Afternoon Of Few Surprises

By Jeff Lippman - March 23, 2008

Eight of Sunday's 16 opening round games are over and eight more teams are firmly implanted into the second round. And the resounding theme of the second day of NCAA Tournament action was double-digit wins.

Five of the eight games ended up with lopsided margins as only Nebraska and Xavier could play a close game until the buzzer sounded. The 8th-seeded Cornhuskers won that matchup, 61-58, as did all of the higher seeds in the morning and afternoon sessions.

There have been no surprises yet today.

Here's a look at some of the early actions top stories:

  • Courtney Paris made it 91 consecutive games with double-double, but the Sooners looked beatable this afternoon in a win over the 13-seed Illinois State. Give the Redbirds credit, but Sherri Coale's team might not be in this tournament for much longer.

  • Shalee Lehning came up with some big shots for 5-seeded Kansas State but it was backup junior guard Kelsey Nelson who was the wildest Wildcat on the afternoon scoring a game-high 20 points as K-State managed to advance past a tought Lady Mocs squad and end the nation's longest winning streak in the process. The Wildcats move on into Tuesday's second roung matchup against the 4-seed Louisville, who defeated Miami (OH) today.

  • North Carolina and Maryland both had little trouble advancing against their respective 16-seed opponents. The Terps didn't play well in the first half, but pulled away after halftime as Crystal Langhorne showed why she was the ACC's Player of the Year. Langhorne finished with 25 points and 11 boards for the Terps, who move on to face Nebraska in the second round in College Park. The Tar Heels will meet Georgia, who survived against Iowa today.

  • The Cardinals of Louisville continued their hot play today, defeating the 13-seed Miami (OH), 81-67, and leading basically throughout. Angel McCoughtry scored 20 points, grabbed 8 boards and nabbed 3 steals and Chauntise Wright led the Cardinals with 21 points. Louisville, the 4-seed, moves on to the round of 32 to face 5-seed Kansas State on Tuesday.

  • Ashley Barlow scored 20 points and grabbed 12 big rebounds to lead 5-seed Notre Dame past 12-seed SMU from Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. The Irish advanced, as expected, and will meet a vulnerable Oklahoma in the second round.

  • Georgia had three players with double-doubles and they still only managed to defeat 9th-seeded Iowa, 67-61, on free throws at the end of the game. Sophomore Angel Robinson was a beast inside for the 'Dawgs as she scored 17 points and grabbed 11 boards. Senior center Tasha Humphrey came up big late in the game and registered 12 points and 11 rebounds, and sophomore point guard Ashley Houts scored 13 and dished out 12 assists.

  • I'd also like to point out that at this point in the Tournament, the Big 12 is an incredible 7-0 in its games. Iowa State, Nebraska, Baylor, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Kansas State are all safely into the round of 32. Texas is yet to play, but their opponent brings me to my next point. The Big Ten. The Longhorns will meet Minnesota later today. Already the Big Ten is 0-for-2 with Ohio State losing to the ACC's Florida State and Iowa dropping its game with the SEC's Georgia. If this is any indication, you can expect a Texas win tonight. The Big Ten also has Purdue left, they play tonight against 8th-seeded Utah. By the end of the day there will be no remaining Big Ten teams.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 04:45 PM on March 23, 2008

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