No. 3 Iowa State vs. No. 10 Creighton

Iowa State to win by 1 to 5 points -110 (bet $110 to win $100)

Two offensive POWERHOUSES face off here. The Cyclones lead the country in 3-point rate (38.9%) and sit fourth in free throw rate (81%), while the Bluejays’ rank No. 8 in the country in points per 100 possessions. 

Buuuut we also have to talk defense, and Iowa State plays clean (third in free throw rate defense & 13th nationally in rebounds). And who could forget how Creighton bullied Caitlin Clark to just 15 points AND held the Hawkeyes to their lowest total all year? 

These two teams mirror each other to a scary degree, which is why we like this to be a nail-biter.

No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 5 UNC

UNC to win by 1-5 points +375 (bet $100 to win $375)

Soooo can someone say DEFENSE?! It’s the Gamecocks’ calling card, as they allowed just 54 total points in two rounds, breaking the NCAA record of 71 (Oregon State, 2016) for fewest allowed in the first two games. 

Meanwhile, UNC held Arizona to 17 points in the first half and 45 overall in the Round of 32. It might be a different story up against the No. 1 team in the country, but the major concern is South Carolina’s offense, which ranks 310th in the nation in 3-point rate with a concerning 67% free throw rate. Sorry Dawn Staley & Co. we’re feeling an upset here.

No. 2 Texas vs. No. 6 Ohio State

Texas to win by 1 to 5 points -114 (bet $114 to win $100)

Well, we have two teams peaking at the same time. Texas has found its offensive rhythm with Rori Harmon (19 assists to just four turnovers in the first two rounds) and Aaliyah Moore (39 points and 15 rebounds) wheeling and dealing, while the team is averaging 77 points per game since the start of the Big 12 tournament. 

The Longhorns face the sixth-highest scoring team in the country this season, OSU, with the hot-handed duo of Tracy Sheldon and Taylor Mikesell, the second-most accurate 3-point shooter in the country. But we’re not completely sold that these sharpshooters can overwhelm a Longhorn defense that forced 41 turnovers and recorded 20 steals in their first two games.

No. 4 Maryland vs. No. 1 Stanford

Maryland to win by 5-10 points +250 (bet $100 to win $250)

The defending champion Cardinal is riding a 22-game winning streak, earning victories by an average of 33.5 points in the tourney. All the talk was about Francesca Belibi’s dunk in the first round, while the second round featured Lexie Hull’s 36-point performance and Stanford’s 13 3-pointers (!!) 

But like, Maryland, tho!! The Terps look like the team we’ve been waiting for with the big three of Diamond MillerAngel Reese and Ashley Owusu combining for 127 points, 36 rebounds and 16 assists through two games. Maryland is comfortable, confident, and the second-highest scorers in the tournament so far, reminding us of the squad that led the nation in points per game a year ago.

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