2019 NCAA TOURNAMENT

NCAA women's basketball Sweet 16 at Greensboro: A scouting report

Hawkeyes face North Carolna State at 10:30 a.m. Saturday

Iowa players acknowledge the crowd as they celebrate their 68-52 win over Missouri in the second round of the NCAA women's basketball tournament Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Iowa players acknowledge the crowd as they celebrate their 68-52 win over Missouri in the second round of the NCAA women's basketball tournament Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

The NCAA women’s basketball tournament has reached the Sweet 16 level. The Iowa Hawkeyes are part of the Greensboro (N.C.) Region, which will take place Saturday and Monday at the Greensboro Colisumn.

The eighth-ranked Hawkeyes (28-6) will face No. 10 North Carolina State (28-5) at 10:30 a.m. (Iowa time), with top-ranked Baylor (33-1) battling No. 18 South Carolina (23-9) afterward.

Scouting reports on the four teams battling to advance to the Final Four, April 5-7 at Tampa, Fla.:

Baylor (33-1)

Regional seed: 1

National ranking: No. 1

Sweet 16 history: 14th appearance, 11th in a row. National champion in 2005 and 2012.

Coach: Kim Mulkey (19th year, 572-99)

Top players: Kalani Brown (6-7, sr.) leads the Bears at 15.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. She shoots 62.0 percent from the field. Lauren Cox (6-4, jr.) adds 12.6 points and 8.0 boards per game. Juicy Landrum (5-8, jr.) scores at an 11.5-point clip and is the Bears’ primary threat from outside.

How the Bears got here: Advanced with wins at Waco against Abilene Christian (95-38) and California (102-63).

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Fivethirtyeight.com says: Bears have an 89-percent chance to reach the Elite Eight, a 79-percent chance to advance to the Final Four, a 58-percent shot to get to the championship game, and a 35-percent chance to win it all.

South Carolina (23-9)

Regional seed: 4

National ranking: No. 18

Sweet 16 history: 10th appearance, sixth in a row. National champion in 2017.

Coach: Dawn Staley (19th year, 445-176; 11th year at South Carolina, 273-96)

Top players: Te’a Cooper (5-8, jr.) leads a balanced lineup, averaging 11.7 points per game. She is joined in double figures by Alexis Jennings (6-3, sr.) at 11.4 points and a team-high 6.4 rebounds per game, as well as Tyasha Harris (5-10, jr., 11.1 ppg) and Mikiah Herbert Harrigan (6-2, jr., 10.3 ppg).

How the Gamecocks got here: Advanced with wins at Charlotte against Belmont (74-52) and Florida State (72-64).

Fivethirtyeight.com says: Gamecocks have an 11-percent chance to reach the Elite Eight, a 7-percent chance to advance to the Final Four, a 2-percent shot to get to the championship game, and a 0.4-percent chance to win it all.

Iowa (28-6)

Regional seed: 2

National ranking: No. 8

Sweet 16 history: 7th appearance, first since 2015. Advanced to the Final Four in 1993.

Coach: Lisa Bluder (35th year overall, 751-358; 19th year at Iowa, 395-216)

Top players: ESPN national player of the year Megan Gustafson (6-3, sr.) leads the nation in scoring (28.0 points per game) and field-goal percentage (.701), and averages 13.5 rebounds per game. Kathleen Doyle (5-9, jr.) adds 12.2 points and 5.8 assists. Hannah Stewart (6-2, sr.) and Tania Davis (5-3, sr.) add 11.1 and 10.4 points per game, respectively.

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How the Hawkeyes got here: Advanced with wins at Iowa City against Mercer (66-61) and Missouri (68-52).

Fivethirtyeight.com says: Hawkeyes have a 45-percent chance to reach the Elite Eight, a 6-percent chance to advance to the Final Four, a 1-percent shot to get to the championship game, and a 0.2-percent chance to win it all.

North Carolina State (28-5)

Regional seed: 3

National ranking: No. 10

Sweet 16 history: 13th appearance, second in a row. Reached the Final Four in 1998.

Coach: Wes Moore (30th year, 698-226; 6th year at NC State, 140-57)

Top players: Kiara Leslie (6-0, sr.) paces the Wolfpack at 15.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Elissa Cunane (6-5, fr.) adds 14.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest. Aislinn Konig (5-9, jr.) leads the backcourt, averaging 10.7 points and 3.7 assists per game while shooting 39.9 percent from long distance.

How the Wolfpack got here: Advanced with wins at Raleigh against Maine (63-51) and Kentucky (72-57).

Fivethirtyeight.com says: Wolfpack have a 55-percent chance to reach the Elite Eight, an 8-percent chance to advance to the Final Four, a 2-percent shot to get to the championship game, and a 0.3-percent chance to win it all.

Iowa's history vs. other Sweet 16 teams

Hawkeyes lead series vs. North Carolina State, 1-0. Other meeting was NCAA tournament first round in 1997 (Iowa won 56-50 at Storrs, Conn.)

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Baylor leads series vs. Hawkeyes, 1-0. Other meeting was NCAA Sweet 16 in 2015 (Baylor won 81-66 at Oklahoma City)

South Carolina leads series vs. Hawkeyes, 1-0. Other meeting was at Hilton Head Island Super Shootout, Dec. 28, 1989 (South Carolina won, 82-76)

l Comments: (319) 368-8857; jeff.linder@thegazette.com

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