Fresh off a 23-point win in their NCAA women’s tournament opener against Hawaii, the No. 3-seeded LSU Tigers (29-2) will be back in action on Sunday for a second-round duel against the No. 6-seeded Michigan Wolverines (23-9), who moved on by virtue of a 71-59 win over 11-seeded UNLV.
The Tigers will look to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2014, as well as the first time under second-year coach Kim Mulkey. LSU was also a No. 3 seed last year but was eliminated in the second round by a No. 6-seeded Big Ten team in Ohio State. It will hope for a different result this time around.
“We’re heading in the right direction,” Mulkey, who will be coaching her 800th career game on Sunday, said in a release. “This would just be another stepping stone that we’ve stepped on.”
The Wolverines played a difficult schedule but only earned one ranked win on the year. They ranked as high as No. 12 but dropped after dropping three of their final four regular-season games, and they were eliminated by the rival Buckeyes in the quarterfinals at the Big Ten Tournament.
“It’s just going to be a very, very good matchup,” Coach Mulkey said. “The difference is we have maybe a little bit more speed, they have more height. What is it going to take? It’s going to take just grinding.
“They have been together a while, and they play like it. They know every move each of them makes, and you can just tell as a coach they just run a little bit more smooth.”
LSU will look to exceed last season’s finish on Sunday night against Michigan. Here’s everything you need to know to follow this one, which tips at 6:30 p.m CT.
LSU is healthy entering this game.
- Points — F Angel Reese (23.7 PPG)
- Rebounds — F Angel Reese (15.5 RPG)
- Assists — G Alexis Morris (4.1 APG)
- Steals — F Angel Reese (1.9 SPG)
- Blocks — F Angel Reese (1.5 BPG)
- Points — G Leigha Brown (18.0 PPG)
- Rebounds —F Emily Kiser (7.2 RPG)
- Assists — G Leigha Brown (5.9 APG)
- Steals — G Maddie Nolan (1.55 SPG)
- Blocks — F Emily Kiser (0.8 BPG)
It was mostly smooth sailing in the first round for LSU against Hawaii, but I expect this to be a much tougher matchup for the Tigers. Michigan is a good team and ranked in the top 25, and this will be one of the better teams LSU has played all year. With that being said, this team has improved in practically every way this season, and I think…
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