Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Friday, March 20, 2009

Just under the wire before the tourney begins, a rundown of odd matches we will see, or might see, in the first and second rounds (some of which other folks have noticed before):

1. Higher seeds on lower seeds' home floors: we get more of those this year just because there are 16 home floors this time rather than eight: notable here are UGA vs. Arizona State in Duluth, GA; DePaul against San Diego State (one of two SDSU's in this year's tournament!) in San Diego; a possible second-round matchup with top seed Duke against ninth-seeded MIchigan State in East Lansing; and a likely second-round matchup between sixth-seeded LSU and third-seeded Louisville, in Baton Rouge.

No. 2 Texas A&M have a particularly weird row to hoe here, since they'll likely be playing two Indiana teams in Notre Dame: Evansville (a 15 seed) and the Domers themselves (a no. 7), unless the Golden Gophers can knock off the home team first.

The most exciting (if you're a fan of the "underdog") or the most unfair such situation, though, will take place in Piscataway, where the most likely second round contest has two seed Auburn against the seventh-seeded home team.

Rutgers doesn't have a player with anything near the versatility and the scoring potential of DeWanna Bonner, but they've got a history of rising to occasions, and a great crowd-- and I'm not sure, from Auburn's nonconference schedule, and from watching them fall in the SEC tournament, that the Tigers are ready for what the Scarlet Knights' defense can bring.

2. Empty arenas: alas, we might get one in Albuquerque, where the four teams (Drexel, K-State, Vandy, and Western Carolina) include nobody from the Mountain West (Utah got sent to Maryland instead). The Lobos have only themselves to blame.

Expect some empty seats in Seattle, too, where Gonzaga, coming from Spokane, have a national following on the men's side, but not yet in the women's game.