Louisville vs Stanford Live

Louisville vS Stanford Live NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament 2018 Stream: in a regional semifinal in Lexington, Ky. From Rupp Arena. Bracket, scores, schedule, updates for Sweet 16 on Friday (3/23/2018).

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Women’s NCAA Tournament 2018 plays on with Sweet 16 games next on the schedule. Games will continue on Friday, March 23. Below find the schedule, bracket, and scores for the Sweet 16 games.

No. 1 overall seed UConn plays No. 5 Duke in one of the Sweet 16 games. No. 1 Mississippi State plays No. 4 N.C. State.

Women’s NCAA Tournament 2018: Bracket

STANFORD >> Something seemed uncharacteristically adrift in the storied program Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer had built.

As early season double-digit losses mounted the Stanford women’s basketball team tumbled out of the Top 25 rankings in December for the first time in 17 years. Grumbling Stanford supporters weren’t used to a 6-6 record from a school that had reached seven Final Fours in the past decade. They weren’t used to home defeats against Western Illinois, a school that would lose to Northern Illinois, Milwaukee and Bradley this season.

“A lot of people weren’t talking about us,” junior forward Alanna Smith said. “They didn’t think we’d been in the equation for a tournament run.”

But the skeptics didn’t know what had been going on inside the locker room for the past year that helped Stanford find its way to the Lexington, Kentucky, regional championships featuring Baylor and Louisville, ranked second and third, respectively, in the AP poll.

The resurgent Cardinal (24-10) plays Louisville (34-2) on Friday at Rupp Arena whereas Baylor meets Oregon State. The winners will play Sunday for a trip to the Final Four.

“We’re all there for each other no matter what,” sophomore guard Mikaela Brewer said this week after fourth-seeded Stanford defeated Florida Gulf Coast to advance to its 11th consecutive Sweet 16.

The journey of Stanford’s revival could be traced to the postseason of 2017 when Brewer sat in a mental health ward on suicide watch. The 5-foot-10 guard dealt with depression instead of shootarounds at the Final Four in Dallas.

Brewer suffers from the obsessive compulsive disorder, a condition in which the player had rituals such as counting numbers and keeping everything organized a specific way. It terrified her as a child because she didn’t know what was wrong. The young woman coped with the condition in high school by diving into academics and basketball.

Hiding it, however, increased her anxiety. Then the deaths of family members and friends in her senior year of high school sent Brewer spiraling. She entered Stanford in a fragile state.

“You want to push it down,” Brewer said. “I have to learn to live with it and how to play basketball with it.”

Cardinal teammates rallied around a teammate who has scored only 24 points in 26 appearances in her first two collegiate seasons. When something triggers a response in practice teammates are there to tell Brewer it’s OK.

She has been so brave and shared with everybody,” fellow sophomore Nadia Fingall said. “It has been good for everybody.”

It put those non-conference defeats into context.

•••

The players’ reaction to Brewer gave VanDerveer a feeling the season wasn’t going to end like a less celebratory period 19 years ago.

That season, Stanford lost four of its first five games and entered Pac-10 play with a 4-7 non-conference record. The Cardinal (18-12) got bounced in the first round of the NCAA tournament by Maine with the Women’s Final Four held in San Jose that year.

The loss marked the second consecutive season Stanford didn’t survive the first round. In 1998, 16th-seeded Harvard shocked the No. 1 Cardinal 71-67 with two of Stanford’s stars out because of injuries.

We call those the Dark Ages,” VanDerveer said.

This season might be the Age of Enlightenment although Stanford started by losing to five teams ranked in the top 10. It reached a boiling point in late November at USF with leading scorer Brittany McPhee on the bench with a stress fracture in a foot.

VanDerveer turned to her guard as the Cardinal trailed by four points at halftime: “If you want to play in the NCAA tournament as a senior, we got to come out and play better,” she said.

It wasn’t one of those “Taraisms” the coach has become famous for inventing.

“I really believed it,” VanDerveer said. “If you’re losing to USF, if you’re losing to Western Illinois, you’re not playing in the tournament.”

McPhee, the Pac-12 scholar-athlete of the year, delivered the message to teammates at War Memorial Gym: “Do you want to be an NIT team or an NCAA team? Guys, this is not how we play.”

Her teammates responded with 11 3-point baskets in the second half for an 86-66 victory.

McPhee’s nine-game absence was compounded by the loss of talented sophomore guard Dijonai Carrington, who missed three contests after suffering a concussion from a collision during practice.

The injuries, an inexperienced team, a new offense and the retirement of associate head coach Amy Tucker have been cited as the reasons it took Stanford so long to coalesce.

“We were in the tank a lot,” VanDerveer said. “We just weren’t that good. To be sitting here today is a little bit surreal, honestly.”

Sonjia Johnson, senior forward Kaylee Johnson’s mom, found it more difficult for the parents to accept the defeats than the players.

Kaylee, in particular, had experienced too much to let the losses eat away at her. The 6-3 Johnson wasn’t sure she could play in her final season of eligibility after receiving treatment for tendinitis in her knees in the summer. She’ll probably need a double knee replacement by age 30, her mother said.

Johnson also lost her father who died May 31 in Kentucky at age 47. VanDerveer said teammates supported Johnson the way they did Brewer.

“They really get it,” the coach said. “It’s not about who is the leading scorer, who is the leading rebounder but it’s about the team. Last year was a great team. It carried over.”

By the time McPhee and Carrington returned, the Cardinal also found a freshman star in Texan Kiana Williams, who has made 19 of 28 3-point shots in the postseason. Williams’ youth coach credited VanDerveer for the rapid rise.

“When you have a legend telling you to shoot the ball, you believe it,” Ray Caldwell said. “It’s almost like Santa Claus talking to you.”

Still, only the quixotic would give Stanford any chance to reach the Women’s Final Four in Columbus, Ohio, after failing to win a Pac-12 title for the second time in 17 years. Louisville, Baylor and No. 13 Oregon State are ranked higher than No. 15 Stanford.

But a national title is the quest each Stanford player is demanding of others inside the Stanford locker room.

Women’s NCAA Tournament 2018: Scores

7 p.m. ET — No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 6 Oregon State | Lexington, Ky. | ESPN2
7 p.m. — No. 1 Mississippi State vs. No. 4 N.C. State | Kansas City, Mo. | ESPN
9 p.m. — No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 4 Stanford | Lexington, Ky. | ESPN
9 p.m. — No. 2 Texas vs. No. 3 UCLA | Kansas City, Mo. | ESPN2

Women’s NCAA Tournament 2018: Schedule
SWEET 16

Friday, March 23

7 p.m. ET — No. 1 Mississippi State vs. No. 5 N.C. State | ESPN | Kansas City, Mo.
7 p.m. — No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 6 Oregon State | ESPN2 | Lexington, Ky.
9:30 p.m. — No. 2 Texas vs. No. 3 UCLA | ESPN2 | Kansas City, Mo.
9:30 p.m. — No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 4 Stanford | ESPN | Lexington, Ky.

Saturday, March 24

11:30 a.m. ET — No. 2 South Carolina vs. No. 11 Buffalo | ESPN | Albany, N.Y.
1 p.m. — No. 1 UConn vs. No. 5 Duke | ESPN | Albany, N.Y.
4 p.m. — No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 4 Texas A&M | ESPN | Spokane, Was.
6:30 p.m. — No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 11 Central Michigan | ESPN | Spokane, Was.

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