Semifinal Slaughters

I had high hopes for the Kentucky and Ohio State women’s teams, as they entered conference tournament play last week.

The Wildcats completed the regular season on a 6-game win streak, with impressive wins over teams they had struggled with earlier in the year. As the #5 seed, UK had nice wins over LSU and Florida which sent them into the semifinals against South Carolina.

The Gamecocks ran the table in the regular season going 16-0. In fact, in SEC regular-season play over two years, Carolina only had one loss which was to UK last season. This year’s regular season wins over Kentucky were solid but not routs.

But in the tournament the Cats fell apart and ended up losing 93-63. South Carolina went on to win the tournament with a win over Mississippi State.

Since my last post, the Ohio State women had a heartbreaking end to their regular season. The Bucks lost at Minnesota by 2, then at Michigan State by 2 in triple overtime. Finishing the Big Ten schedule at 15-3 was a game behind Maryland at 16-2. Since entering the Big Ten, Maryland still hasn’t lost any conference games other than the two losses to Ohio State this year.

In the Big Ten tourney, OSU disposed of Rutgers before facing Michigan State again. This time it wasn’t close, as the Spartans prevailed 82-63. MSU met Maryland in the tournament championship game, but lost as the Terps won the title for the second straight year.

So, now it is on to the NCAA tournament, with pairings to be announced Monday night. Any team seeded fourth or higher will host first and second round games. Ohio State and Kentucky will probably qualify.

 

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