2024 NCAAW Tournament: Second-round roundup

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 24 Div I Women’s Championship Second Round - Duke vs Ohio State
No. 7-seed Duke celebrates their second-round upset of No. 2-seed Ohio State. | Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While the second round of the NCAA Tournament provided some close matchups, the top teams mostly stayed alive and will move on to the Sweet 16.

If you were looking for some great basketball games, March has delivered. But if you were looking for a big upset, that hasn’t really panned out.

The top teams have essentially won out, minus a couple of No. 5 seeds defeating No. 4 seeds. The only true upset was No. 7-seed Duke beating No. 2-seed Ohio State. The Sweet 16 is now set and will feature South Carolina, Iowa, Texas, USC, Notre Dame, UCLA, Stanford, UConn, NC State, LSU, Oregon State, Indiana, Gonzaga, Colorado, Baylor and Duke.

Before we prepare for the Sweet 16, let’s take a look back at some of the best moments from the second round.

Underdog Duke? Underdog Duke!

Duke may be the villain on the men’s side, but they are Cinderella for the women. Head coach Kara Lawson has undoubtedly begun a turnaround, and earning a Sweet 16 berth by beating Ohio State is an example of how far the Blue Devils have come.

Reigan Richardson has been unreal during this tourney, averaging 26.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in the first two games. Her 28-point performance on Sunday is a big reason why the Blue Devils are still dancing and were able to pull off the comeback win over the Buckeyes.

Duke faces UConn and Paige Bueckers next, so things won’t get easier. But they’ve made it this far; let’s see if they can keep dancing.

Baylor Bears with the baby upset

Jada Walker did everything except walk on water to ensure No. 5-seed Baylor took care of business and defeated No. 4-seed Virginia Tech, 75-72. She ended the game with 28 points, including Baylor’s last seven points.

Darianna Littlepage-Buggs mentioned wanting to get past the second round, and the Bears have done just that. Now, they’ll get a chance to make it to the Elite Eight if they beat No. 1-seed USC on Saturday.

No. 1 for a reason

The committee got it right, with all the No. 1-seeds surviving the tournament’s opening weekend. Caitlin Clark and Iowa escaped with a 64-54 win. USC ousted Kansas easily, 73-55. South Carolina remains perfect, demolishing North Carolina 88-41. And Texas defeated Alabama, 65-54.

It may seem a bit boring that no Goliath has fallen, but it demonstrates the dominance these teams have displayed all season long. Even in intense single-elimination scenarios, they’ve proven why they are the cream of the crop. You’re going to have to bring your best game to beat these top dogs, and so far, a few teams have come close, but no one has gotten it done.

If this past weekend is any indication, the best is yet to come in the NCAA Tournament. Upsets or not, we’re certain to get some quality games this weekend.

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