Cinderellas crash women’s Sweet 16
The women’s Sweet 16 is set and there are two double-digit Cinderellas ready to keep on dancing.
While Sunday’s slate of second-round games saw only No. 3 Tennessee fail to advance among the higher-seeded teams, Monday’s games were a different story.
No. 11 seeds and fellow Mid-American Conference teams Buffalo and Central Michigan not only beat their third-seeded opponents, but did so convincingly.
The Buffalo Bulls (29-5) beat Florida State 86-65 to advance while the Central Michigan Chippewas (30-4) knocked out Ohio State 95-78. Both schools are advancing to the regional semifinals for the first time in program history.
While Gonzaga was the last 11 seed to reach the Sweet 16, doing so in 2015, the last time two such seeds reached this far came in 2012 with Gonzaga once again and the Kansas Jayhawks.
Buffalo will next play No. 2 South Carolina while Central Michigan gets No. Oregon, with both games on Saturday.
Monday also saw another lower-seeded team advance with No. 5 Duke routing No. 4 Georgia 66-40.
All of the No. 1 seeds advanced safely from the second round, including UConn, which beat No. 9 Quinnipiac 71-46 to reach its 25th straight Sweet 16. That marks the ninth straight season all the top-seeded teams have reached the regional semifinals.
In fact, along with the other No. 1 seeds in Notre Dame, Mississippi State and Louisville, all the No. 2 seeds in South Carolina, Oregon, Baylor and Texas also advanced.
Meanwhile, with the losses by Tennessee, Florida State and Ohio State, UCLA is the lone No. 3 left in the tournament.
The overall slate of games for the round of 16 looks like this (all times ET):
Kansas City Region (Friday, March 23)
No. 1 Mississippi State vs. No. 4. North Carolina State – 7 p.m.
No. 2. Texas vs. No. 3 UCLA – 9 p.m.
Lexington Region (Friday, March 23)
No. 2. Baylor vs. No. 7 Michigan – 7 p.m.
No. 1. Louisville vs. No. 4 Stanford – 9 p.m.
Albany Region (Saturday, March 24)
No. 2 South Carolina vs. No. 11 Buffalo – 11:30 a.m.
No. 1 UConn vs. No. 5 Duke – 1:30 p.m.
Spokane Region (Saturday, March 24)
No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 4 Texas A&M – 4 p.m.
No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 11 Central Michigan – 6 p.m.