Betting Ladies Bracket Challenge: Are your brackets busted?

With only four perfect brackets remaining from over four million global entries, we recap the biggest moments from the Women's March Madness so far and preview the Sweet Sixteen.

After the opening two rounds of the Women’s March Madness tournament, it may seem like your bracket is hopeless — you’re not alone!

According to CNN, via the NCAA, just four perfect brackets remain on the women’s side after the opening two rounds of play wrapped up on Monday evening. That’s four out of over four million brackets created.

With a few days of break now between the thrilling opening two rounds and the Sweet Sixteen set to start this weekend, let’s go over some of the biggest bracket updates so far.

To check on your Bracket standings in the Betting Ladies Challenge on Bettor Edge, click here>>>

Upsets All-Around

There were a few key upsets in the first weekend of play that really shook up some people’s brackets. The biggest was no.2 seed Ohio State falling to no.7 seed Duke in the second round, AT Ohio State. The Buckeyes had big hopes going into this tournament, with many projecting them as Final Four material. Unfortunately for them, Duke was not going to go down without a fight.

Duke Junior Reigan Richardson scored 28 points to bring the Blue Devils over Ohio State in a thrilling 75-63 win to send the Buckeyes packing.

Another big upset of the weekend was no. 4 Virginia Tech losing to no.5 Baylor at home, after the Hokies lost Liz Kitley prior to the tournament to an injury. Georgia Amoore, the Australian sharpshooter, just couldn’t get it done and the team lost in a three-point game to the Baylor Bears.

We also had a first round upset as no.11 Middle Tennessee beat no. 6 Louisville, but MTSU couldn’t overcome reigning champs no.3 LSU in the second round.

Thrilling Games

The weekend was packed with absolutely thrilling close games that saw many tournament favourites nearly knocked out before the Sweet Sixteen.

The Stanford Cardinal overcame a gritty overtime battle with Iowa State Sunday night, with the teams going shot for shot with each other all the way until the final buzzer. Senior and projected no.2 overall pick in the upcoming WNBA Draft, Cameron Brink, was fouled out of her last home game for the Cardinal before OT. Iowa State’s Audi Crooks and Emily Ryan boosted the Cyclones to a near upset, but Stanford’s Kiki Iriafen stayed poised to help her team secure the 87-81 win.

Monday saw an action packed schedule that had fans seated for nearly 12 hours of all-star level hoopers. Notre Dame got past Ole Miss easily, winning 71-56, but every game after that was a thrilling rollercoaster.

NC State just barely got past Rickea Jackson and Tennessee 79-72, another heartbreaking loss for the Vols after they just barely missed the SEC final earlier in the month.

Then it was UConn vs Syracuse, with two of the best in college basketball history going up against each other in Paige Buckers and Dyaisha Fair. UConn depleted roster and foul trouble did not help their situation as Syracuse came back from a deficit to make the game close in the final minutes. It was Buckers, Aaliyah Edwards, and the freshmen pair of Ashlynn Shade and KK Arnold that boosted the Huskies to their 30th straight Sweet Sixteen appearance.

Next up was Iowa and Caitlin Clark vs West Virginia, and this game was a battle. West Virginia held the highest scoring team in the country to under 30 points in the first half, and the Hawkeye faithful were getting nervous as the game was still close in the final minutes. The offence just wasn’t clicking as much for Iowa, but they were able to push past and get the 64-54 win over the Mountaineers.

No. 2 seed UCLA also had a tricky second round match up against Creighton, who are tough and can sneak up on you unexpectedly, as proven in recent years. Still, they were able to overcome the Blue Jays and win 67-63, heading to the Sweet Sixteen.

Juju Watkins and USC capped off the weekend with a nice 73-55 win over the Kansas JayHawks, with Southern California making it’s first Sweet Sixteen appearance in two decades.

Sweet Sixteen Here We Come

With the opening rounds completed, the Sixteen best schools in the country now head to neutral sites for the next two rounds of action. They are still split up into four regions: Albany 1 and 2, and Portland 3 and 4.

Play tips off on Friday March 29 as no.2 Notre Dame takes on no.3 Oregon State, followed by no.1 South Carolina (still undefeated) taking on no.4 Indiana. Based on the two first rounds, I wouldn’t change my prediction of South Carolina and Notre Dame making it through these games to face each other in the Elite Eight later in the weekend.

Then it will be no.2 Stanford vs no.3 NC State, and this could be another gritty one for Stanford. It’s absolutely essential for Cameron Brink to stay out of foul trouble and Kiki Iriafen will need to have another big game as well. Then it will be no.1 Texas vs no.4 Gonzaga, another interesting one as Gonzaga has been playing at such a high level in the later part of this season.

In the upper corner of the bracket, no.2 UCLA will face the reigning champs LSU to kick off Saturday’s games. LSU has been in the news all week as reports of a big story involving their head coach Kim Mulkey is rumoured to be dropped in the Washington Post very soon. Will this press shake up the Tigers or will they continue on their quest for a repeat?

After that, no.1 Iowa will face no.5 Colorado for a spot in the Elite Eight. After the poor offensive performance from the Hawkeyes on Monday, I’d expect them to come out with a vengeance in this game.

To wrap up the Sweet Sixteen, no.1 USC will face no.5 Baylor, and freshman phenom Juju Watkins will face the unknown in her first tournament. Cool as can be, don’t expect Watkins to get rattled too easily though. The last game in the lineup will be no.3 UConn vs no.7 Duke, UConn benefitting from the Blue Devils defeat over Ohio State by getting a lower seeded opponent. Still, Bueckers, Edwards and the Huskies will have to be on high alert as Duke will be coming in with energy.

It’s set to be another exciting weekend for March Madness lovers!

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