NCAA TOURNAMENT: Maryland women end Tennessee's dream of ninth title
Alyssa Thomas scored a career-high 33 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as fourth-seeded Maryland upset No. 1 seed Tennessee, 73-62, in the Louisville Region semifinal.
The Terrapins (27-6) reached their ninth regional final and first since 2012.
They did it against a program the Terps had beaten only four times previously and never before in the NCAA tournament. Maryland improved to 5-10 against Tennessee (29-6) with a little revenge for its previous tournament loss in the 1989 Final Four.
The Lady Vols’ self-titled “GrindFor9” in their chase for a ninth national championship is over.
They will miss the Final Four for a sixth straight season. This hurts even more with the national championship game being played April 8 in Nashville just 179 miles from their home in Knoxville.
Meighan Simmons scored 31 points for Tennessee.
LOUISVILLE 73, LSU 47: Shoni Schimmel scored 19 points, Tia Gibbs added five 3-pointers and third-seeded Louisville rolled seventh-seeded LSU to reach the regional final of the NCAA tournament.
Facing an injury-riddled Tigers squad that dressed just eight players, the Cardinals (33-4) rung up another rout highlighted by a season-best 12 3-pointers with the two seniors leading the way.
Schimmel was 3 of 5 from beyond the arc and three other Cardinals contributed.
LSU (21-13) on the other hand went 31 minutes with just Danielle Ballard (24 points), Jasmine Rhodes (eight) and Theresa Plaisance (seven) scoring before other Tigers chipped in. By then the game was out of hand and the Tigers shot just 24 percent from the field.
Louisville moved on to play host to Maryland on Tuesday night, matching Cardinals coach Jeff Walz against Terrapins counterpart Brenda Frese, whom he worked under from 2002-07 at Maryland.
NORTH CAROLINA 65, SOUTH CAROLINA 58: Another No. 1 seed went down when North Carolina bounced its border rival.
Diamond DeShields escaped two close calls with injury to score 19 points, leading North Carolina one win closer to a sweet reunion with healing coach Sylvia Hatchell.
Brittany Rountree converted a pair of free throws with 1:14 left and two more at the 36.4-second mark to help seal it for the No. 4 seed Tar Heels (27-9), who backed up their December victory against the Gamecocks with another on the NCAA tournament stage.
Alaina Coates hit several key baskets down the stretch on the way to 22 points for South Carolina (29-5), held to 37.7-percent shooting while committing 13 turnovers.
North Carolina needs one more win to be reunited with Hatchell, whose doctors have said she could travel to the Final Four in Nashville, Tenn., after recently undergoing her final chemotherapy session for leukemia.
Hatchell hasn’t coached this season after being diagnosed with leukemia in October, though she does plenty of game planning with associate coach Andrew Calder by phone.