So, I was thinking I’d write a little preview of tomorrow’s NCAA tournament game between our Cal Bears and the San Diego Toreros. After all, I don’t know anything about San Diego’s team, and I like to be prepared when I watch a basketball game. Then, I remembered that this is a 3-14 game, and so I decided to half-ass it.
San Diego finished third in the West Coast Conference, but like the men’s team, they upset Gonzaga in the conference tournament to capture an automatic bid to the Big Dance. They’ve got some good players, obviously, including a pair of all-conference selections, but I didn’t bother looking up their names or stats. Instead, I looked up this stat:
No 14 seed has ever advanced to the second round of the NCAA Women’s Tournament.
OK, I found this via Wikipedia, so all the caveats about the accuracy of any information found therein of course apply. Still, the article goes on to say that major upsets are much less common in the women’s tournament, with no 15 seed ever winning a game either. The only 16 seed to ever win a game was 16th seeded Harvard in 1998, which beat a top-seeded Stanford team that was missing two starters due to ACL injuries.
Then, of course, you’ll remember that 5 of the Bears 6 losses this year were to teams ranked in the top 10. There was of course the rather inexplicable dud they laid at Washington in their regular-season finale, but other than that, Cal has been very good about not playing down to lesser opponents.
Coaches always tell players not to overlook the opponent, and the Bears would be wise to heed such advice, If they don’t come to play, Cal certainly can lose tomorrow. But it’s not likely. For us fans, I’d say it’s pretty safe to look ahead to the second round.
Speaking of the second round, ESPN was looking ahead when they wrote this yesterday:
Possible matchup to watch for: Jessica Adair vs. Ashley Walker. If No. 6 seed George Washington and third-seeded Cal clash in the second round, this is a potential battle between two outstanding bigs whom too few fans got to see this season. Which brings us to …
Possible upset: George Washington over Cal in the second round. The Bears’ guard play has been erratic and GW’s Kimberly Beck is one of the best.
But more on that when we get there. First things first, San Diego’s going down tomorrow on the Farm.