So far the NCAA Division I tournament has seen some fantastic performances by teams making their first tournament appearances as well as some unexpected losses by top-ranked teams. Here’s a recap of this weekend’s action:
Auburn, in their first tournament appearance, cruised past Mississippi State in three sets on Friday to earn the first spot in the second round. Unfortunately they then faced No. 2 seed Nebraska, and the Cornhuskers used their considerable experience to end the Tigers’ fantastic season in three sets.
Creighton’s first match in the NCAA tournament saw them take down Iowa State in the first round, the school’s second-ever win against a nationally ranked team. But after pulling out the five set win the Bluejays fell to Mississippi in the second round, bringing another Cinderella story to an end.
No. 5 seed Northern Iowa was stunned by a five set loss to Missouri, who went on to defeat Northwestern in the second round and will face Duke in the third round this Friday.
Hawaii, who came into the tournament ranked No. 15, made it through the first round only to fall to Washington in straight sets. Both Dayton (No. 14) and Tennessee (No. 11) fell in the second round in five sets, losing to Ohio and Indiana respectively.
Unranked Tulsa, who have been to the NCAA tournament only once before in school history, took down No. 13 LSU in the first round in a three-set sweep before falling to in-state rival Oklahoma in the second round.
Here are the third round matches that are ahead of us this coming weekend:
No. 1 Florida (who barely made it out of their second round match against Florida St.) v. No. 16 Purdue. The winner will play the either No. 8 Texas or No. 9 Illinois, depending on who wins their third round match on Friday.
Missouri will hope to continue their streak against No. 12 Duke, and the winner faces whichever team comes out of the match up between Oklahoma and No. 4 Penn State.
No. 3 Stanford and Ohio State play in Ohio on Friday, followed by Indiana and No. 6 USC. The winners of those two games will square off.
Finally, No. 7 California plays No. 10 California while Washington takes on No. 2 Nebraska, with the winners of those two matches playing the following day.
The quarterfinals will take place on Saturday, December 10, and the semifinals the following Thursday. Remember, the final will be on Saturday, December 18 at 8:30 ET – be sure to watch if you can!
Photo by Craig Pessman.