2015 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament

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2015 NCAA Women's Division I
Basketball Tournament
2015 Women's Final Four Logo.png
2015 Women's Final Four logo
Season 2014–15
Teams 64
Finals site Amalie Arena
Tampa, Florida
Champions Connecticut (10th title, 10th title game,
16th Final Four)
Runner-up Notre Dame (5th title game,
7th Final Four)
Semifinalists
  • Maryland (6th Final Four)
  • South Carolina (1st Final Four)
Winning coach Geno Auriemma (10th title)
MOP Breanna Stewart Connecticut
NCAA Women's Division I Tournaments
«2014 2016»

The 2015 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament was played between March and April 2015, with the Final Four played April 5 & 7. The regional locations, after a one-year experiment allowing tournament teams to host, returned to four neutral sites: Oklahoma City, Spokane, Greensboro and Albany.[1] The subregionals were played 20–23 March, while the regionals were played 27–30 March. This represents a change; in the past, the rounds were played starting on a Saturday and ending on a Tuesday. In 2015, the opening rounds and regionals (but not the Final Four) were played starting on a Friday and ending on a Monday.[2][3][4] The Final Four was played at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.[5] This was the second time that Tampa had hosted a Women's Final Four Basketball tournament; the prior time was in 2008.

2015 NCAA Tournament schedule and venues[edit]

The subregionals were played from 20–23 March 2015.[6]

2015 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament is located in USA
Columbia
Columbia
Berkeley
Berkeley
Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill
College Park
College Park
Tempe
Tempe
Durham
Durham
Iowa City
Iowa City
Knoxville
Knoxville
Lexington
Lexington
Tampa
Tampa
Stanford
Stanford
Storrs
Storrs
Notre Dame
Notre Dame
Tallahassee
Tallahassee
Waco
Waco
Corvallis
Corvallis
2015 NCAA subregionals: Fri/Sun (green),Sat/Mon (blue) (Hover over city to see link to Host)
2015 NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Tournament is located in USA
Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City
Spokane
Spokane
Greensboro
Greensboro
Albany
Albany
Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay
2015 NCAA Regionals (blue) and Final Four (red) (Hover over city to see link to arena)

The following are the sites selected to host each round of the 2015 tournament:[7]

First and Second Rounds

Regional Semifinals and Finals (Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight)

National Semifinals and Championship (Final Four and Championship)

Subregionals Tournament & automatic qualifiers procedures[edit]

The basis for the subregionals returned to the approach used between 1982 and 2002; the top sixteen teams, as chosen in the bracket selection process, hosted the first two rounds on campus.[8]

Pending any changes to the current format, a total of 64 teams entered the 2015 tournament. 31 of the 32 automatic bids teams were given to the program that wins their conference tournament. The remaining automatic bid went to the Ivy League regular season champion since they do not hold a conference tournament. The remaining 32 teams were granted "at-large" bids, which are extended by the NCAA Selection Committee.

The Selection Committee also seeded the entire field from 1 to 64.

Automatic qualifiers[edit]

The following teams automatically qualified for the 2015 NCAA field by virtue of winning their conference's tournament (except for the Ivy League, whose regular-season champion received the automatic bid).

Conference Team Appearance Last bid
ACC Notre Dame 22nd 2014
America East Albany 4th 2014
American Connecticut 27th 2014
Atlantic 10 George Washington 16th 2003
Atlantic Sun Florida Gulf Coast 3rd 2014
Big 12 Baylor 14th 2014
Big East DePaul 20th 2014
Big Sky Montana 21st 2013
Big South Liberty 16th 2013
Big Ten Maryland 23rd 2014
Big West Cal State Northridge 3rd 2014
Colonial James Madison 11th 2014
C-USA Western Kentucky 18th 2014
Horizon Green Bay 15th 2013
Ivy League Princeton 5th 2013
MAAC Quinnipiac 2nd 2013
MAC Ohio 3rd 1995
MEAC Savannah State 1st Never
Missouri Valley Wichita State 3rd 2014
Mountain West Boise State 3rd 2007
Northeast St. Francis Brooklyn 1st Never
Ohio Valley Tennessee State 3rd 1995
Pac-12 Stanford 29th 2014
Patriot American 1st Never
SEC South Carolina 12th 2014
Southern Chattanooga 13th 2014
Southland Northwestern State 4th 2014
SWAC Alabama State 2nd 2003
Summit South Dakota State 6th 2013
Sun Belt Arkansas-Little Rock 4th 2012
West Coast BYU 11th 2014
WAC New Mexico State 3rd 1988

Tournament seeds[edit]

Albany Regional Times Union Center, Albany
Seed School Conference Record Berth type
1 Connecticut American 32-1 Automatic
2 Kentucky SEC 23-9 At-large
3 Louisville ACC 25-6 At-large
4 California Pac-12 23-9 At-large
5 Texas Big 12 22-10 At-large
6 South Florida American 26-7 At-large
7 Dayton Atlantic 10 25-6 At-large
8 Rutgers Big Ten 22-9 At-large
9 Seton Hall Big East 28-5 At-large
10 Iowa State Big 12 18-12 At-large
11 LSU SEC 17-13 At-large
12 Western Kentucky Conference USA 30-4 Automatic
13 Wichita State Missouri Valley 29-4 Automatic
14 BYU West Coast 23-9 Automatic
15 Tennessee State Ohio Valley 18-12 Automatic
16 St. Francis Brooklyn Northeast 15-18 Automatic
Spokane Regional Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena, Spokane
Seed School Conference Record Berth type
1 Maryland Big Ten 30-2 Automatic
2 Tennessee SEC 27-5 At-large
3 Oregon State Pac-12 26-4 At-large
4 Duke ACC 21-10 At-large
5 Mississippi State SEC 26-6 At-large
6 George Washington Atlantic 10 29-3 Automatic
7 Chattanooga Southern 29-3 Automatic
8 Princeton Ivy League 30-0 Automatic
9 Green Bay Horizon 28-4 Automatic
10 Pittsburgh ACC 19-11 At-large
11 Gonzaga West Coast 24-7 At-large
12 Tulane American 22-10 At-large
13 Albany America East 24-8 Automatic
14 South Dakota State Summit 24-8 Automatic
15 Boise State Mountain West 22-10 Automatic
16 New Mexico State WAC 22-7 Automatic
Oklahoma City Regional Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City
Seed School Conference Record Berth type
1 Notre Dame ACC 31-2 Automatic
2 Baylor Big 12 30-3 Automatic
3 Iowa Big Ten 24-7 At-large
4 Stanford Pac-12 24-9 Automatic
5 Oklahoma Big 12 20-11 At-large
6 Washington Pac-12 23-9 At-large
7 Northwestern Big Ten 23-8 At-large
8 Minnesota Big Ten 23-9 At-large
9 DePaul Big East 26-7 Automatic
10 Arkansas SEC 17-13 At-large
11 Miami (FL) ACC 19-12 At-large
12 Quinnipiac MAAC 31-3 Automatic
13 Cal State Northridge Big West 23-9 Automatic
14 American Patriot 24-8 Automatic
15 Northwestern State Southland 19-14 Automatic
16 Montana Big Sky 24-8 Automatic
Greensboro Regional Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro
Seed School Conference Record Berth type
1 South Carolina SEC 30-2 Automatic
2 Florida State ACC 29-4 At-large
3 Arizona State Pac-12 27-5 At-large
4 North Carolina ACC 24-8 At-large
5 Ohio State Big Ten 23-10 At-large
6 Texas A&M SEC 23-9 At-large
7 Florida Gulf Coast Atlantic Sun 30-2 Automatic
8 Syracuse ACC 21-9 At-large
9 Nebraska Big Ten 21-10 At-large
10 Oklahoma State Big 12 20-11 At-large
11 Arkansas-Little Rock Sun Belt 28-4 Automatic
12 James Madison Colonial 29-3 Automatic
13 Liberty Big South 26-6 Automatic
14 Ohio MAC 27-4 Automatic
15 Alabama State SWAC 17-14 Automatic
16 Savannah State MEAC 21-10 Automatic

Tournament records[edit]

  • Most three point field goals—Connecticut hit 54 three pointers over the course of the tournament, the most ever recored in a tournament.[9]

Bracket[edit]

* – Denotes overtime period

Unless otherwise noted, all times listed are Eastern Daylight Time (UTC−04).

Albany Regional – Albany, New York[edit]

First round[edit]

  • Alexis Govan and Chastity Gooch combined for 45 points, as Western Kentucky sunk a school record 12 threes, while putting a scare into Texas; however, Texas managed to escape with two free throws from Brooke McCarty with 20.8 seconds remaining to put Texas ahead for good 66–64.[10]
  • Rutgers managed to knock out in-state rival, Seton Hall, behind 21 points each from Kahleah Copper and Tyler Scaife. Rutgers managed to keep Seton Hall to 35.9% shooting; however, the game was largely lost when Seton Hall shot just 12–23 from the Free Throw line, as Daisha Simmons fell to her former team in her penultimate season.[11][12]
  • Kentucky easily defeated Tennessee State 97–52, with six Wildcats scoring in double digits. After each team scored three points, Kentucky scored 16 consecutive to build a lead they would never relinquish.[13]
  • Dayton pulled out to a seventeen-point lead in the second half. Iowa State cut the lead back to seven points with under three minutes remaining, but could not get any closer, and the Flyers went on to win 78–66. Dayton's Ally Malott scored 18 points and recorded 12 rebounds to help the Flyers win.[14]
  • California and Wichita State were tied at eight points each, and Wichita State was within two points with under five minutes to go in the first half, but the Golden Bears opened up a ten-point lead at halftime over the Shockers. Wichita State would get as to within four points, but California then extended the lead and ended with a twelve-point win 78–66. Cal's Reshanda Gray scored 22 points and left the game to a standing ovation.[15][16]
  • Connecticut's Morgan Tuck did not play in the prior year's NCAA Tournament, but made up for it in the first game of this year's tournament. She had 20 points in the first half, single-handedly outscoring St. Francis. She ended up hitting 12 of her 13 shots. Sarah Benedetti, who grew up in Canton, Connecticut as a UConn fan, was the high scorer for St. Francis with 13 points. The school was playing tin their first ever NCAA Tournament. The Huskies won with a final score of 89–33.[17]
  • Louisville's Myisha Hines-Allen scored 19 points for the Cardinals. Louisville forced 30 turnovers which lead to 38 points, and the Cardinals beat BYU 86–53.[18]
  • Normally, the game between South Florida and LSU would have been held on the court of the 3 seed Louisville but the Cardinals had a scheduling conflict so South Florida hosted. Courtney Williams, playing on her home court had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, leading her team to a nine-point victory over LSU 73–64.[19]

Second round[edit]

  • Kentucky forced 24 turnovers against Dayton, but the Flyers hit 11 three-pointers to help overcome the lost possessions. Kentucky held a three-point lead at halftime, which they opened up to eight points, but Dayton responded. With the score tied at 87 points each with just over a minute to go, Dayton's Kelley Austria hit a three points. Kentucky hit two free throws, then Dayton's Amber Deane hit a three with 30 seconds left in the game. Kentucky was forced to foul but Dayton hit their last six free throw attempts to preserve the upset with a score of 99–94.[20][21]
  • The 4 and 5 seeds, Texas and California, played on Cal's home court. At the end of the half, the two teams were tied. The Longhorns opened the second half with a 12–0 run, but the Golden Bears closed within 4 points with 90 seconds to go in the game. But Kelsey Lang scored at the other end. Imani McGee-Stafford had a double-double for the Longhorns with 20 points and 11 rebounds and Texas held on to win 73–70, sending the team to their first Sweet Sixteen in eleven years.[22]
  • When Connecticut and Rutgers took the floor, the two head coaches, Geno Auriemma and C. Vivian Stringer had 1865 combined victories, the most combined victories by any two coaches in an NCAA Tournament game. Playing on Auriemma's birrthday, the Scarlet Knights scored the first basket, but that was the last time they would lead in the game. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 23, and Moriah Jefferson 19 to lead the Huskies to a 91–55 win.[23]
  • The 3 Seed Louisville faced the 6 seed South Florida. The first half was close most of the way, with the Cardinals holding on to a slim, five point lead at halftime. Louisville extended the lead to nine in the second half, but the Bulls responded, and took a one-point lead just before the final media time-out of the game. Louisville's Jude Schimmel scored eight points in a three-minute stretch to give the lead back to the Cardinals, and help secure the 60–52 win.[24][25]
Sweet Sixteen[edit]
  • Connecticut had a seven-point lead midway through the first half, when they scored 13 consecutive points against Texas, which they extended into a 44-9 run to blow the game open. Stewart had 31 points as the Huskies rolled to a 105–54 win over the Longhorns. The victory was a milestone for coach Geno Auriemma, representing his 100th victory in the NCAA Tournament. He is one of only two coaches, the other being Pat Summitt, with 100 or more victories in the tournament.[26]
  • Dayton, the 7 seed, faced Louisville the 3 seed. The Flyers held a slim one point lead at halftime, but outscored the Cardinals by 15 in the second half to win 82–66. Andrea Hoover scored 26 points, including 15 for 15 from the free throw line. It is the first time in regional history that a player with 12 or more attempts was perfect from the line. The Flyers, who had never before made it to a Sweet Sixteen game, moved on to the Elite Eight round.[27]
Elite Eight (Regional Final)[edit]
  • Dayton and Connecticut played close to even for the first 20 minutes, with neither team garnering more than a five-point margin. The Huskies had a five-point lead with three minutes to go in the half, but the Flyers scored the next six points to take a lead at halftime, representing the first time the Huskies had been down at the half in two seasons. The Flyers made their first four three-point attempts and hit seven of their first ten shots. In the second half, the Huskies opened with a 15-3 run to take a double digit lead. On the next possession Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis hit a three to give her 393 in her career, an NCAA record. The 44 points given up by Connecticut in the first half is the most given up by them in the first half since 2008. Connecticut went on to win 91–70.[28]

Bracket[edit]

First round
Round of 64
March 20–21
Second round
Round of 32
March 22–23
Regional semifinals
Sweet 16
March 28
Regional finals
Elite 8
March 30
                       
1 Connecticut 89
16 St. Francis Brooklyn 33
1 Connecticut 91
Storrs, Connecticut – Sat/Mon
8 Rutgers 55
8 Rutgers 79
9 Seton Hall 66
1 Connecticut 105
5 Texas 54
5 Texas 66
12 Western Kentucky 64
5 Texas 73
Berkeley, California – Fri/Sun
4 California 70
4 California 78
13 Wichita State 66
1 Connecticut 91
7 Dayton 70
6 South Florida 73
11 LSU 64
6 South Florida 52
Tampa, Florida – Sat/Mon
3 Louisville 60
3 Louisville 86
14 BYU 53
3 Louisville 66
7 Dayton 82
7 Dayton 78
10 Iowa State 66
7 Dayton 99
Lexington, Kentucky – Fri/Sun
2 Kentucky 94
2 Kentucky 97
15 Tennessee State 52

Regional Final summary[edit]

ESPN
March 30, 2015
7:00 pm EDT
#7 Dayton Flyers 70, #1 Connecticut Huskies 91
Times Union Center • Albany, New York

Albany Regional all-tournament team[edit]

Spokane Regional – Spokane, Washington[edit]

First round[edit]

  • Undefeated Princeton came into the game as an 8 seed against the 9 seed Green Bay. The Green Wave had a single point lead at the half, with President Barack Obama in the stands to watch his niece Leslie Robinson, a Princeton forward, although she did not play. The Tigers played better in the second half, and kept their winning streak alive with an 80–70 win. Michelle Miller led Princeton with 20 points, including a perfect 4 of 4 from behind the arc. Miller was supported by a cast which saw five Tigers in double figures, that countered a 21-point effort from Mehryn Kraker.[29][30]
  • #13 Albany fell just short of stunning #4 Duke. Rebecca Greenwell orchestrated the rescue of Duke's season, as she tallied 20 points, including what proved to be a game winning 3 pointer with just 17 seconds left. Azura Stevens sunk one free throw in order to create the final margin, as Albany fell 54–52.[31]
  • The 3 seed Oregon State played the 14 seed South Dakota State, knowing that a three seed has never lost a first round game in the NCAA D1 women's tournament. However, the Jackrabbits led much of the first half, as much as by seven points 28-21 with just over five minutes to go in the first half. The beavers, still trailing at halftime, tied up the game early in the second half and gradually extended the lead to double-digits. Oregon State, with 23 points from Sydney Wiese, went on to win 74–62.[32][33]
  • The 5 seed Mississippi State had a small, five point lead at halftime, but Tulane came back and took a two-point lead early in the second half. The Bulldogs coach, Vic Schaefer, took a timeout and challenged his team to play their best. The responded and took a double digit lead. The Green Wave cut the lead to nine, but could not get closer, and Mississippi State went on to win 57–47.[34][35]
  • 11th seeded Gonzaga opened with the first seven points of the game over 5th seeded George Washington, and later in the first half, went on a 17-1 to double up the Colonials 38-19. Late in the second half, George Washington cut the lead to six points, but Gonzaga's Sunny Greinacher hit a three-pointer on the next possession to extend the lead the nine points. Gonzaga held on for the upset win 82–69.[36]
  • The top seeded team in the region, Maryland took on the 16 seed New Mexico. The Terrapins center hit seven of her ten shots formt he field and eight of nine from the free throw line. She left the game with just under six minutes left with 22 points, only two points off her career high. Maryland won 75–57 to win a school record 25th consecutive game. Their next opponent, Princeton, is undefeated with a 31-game winning streak.[37]
  • The second seeded Tennessee faced 15 seed Boise State. The Lady Vols had a seven-point lead at halftime which they extended to 13 in the second half but the Broncos cut the lead to five with under three minutes left. Tennessee's Bashaara Graves had a career high 24 points and the team had a late 8-0 run to preserve the win 72-61.[38][39]
Second round[edit]
  • Fresh off a first round upset, Gonzaga tried to make it two upsets in a row against Oregon State. The Zags had a three-point lead at the half, which they extended to a dozen in the second half, but the Beavers fought back and tied the game at 64 points each on a Jamie Weisner three with three and a half minutes to go in the game. However, that would be the last score for Oregon State as Gonzaga scored the final 12 points of the game to win 76–64.[40]
  • Mississippi State, the 5 seed, took on the 4 seed Duke on their home court, but led by four at the half, and extended the lead to six early in the second half. That's when the Blue Devils took over, scoring 12 consecutive points as par of a 26-5 run that put Duke decisively in the lead. Azura Stevens, a freshman for Duke, had a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds to help Duke advance with a score of 64–56.[41]
  • Princeton brought their undefeated record, and best known fan (President Barack Obama) to take on the 1 Seed Maryland. Despite playing the top seed, the Tigers led by 4 points 28-24 as late as 14 minutes into the first half. Then the second half started, and the Terrapins hit 56% of their field goal attempts including seven of eight from beyond the arc to take over the game. Maryland ended Princeton's win streak 85–70.[42]
  • Tennessee had an 11–0 run early in the first half to open up an early lead and reached halftime with a 12-point margin. Pittsburgh tried for a come-back and got the margin down to four points 69-65. but that occurred with only 38 seconds left in the game. Tennessee's Ariel Massengale hit six consecutive free throws and had a steal to seal the ten point win 77–67.[43]
Sweet Sixteen[edit]
  • Maryland faced Duke, the first time the two team have played since Maryland transferred to the Big Ten. The Terrapins' Laurin Mincy scored all of her 15 points in the first half, while Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 18 of her 24 points in the second half, to help lead Maryland to a ten-point victory, 65–55, over the Blue Devils.[44]
  • Gonzaga had upsets in their first two games, and were looking to make it a third against Tennessee. The Zags had a lead as large as eight points in the first half, but the Lady Vols tied the game at halftime. In the second half, the Zags again took the lead. Tennessee only managed one basket in the first eight minutes of the half, and built a lead which grew to 17 points. The Lady Vols came back, never led, but tied up the game late at 63 points each to send the game to the tournament's first overtime match. Tennessee would not hit a basket in overtime, but hit ten free throws to win the game 73–69.[45][46]
Elite Eight (Regional Final)[edit]
  • Tennessee took an early lead in their game against Maryland, scoring the first 5 points, and led 9-2 six minutes into the game. The Terrapins came back and the teams traded leads in the first half with Maryland taking a one-point lead into halftime. The Lady Vols led by five points early in the second half, then the teams traded leads again. It wasn't until four and a half minutes left in the game that Lexie Brown hit a three pointer to put Maryland in the lead for good. Tennessee had a chance at tying the game with under a minute to go, but missed a three-pointer. Maryland then sank seven of eight free throws to close the half and win 58–48.[47][48]

Bracket[edit]

First round
Round of 64
March 20–21
Second round
Round of 32
March 22–23
Regional semifinals
Sweet 16
March 28
Regional finals
Elite 8
March 30
                       
1 Maryland 75
16 New Mexico State 57
1 Maryland 85
College Park, Maryland – Sat/Mon
8 Princeton 70
8 Princeton 80
9 Green Bay 70
1 Maryland 65
4 Duke 55
5 Mississippi State 57
12 Tulane 47
5 Mississippi St. 56
Durham, North Carolina – Fri/Sun
4 Duke 64
4 Duke 54
13 Albany 52
1 Maryland 58
2 Tennessee 48
6 George Washington 69
11 Gonzaga 82
11 Gonzaga 76
Corvallis, Oregon – Fri/Sun
3 Oregon State 64
3 Oregon State 74
14 South Dakota State 62
11 Gonzaga 69
2 Tennessee 73*
7 Chattanooga 40
10 Pittsburgh 51
10 Pittsburgh 67
Knoxville, Tennessee – Sat/Mon
2 Tennessee 77
2 Tennessee 72
15 Boise State 61

Regional Final summary[edit]

ESPN
March 30, 2015
6:00 pm PDT
#2 Tennessee Lady Volunteers 48, #1 Maryland Terrapins 58
Pts: Massengale – 16
Rebs: Graves, Reynolds – 7
Asts: Burdick – 6
Pts: Brown – 15
Rebs: Jones – 9
Asts: Mincy – 5
Spokane Arena • Spokane, Washington
Attendance: 5,032
Referees: Lisa Mattingly, Roy Gulbeyan, Kyle Bacon

Spokane Regional all-tournament team[edit]

  • Shatori Walker-Kimbrough – Maryland – Most Outstanding Player
  • Sunny Greinacher – Gonzaga
  • Brionna Jones – Maryland
  • Ariel Massengale – Tennessee
  • Cierra Burdick – Tennessee[49]

Oklahoma City Regional – Oklahoma City[edit]

First round[edit]

  • Montana was fourth in the nation in field goal defense, holding their opponents to under 34% on average. However, they were not ready for Notre Dame, who hit 62% of their shots. Jewell Loyd scored 18 points, and the Irish beat the Lady Griz 77–43.[50]
  • The Baylor team watched their men's counterpart lose in an upset to a 14 seed the day before, which filled them with resolve to ensure it didn't happen to them. After an early 7–7 tie, they went on a 14–2 run to open up a large lead against Northwestern State they would never relinquish. The Lady Bears held the Lady Demons to 24% shooting from the field and won easily, 77–36.[51]
  • Although the 3 seed Iowa started out 8–2 against the 14 seed American on their home court, the Eagles responded and led by as many as five in the first half. The Hawkeyes responded and tied the game up at the half. The second half would remain close, but Iowa took a lead that they never gave up, and ended with an eight-point win 75–67.[52][53]
  • Arkansas was the 10 seed, playing under first year coach Jimmy Dykes, a former Razorback. Arkansas led 9–2 early but Northwestern tied it up and the team remained close until tied at half-time. Northwestern scored the first six points of the second half, and extended the lead out to 13 just before the midpoint of the half, but the Razorbacks came back. The game was tied at 55 points each when, with 30 seconds left, Jessica Jackson hit one of two free throws. Each team would have additional chances, but no more baskets would be scored, only an additional free throw with two seconds left in the game to give Arkansas the upset 57–55.[54][55]
  • Third seed Stanford had all they could handle playing the 14 seed Cal State Northridge. Playing on Stanford's home court, Maples Arena, Stanford opened up a ten-point lead in the first half, but then went scoreless for eight minutes. The Matadors held a one-point lead at halftime, and extended the lead to six in the second half. Then the Cardinal scored eight straight points to take a lead they would never give up. Stanford won 73–60.[56]
  • 12 seed Quinnipiac came into their game against Oklahoma on a 21-game winning streak, but had not played a team with the speed and size of the Sooners. Oklahoma had a 17-point lead at halftime. The Bobcats would cut the lead to seven, but the Sooners took over and won 111–84.[57]
  • Miami was the 11 seed, but they had beaten one of the top seeds, Notre Dame, in the regular season, so they had the talent to play with the best. The Hurricanes Adrienne Motley scored 30 points, while the Washington Huskies best scorers Kelsey Plum and Jazmine Davis were a combined 10 for 30 from the field. The Huskies got to within three points in the second half, but Miami held on to win 86–80.[58]
  • DePaul took on Minnesota in the 8-9 game. Despite being down by double-digits at halftime, The Blue Demons coach, Doug Bruno, thought his team was in a good place; that they had exhausted the Golden Gophers. Minnesota's Amanda Zahui B. recorded 22 rebounds, one off the NCAA record, along with 21 points, but it was not enough, and DePaul came back to win the game 79–72.[59]
Second round[edit]
  • DePaul opened with a press against the top seed Notre Dame and was initially successful, forcing four turnovers in the first five possessions, but the Irish settled down and opened up a six-point lead in the first half, which they doubled in the second half. Notre Dame's Michaela Mabrey scored 19 points, including five of seven three point shots to help lead the Irish to the 79–67 win over the Blue Demons.[60][61]
  • Arkansas played roughly even with Baylor in the beginning of the game, with three ties and ten lead changes and were still holding onto a lead nine minutes into the half. But the Lady Bears ended the half on a 30-7 run to reach a 20-point lead, and expanded the lead by nine more points in the second half. Baylor won the game over the Razorbacks, 73–44.[62][63]
  • Iowa faced Miami in the second round, knowing they had failed to reach the Sweet Sixteen in their last seven tries. However, in many of those games, the Hawkeyes were an 8 or 9 seed, and went on to play the top seed in the region. This year, Iowa was a 3 seed, facing the 11th seeded Hurricanes. The Hawkeyes hit 2/3 of their shots in the second half, extending a seven-point halftime lead to 17 and won the game 88–70.[64]
  • Oklahoma led Stanford by four points at the end of the first half, a half in which Stanford's Bonnie Samuelson failed to score. She made up for that in the second half, scoring 19 points. That, along with Amber Orrange's 24 points helped the Cardinal beat the Sooners by ten points, 86–76, sending Stanford to their eighth consecutive Sweet Sixteen.[65]

Sweet Sixteen[edit]

  • Baylor's Sune Agbuke had a scoring average of just under six points per game and a career high of 16 points, but she scored 23 points for the Bears. Teammate Nina Davis contributed 20 points, and Iowa fell to Baylor 81-66. Iowa's Samantha Logic had a triple double with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists for the Hawkeyes, but it was not enough.[66]
  • Hall of Fame coaches Tara VanDerveer and Muffet McGraw had never before met in post-season, and the two teams, Stanford and Notre Dame, had only met twice previously, with Stanford winning in 1990 and 1991. Notre Dame's Lindsay Allen, who averages just under ten points a game, matched her career high of 24 in the first half, and ended with 28 points. Jewell Loyd scored 21, and the Irish ended up a double-digit lead by halftime, and extended the lead by ten more to win 81–60.[67][68]
Elite Eight (Regional Final)[edit]
  • Notre Dame and Baylor, the one and two seeds in the region, faced off for the opportunity to go to the Final Four. Baylor led early, but as much as nine points 26–17, in the first half but the Irish came back to take a two-point lead at halftime. The Bears retook the lead in the second half, and were still leading at the second media timeout with 12 minutes to go in the game when Jewell Loyd made a layup to give the Irish a lead they would not relinquish. Notre Dame ended with the win 77–68.[69][70]

Bracket[edit]

First round
Round of 64
March 20–21
Second round
Round of 32
March 22–23
Regional semifinals
Sweet 16
March 27
Regional finals
Elite 8
March 29
                       
1 Notre Dame 77
16 Montana 43
1 Notre Dame 79
Notre Dame, Indiana – Fri/Sun
9 DePaul 67
8 Minnesota 72
9 DePaul 79
1 Notre Dame 81
4 Stanford 60
5 Oklahoma 111
12 Quinnipiac 84
5 Oklahoma 76
Stanford, California – Sat/Mon
4 Stanford 86
4 Stanford 73
13 Cal State Northridge 60
1 Notre Dame 77
2 Baylor 68
6 Washington 80
11 Miami (FL) 86
11 Miami 70
Iowa City, Iowa – Fri/Sun
3 Iowa 88
3 Iowa 75
14 American 67
3 Iowa 66
2 Baylor 81
7 Northwestern 55
10 Arkansas 57
10 Arkansas 44
Waco, Texas – Fri/Sun
2 Baylor 73
2 Baylor 77
15 Northwestern State 36

Regional Final summary[edit]

ESPN
March 29, 2015
7:30 pm CDT
#2 Baylor Lady Bears 68, #1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 77
Chesapeake Energy Arena • Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City Regional all-tournament team[edit]

  • Lindsay Allen – Notre Dame – Most Outstanding Player
  • Nina Davis – Baylor
  • Jewell Loyd – Notre Dame
  • Samantha Logic – Iowa
  • Niya Johnson – Baylor[71]

Greensboro Regional – Greensboro, North Carolina[edit]

First Round[edit]

  • Despite leading by 13 points at the end of the first half, South Carolina's coach Dawn Staley was not happy with the teams' performance. Aleighsa Welch urged her teammates to "do something about it" and the team put together a 21–1 run early in the second half to put Savannah State away. The Gamecocks won 81–48.[72]
  • Syracuse and Nebraska were the 8 and 9 seeds, meaning the selection committee viewed them as comparable. They lived up to expectations, reaching the end of the first half tied. The go-ahead basket was scored by Syracuse with less than a minutes remaining in the game, and the Orange defeated the Cornhuskers 72–69.[73]
  • Florida State opened up an 18-point lead over Alabama State by halftime, and continued to extend the lead in the second half. The Seminoles forced 32 turnovers, including 18 steals which led to a 91–49 win, resulting in the first-ever 30 win season by Florida State.[74][75]
  • Arizona State played a home game in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in a decade, opening up a 16-point lead by halftime. The SunDevils' Katie Hempen scored 23 points, a career hiigh and Sophie Brunner added 14 points, as Arizona State extended the lead in the second haf against Ohio. Although the Bobcats were a good three point shooting team, they convert only 4 of 16 attempts. Arizona State beat Ohio by 19, 74–55.[76]
  • The 4 seed North Carolina seemingly had a comfortable lead of 14 points at halftime over the 13 seed Liberty, but the Flames used a 52–35 rebounding advantage to make the game closer in the second half. Liberty cut the lead to six points, but were unable to close the gap, and failed to win their first ever NCAA Tournament game. North Carolina held on to win 71–65.[77]
  • The game between Florida Gulf Coast and Oklahoma State was a rematch of a 2014 NCAA Tournament first round game. In the prior game Oklahoma State prevailed 61–60 in overtime. This year the Eagles would get their revenge, behind 26 points from Kaneisha Atwater and 19 from Whitney Knight, as FGCU would win their 26th consecutive game by a score of 75–67, the third longest active streak in NCAA DI women's basketball.[78]
  • The 11 seed Arkansas-Little Rock took on the 6 seed Texas A&M. The first half was close, with the Aggies taking a small, one point lead into halftime. In the second half fueled by 25 points from Taylor Gault and 22 points from Kiera Clark, took the lead and extended it to win by nine points, 69–60. The Aggies' Courtney Williams recorded a double-double, with 23 points and eleven rebounds but without teammate Jordan Jones, it was not enough. The win was the 700th win for the Trojan's coach Joe Foley.[79]
  • The 5 seed Ohio State took on the 12 seed James Madison. The Buckeyes pushed the lead to double digits several times in the second half, but the Dukes cut the lead back to single digits, and were as close as four points with just over eight minutes to go. Ameryst Alston scored 28 points,Kelsey Mitchell 23 and Alexa Hart 20 for Ohio State. The Buckeyes ended up with a ten-point margin 90–80.[80]
Second round[edit]
  • South Carolina faced Syracuse in a rematch of a game played earlier in the season. In that game, played in the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas, the Orange opened up a double-digit lead in the second half, before The Gamecocks responded and finished with a four-point win. This game proceeded very differently, with South Carolina leading by 28 points at the half. While the second half was roughly even the Gamecocks were too far ahead and won the game 97–68.[81]
  • Florida Gulf Coast brought a 26-game winning streak to their match-up with Florida State, but the Seminoles were "...too big, too fast and too deep...". Florida State opened with a 17–2 run, held the Eagles to 31% shooting and a season low 47 points to win the game 65-47.[82]
  • After their upset in the first round, Arkansas-Little Rock took on a higher ranked opponent in Arizona State, and initially appeared headed to another upset. The Trojan's lead by 16 points in the second half and by ten with under eight minutes to go. The Sun Devils slowly cut into the lead, and took their first lead since leading 2-0 with under a minute to go, on Sophie Brunner layup. The teams traded baskets, then with seven seconds remaining in the game Katie Hempen was fouled and sank two free throws to extend the lead to three points. Alexius Dawn missed a three-pointer with a second left in the game, and Arizona State completed the comeback 57–54.[83][84]
  • North Carolina took on Ohio State and pulled out to a lead as large as 23 points, before giving up the lead late in the game. OSU's Kelsey Mitchell hit a three-pointer to tie up the game with 44 seconds left, and after the Tarheels responded with a basket, hit two free throws to tie the game again. North Carolina's Jamie Cherry hit a jumper with one second left on the clock to preserve the 86–84 victory.[85][86]
Sweet Sixteen[edit]
  • In the 2014 Tournament, South Carolina, as a 1 seed, faced North Carolina as a 4 seed in a Sweet Sixteen match up. North Carolina upset South Carolina in that game. This year, South Carolina was again a 1 seed and North Carolina a 4 seed, and they faced each other in a Sweet Sixteen match-up. With a minute and a half to go in the game, the Tarheels had a three-point lead, and with under 20 seconds to go, the game was tied. The Gamecocks Tiffany Mitchell made a layup with five seconds to go in the game to prevent another upset. South Carolina won 67–65.[87]
  • In the first half, Florida State and Arizona State played even for the first seventeen minutes of the half. With just over three minutes to go in the half, the Sun Devils tied the game at 22 points each, but would not score again in the half, and the Seminoles would reach halftime with a ten-point lead. In the second half, the Sun Devils came back to within a single point when Elisha Davis hit a three-pointer with six seconds left. They would get the ball once more time, but the Seminoles' Maegan Conwright stole the ball on a final drive to the basket. Florida State won, behind a career high 21 points from Leticia Romero 66–65.[88][89]
Elite Eight (Regional Final)[edit]
  • The top two seeds in the Greensboro regional, South Carolina and Florida State met in the regional final. The Gamecocks hit 61% of their field goal attempt, but despite the excellent shooting, did not take a lead until about nine minutes were left in the second half. South Carolina's Tiffany Mitchell put her team ahead for good with two minutes to go, and scored seven points in the final two minutes. South Carolina won 80–74 to advance them to their first ever Final Four.[90][91]

Bracket[edit]

First round
Round of 64
March 20–21
Second round
Round of 32
March 22–23
Regional semifinals
Sweet 16
March 27
Regional finals
Elite 8
March 29
                       
1 South Carolina 81
16 Savannah State 48
1 South Carolina 97
Columbia, South Carolina – Fri/Sun
8 Syracuse 68
8 Syracuse 72
9 Nebraska 69
1 South Carolina 67
4 North Carolina 65
5 Ohio State 90
12 James Madison 80
5 Ohio State 84
Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Sat/Mon
4 North Carolina 86
4 North Carolina 71
13 Liberty 65
1 South Carolina 80
2 Florida State 74
6 Texas A&M 60
11 Arkansas-Little Rock 69
11 Arkansas-Little Rock 54
Tempe, Arizona – Sat/Mon
3 Arizona State 57
3 Arizona State 74
14 Ohio 55
3 Arizona State 65
2 Florida State 66
7 Florida Gulf Coast 75
10 Oklahoma State 67
7 Florida Gulf Coast 47
Tallahassee, Florida – Sat/Mon
2 Florida State 65
2 Florida State 91
15 Alabama State 49

Regional Final summary[edit]

ESPN
March 29, 2015
12:00 pm EDT
#2 Florida State Seminoles 74, #1 South Carolina Gamecocks 80
Pts: L. Romero – 13
Rebs: I. Slaughter, Romero – 7
Asts: Slaughter, Romero – 4
Pts: T. Mitchell – 21
Rebs: Mitchell – 6
Asts: Mitchell – 5
Halftime Score: Florida State, 41-38
Greensboro Coliseum • Greensboro, North Carolina
Attendance: 6,364
Referees: Felicia Grinter, Penny Davis, Brian Enterline

Greensboro Regional all-tournament team[edit]

  • Alaina Coates – South Carolina – Most Outstanding Player
  • Latifah Coleman – North Carolina
  • Adut Bulgak – Florida State
  • Leticia Romero – Florida State
  • Tiffany Mitchell – South Carolina[92]

Final Four[edit]

During the Final Four round, regardless of the seeds of the participating teams, the champion of the top overall top seed's region plays against the champion of the fourth-ranked top seed's region, and the champion of the second overall top seed's region plays against the champion of the third-ranked top seed's region. The committee will place the four No. 1 seeded teams 1 through 4 in each of the four regions, thus determining the Final Four semifinals pairings.

Amalie Arena — Tampa, Florida[edit]

National Semifinals
April 5
National Championship Game
April 7
           
1ALB Connecticut 81
1SPO Maryland 58
1ALB Connecticut 63
1OKC Notre Dame 53
1OKC Notre Dame 66
1GRN South Carolina 65

Game Summaries[edit]

Final Four[edit]

ESPN
Sunday, April 5
6:30 PM EDT
#1 South Carolina Gamecocks 65, #1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 66
Pts: A. Wilson – 20
Rebs: A. Welch – 14
Asts: B. Cuevas – 3
Pts: J. Loyd – 22
Rebs: B. Turner – 8
Asts: M. Mabrey – 5
Halftime Score: Notre Dame, 32-28
Amalie Arena – Tampa, Florida
Attendance: 19,730
Referees: Brian Brunette, Felicia Grinter, Lisa Mattingly
ESPN
Sunday, April 5
9:04 PM EDT
#1 Connecticut Huskies 81, #1 Maryland Terrapins 58
Pts: B. Stewart – 25
Rebs: M. Tuck – 9
Asts: K. Mosqueda-Lewis – 7
Halftime Score: UConn, 44-33
Pts: B. Jones – 14
Rebs: T. Pfirman – 5
Asts: Jones, B. Moseley – 4
Amalie Arena – Tampa, Florida
Attendance: 19,730
Referees: Eric Brewton, Maj Forsberg, Joseph Vaszily

National Championship[edit]

ESPN
April 7, 2015
20:30 EDT
#1 Connecticut Huskies 63, #1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 53
Pts: M. Jefferson, K. Mosqueda-Lewis – 15
Rebs: B. Stewart – 15
Asts: M. Tuck – 7
Halftime Score: UConn, 31-23
Pts: B. Turner – 14
Rebs: T. Reimer – 11
Asts: L. Allen – 7
Amalie Arena • Tampa, Florida
Attendance: 19,810
Referees: Denise Brooks, Dee Kantner, Mark Zentz

Final Four all-tournament team[edit]

Record by conference[edit]

Conference Bids Record Win % R64 R32 S16 E8 F4 CG NC
American 3 7-2 .778 3 2 1 1 1 1 1
ACC 8 17-8 .680 8 8 5 2 1 1
Big Ten 7 8-7 .533 7 4 2 1 1
SEC 7 10-7 .588 7 5 2 2 1
Big 12 5 6-5 .545 5 3 2 1
Atlantic 10 2 3-2 .600 2 1 1 1
Pac-12 5 6-5 .545 5 4 2
WCC 2 2-2 .500 2 1 1
Sun Belt 1 1-1 .500 1 1
Atlantic Sun 1 1-1 .500 1 1
Ivy 1 1-1 .500 1 1
Big East 2 1-2 .333 2 1
  • The R64, R32, S16, E8, F4, CG, NC columns indicate how many teams from each conference were in the round of 64 (second round), round of 32 (third round), Sweet 16, Elite Eight, Final Four, championship game, and national champion, respectively.
  • The America East, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, CAA, C-USA, Horizon, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, MVC, NW, NEC, OVC, Patriot, SoCon, Southland, SWAC, Summit, and WAC each had one representative, eliminated in the first round with a record of 0–1.

All-Tournament Team[edit]

  • Breanna Stewart, Connecticut
  • Morgan Tuck, Connecticut
  • Moriah Jefferson, Connecticut
  • Brianna Turner, Notre Dame
  • Jewell Loyd, Notre Dame[9]

Game Officials[edit]

  • Lisa Mattingly (Semi-Final)
  • Felicia Grinter (Semi-Final)
  • Bryan Brunette (Semi-Final)
  • Joe Vaszily (Semi-Final)
  • Eric Brewton (Semi-Final)
  • Maj Forsberg (Semi-Final)
  • Dee Kanter (Final)
  • Denise Brooks (Final)
  • Mark Zentz (Final)[9]

Media coverage[edit]

Television[edit]

ESPN has US television rights to all games during the tournament.[93] For the first and second round, ESPN will air select games nationally on ESPN, ESPNU, or ESPNews. All other games will air regionally on ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPN3 and be streamed online via WatchESPN. Most of the nation will get whip-a-round coverage during this time, which allows ESPN to rotate between the games and focus the nation on the one that has the closest score. The regional semifinals will be split between ESPN and ESPN2, and ESPN will air the regional finals, national semifinals, and championship match. Coverage begins with the selection show on Monday, March 12, 2015.[94]

Studio host & analysts[edit]

Broadcast Assignments[edit]

Radio[edit]

Westwood One has exclusive radio rights to the entire tournament.[95][96] Teams participating in the Regional Finals, Final Four, and Championship are allowed to have their own local broadcasts, but they aren't allowed to stream those broadcasts online.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]