The prevailing sentiment among women's basketball fans is that to this point in the 2011 women's NCAA tournament things have been a little boring. The upsets have been predictable and the top seeds were as dominant as expected in the first round.
With the second round beginning today, the best chance for an upset is once again probably the No. 11 Gonzaga Bulldogs against the UCLA Bruins at 6:35 p.m. PST in Spokane, but even that could be considered unsurprising given the crowd atmosphere in McCarthey Athletic Center on Saturday afternoon, not that UCLA coach Nikki Caldwell would use that as an excuse.
"We understand the crowd is going to be in their favor but I told this team that is what March Madness is about," said Caldwell in her media session yesterday. "We have come into environments where they have more fans but I told the team fans don't sweat, don't rebound the basketball nor do the fans make plays. It's going to come down to who is going to execute their game plan to the best of their ability. If we commit to that and you're in that competitive zone, you don't hear fans out there on the floor."
The four/five matchups between No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Georgia Tech (7:20 p.m. PST) and No. 4 Kentucky vs. No. 5 North Carolina should be exciting with strong potential for the five seeds to knock off the higher seed.
Otherwise, seeding should dictate winners pretty strongly.
Yesterday, things held true to seeding form - barring a couple of No. 8/9 matchups - and a look at today's schedule shows much of the same.
#8 Tennessee vs. #8 Marquette (4:05 p.m. PST)
#3 DePaul vs. #6 Penn State (4:10 p.m. PST)
#2 Duke vs. #10 Marist (4:15 p.m. PST)
#4 Ohio St. vs. #5 Georgia Tech (4:20 p.m. PST)
#2 Notre Dame vs. #10 Temple (6:40 p.m. PST)
#3 UCLA vs. #11 Gonzaga (6:35 p.m. PST)
#1 Stanford vs. #9 St. John's (6:40 p.m. PST)
#4 Kentucky vs. #5 Kentucky (6:45 p.m. PST)