The Aggie Women's Bouncy Ball team looks to maintain their momentum from the SEC tourney today at 3PM CDT when they take on the 14 seed in the Norfolk Region, the Wichita State Wheat Shockers. The Shockers are in their first ever Women's NCAA Tourney, but they come from a school with a long history of mid-major success on the men's side. Our Gary Blair predicts that Coach Jody Adams will be poached by a major conference school soon. Adams, in her fifth year at Wichita after taking at Murray State to the NCAA tourney. The 24-9 (#58 in RPI) Wheat Shockers won the Missouri Valley Conference tourney after sharing the regular season title with Creighton.
Wichita is a team that brings their leading scorer, 5-7 G Jessica Diamond (12.0 ppg), off the bench. Another player to watch will be Alex Harden, a 5-11 G/F who is just behind Diamond at 11.8 ppg.
Wichita State is 0-2 all time vs. A&M; the last time we saw them was in 2007 (final score 70-36). I don't expect it to be that lopsided today, but it could be if the Ags are ready to break the Shockers pressing defense. A&M has a size and talent advantage, but after the past two days of the men's tourney, we know that it's important to be ready for anyone who is good enough to make the tourney. If the game goes as expected, A&M fans will still be interested in seeing how the team looks after the long layoff after the SEC tourney.While the spotlight will be on Kelsey Bone, I'll be paying attention to four of our fabulous fish: starters Courtney Walker and Courtney WIlliams and reserves Peyton Little and Jordan Jones.
23-8 Nebraska takes on 29-3 Chattanooga in the second game, a 6 vs 11 pairing. The Huskers are identified by Swish Appeal's Nate Parham as the Norfolk region's wild card team. The Huskers are both the most likely to suffer an upset today, and a team that could pull off an upset further on.
When they get hot, they're extremely hard to stop. The problem is that when they get cold, they can drop games they shouldn't and that's probably why they weren't seeded at least a bit higher.
As described before Selection Monday, Nebraska is a team that has shown a tendency to drift out to the perimeter and the problem is that they only shoot 31.2% from the 3-point line - in each of their losses a combination of cold shooting and an inability to get to the line did them in. And where that stands out in their statistical profile is a low free throw rate.
But what makes the Huskers a threat to come out of our region is that they have WNBA prospect Lindsay Moore at point guard. If the Huskers avoid the upset vs the Mocs, and the Ags take care of business, we should see an interesting matchup. It will be interested to see whether Moore is even the best point guard in the building; A&M partisans will point out that our own Adrienne Pratcher leads Div 1 in assist/turnover ratio. Moore is 22nd.
Chattanooga is viewed as a candidate for pulling the upset not only due to Nebraska's weaknesses. The Mocs have two wins over SEC opponents, including a first-game win over Tennessee that had Lady Vols fans in meltdown mode.
As it turns out, the Mocs have a pair of high usage scorers: 6-foot-3 redshirt junior Dewart, who pairs a 32.77% usage rate with a solid 55.10% true shooting percentage, and fellow 6-foot-3 redshirt junior Faith Dupree, who isn't nearly as efficient but has a 30.61% usage rate. Put those two forwards with 39.6% 3-point shooter in senior Kayla Christopher and, yes, you have a recipe for an upset: Chattanooga just has ways to score extremely efficiently, particularly if Dupree has an efficient performance.
BTHO Wichita State!