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5 things to take away from women's opening round

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 24, 2014 at 3:22 am •  Published: March 24, 2014

The first round of the NCAA women's tournament had its share of high-scoring games, last-second victories and even a few upsets.

Of course, UConn and Notre Dame both met little resistance in their openers to move a step closer to a showdown of unbeaten teams.

The most entertaining game of the opening round had to be the contest between DePaul and Oklahoma. They combined to score 204 points, the most in a regulation game in NCAA tournament history. The Blue Demons came away with a thrilling 104-100 victory.

"I would imagine, for the fans who were in the arena ... that was a very entertaining basketball game," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. "Lots of points scored, lots of big plays, very talented offensive players. ... We could have hung our heads and gone to the corner, and we didn't. We fought back."

The Sooners rallied from 19-down to take a late lead before falling.

North Carolina had to make its own rally to avoid being upset by Tennessee-Martin. The young Tar Heels trailed by 18 points midway through the second half before coming away with a 60-58 win.

While the Tar Heels didn't fall, ACC foe N.C. State was upset by 12th-seeded BYU. A pair of 11 seeds — Florida and James Madison — also pulled off first-round victories.

Five things to take away from the first round:

PARITY: While none of the top 16 teams in the tournament lost, the seven teams seeded 9 or lower that won tied for the second most in the last decade according to STATS. If not for a last-second shot by St. John's Briana Brown and a late basket by Cal's Brittany Boyd, two more low-seeded teams would have won.

"For the women's game, I think you're seeing a lot more, maybe not first-round upsets, but some teams that are projected to go on to Sweet 16's (getting knocked out in the second round)," said LSU coach Nikki Caldwell, whose Lady Tigers knocked off No. 3 seeded Penn State in the second round last year.

"We were that team last year in some regard. It's definitely happening in the second round, so you're just talking about one more round prior to that."

WELCOME TO THE SHOW: Freshmen across the country made their marks in the opening round. Oregon State's Sydney Wiese scored a career-high 26 points to lead the Beavers to their first tournament win in nearly 20 years. Michigan State's Aerial Powers had 26 points and 18 rebounds as the Spartans ran past Hampton. Nina Davis had 32 points and 10 rebounds in Baylor's victory over Western Kentucky. Diamond DeShields, the ACC freshman of the year, had 13 of her 15 points during the second half to help North Carolina rally.

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