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No. 10 Creighton In the Elite Eight

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The Blue Jays had a solid regular season, finishing with a 23-10 record, which was good enough to secure them a trip to the big dance as the No. 10 seed. However, what happened next wasn’t expected by many — Creighton upset No. 7 Colorado with a 10-point victory. After that, Creighton went on to beat No. 2 Iowa — arguably the best No. 2 seed in the tournament — in a thrilling game that came down to two missed shots by Iowa that took the game into overtime. The Blue Jays were able to pull off another upset against No. 3 Iowa State, which gave them the opportunity to face No. 1 South Carolina, but their Cinderella run came to an end against the eventual champions.

No. 10 South Dakota Big Win Over No. 2 Baylor

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One of the most exciting victories of the tournament came in the second round when No. 10 South Dakota shocked No. 2 Baylor with a 14-point victory, holding the Bears to only 47 points. For comparison, the lowest number of points Baylor scored during its regular season was 58 points in a loss to Texas. Chloe Lamb and Hannah Sjerven led the Coyotes in scoring with 15 and 16 points, respectively. South Dakota went on to lose a close one against No. 3 Michigan in the Sweet Sixteen.

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No. 2 Iowa Falls Early

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Unfortunately, Iowa ran into a red-hot Creighton team at the wrong time, prematurely ending its run as title-hopefuls. Iowa was anticipated by many to have an impressive showing in March, especially with the nation’s leading scorer and assists per game leader Caitlin Clark. Even with Clark’s 15 points, eight rebounds, and 11 assists, the Hawkeyes fell to Creighton by two points. The last second shots by Monika Czinano and McKenna Warnock weren’t able to land and the Hawkeyes were eliminated in the second round.

Upset Mania

This year, there were 16 total upsets that happened during the tournament. Of those 16 upsets, nine of them were by No. 10 or lower seeded teams, with the biggest upsets coming from No. 12 FGCU and No. 12 Belmont. Since the women’s playoff format has changed multiple times in the last few years, it’s hard to know how many upsets are expected to happen each year. However, for comparison, the men’s tournament has an annual average of 12.4 upsets, with 18 being the most that has happened in the last 20 years. It’s surprising that even with all these upsets, the Elite Eight featured only one team seeded lower than No. 3, and the Final Four featured three No. 1 and one No. 2 seeded teams.

Photo credits: Shutterstock, Creighton Instagram, South Dakota Instagram, Iowa Instagram