Yesterday, I noted Maryland‘s 29-point victory margin in its NCAA women’s basketball tournament opener was a shade on the low side, both in a historical context for eventual champs and among the elite teams this year.
The first part of that didn’t change last night. But Maryland sure looked better than, say, Baylor and Tennessee.
The second-seeded Bears (in Maryland’s regional, no less), were pushed to overtime by 15th-seeded Texas-San Antonio. A No. 15 seed has never won a women’s tournament game (in fact, Nos. 14, 15 and 16 seeds are a combined 1-192 all-time), and a 15 never extended a No. 2 seed into overtime before yesterday.
The Lady Vols, the two-time defending champs, were ousted before the regional semifinals for the first time in the event’s 28-season history. Granted, this was not the same sort of Tennessee team everyone is accustomed to, but still.
Meanwhile, another imposing No. 1 seed (Oklahoma) advanced with easy by … 29 points, matching Maryland’s margin.
So winning by 29? Not that big of a deal, especially since one of the sport’s colossal powers has gone home and another recent champion in Maryland’s draw looks a bit vulnerable after a first-round scare.
—- Patrick Stevens