• No. 1 UConn 74, No. 4 Iowa State 36
UConn continues to mow through opponents at a leisurely pace, playing no starter more than 27 minutes. (Those 25 points Maya Moore racked up? Took 20 minutes.) Of course, when the first-half score is 42-14, you're afforded the luxury of easing off the gas just a bit. Swish Appeal does the math:
Someone on ESPN today told me that UConn had won all three of its games in the NCAA tournament strictly on the basis of first-half scoring output - if UConn had scored zero points in the second half, they would have won those three games anyway. I decided to extend that to UConn's regular season to see if UConn would have a winning record if they were just held to their first half offensive output.
Oddly enough, UConn was suprisingly good. At one point, they were 14-9 early on in the season [...] Their Big East season record was 7-9.
7-9, by the way, would still have beat seven teams' full-game Big East records this season.
• No. 3 Oklahoma 77, No. 2 Notre Dame 72
Notre Dame was the toughest 2-seed in the entire bracket, and it wasn't close. Remember that only an unfortunate late-season stretch in the Big East lobster pot (the Irish were undefeated until meeting UConn in January, and didn't lose another game for a month) kept them from a top slot. Remember too that they already beat Oklahoma once this season, way back in November. In overtime, however, the Sooners are undefeated this season, and a beautiful 3-shot from Nyeshia Stevenson sends them to the Eight.
• No. 4 Kentucky 76, No. 1 Nebraska 67
One Kentucky team showed up to play basketball this weekend, and it wasn't Coach Cal's. Nebraska became the second top seed to fall to a fourth-ranked team this weekend, and after tying it up 16-16 nine minutes into the game, it was never close again. The Huskers' Kelsey Griffin was everywhere at once, recording the game's only double-double, but she's headed home and Kentucky's prepping for Oklahoma.
• No. 3 Florida State 74, No. 7 Mississippi State 71
The women's bracket is so neat and tidy, don't you think? And Florida State is the OxiClean of women's basketball. Just look at the ladylike fashion in which unwelcome lower seeds are swept away! With the demise of Mississippi State, the lowest remaining teams are 4-seeds Baylor and Kentucky, and it's Florida State's diligent commitment to housecleaning that's the real story here. Not a trace of upstart remains! Those girls are going to make great wives someday. (They can start as soon as next week, since they're staring down a date with the UConn buzzsaw tomorrow night.)