Here are the FOWLES scores for the upcoming Sweet Sixteen match-ups.
|#3 NC State vs. #2 Iowa||ESPN||3/30 11:30 a.m.||79.6|
|#4 Oregon State vs. #1 Louisville||ESPN||3/29 9 p.m.||75.8|
|#6 South Dakota State vs. #2 Oregon||ESPN2||3/29 11 p.m.||75.5|
|#4 South Carolina vs. #1 Baylor||ESPN||3/30 1:30 p.m.||74.5|
|#6 UCLA vs. #2 UConn||ESPN||3/29 7 p.m.||74.3|
|#4 Texas A&M vs. #1 Notre Dame||ESPN2||3/30 4 p.m.||73.1|
|#5 Arizona State vs. #1 Mississippi State||ESPN2||3/29 9 p.m.||72.1|
|#11 Missouri State vs. #2 Stanford||ESPN2||3/30 6 p.m.||70.0|
FOWLES really likes NC State vs. Iowa because of how close these teams are together in Warren Nolan’s ELO rating. Unsurprisingly as a #11 vs. #2 match-up, Missouri State vs. Stanford ranks lowly in this category. Of course, Missouri State playing well against the Cardinal would make this one of the most noteworthy games in this round, but FOWLES doesn’t consider that.
None of these games really look to be a sprint, but Arizona State and Mississippi State will most likely end up being the slowest paced game of the eight. Arizona State was involved with the expected slowest game in the round of 32 with Miami and in the first round with UCF.
South Dakota State & Oregon is the best offensive match-up of the tournament so far. Oregon is the best team in the country in points per 100 possessions per game (per Her Hoop Stats), while South Dakota State ranks seventh.
If you’re a fan of shots from downtown, I wouldn’t expect A&M-Notre Dame or South Carolina-Baylor to scratch that itch for you. For all of the reasons to watch those two games – the amazing young talent of the Aggies like Chennedy Carter & Ciera Johnson or Tyasha Harris of South Carolina, or this season’s likely first round WNBA draft picks Teaira McCowan of Mississippi State or Jackie Young & Arike Ogunbowale of Notre Dame – an eagerness to engage with three pointers on offense is not one of them. Baylor takes the least three pointers as a proportion of their field goal tries of any D-I school, while Texas A&M and Notre Dame rank as the seventh and eighth least likely to throw up a trey. By comparison, South Carolina are the Golden State Warriors of this bunch, as they only rank among the 100 teams that are the least likely to take a three pointer.
On the defensive end, South Carolina & Baylor are going to throw their own block party. They’re the top two teams in blocked shots. None of the games in this round particularly look like they’ll feature a lot of turnovers, though Arizona State vs. Mississippi State is the game where the teams combine for the highest ranks in turnovers forced per game.