout out Mississippi State before Coach Sam Purcell adds us to his "Talk Nice To Me List."
SAM PURCELL: Got a new "Talk To Me Nice List" that I would like to mention today. Barack Obama. Now Barack, I know you from Illinois, but you a girl dad so I'm asking for your vote in the future.
CASSANDRA NEGLEY: This is a team that lost by 7 to South Carolina this year. Only 7. They were the number 11 seed. Had to win their first four game and now got past Creighton, which was last year's Cinderella. They will play Notre Dame in the next round and of course, that Notre Dame team is hit by a lot of injuries so we could be talking nice to Sam Purcell for a little while.
Number 10, Georgia split by Florida State, which is also decimated by some injuries. We might see some more upheaval on day two though. Florida Gulf Coast is a sharpshooting squad and could overtake Washington State. Sorry to Shania Twain and middle Tennessee is a favorite as an 11 seed to take out Colorado also out of the Pac 12. Drake could also overcome Louisville in that favorite 5-12 match-up that sees a lot of upsets. For more from the NCAA Women's Tournament, stay with Yahoo Sports.