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MIAMI (3) vs. Gonzaga (11) _ The difference from Gonzaga’s run last year to the regional finals and this year is Courtney Vandersloot. Miami’s guards are just too good to lose this early.

IOWA STATE (10) vs. Kentucky (2) _ Playing in front of 11,000 screaming Cyclones fans will get coach Bill Fennelly’s squad to the regional semis.

REGIONAL SEMIFINALS

CONNECTICUT (1) vs. Penn State (4) _ Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis became the first UConn rookie to win the Big East tournament outstanding player since Diana Taurasi. She’ll be the difference in this one.

MIAMI (3) vs. Iowa State (10) _ Stefanie Ydersterom gives Miami its own “Big 3.” She’ll support Riquna Williams and Shenise Johnson to get the Hurricanes to the regional final.

REGIONAL FINAL

CONNECTICUT (1) vs. Miami (3) _ The Huskies have the best defense in the country and will need it to shut down the talented Hurricanes offense. UConn will advance in a low-scoring affair.

RALEIGH REGIONAL

FIRST ROUND

NOTRE DAME (1) vs. Liberty (16) _ The Irish have been focused on getting back to the NCAA title game and should run past Liberty in the opener.

CALIFORNIA (8) vs. Iowa (9) _ Brittany Boyd is a talented freshmen guard who has been flying below the national radar.

FLORIDA GULF COAST (12) vs. St. Bonaventure (5) _ The battle of the NCAA newbies. Both teams may have jitters early on, but the Eagles’ 3-point shooting will carry them to the win.

MARIST (13) vs. Georgia (4) _ The Red Foxes have been one of the surprises of the NCAA tournament the last few seasons. They’ll continue the trend with an upset of Georgia.

ARKANSAS (6) vs. Dayton (11) _ SEC Coach of the Year Tom Collen has paced Arkansas to its second consecutive 20-win season, a program-best eight consecutive SEC regular-season wins, victories over four ranked teams. Dayton made a great run to get into the tournament by winning the Atlantic-10

TEXAS A&M (3) vs. Albany, N.Y. (14) _ The defending champs should have no problem knocking off the tournament newcomer.

Story Continues →