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Local Sports

March 27, 2014

DePaul one of a few surprises in women's tourney

Regional semifinal rounds begin Saturday

Two rounds in the books of the NCAA women’s tournament and everything is almost going according to seed, well except for the Nebraska Regional.

Coming into the tournament it seemed that UConn may have the easiest road to the Final Four. That path got potentially easier with the upset of fourth-seeded Nebraska and No. 2 seed Duke.

Don’t count UConn coach Geno Auriemma among those looking at it that way.

“I’m sure all the talk will be for the next three days how, ‘If it wasn’t going to be easy enough for Connecticut to go to the Final Four, now it’s going to be real easy, because No. 2 and No. 4 are out,” Geno Auriemma said. “That would be kind of disrespectful to the teams that are already there.”

While the Nebraska Regional has 12 seed BYU and No. 7 seed DePaul still standing, the other three regions didn’t have too many surprises.

The top four seeds advanced to Stanford. Fifth-seeded Oklahoma State joined the top three seeds in South Bend, Ind. Seventh-seeded LSU crashed the Louisville region by beating No. 2 seed West Virginia. Then again, the Lady Tigers did win at home.

It marked the first time since 2010 that two No. 2 seeds got knocked out in the second round.

Home-court advantage could be huge for Notre Dame, Stanford and Louisville. The trio, which are hosting regionals, have lost one game combined on their own courts this season.

Here’s five things to watch for in the regional semifinals.

PARTY CRASHERS

BYU is the biggest party crasher to the Sweet 16. The Cougars earned their first trip to the regional semifinals with a victory over Nebraska. The Cougars reward — top seeded UConn. Throw in seven seeds DePaul, which includes Logan product Jasmine Penny, and LSU and there is some intrigue. It’s not the same as the men’s bracket which has three double-digit seeds still standing.

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