Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Women's NCAA Tournament: Bridgeport Region

UConn star Breanna Stewart, right, has a chance to end her career with four national titles.

Associated Press

UConn star Breanna Stewart, right, has a chance to end her career with four national titles.

Team to watch

There has been no better team in the nation than three-time defending champion Connecticut when it comes to tournament time and this year should be no different.

Led by star G Breanna Stewart, Geno Auerimma's top-seeded Huskies (32-0) open at home in Storrs against No. 16 Robert Morris on Saturday.

The 6-foot-4 Stewart, who has a chance to conclude her collegiate career with four rings, has averaged a team-high 19.2 points and 8.3 rebounds. She's also been a force defensively, blocking 107 shots. Senior PG Moriah Jefferson, the American Athletic Conference defensive player of the year, leads UConn in assists (167) and steals (83).

UConn's biggest test could come from American rival USF, a sixth seed which was the first team in almost a year to lead the Huskies at halftime in an eventual 79-59 defeat on Feb. 29.

Still, it's hard to see any team slowing the Huskies from capturing a record 11th national title.

Upset alert

Missouri might have surprised some in making the Big Dance for the first time since 2006 after three straight WNIT appearances. But the 10th-seeded Tigers (21-9) might have gotten their most favorable matchup in No. 6 BYU, which is coming off an upset defeat to San Francisco in the West Coast Conference tournament final.

Missouri will need all it can get from junior F Jordan Frericks, who leads the team in rebounding (7.9) and free-throw percentage (67.8).

Welcome back

Hawaii (21-10) is back in the tournament for the first time since 1998 as a No. 14 seed, opening against UCLA.

Colorado State (31-1), an 11th seed, returns for the first time since 2002 and plays USF on Saturday.

Jeff Odom, Times correspondent

Players to watch

• USF senior G Courtney Williams is the program's second all-time leading scorer. The only Bull to eclipse 2,000 points, 800 boards and 300 assists, she averaged 22.3 points in three AAC tournament games.

• Mississippi State sophomore G Victoria Vivians was key in the Bulldogs' first SEC final appearance in 16 years. She averages 17.2 points.

• Michigan State G Aerial Powers is an All-America candidate and helped lift the Spartans to an upset of Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament semifinal before falling to Maryland in the final. She averages 22 points and 9.2 rebounds.

Women's NCAA Tournament: Bridgeport Region 03/14/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 9:32am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays' Blake Snell erasing memories of his poor start

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — As Blake Snell strides up the mound at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night with an 10-game unbeaten streak, doesn't the miserable start to his sophomore season, when he was winless in eight starts and got demoted to Triple-A, seem like a long time ago?

    To him, too.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) in the dugout during the fourth inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times

  2. Jake Dotchin on rule violation: 'It's hurting me'

    Blogs

    While defenseman Jake Dotchin continues to practice with the Lightning, it's uncertain when - or if - he'll get any preseason action.

    Jake Dotchin violated an unspecified team rule, which is why he hasn't played in the first four games.
  3. PolitiFact: Trump's Mostly False claim that NFL ratings are 'way down'

    Bucs

    The statement

    "NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN. Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country."

    Quarterback Jameis Winston is sacked during the first half of the Bucs' 34-17 loss to the Vikings on Sunday. (LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times)
  4. Bucs couldn't connect on or stop deep passes in loss to Vikings

    Bucs

    If two things were established as storylines entering Sunday's Bucs-Vikings game, it was that Tampa Bay was still struggling to establish the deep passes that were missing from its offense last year, and that …

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) gets into the end zone for a long touchdown reception as Bucs free safety Chris Conte (23) cannot stop him during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Nine Gators, including Antonio Callaway and Jordan Scarlett, face felony fraud accusations

    Blogs

    Nine Florida Gators face at least 62 potential felony charges on accusations of credit card fraud. 

    Star receiver Antonio Callaway is among at least four Florida Gators who face potential felony charges on accusations of fraud.