NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament 2018: Monday’s Schedule, Bracket Predictions

Connecticut's Gabby Williams (15) during a first-round game in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament in in Storrs, Conn., Saturday, March 17, 2018, (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Jessica Hill/Associated Press

The final eight teams to move out of the second round and into the Sweet 16 in the 2018 NCAA women’s basketball tournament will be determined Monday.

A few upsets occurred during the first round, setting up four double-digit seeds for potential success in the second round.

However, winning as a lower seed is much more difficult in the first two rounds of the women’s tournament because the games are played on site of the highest seed in each quadrant.

No. 1 seeds UConn and Mississippi State headline Monday’s action, while a wide array of talented high-seeded teams look to stave off an unexpected loss on home soil.

Monday Schedule

All Times ET 

No. 4 Georgia vs. No. 5 Duke (6:30 p.m.)

No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 11 Buffalo (6:30 p.m.) 

No. 3 Ohio State vs. No. 11 Central Michigan (6:30 p.m.)

No. 1 UConn vs. No. 9 Quinnipiac (6:30 p.m.)

No. 2 Texas vs. No. 7 Arizona State (9 p.m.)

No. 3 UCLA vs. No. 11 Creighton (9 p.m.)

No. 4 Stanford vs. No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast (9 p.m.)

No. 1 Mississippi State vs. No. 9 Oklahoma State (9 p.m.)

Pair of MAC Teams Looking To Score Upsets Again

While Buffalo was busy capturing our attention in the men’s tournament, the MAC experienced even more success on the women’s side, as a pair of No. 11 seeds advanced to the round of 32.

No. 11 Buffalo marched into Tallahassee, Florida, and came away with a 23-point victory over No. 6 USF two days after the Buffalo men dominated Arizona from start to finish in the round of 64.

Cierra Dillard dropped 36 points, 21 of which came from three-point range, to go along with the 23 points Courtney Wilkins added off the bench.

Steve Cannon/Associated Press

Wilkins was an unexpected contributor Saturday, but her performance was a representation of the depth the Bulls have, as point guard Stephanie Reid pointed out, per Amy Moritz of the Buffalo News.

“When someone like Courtney comes off the bench, and she hasn’t played a lot all year, so when someone like her comes off the bench and does well it ignites us,” Reid said. “It really did. She ignited us today. She allowed Cierra to do what she wanted to do and Cierra got energy from her. We all did.”

No. 11 Central Michigan, who won the MAC tournament championship, knocked off No. 6 LSU on a neutral court in Columbus, Ohio.

Four of the seven Chippewas who stepped on the floor recorded a double-digit point total, with Tinara Moore leading the way with 25 points.

Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Now the tests get tougher for the pair of Cinderella teams, as they take on the respective host programs in their quadrant of the bracket.

Buffalo takes on No. 3 Florida State, who went 25-6 in the ACC and suffered just two of its defeats to unranked teams.

Central Michigan lines up across from No. 3 Ohio State and Kelsey Mitchell, who is one of the most electric playmakers in the game.

The pair of MAC teams, along with No. 11 Creighton and No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast, are looking to become the first double-digit seeds to qualify for the Sweet 16.

However, the task is as difficult as it gets since seven of the eight teams already assured a spot in the Sweet 16 earned their respective places by winning at home.

UConn Trying To Follow Up Incredible 1st-Round Performance

The UConn women’s basketball team found itself in the headlines a little earlier than it wanted to Saturday, as it bludgeoned No. 16 Saint Francis (PA) 140-52.

Geno Auriemma‘s Huskies scored an astonishing 55 points in the first quarter, while six different players worked their way into double digits.

Jessica Hill/Associated Press

With the second-round game against No. 9 Quinnipiac coming on their home floor, the Huskies should be able to come close to replicating their dominant performance from the first round.

However, you must take into account the recent success the Bobcats out of the MAAC have had.

Under the direction of head coach Tricia Fabbri, Quinnipiac advanced to the Sweet 16 a year ago before being bounced by South Carolina.

The wins over Marquette and Miami in 2017 handed the Bobcats confidence they can play with anyone, even in-state rival Huskies.

In order to set up the showdown with the Huskies, the Bobcats defeated Miami for the second straight year.

Playing in Storrs, Connecticut, against one of the top dynasties in sports may be an intimidating challenge for many, but the Bobcats come into the clash with no fear and are hoping to at least provide a scare.

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.