Sweet 16 round ups: Albany regional

South Carolina 66, Virginia 56:

Columbia – Last years NCAA National Champions solidified their spot in the Sweet 16 once again, after a 66-56 win against Virginia to kick off the second round of the Albany Region.

A’ja Wilson led her team with 25 points and 15 rebounds for the Gamecocks. Bianca Jackson chipped in 13 points.

South Carolina outscored the Cavaliers throughout each quarter.

Virginia came out hot and held a small lead in the first quarter, but once South Carolina found their groove toward the end of the second, the Cavaliers could not recover.

Player to watch: This year, Wilson was named First Team All-SEC, Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year and is predicted to be the No.1 pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft. She is the nation’s fourth-leading scorer, with 2,342 career points. Wilson has been the top point-getter for the Gamecocks throughout the first two Tournament rounds, with 19 points against North Carolina A&T and 25 points against Virginia. If Buffalo has any chance to make it to the Elite 8, round someone will need to step up and stop Wilson.

UConn 71, Quinnipiac 46:

Storrs – Quinnnipiac senior Carly Fabbri played her last game in front of mom/Bobcats head coach Tricia Fabbri, as undefeated UConn handled last year’s Cinderella team.

The powerhouse Huskies are on a mission after blowing out St. Francis, 140 to 52 on Saturday. This momentum means that Sweet 16 opponent Duke will have to show up and play their best basketball to have a chance against them.

Quinnipiac struggled with UConn’s height in the paint, and gave up a lot of rebounds on both ends. Over-helping inside the paint left the perimeter open for Husky senior Kia Nurse to do what she does best, as she shot 60 percent from the three-point line. Napheesa Collier leads the team with 23 points eight rebounds.

Player to watch: Nurse, is leaving it all on the court for her last NCAA tournament. She scored a double-double in the first round of the Tournament with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and she had 13 points in the second round, but she is not finished yet. Expect this two-time national champion to help her team take the title back this season.

Duke 66, Georgia, 40:

Athens – Georgia suffered a scoring drought in the second quarter against the Blue Devils, and it cost them a spot in the next round of Tournament play.

Four of Duke’s five starters scored in double digits, led by Leanne Odom with 16 points and seven rebounds.

The Blue Devils held the Bulldogs to 12 points for about eight minutes before Que Morrison opened the scoring back up with 2:34 left in the second quarter. Georgia played hard until the end, including their 21 offensive rebounds, but they couldn’t convert them to points.

Player to watch: Duke star senior Lexie Brown, is leading her team in assists, and contributed 13 points against Belmont and 14 points against the Bulldogs. The Blue Devils have not made a Final Four appearance since 2006, but with Brown, odds may be in their favor, even against their next opponent, UConn.

Buffalo 86, Florida State 65:

Tallahassee – It could have been anyone’s game early in the first half, but aggressive Buffalo consecutively outscored Florida State in every quarter to secure a spot in the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history.

The Bulls rolled through Florida, first upsetting South Florida, 102-79.  Next they face the defending champion Gamecocks.

Player to Watch: Guard Cierra Dillard has carried Buffalo these first two rounds as the team’s leading scorer dropping 36 and 22 points, respectively.