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Saturday’s March Madness: Cinderella Run Ends for No. 13 Seed Furman

  • March 18, 2023

Indiana’s rout of Tennessee Tech put all four No. 1s in the N.C.A.A. women’s tournament into the second round, and perhaps highlighted a reality that has shifted in recent years:

Though a 16-over-1 March Madness upset is exceedingly rare, it’s probably even harder to pull off in the women’s tournament right now than in the men’s.

One night after the Fairleigh Dickinson men delivered the stunner of these festivities over No. 1 seed Purdue, the Indiana women romped past Tennessee Tech by 30 points, 77-47, joining fellow No. 1s South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Stanford in the second round. All four of those teams, playing with home-court advantage, won with ease to start their tournament run, with Virginia Tech winning by the tightest margin at 25 points over Chattanooga.

On Saturday, the Hoosiers pulled away in the second quarter, outscoring Tennessee Tech 21-9 in the period, and shot a breezy 58 percent for the game as their lead grew and grew. Sydney Parrish led with 19 points.

The men’s tournament had gone without a No. 16 defeating a No. 1 before 2018, but it has now happened twice in the past five tournaments. A similar upset has only occurred once in the women’s tournament since it expanded to 64 teams, when No. 16 seed Harvard beat top-seeded Stanford in 1998.

In that game, Harvard came in feeling like it deserved a higher seed, while Stanford lost two key players, Vanessa Nygaard and Kristin Folkl, to severe knee injuries in the week leading up to the game.

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