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March 26 NCAA Elite Eight and NCAAW S16 Open Thread, D-II and WBI Championships, Friday Results

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Yet let's be content, and the times lament, you see the world turn'd upside down.

Who says women's basketball is predictable?
Who says women's basketball is predictable?
Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Eternally, it seems, the main æsthetic argument against paying attention to the NCAA women's basketball tournament has been that it's always a foregone conclusion. It probably will be again this year once all the dust settles, as UConn is on another plane entirely, but that criticism hasn't only applied to the championship itself. Upsets have been, by and large, hard to come by of late, no matter what round.

So if you can imagine the world shaking and towers crumbling and citizens screaming in terror over a fundamental shift in topography... well, it kinda happened last night. In fact, while we haven't the time to research every single tournament to make sure, it's entirely probable that last night was the first time ever that all four games in one session of a seeded Sweet Sixteen resulted in upsets.

Two top seeds, highly-touted squads which some argued might have the chance to cut short UConn's run, are suddenly on their way home a week early. Although Notre Dame did close the final margin to only six points, they spent much of the game being routed by a resurgent Stanford (who themselves had just survived a scare from 12th-seeded South Dakota State earlier in the week). South Carolina, which looked for all the world just like UConn when they demolished K-State last weekend, got dumped by Syracuse.

But there were also a pair of 3-7 games last night in which the 7 prevailed. Neither Washington nor Tennessee had any trouble with Kentucky or Ohio State. And as a result, the Sunday half of our Elite Eight will feature two 4-7 games for the right to go to the Final Four.

Wacky.

As for the men, we're basically suffering from the opposite complaint entirely. As the Sweet Sixteen expired last night, we were left with complete chalk, at least by seeding. (Gonzaga, the 11 seed, was actually favored over 10th-seeded Syracuse in Vegas.) As a result, the men's Elite Eight consists of all four top seeds, a pair of twos, and two interlopers whose paths were cleared not by themselves but by teams in the first two rounds.

Who'd have thought the men would be wearing the boring and predictable hat?

Our countdown now has us with only 44 college basketball games remaining before the lights go out (45 if the CBI goes three games). The only action last night on the men's side was the Sweet Sixteen games, so we'll get right to the tabulature:

NCAA DIVISION I MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
ROUND RESULT HIGH SCORER
MIDWEST SF (1) Virginia 84, (4) Iowa State 71 Georges Niang (ISU), 30
EAST SF (6) Notre Dame 61, (7) Wisconsin 56 V.J. Beachem (ND), 19
MIDWEST SF (10) Syracuse 63, (11) Gonzaga 60 Kyle WIltjer (ZAG), 23
EAST SF (1) North Carolina 101, (5) Indiana 86 Yogi Ferrell (IND), 25

Friday's Women's Results

There was only one game outside the NCAA Sweet Sixteen, and it was a doozy. In the final game of the WNIT's third round, Saint Louis kept building leads and Western Kentucky kept erasing them. The Hilltoppers finally had the lead late, but two Sadie Stipanovich free throws -- yes, that's Steve's daughter -- tied the game with two seconds left and forced overtime. The lead changed five times during the final two minutes of the extra frame; with just one second left Olivia Jakubicek popped a mid-range jumper to give the Billikens a 76-75 lead and a celebration was in the works.

Of course, that's where the women's game timeout rule comes into play. Able to inbound in the front-court, Kendall Noble found Sidnee Bopp open in the corner, and Bopp -- who hadn't made a shot from the field all night -- drained a buzzer-beating three, and it was Western Kentucky's turn to celebrate.

NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
ROUND RESULT HIGH SCORER
SXF SF (4) Syracuse 80, (1) South Carolina 72 Alexis Peterson (SYR), 26
LEX SF (7) Washington 85, (3) Kentucky 72 Talia Walton (WAS), 30
Makayla Epps (UK), 30
SXF SF (4) Stanford 90, (1) Notre Dame 84 Erica McCall (STAN), 27
LEX SF (7) Tennessee 78, (3) Ohio State 62 Mercedes Russell (TENN), 25
WOMEN'S NATIONAL INVITATION TOURNAMENT
ROUND RESULT HIGH SCORER
R3 Western Kentucky 78, Saint Louis 76 (OT) Tashia Brown (WKU), 22

Today's Men's Schedule

Things are very straight-forward for you today, friends. Simply turn on CBS at 2pm and watch basketball all day. Your party starts with the Division II men's championship, followed by the Sooners taking on Oregon and then Villanova up against Kansas. And that's it; no other men's action on this Saturday.

NCAA DIVISION I MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
ROUND TIME (CT) TEAM - TEAM LOCATION NETWORK
WEST FINAL 5:09pm (2) Oklahoma (1) Oregon Anaheim CA CBS
SOUTH FINAL 7:49pm (2) Villanova (1) Kansas Louisville KY
NCAA DIVISION II MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
ROUND TIME (CT) TEAM - TEAM LOCATION NETWORK
CHAMPIONSHIP 2:00pm (SE1) Lincoln Memorial (C1) Augustana (SD) Frisco TX CBS

Today's Women's Schedule

Of course, there's stuff going on before (and during) that if you're so inclined. The second half of the women's Sweet Sixteen wisely begins at 10:30am, although that first game is UConn's expected destruction of Mississippi State. Texas and Baylor are in action during the afternoon. So if you turn on ESPN, you can just keep hitting the "last" button on your remote repeatedly and cover seven of the eight college basketball games taking place today.

The eighth is the championship game of the Women's Basketball Invitational, where Weber State visits last year's winner, Louisiana-Lafayette. The Cajuns will try and repeat, but if you want to watch you'll have to stream it.

NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
ROUND TIME (CT) TEAM - TEAM LOCATION NETWORK
BRP SF 10:30am (5) Mississippi State (1) Connecticut Bridgeport CT ESPN
12:30pm (3) UCLA (2) Texas
DAL SF 3:00pm (5) Florida State (1) Baylor Dallas TX
5:00pm (6) DePaul (2) Oregon State
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL INVITATIONAL
ROUND TIME (CT) TEAM - TEAM LOCATION NETWORK
CHAMPIONSHIP 4:00pm (7) Weber State (1) Louisiana-Lafayette Lafayette LA ULL