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The first round of the 2018 NCAA Division I women’s basketball tournament is underway Friday with several of the top contenders already showing what they can do.
While fans will have to wait to see Connecticut and Mississippi State kick off their potential title runs, top-seeded Louisville and Notre Dame get started on Day 1, along with defending champions South Carolina. Sleepers like Baylor, Tennessee and others are also hoping to get the tournament off to a strong start.
Although there aren’t historically as many first-round upsets as in the men’s tournament, anything can still happen in a single-elimination tournament like this one.
Here is the latest game-by-game recap of Friday’s action to be updated as the day progresses.
NCAA Tournament Bracket
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Updated bracket available at NCAA.com.
No. 1 Louisville 74, No. 16 Boise State 42
Boise State fought hard to keep things close in the first half, but a 27-8 third quarter helped Louisville pull away for an easy first-round victory.
The Cardinals used their size to dominate in this one, winning the rebounding battle 51-30 with three different players grabbing double-digit boards. Sam Fuehring (14 points and 11 rebounds) and Kylee Shook (14 points and 10 rebounds) each had double-doubles to lead the team to an impressive victory.
Louisville struggled to shoot the ball from the outside and needs to cut down on turnovers in future games if it wants to make a deep run, but this was a quality effort against a clearly inferior opponent.
Shalen Shaw was the only Boise State player in double figures with 12 points.
The Cardinals will move on to the second round to take on the winner of Marquette and Dayton.
No. 6 Oregon State 82, No. 11 Western Kentucky 58
Oregon State had no trouble earning a first-round win, jumping out to a 46-28 lead at halftime before cruising to a 24-point victory.
Western Kentucky simply had no answer for Marie Gulich, who finished with 29 points and 15 rebounds in the win for the Beavers. The 6’5″ senior simply outmuscled everyone inside and ended up 11-of-15 from the field.
Kat Tudor also lit it up from the perimeter with 19 points on five made three-pointers.
The Lady Toppers had a strong end to their season but couldn’t keep up in this one. Oregon State will take on the winner of Tennessee and Liberty in the second round.
No. 5 Maryland 77, No. 12 Princeton 55
This was a popular upset pick, including from former President Barack Obama, but Maryland handled Princeton in the opening round matchup.
Kaila Charles did her work inside with 20 points and five rebounds, although the rest of the team going 7-of-14 from three-point range also went a long way.
With Princeton shooting just 4-of-20 from beyond the arc and 37.7 percent overall from the field, the Tigers had a tough time keeping up with the higher seed.
Maryland will now have to play effectively on the road in the next round in Raleigh, North Carolina, taking on the winner of North Carolina State and Elon.
No. 5 DePaul 90, No. 12 Oklahoma 79
Oklahoma was one of the last teams in the NCAA tournament field but couldn’t take advantage in a disappointing loss to DePaul.
The Sooners overcame an early deficit to stay within five points late in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, they simply couldn’t stop the Blue Demons on the offensive end, which seemingly scored every time down the court.
All five DePaul starters scored in double figures, combining to shoot 57.4 percent from the field and 11-of-19 from three-point range. While the bench didn’t provide much help, it wasn’t needed in an outstanding offensive effort from the Big East champions.
DePaul will face the winner of Texas A&M and Drake in its second-round matchup.