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Here's what could happen in NCAA tournament

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 19, 2014 at 3:40 am •  Published: March 19, 2014
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Clearly it's not going out on a limb to predict UConn and Notre Dame meeting in the national championship game with history at stake.

There's a bunch of other games in the women's basketball tournament that may not be so obvious. Here's one look at what could happen over the next three weeks:

The bracket breakdown (winners in all caps):

NEBRASKA REGIONAL

FIRST ROUND

(1) UCONN vs. (16) Prairie View A&M — The Lady Panthers became ninth team to enter NCAAs with a losing record. All the previous ones have lost. Don't expect that to change against the defending champions.

(8) GEORGIA vs. (9) Saint Joseph's — The Lady Bulldogs have made the tournament in 31 of the 33 years. They've lost in the opening round twice in the past five years. Andy Landers young team will get through this time.

(5) N.C. STATE vs. (12) Brigham Young — Wes Moore has instilled confidence in the Wolfpack. Still, they haven't seen a player like BYU's Jennifer Hamson. The 6-foot-7 center is second in the nation in blocks. She just doesn't have enough of a supporting cast to pull off the upset.

(4) NEBRASKA vs. (13) Fresno State — Jordan Hooper and Rachel Theriot are going to be way too much for the Bulldogs to handle.

(6) GONZAGA vs. (11) James Madison — Really great matchup between two strong mid-major programs. The Dukes have been on quite a roll this season winning the CAA regular season and conference tournament titles. Kelly Graves always has the Zags ready come tournament time.

(3) TEXAS A&M vs. (14) North Dakota — Gary Blair's team has won 17 of its 21 games since Dec. 28 and the Aggies should have no problem at home against the tournament newcomer.

(7) DEPAUL vs. (10) Oklahoma — Strangely these two schools have only played once before, back in 2006-07. The Sooners came away with a 105-71 victory. This Oklahoma team has struggled lately going 4-6 in its last 10 games. DePaul on the other hand has been hot winning the Big East regular season and conference titles. The Blue Demons will keep rolling.

(2) DUKE vs. (15) Winthrop — The Eagles are getting quite the introduction to the NCAA tournament, having to play at Duke. The Blue Devils, even without guards Chelsea Gray and Alexis Jones, will be too much to handle.

SECOND ROUND

UCONN vs. Georgia — There will be nearly 1,700 wins on the sidelines between Geno Auriemma and Andy Landers. Surprising the two schools have met four times. UConn has won the last three. It will be four after this game.

NEBRASKA vs. N.C. State — What does the winner get? A date with UConn in the regional semifinals. At least with the Cornhuskers winning, there will be a raucous atmosphere in Lincoln.

GONZAGA vs. Texas A&M — Lately the Zags have benefited from being near home in the first few rounds to advance. Kelly Graves will have a few tricks up his sleeve to help Gonzaga get past the host Aggies in one of the few upsets in the region.

DUKE vs. DePaul — The Blue Devils ended DePaul's run in the regional semifinals a few years back. DePaul has no real answer for Elizabeth Williams.

REGIONAL SEMIFINALS

UCONN vs. Nebraska — Rachel Theriot had a superb run in the Big Ten tournament. She didn't have to face a defender like Moriah Jefferson. UConn rolls to the regional final.

DUKE vs. Gonzaga — The Zags were fortunate enough to get this far. Duke's experience and strong defense will be too much for Gonzaga.

REGIONAL FINAL

UCONN vs. Duke — These two teams met in December in North Carolina and UConn came away with a dominating 22-point win. The Blue Devils had Chelsea Gray and Alexis Jones for that game. They don't anymore.

STANFORD REGIONAL

FIRST ROUND

(1) SOUTH CAROLINA vs. (16) Cal State Northridge — The Gamecocks still have a bad taste in their mouth after losing in SEC semifinals. They will wipe it away against Cal State Northridge.

(9) OREGON STATE vs. (8) Middle Tennessee — The Beavers rode an 11-game winning streak, the second-longest in school history and best since 1982-83, into the Pac-12 championship game before losing to USC. They will keep it going against Middle Tennessee playing in an arena they had a lot of success in.

(12) HAMPTON vs. (5) Michigan State — The Lady Pirates earned the highest seeding ever for a MEAC team since the women's field expanded to 64 teams. Now they'll win the second game ever by the conference and a 19th straight victory overall.

(4) NORTH CAROLINA vs. (13) UT Martin — There may be some opening jitters, but the stellar North Carolina freshmen class led by Diamond Deshields will help the Tar Heels cruise.

(6) DAYTON vs. (11) Florida — Jim Jabir's team came up short in the Atlantic-10 final against Fordham. Still the conference got more teams in the field than the American and Big East. The Flyers will advance to the second round for the second straight year.

(3) PENN STATE vs. (14) Wichita State — There will be no shocker here as the Lady Lions cruise at home into the second round.

(7) IOWA STATE vs. (10) Florida State — The Seminoles have the best player on the court with Natasha Howard. The Cyclones don't lose too many at home. This will not be one of those occasions.

(2) STANFORD vs. (15) South Dakota — It's rare when the Cardinal have to leave the West Coast to play an NCAA tournament game. South Dakota's first trip to the NCAA tournament will be a short one.

SECOND ROUND

SOUTH CAROLINA vs. Oregon State — Should be a really great matchup in the post between Oregon State's Ruth Hamblin and South Carolina's Alaina Coates. The Gamecocks have enough of a supporting cast to come away with the close win.

NORTH CAROLINA vs. Hampton — Playing at home will push the Tar Heels past the Lady Pirates. Having coach Sylvia Hatchell around could provide an extra lift for the host team.

PENN STATE vs. Dayton — Maggie Lucas won't let her stellar career end at home getting Penn State to the regional semifinals.

STANFORD vs. Iowa State — The Cardinal will know what their opponents will feel like in the regionals facing a hostile crowd. Difference is Stanford has Chiney Ogwumike and the Cyclones don't.

REGIONAL SEMIFINALS

NORTH CAROLINA vs. South Carolina — The Tar Heels won by eight in Myrtle Beach in December. They've gotten better since then.

STANFORD vs. Penn State — The Lady Lions didn't lose many road games this season, but they have no answer for Chiney Ogwumike.

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