All of the Top 4 seeds in the Big Ten, ACC and SEC tournaments advanced to the semifinals. The two closest contests were the ones between a couple of sports’ biggest rivals.
Big Ten Tournament
No. 4 seed Ohio State Buckeyes over No. 5 seed Michigan Wolverines, 81-79
Leigha Brown (19 points, nine assists) missed a shot to tie at the buzzer after a Maddie Nolan three had cut it to 81-79. The game was tied at 76 with 1:29 remaining before Ohio State went on a clutch 5-0 run featuring a three from Jacy Sheldon and layup by Taylor Mikesell.
Cotie McMahon led the charge for the Buckeyes with 28 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Taylor Thierry added 20 points, five boards, three helpers and two steals.
Michigan’s loss here decreases its chances of hosting the first and second rounds.
No. 1 seed Indiana Hoosiers over No. 9 seed Michigan State Spartans, 94-85
Chloe Moore-McNeil stepped up in a big way for Indiana with 19 points, five rebounds and 11 assists. Mackenzie Holmes added a team-high 27 points, five boards, two steals and two blocks.
The Spartans likely needed to win this game to get into the NCAA Tournament.
No. 2 seed Iowa Hawkeyes over No. 7 seed Purdue Boilermakers, 69-58
Caitlin Clark paced the Hawkeyes with a game-high 22 points to go along with eight rebounds and four assists. Jeanae Terry battled in defeat with six points, 12 boards and five helpers.
Iowa’s hopes of crashing the 1-seed line are kept alive, while Purdue is likely OK to make the Big Dance because it got this far.
No. 3 seed Maryland Terrapins over No. 6 seed Illinois Fighting Illini, 73-58
Maryland used a balanced scoring attack with 14 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two steals coming from Diamond Miller. Kendall Bostic notched 10 points, 16 boards and four blocks in defeat.
The Terps are in the driver’s seat when it comes to a No. 1 seed and with Stanford’s loss Friday, they actually moved up from the fourth 1 seed to the third 1 seed in ESPN’s bracketology. However, they need to beat Iowa in the semifinals to avoid falling to the 2 line, and winning the whole Big Ten Tournament is the best way to completely relax about getting that 1 seed.
No. 2 seed Duke Blue Devils over No. 7 seed North Carolina Tar Heels, 44-40
The game was tied at 40 with 2:40 to go. Elizabeth Balogun made it 42-40 with two free throws at 1:58 remaining and Shayeann Day-Wilson added a freeby of her own at the 30-second mark of the fourth. Kennedy Todd-Williams missed a three to tie with four ticks left.
In this low-scoring affair, Balogun was the top performer for Duke with 11 points, four rebounds, two assists and a block. Alyssa Ustby had eight points, five boards, three helpers and three steals in defeat.
Charlie Creme still has North Carolina hosting the first and second rounds.
No. 1 seed Notre Dame Fighting Irish over No. 8 seed NC State Wolfpack, 66-60
Stepping up to make up for the absence of Olivia Miles (knee), Sonia Citron went off for 28 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two steals. Maddy Westbeld backed her up with 15 points and 10 boards.
No. 3 seed Virginia Tech Hokies over No. 6 seed Miami Hurricanes, 68-42
Elizabeth Kitley posted a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double for the Hokies and added four blocks. She wasn’t the only Tech player with a double-double, as Taylor Soule registered 13 points, 10 boards and five assists.
If Tech wins the ACC Tournament and gets some help, it could be a No. 1 seed. Miami, like Purdue, is likely going to see its name on Selection Sunday because it got this far.
No. 4 seed Louisville Cardinals over No. 12 seed Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 74-48
Louisville avenged a Jan. 26 upset loss to the Demon Deacs behind 26 points from Hailey Van Lith. And how about 10 assists and eight rebounds for Mykasa Robinson? She also had three steals and four points.
The Cards could be in the mix to host the first and second rounds if they win the ACC Tournament.
No. 3 seed Tennessee Lady Volunteers over No. 14 seed Kentucky Wildcats, 80-71
Jordan Horston came up big in four categories with 21 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and seven blocks, just barely stealing the headline away from teammate Rickea Jackson, who dropped 34 points.
Tennessee keeps its host hopes alive.
No. 1 seed South Carolina Gamecocks over No. 8 seed Arkansas Razorbacks, 93-66
Aliyah Boston put up a solid stat line of 11 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four blocks. Kamilla Cardoso also played well with 14 points, eight boards, three helpers and three rejections.
Arkansas likely needed a win here to get into the NCAA Tournament.
No. 2 seed LSU Tigers over No. 7 seed Georgia Lady Bulldogs, 83-66
Alexis Morris dropped 28 points for the winners to go along with four assists and two steals. Flau’jae Johnson added 21 points, eight rebounds and three helpers.
Beating South Carolina in the SEC championship game could get LSU a No. 1 seed even if Maryland or Iowa wins the Big Ten and VA Tech wins the ACC. If those other teams slip up and the Tigers defeat the Gamecocks, then the Tigers should definitely be a No. 1 seed. They have to get past Tennessee in the semifinals first and South Carolina has to beat Ole Miss. An LSU win over Ole Miss wouldn’t carry as much weight, but would also put the Tigers in the 1-seed conversation.
No. 4 seed Ole Miss Rebels over No. 13 seed Texas A&M Aggies, 77-60
Angel Baker’s 23 points and five rebounds led the way for the Rebels, while Madison Scott was good for 16 points, eight boards, three assists and two steals.