It’s a sweet weekend for women’s college basketball.
The women’s NCAA Tournament resumes Friday with Sweet 16 action and some of the biggest names in the collegiate game are set to hit the hardwood, including Villanova’s Maddy Siegrist, LSU’s Angel Reese, Iowa’s Caitlin Clark and Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith.
The first of four games in the regional semifinals tip off Friday at 2:30 p.m. with No. 4 Villanova taking on No. 9 Miami, which advanced to the program’s second ever Sweet 16 after Destiny Harden’s game-winning shot to knock off No. 1 Indiana.
Next up is a matchup between No. 3 LSU and No. 2 Utah, followed by No. 2 Iowa vs. No. 6 Colorado and No. 5 Louisville vs. No 8 Ole Miss, which upset No. 1 Stanford on its home court.
Follow along for live updates throughout the rest of the day:
Follow the madness: Latest Women’s NCAA Tournament College Basketball Scores and Schedules
After being down by as many as 21 points after the half, Villanova went on a 14-point run in the third quarter. Maddy Siegrist started off the action with a pair of free throws after being fouled by Destiny Harden. She made three more free throws, a jumper and a layup on the spree to give her a double-double with 26 points and 10 rebounds on the day. Miami is up 57-51 at the end of the third quarter.
The Hurricanes, a No. 9 seed, lead the Wildcats at halftime in the Greenville Regional 2 bracket, using an 11-2 run to take a 46-33 lead into the break.
Miami, looking for its first trip to the Elite Eight, has made its living on the boards, outrebounding Villanova by 12. The Hurricanes are also shooting a blistering 59 percent from the field, consistently driving in the lane using their speed to get easy baskets.
Jasmyne Roberts has 12 points and five rebounds for the Hurricanes, while Maddy Siegrist, the nation’s leading scorer, has 15 points and five rebounds for Villanova, the No. 4 seed.
The Sweet 16 for the NCAA women’s basketball tournament begins Friday as No. 4 Villanova plays No. 9 Miami at 2:30 p.m. ET. Three games will follow with the final matchup (No. 5 Louisville vs. No. 8 Ole Miss) starting at 10 p.m. ET.
The Sweet 16 for the NCAA women’s basketball tournament tips off Friday with action at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C. and Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle:
►No. 9 Miami vs. No. 4 Villanova
Time/TV: Friday, 2:30 p.m., ESPN
►No. 3 LSU vs. No. 2 Utah
Time/TV: 5:00 p.m., ESPN
►No. 6 Colorado vs. No. 2 Iowa
Time/TV: 7:30 p.m., ESPN
►No. 8 Ole Miss vs. No. 5 Louisville
Time/TV: Friday, 10 p.m., ESPN
This game features two of the best bigs in the game in Utah’s Alissa Pili and LSU’s Angel Reese. Their teams are still playing largely because of these two, who can – and do – single-handedly dismantle an opponent.
Pili scored 33 points in the first round and had a double-double against Princeton in the second. Reese had a double-double in both games and was so dominant against Michigan in the second round she had double figures in both offensive and defensive rebounds.
What also makes this game intriguing is the contrasting styles. LSU makes a living off its defense – duh, its coach is Kim Mulkey – while Utah runs one of the country’s most efficient offenses. Something is going to have to give.
– Nancy Armour, Lindsay Schnell
FULL WATCHABILITY RANKINGS: Women’s NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 games
As dynamic and exciting as the Player of the Year front-runner is, Iowa has yet to make the Elite Eight, let alone the Final Four, since Caitlin Clark got to campus. Last year the Hawkeyes didn’t even get out of Carver-Hawkeye Arena, falling in the second round.
But with Stanford, seeded ahead of the No. 2 Hawkeyes in the Seattle 4 region, out of the tournament along with Duke and Texas, this is Clark and Iowa’s chance to make a statement. The seeds left in their region? Fifth-seeded Louisville, sixth-seeded Colorado and eight-seeded Ole Miss.
The Hawkeyes play Colorado on Friday night in a Sweet 16 matchup.
“Any time you are one of 16 teams that get to keep playing basketball, it’s pretty special,” Clark said after Iowa held off Georgia. “(But) it wasn’t a huge party or celebration in the locker room. This wasn’t our goal. It’s one of the steps to reaching our goal, but it’s not the be-all, end-all to us.”
– Nancy Armour
Talk about winning the news conference.
Minutes after her team stunned No. 1 seed Stanford at Maples Pavilion to advance to the Sweet 16, Ole Miss coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin, affectionately known as “Coach Yo,” went viral in her postgame interview with ESPN.
“This is for the people with a dollar and the dream. I’m a little girl from the Bahamas that was given an opportunity,” McPhee-McCuin said, overcome with emotion. “I wasn’t Ole Miss’ first choice. But I was the right one. And I was naive enough to think that I could do it.”
McPhee-McCuin, perhaps the most quotable person left in either the men’s or women’s NCAA tournaments, pointed out that second, third and fourth choices happen in other parts of life, too.
“Listen, my husband wasn’t first,” McPhee-McCuin said. “And I almost went in the transfer portal on him a couple times. But we’re happily married and June 8th makes 16 years. So you take it how you get it and you make the most of it.”
– Lindsay Schnell
Memphis guard Jamirah Shutes was charged with assault after hitting Bowling Green senior guard Elissa Brett in the face following the team’s 73-60 victory over the Tigers in the women’s NIT Super 16 on Thursday night.
After the final buzzer, players and coaches gathered to participate in the customary handshake line when Shutes stopped and exchanged words with Brett.
The 23-year-old Shutes, the team’s leading scorer, then punched Brett in the face and was pulled away from the incident by the Memphis coaching staff.
According to an incident report obtained by USA TODAY Sports, the Bowling Green State University police investigated the incident and said the Memphis player struck Brett with a closed fist and she sustained “some swelling in their right eye” from the punch.
– Scooby Axson