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Duke Women #1 Seed In the Midwest!

The Duke women picked up a #1 seed for the third straight year. Thanks to NC State finishing out of
the tournament, Duke will host games in Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh.
Their first round game will be against Georgia State, champions of the
Atlantic Sun Conference (formerly the TAAC). This is a very good program
that will be going to the tourney for the third straight year. They did
have some common opponents with Duke: they beat FIU 72-67, lost to Georgia
Tech 65-46, and lost to Florida State 73-60. They also played Kansas,
Georgia, and Mississippi to round out a challenging non-conference
schedule for a low-major team. The Lady Panthers are on a roll, winning
their last ten games, including the conference title on Central Florida's
home floor. Their two best players are Evita Rogers and Angelina Miller,
who average 15.7 ppg & 5.8 and 13.5 ppg & 4 rpg, respectively. Rogers
plays at power forward at 5-11 and Miller is a 5-9 guard. This team does
not have a lot of size but they are fairly accurate from the field (42%)
and like to shoot threes. They average 66 ppg and give up only 53 ppg.
Duke will have had a much longer layoff than Georgia State, and might show
some rust in the early going. That game will be on Sunday the 23rd; times

I won't go into much detail about the rest of the bracket. Texas Tech
is, in my opinion, the toughest #2 seed in the tournament. #3
seed Mississippi State has the single best offensive player in the
country in LaToya Thomas. #4 seed Rutgers is a very tough defensive team
with a great frosh in Cappie Pondexter. #5 seed Georgia was ranked higher
before they lost star Kara Braxton. #6 seed New Mexico will be a definite
spoiler because they will host the first round despite being a lower seed,
and in fact could hold the regional finals there as well if they win
through. (Luckily, Duke has played two games in the Pit, back in the fall
of 2000.) Texas Tech has a very tough bracket, with SMS in the first
round a potential meeting with either UCSB or Xavier. Lastly, former Duke
player and current Charlotte coach is the #12 seed and is on Duke's side
of the bracket. I'll have more to say about Utah and DePaul if Duke beats
Georgia State.

On the other brackets: The West is brutal, with tons of ranked teams.
Texas having to play Arkansas in the second round is not exactly a big
favor. Same goes for Stanford possibly playing Minnesota. LSU has a
slightly easier go of it on their side of the bracket. Tennessee
literally has the Knoxville Invitational set up, with all four games at
home. Penn State or South Carolina won't give them much trouble; both are
built around a single top scorer. I do think that Virginia has the talent
to give them some nervous moments in the second round, but doesn't have
the experience to beat them. #2 seed Villanova is playing on the #10
seed's home floor, while flaky #3 UNC probably has the best chance to beat them, in terms of talent. Lastly, UConn would have to beat Vandy & Kansas
State to go to the Final Four--not an easy task. Note that Georgia Tech
made it into the tourney as a 10 seed.