March 20, 2023 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: Down goes Stanford and more as the 2023 NCAA tournament marches on

Missy and Alex break down the upset, Stanford's struggles and Iowa's win

It’s time for another episode of the Locked on Women’s Basketball podcast. Ole Miss takes down No. 1 seeded Stanford in the second round of the NCAA Tournament and it was just one of a host of great games to start the 2023 NCAA Tournament. Host Missy Heidrick is joined by Bay Area News Group’s Alex Simon to break down the upset in Palo Alto and so much more as the tournament kicks off.

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Alex talks about Stanford and why they struggled last night against Ole Miss. And Missy talks about Ole Miss’ journey throughout the years:

[Alex] “It was quite the defensive showdown, wasn’t it? I mean, I will give the Stanford crowd a lot of credit. That place was not sold out. But it was really full and actually extremely raucous. But this is a Stanford team that we’ve identified some of the struggles that they’ve had all season. And even a few of them that we thought could be issues going into the season. As talented as they were, a very athletic, very defensively stout Ole Miss team kind of dared Stanford to beat them with offense and Stanford wasn’t able to do it.”

[Missy] “Keep in mind three years ago, this is an Ole Miss team that went winless in SEC play. Back to Back NCAA Tournament trips. A year ago, they were sent out in the first round; I thought a very unassuming very lackadaisical effort by Ole Miss. They had Shakira Austin, a top-five draft pick in the WNBA. They get beat by South Dakota, a mid-major team, they were done a lot of questions about what this Ole Miss squad was going to look like this year, but they battled and they just seemed to have a mentality that they could stay in games that they could play with top teams.

We saw them do it with South Carolina. We saw them do it with LSU. And that was one of the things I think I took out of some of the comments from players. And obviously, from Coach Yo, who is just, I think, a polarizing and fantastic ambassador for women’s basketball. But they kept talking about battle tested.”

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Alex talks about Iowa’s survival mentality in last night’s game against Georgia:

“I think Iowa, the thing about Iowa is that I’ve had to even check myself on this because we’ve kind of fall into the trap that they’re not a good defensive team because for a while they weren’t and especially at the start of the year. But as the seasons go on, if you look at their adjusted ratings, if you check their defensive numbers, they have grown into a pretty solid defensive team. Not great. They’re not at the levels of the teams that I saw here at Stanford last night. But they have certainly improved on that end, that they can win a game where you don’t need to hit the 80s, the 90s, or the 100s in order to win your basketball game last night. I mean, there was free throws at the end, but they effectively won that game at 70 points.

And if I was able to win games in which it is a little more difficult for them to score, the way that it was yesterday, that portends to a lot of good things, especially if they don’t have to see the Stanford team down the line anymore in their region. And it might be setting up a road where you know, we get Caitlin Clark and Aliyah Boston in the Final for head-to-head, that path is now there for the Hawkeyes. And that’s pretty fun for the rest of us.”

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For more coverage of the NCAAW, click here.

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