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Big Ten Women’s Hoops in the NCAA Tournament: Day 1 Recap, Day 2 Previews

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Hawks, Michigan roll on Day 1, with Maryland on the court Day 2...and an O/U for Northwestern that’ll make you cry.

Maryland v Iowa - Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament - Championship Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

The headlines out of San Antonio haven’t been kind for the NCAA, and good for coaches like Iowa’s Lisa Bluder...

...and South Carolina’s Dawn Staley:

Here are the Big Ten teams in action today at the NCAA Women’s Tournament. Sorry to not have content yesterday with Iowa and Michigan in action.

NCAA

Sunday Results

[5] Iowa Hawkeyes 87, [12] Central Michigan Chippewas 72

Stew: Caitlin Clark and company took care of business, even if they let the Chips get back close a few times. Up against Kentucky in round two they’ll need to be better. They’ve shown they’re capable, though, and a sweet 16 run in a rebuilding year would be pretty awesome.

MNW: Ho hum, a pretty average Caitlin Clark performance.

Oh, but McKenna Warnock dropped 11 straight points and nabbed a double-double. Monika Czinano was a force inside again. Kate Martin hit 50% of her threes.

My concern with the Hawks heading into the Tourney was their scoring outside Czinano and Clark, but they’ve answered that bell the last few games.

Up next: [4] Kentucky Wildcats (2pm, Tuesday)

[6] Michigan Wolverines 87, [11] Florida Gulf Coast Eagles 66

MNW: On a day where Naz Hillmon was mortal—3/10 from the field, though of course she pulled down another double-double—Leigha Brown took over, dropping 28 on the Eagles and allowing the Wolverines to ease into the Round of 32.

Up next: [3] Tennessee Volunteers (12pm, Wednesday)

Monday Schedule

[6] Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. [11] BYU Cougars

11am | ESPNU | RU -9.5 | O/U 123.5

MNW: RealTimeRPI likes the Cougars here, 61-56, though I’m skeptical of a WCC team and the usual chalk nature of the women’s tournament—there were literally no upsets on Day 1 of the tournament.

Poll

Do you care to pick this game?

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    Rutgers
    (9 votes)
  • 0%
    BYU
    (0 votes)
  • 25%
    no
    (3 votes)
12 votes total Vote Now

[4] Indiana Hoosiers vs. [13] VCU Rams

1pm | ESPNU | IU -18.5 | O/U 128.5

Candystripes: I’m just happy IU Women’s Basketball is having a great season. They’ve been building to this for a while now. I’ll admit I don’t really follow IUWBB much, but considering that I’ve definitely seen some “experts” think that the Hoosiers might be vulnerable in this game, I would not at all be surprised if Indiana takes control early and holds on for a comfortable 10 point win.

Poll

This is a game!

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    Indiana
    (12 votes)
  • 7%
    VCU
    (1 vote)
13 votes total Vote Now

[2] Maryland Terrapins vs. [15] Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers

3pm | ESPN | MD -34.5 | O/U 155.5

Poll

We like our location in Maryland...

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    ...on a mountain
    (2 votes)
  • 85%
    ...an inconvenient walking distance from the train, but still close to DC, I guess
    (12 votes)
14 votes total Vote Now

[7] Northwestern Wildcats vs. [10] UCF Citronauts

3pm | ESPNU | NU -3.5 | O/U 110.5

MNW: You are reading that correctly—a 110-point line.

Apparently the Citronauts will counter the Wildcats’ “Blizzard” zone—a junk 1-1-3 zone that switches constantly and creates havoc to force turnovers—with their own literally named #TrashZone. Both teams force turnovers and are prove to turning the ball over, but the ‘Nauts lack the one thing that has consistently bedeviled the ‘Cats in 2020/21—a consistent big to pull down boards and grab second-chance points, a la Iowa’s Monika Czinano.

Here’s a game where we’re excited to see someone like a Veronica Burton shine—the NU legacy and legend-in-the-making should have her share on the fast break today, and while this won’t be pretty, I’ll take a 48-43 win if it means Northwestern’s first NCAA Tournament win since 1993.

Poll

Pick’em:

This poll is closed

  • 71%
    ‘Cats
    (10 votes)
  • 28%
    ‘Nauts
    (4 votes)
14 votes total Vote Now

[10] Michigan State Spartans vs. [7] Iowa State Cyclones

5pm | ESPN | ISU -2.5 | O/U 146.5

Green Akers: Michigan State goes into this matchup as a minor underdog; normally, in a game against a non-top 10 women’s opponent, I’d give the Spartans at least a puncher’s chance because of Nia Clouden’s dynamism. Problem is, the Cyclones have their own stud in post threat Ashley Joens.

I’ll watch with mild optimism, but given the frequently chalky nature of the women’s bracket, it’s hard to get too excited about winning this game only for a near-certain date with a rugged Texas A&M.

Poll

Choose:

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Steroiddude
    (5 votes)
  • 58%
    Tornadobird
    (7 votes)
12 votes total Vote Now

Feel free to use this as a thread, or to check out the general open thread.