In the opening game, the Washington Huskies, the #9 seed in the San Antonio Region, defeated the #8-seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers 73-69.
The UW victory gave Todd Turner, former athletic director at Vanderbilt and currently AD at Washington, something to smile about in the post-game press conference.
These Florida Atlantic fans had something to cheer about in the first of the FAU game against LSU, as they played the #1-seeded Lady Tigers toe-to-toe for about 10 miinutes.
But before the end of the half, the Lady Tigers took over, led by Player-of-the-Year candidate Seimone Augustus, who finished the game with 22 points.
The evening session featured games in the Cleveland Region. In the first game, the #1-seeded Tar Heels of the University of North Carolina defeated the Highlanders of UC-Riverside 75-51.
a True to their nickname, UCR brought their pipe band instead of a conventional pep band.
Warmups don't always accurately fortell what will happen in a game, but in this case, Vanderbilt did indeed fill up the net in their game against the Louisville Cardinals, shooting 55% from the field for the game.
This 3-pointer by junior guard Caroline Williams two minutes into the game tied the school record for 3-point shots made in a season, set last year by Abi Ramsey. She went on to finish the night with 21 points, six of them coming on 3-point shots, and the other three coming on an old-fashioned 3-point play.
At the start of the second half, the score was tied 36-36, but as the half progressed, the Cardinals took a 6-point lead at 52-46. Another 3-pointer from Williams trimmed their lead back to 52-49.
With Vanderbilt leading by one point at 65-64 with 2:24 left, Williams scored on a drive and was fouled. After the timeout, she sank the free throw to give Vanderbilt a 66-64 lead. As it turned out, the Commodore defense would hold the Cardinals scoreless for the remainder of the game.
Down the stretch, the Dores were a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line, including 6-6 by junior post Carla Thomas, to seal the 76-64 victory.
After the game, former Vanderbilt teammates Chavonne Hammond Taylor, now an assistant coach at Tennesse State University, and Candice Story, now the NCAA compliance officer at Vanderbilt, posed for a photo.
In the press conference after the game, Caroline Williams smiled as she talked about her old-fashioned 3-point play. The coaches for both teams agreed that it was a turning point in the game.
Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb is now faced with preparing her team to meet UNC, the #1 team in the country, on Monday night at 6 p.m. In the second game of the night, at approximately 8:30 p.m., the LSU Lady Tigers will face the Washington Huskies. Tickets are available at the Vanderbilt ticket office.