Three Critical Upsets Headlined Another Crazy Sunday in Women’s Basketball

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This season parity is at its highest point. Every day we see new teams rise and make waves upsetting ranked teams. Yesterday was no different with three critical upsets: Auburn over 21st Georgia, Washington State over 8th ranked Arizona, and Miami over 16 Georgia Tech. This piece focuses on the impact that each victory and loss will have on each team and their outlook for the rest of the season.

Three Critical Upsets Headlined Another Crazy Sunday in Women’s Basketball

Auburn Upsets 21 Georgia 65-60

Auburn was just 9-15 on the season and only had one SEC victory before taking down Georgia today. The Tigers were led by Honesty Scott-Grayson, who scored 23 points to help guide them to this victory. Auburn played stifling defense all game and forced 21 Bulldog turnovers. For Auburn, this win is an excellent boost of confidence for the team. Although the season has not gone the way they wanted, they demonstrate their potential to spoil opponents’ seasons in the SEC tournament.

This road loss hurts immensely; they looked out of sorts after Jenna Staiti got called for her third foul near the end of the third quarter. This result will end any chance at a top 16 seed unless Georgia runs the table. Without a top 16 seed, Georgia will have to win games on the road to make the sweet sixteen. The Lady Bulldogs must have more production from Sarah Ashlee Barker and Mikayla Coombs; they combined for only five points in today’s defeat. Without more support for Staiti, this team will have an early tournament exit.

Washington State Upsets  8 Arizona 72-67

An unlikely contributor led the way today for the Cougars; Johanna Teder scored 21 points to help guide her team to this integral victory. This game was close throughout, and both teams played great defense; with about five minutes left, Arizona star Cate Reese went down with a dislocated shoulder. Arizona was down seven at the time, and they could not return. For Washington State, this win should clinch their berth into the NCAA tournament. The Cougars are a dangerous team because of their defense and three-point shooting that give opponents nightmares. Without a first game PAC-12 tournament exit, this team is in as an eight or nine seed.

For Arizona, this loss hurts their seeding a bit; they will move down to a number three seed for now. If Cate Reese is out for an extended time, they could be in trouble. Reese averages 14.8 points per game and 6.3 rebounds; this loss will be challenging to replace. Arizona must come together as a team in her absence to avoid an early tournament exit due to the failure in scoring output. The Wildcats play fantastic defense but struggle to score at times, and without Reese, players like Koi Love and Shaina Pellington become even more critical to their tournament aspirations.

Miami upsets 16 Georgia Tech 51-39

Today, the Hurricanes exposed Georgia Tech’s scoring problem when they held the Yellow Jackets to just 12 points in the first half. Miami is another bubble team with 16-10 overall and 9-7 in conference play. However, they have now won four to improve their tournament chances vastly. No one on either team scored more than 12 points individually throughout the game. However, Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi stepped up, scoring 10 points off the bench. The Syracuse transfer affords Miami with fantastic size to contend with players like Lorela Cubaj. This win will move the Hurricanes off the bubble; for now, they must avoid an early ACC tournament exit to receive a bid.

For Georgia Tech, only scoring 12 points in a half is very embarrassing. The Yellow Jackets must find more options to complement Cubaj down low. Tech has struggled recently, going 2-2 over the last four games. Their previous two games are winnable; however, Florida State looks like an improved team and is their next opponent. Tech will not get a top 16 seed without a trip to the ACC tournament final in March. Without a top 16 seed and their poor scoring abilities, this team is vulnerable to an upset. However, their size will cause some teams problems, but if they face a midmajor team who has a big, they could have an early exit this season. This almost happened last year against Stephen F Austin, so they must be careful to avoid a similar result.

These three critical upsets will vastly impact the NCAA tournament field. We are less than a month away from Selection Monday, and these games prove that every opponent matters, and no one should be taken lightly.

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