The ONLY Sweet 16 There Will Ever Be starts today!
It’s on to the ONLY Sweet 16 there will ever be.
However, there are no more unbeaten teams, and that has been rare in recent years in women’s basketball.
So, let’s get to it.
In the East Region, or Greensboro, USC essentially got a rematch clause and they’re invoking it tonight in the ONLY Sweet 16 There Will Ever Be against North Carolina. This is a de-facto home game again for the Tar Heels, but Coach Dawn Staley promises that this game will not be a repeat of last year’s game.
Gametime is 19:00. It’s the first game of the day.
Playing 30 minutes later in the South, or Oklahoma City, region will be Kim Mulkey and the Baylor Bears against Iowa. This is notable because tournament officials decided the game will go on as planned despite tornados that tore through the metro area on Wednesday. One man died from the storms that caused Notre Dame to be late to their destination.
The Fighting Irish has the lone late game in the Sweet 16, and the last late game of this season and this NCAA Tournaments, gender notwithstanding. They will play Stanford at 22:00. The Cardinal arrived after the tornado watch was issued, but before the storms that prompted warnings arrived.
“It was really quite a storm with hail on the bus, and we were getting warnings on our phones,” said Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer. “We were thankful to get to the hotel.”
In between Baylor/Iowa and Notre Dame/Stanford, is Arizona State and Florida State in the East region. Those two teams will play at 21:30, or 30 minutes before the start of the Irish/Cardinal matchup in the South.
Saturday’s Sweet 16 games are mostly in the daytime, and each game will be the only one of that time playing:
Defending champion Connecticut starts it off at noon against Texas in the North, or Albany, N.Y., region.
Louisville will play Dayton, also in the North Region, at 14:00.
Maryland, who ensured the women’s basketball world that there will not be an undefeated team by dispatching Princeton on Monday night, will play Duke in the West, or Spokane, Wash., Region at 17:00.
Tennessee will play the real Cinderella currently, 11-seed Gonzaga, at Gonzaga’s home in the final Sweet 16 game, starting at 19:00.
The winners of the Sweet 16 games will advance to the Regional Finals on Monday and Tuesday.
Volunteers fire men’s coach
In Knoxville, Tenn., the Tennessee Volunteers fired its third coach since the turn of the decade on January 1, 2011, and this time, for an alleged cover-up.
In an interview, Dave Hart, the AD, said they would’ve never hired Donnie Tydnall had they learned of his unethical conduct while at Southern Mississippi, which is also under investigation by Mark Emmert and the NCAA.
Mr. Hart axed Coach Tydnall this morning, after he deleted emails that the NCAA called vital to their investigation.
“It is disappointing that we have to take this action,” said Mr. Hart in a statement released earlier today. “It is highly likely that Coach Tyndall will face significant penalties at the conclusion of the NCAA’s infractions process. We believe that this decision is in the best interests of the University of Tennessee.”
Under the new coach control rule, Coach Tydnall could be suspended for this upcoming season, and the next two seasons after that. Coaches can “sneak-by” the ban by sitting out during the specified seasons, since the suspensions are not open-ended.