March 18, 2016

The Dance begins at Maples

Here is how the teams that will play rounds 1 and 2 in Maples match up statistically:

Stanford San Francisco Miami (FL) South Dakota State
Points per game 67.5 72.0 70.7 70.1
Scoring margin +13.7 +5.1 +10.4 +10.8
Field goal % .421 .431 .433 .415
3-pointers per game 6.5 6.6 6.6 7.9
3-point % .358 .367 .339 .343
Free throw % .691 .745 .638 .704
Rebounds per game 41.5 37.8 39.7 39.8
Rebounding margin +5.3 +2.8 +2.7 +4.0
Assists per game 14.7 15.3 15.7 14.8
Turnovers per game 14.3 16.9 15.8 12.8
Assist/turnover ratio 1.0 0.9 1.0 1.2
Steals per game 7.0 8.6 9.6 7.8
Blocks per game 6.2 3.0 3.4 4.5
Overall record 24-7 21-11 24-8 26-6
Conference record 14-4 9-9 10-6 13-3
RPI 9 72 25 50
Schedule strength 2 135 60 83

FiveThirtyEight gives Stanford a 95% chance of defeating San Francisco and Miami a 69% chance of defeating South Dakota State. The chance of advancing to the Sweet 16 is 84% for Stanford and 12% for Miami.

  University of San Francisco Dons

The Dons finished sixth (of ten) in the West Coast Conference. They earned an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament by upsetting the three top seeds in the WCC Tournament — San Diego by four points, then Saint Mary's by two and finally BYU by two in the championship game.

This is the Dons' first trip to the Big Dance in nineteen years.

Jennifer Azzi, now in her sixth season as head coach on The Hilltop, is very proud of her determined team. "They have just wanted to win and they are doing things that have amazed me," she said.

The Dons average a solid 72 points a game, second in the conference. Senior forward Taylor Proctor is the leading scorer, at 18.5 points a game, and at 6'0", the leading rebounder at 8.5 rpg.

Close behind is 5'9" senior guard Zhane Dikes with 14.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.

Also scoring in double-digits is 5'10" junior guard Rachel Howard with 11.6 ppg; she takes half her shots from beyond the arc and makes 37% of them.

Here are USF's 2015-2016 statistics, roster and game notes.

  University of Miami Hurricanes

The University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida (not to be confused with the one in Oxford, Ohio) plays in the powerhouse Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and finished fifth in the conference behind Notre Dame, Louisville, Syracuse and Florida State.

Miami dropped three of its last four regular season games (to Notre Dame, Louisville and Florida State), then got some momentum back by beating Florida State in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. That win probably got them their at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

Katie Meier, in her 11th season as head coach of the 'Canes has led them to five NCAA Tournament appearances in the past seven seasons.

A lot of Miami’s success can be attributed to junior guard Adrienne Motley, a first team All-ACC player who averages 15.8 points a game, No. 5 in the ACC.

Junior point guard Jessica Thomas adds 11.9 points per game. She takes half her shots from beyond the arc and makes 36% of them. She's also an excellent ball-handler. She dishes an average of 3.7 assists per game with just half as many turnovers.

The 'Canes don't have a domineering post player. They're a fairly short team, but have six players who each grab about four or five rebounds per game.

If you see a big bird cavorting around Maples this weekend, it's probably Sebastian The Ibis, Miami's mascot.

Here are Miami's 2015-2016 statistics, roster and game notes.

  South Dakota State University Jackrabbits

The Jackrabbits play in the Summit League. They earned an automatic bid to the NCAAs by winning the league championship, as they have done seven times in the past eight seasons under the guidance of 16-year head coach Aaron Johnston.

The Jackrabbits are a well-balanced team and very efficient team. Their five starters average from 8.9 to 15.3 points per game with field goal rates between 38% and 47%.

Sophomore guard Macy Miller is the team’s leader in scoring and assists, at 15.3 and 2.8 per game, respectively.

Junior guard/forward Kerri Young averages 10.6 points.

Freshman guard Madison Guebert avera 10.4 points an outing and is the most productive 3-point shooter; she takes 68% of her shots from beyond the arc and makes 40% of them.

Sophomore forward Ellie Thompson tallies 10.2 points and 6.6 rebounds, second-most on the team, per game.

The fifth starter, junior center Clarissa Ober is the team's leading rebounder with 8.0 per game and is close to double-digit scoring with 8.9 per game.

Here are SDSU's 2015-2016 statistics, roster and game notes.

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