2017 WNCAA Viewing Guide: Round 2
The women's NCAA tournament opened as it so often does, with a dearth of upsets on Day 1. There was exactly one: the Good Gals knocking off 8-seed Green Bay in South Bend to earn a matchup against Notre Dame. While the second day had more surprises, most notably 12-seed Quinnipiac eliminating Marquette (although for a while it looked like New Mexico State might become the first 15 seed to win a game in the women's tournament), the second-round bracket is still pretty much chalk. Maryland is the lone Big Tenteen team playing on their home court, but that may not stop another team from pulling off an upset today or tomorrow. Once again, lines are courtesy of Massey.
Sunday, 9:00 PM: 9 Purdue at 1 Notre Dame (-14), ESPN
Being an 8 or 9 seed in the men's tournament means you get a 1 in the second round, but as Wisconsin demonstrated, that's not always a problem. On the women's side, it means you get 1 seed on their home floor ... and that's quite a different proposition, as you can tell from the spread. Notre Dame has three losses this season: by two at unpredictable Tennessee, by 8 at NC State, and by 11 at home to Connecticut. The Boilers will need their best performance of the season to make this game competitive; if it's not, well, there's no shame in ending your season on a 1-seed's court.
Sunday, noon: 5 Ohio State (-2) at 4 Kentucky, ESPN2
You know this isn't a typical 4/5 matchup when the 5 seed is favored, and sure enough, at halftime, the Buckeyes held a 15-point lead. They seem well on their way to a date in the regional semifinals with the winner of the Notre Dame-Purdue game, depriving the Wildcats of a spot in the Lexington regional. (Why hasn't the NCAA gone back to directional regionals? For the same reason they insist on saying "round of 32" even though they were the only people on the planet using those words.)
Sunday, 2:30 PM: 6 West Virginia at 3 Maryland (-8), ESPN2
The Terrapins easily dispatched Bucknell in the first round, and while the Mountaineers should pose more of a challenge, there's no reason to expect Maryland to lose on their home floor, and every reason to expect them to have a chance to show the selection committee why they deserved a 2 in Bridgeport when they most likely will face 2-seed Duke. (If 10-seed Oregon pulls off a second straight upset, Maryland may end up facing the UConn buzzsaw in the regional finals.)