Major updates:

  • March 23, 2021, 7:40 PM ET.

March 23, 2021, 7:40 PM ET.

Nell Fortner leads another team for the second weekend.

  • March 23, 2021, 7:24 PM ET.

March 23, 2021, 7:24 PM ET.

Michigan in his first Sweet 16.

  • March 20, 2021, 5:44 PM ET.

March 20, 2021, 5:44 PM ET.

Iowa is still the Caitlin Clark Show.

  • March 23, 2021, 5:22 PM ET.

March 23, 2021, 5:22 PM ET.

The highest ranked, North Carolina State, has another panic start.

  • March 23, 2021, 15:49 ET.

March 23, 2021, 15:49 ET.

You want to broadcast the games? Here’s how.

  • March 23, 2021, 2:40 p.m. ET.

March 23, 2021, 2:40 p.m. ET.

Nastasha Mack and Oklahoma State turn to Stanford and its dismal underdog record.

  • March 23, 2021, 2:39 PM ET.

March 23, 2021, 2:39 PM ET.

The UConn women will meet Syracuse without a coach and (possibly) without a key player.

March 23, 2021, 7:54 PM ET.

March 23, 2021, 7:54 PM ET.

No. 2 seeded Baylor leads 40-22 at halftime against No. 7 seeded Virginia Tech. The Bears were led by 13 points from Dijonai Carrington and limited the Hokies to 26 percent shooting. Nalissa Smith, who was struggling with fouls, played just seven minutes.

March 23, 2021, 7:48 PM ET.

March 23, 2021, 7:48 PM ET.

Oregon State committed six turnovers in the final seven minutes of the second quarter and made just 1-for-10 shots; South Carolina led 14-2 during that stretch. The No. 1 team enters the second half with a 12-point lead.

March 23, 2021, 7:40 PM ET.

March 23, 2021, 7:40 PM ET.

Georgia Tech coach Nell Fortner won Tuesday after complaining about the difference between men’s and women’s college basketball … Ben McCown/Associated Press

On the same day she criticized the N.C.A.A. for its inconsistent treatment of the men’s and women’s tournament, Georgia Tech coach Nell Fortner led her squad to the Sweet 16 for the first time in her historic career. Their Yellow Jackets defeated West Virginia 73-56 in the fourth.

Fortner has coached women’s soccer at every level for nearly four decades and even led the United States to Olympic gold in 2000. This is her 11th season as an N.C.A.A. head coach; her first appearance at the tournament was as an assistant coach to Stephen F. Austin in 1988.

Fortner has not coached since 2012, when she left her position as head coach at Auburn. Before Fortner returned to the sidelines in 2019, he was a regular on ESPN’s women’s basketball coverage as an analyst. In a tweet Tuesday, she complained about the disparity between the N.C.A.A. men’s and women’s tournaments.

These inequities are merely a nod to larger, more far-reaching problems with women’s sports and the N.C.A.A., Fortner writes. Second, delivery in racks with multiple scales is not the answer. It’s a band-aid and an afterthought.

The Yellow Jackets have reached the Round of 16 once before, under former coach MaChelle Joseph in 2012.

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No. 5 seeded Georgia Tech defeated No. 4 seeded West Virginia 73-56.

Lotta-Mai Lahtinen scored 22 points and Lorela Kubai 21 points.

March 23, 2021, 7:25 p.m. ET.

March 23, 2021, 7:25 p.m. ET.

The best seeds wake up today. No. 8-seeded Oregon State was down by one point after the first quarter, while South Carolina ended a nearly three-game drought on a layup by Destanny Henderson. It’s reminiscent of N.C. State’s first quarter against South Florida, where the Wolfpack had a weak first half before pulling away.

March 23, 2021, 7:24 PM ET.

March 23, 2021, 7:24 PM ET.

Naz Hillmon scored 19 points for Michigan in the win over Tennessee…Credit…Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

For the first time in program history, the Wolverines are in the Sweet 16.

That milestone was reached with a victory over one of the most storied teams in women’s college basketball. Michigan beat third-seeded Tennessee in the second round, and it wasn’t particularly close. The Wolverines led by double digits for most of the second half, allowing junior forward Naz Hillmon and her teammates to fill the stats with goals that drew cheers from the bench. As the game entered the final period, Michigan led 70-55.

It’s great for people to see that Michigan is not only a football and basketball school for men, but also a basketball school for women, coach Kim Barnes Arico told reporters after the game.

Despite their size and experience advantage, the Lady Volunteers quietly earned their 36th career straight N.C.A.A. tournament victory. Tennessee scored only 19 points in the first half. Even when the star duo of Rennia Davis and Ray Burrell warmed up a bit in the second half, the two players only managed to get six of their fourteen shot attempts off the floor, not enough in fact.

By comparison, the Wolverines’ shots fell better, but they also forced 13 steals against Tennessee – including five from junior guard Danielle Rauch – and 21 points off Tennessee turnovers. Hillmon, the Big Ten Player of the Year, led her team with 15 double-doubles on the season, as well as her infectious energy. In the final minute of play, with the Lady Vols’ hopes all but dashed, Hillmon again got close to her teammates and helped them avoid critical mistakes in the final moments of the game.

I’ve won a lot of individual awards this year, and that’s always great, Hillmon told reporters after the game, his voice cracking. But finally being recognized by the team was the best reward I could get. I was excited, but this group is special.

Barnes Arico, already the winningest women’s basketball coach in program history, has already reached the Round of 16: She led St. John’s to its first Sweet 16 program in 2012. Now she has a new chance to go even further.

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Sixth-seeded Michigan beat third-seeded Tennessee 70-55.

This is the first time the Wolverines have reached the Round of 16.

23. 2021 March, 17:51 ET

23. 2021 March, 17:51 ET

Tennessee, 3rd seed, 6th seed, Michigan, 28-19, at halftime. Leigha Brown scored a game-high 28 points in Michigan’s first game in the tournament, and now forward Haley Brown leads all players in the semifinals with 11 points. They’re not related.

March 20, 2021, 5:44 PM ET.

March 20, 2021, 5:44 PM ET.

Caitlin Clark is four points behind Kentucky…. Ronald Cortez/Associated Press …

Caitlin Clark and her Iowa Hawkeyes have done their part in qualifying for the Sweet 16, and are now waiting to see if UConn joins them there with the top placement.

Clark, the nation’s top scorer, dominated No. 5 seeded Iowa’s 86-72 victory over No. 4 seeded Kentucky with 35 points, a game that was not as close as the final score suggested.

We weren’t on the field at the beginning of the season, Clark said. But this team had confidence and believed in their coaches. The coaches believed in us and we worked hard every day, we will continue to do that in the Sweet 16.

As always when she plays, Clark was unmatched on the floor and outclassed Kentucky at times in singles play. Clark’s performance is just four points away from his career high at the Iowa Summit Tournament. She made six three-pointers, seven rebounds and six assists.

With 24 points at halftime, Clark scored more than Kentucky in the first two periods (the Wildcats then had 22 points).

I felt my shot early in the first half, Clark said. So if she leaves, you keep shooting her.

Clark leads the nation with 12 games in which she has scored at least 30 points. She also became the first player to score 35 points in the tournament.

Clark’s career high was 39 points against Nebraska on the 11th. February.

Iowa’s win opens the door for a possible matchup with Clark’s star recruit Paige Buchers and her high-scoring opponent from UConn, depending on the outcome of their game against Syracuse on Tuesday night.

Reaching the Round of 16 is special, Clark said.

The Hawkeyes opened the game with an 11-0 run and never trailed again. They led 23-11 after one quarter and scored a whopping 26 points in the second.

The Wildcats scored 22 points in the second quarter, more than any other Iowa opponent this season.

Even if the defense didn’t stop Kentucky, Clark’s scoring pace was unstoppable. She didn’t give up, even when Kentucky – behind 28 points from Ryne Howard – tried to come back.

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Fifth-seeded Iowa beat fourth-seeded Kentucky, 86-72.

Caitlin Clark stole the show with 35 points, including six three-pointers and six assists.

March 23, 2021, 5:22 PM ET.

March 23, 2021, 5:22 PM ET.

Jada Boyd led North Carolina in the third quarter as the Wolfpack distanced themselves from South Florida. Credit…Eric Gay/Associated Press

After a slow start, No. 1-seeded North Carolina State again dominated a lower-ranked opponent in the second half to earn its third consecutive Sweet 16 berth.

The Wolfpack were behind against South Florida (No. 1 vs. No. 8) at halftime on Tuesday, but eventually won 79-67. Offensively not much has changed, but defensively it has. The Wolfpack limited the Bulls’ shooting percentage to 28% in the second half.

It always takes some time to get used to the way some teams play, said sophomore Jakiya Brown-Turner after the game. I always tell my teammates that the first three minutes of the third quarter are the most important part of the game.

South Florida led 36-35 at halftime after making six three-pointers in the first half. Three of them were made by the student Elena Zineke, who has a lot of experience representing Greece, her home country, in the international game. In the second half, however, he went cold and made just one of six three-pointers from a team that didn’t count on it for alternatives when they weren’t scoring.

North Carolina State’s powerhouse in the third quarter, in which it led by 14 points, was the Atlantic Coast Conference’s sixth player of the year, Jada Boyd. She scored seven points and, more importantly, grabbed five rebounds in the period. Boyd is usually on the bench, but in this match she replaced striker Kayla Jones, who suffered a knee injury on the team’s debut in the tournament.

Rebounding wins championships, North Carolina State coach Wes Moore told reporters after the game. We have to defend and rebuild if we want to stay.

Boyd had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Five different N.C. State players finished the game with at least 10 points, a testament to the balance of a team that has only really started to shine after a few quarters in this tournament.

The Wolfpack used a strong third quarter to beat 16th-ranked North Carolina A&T 79-58 in the first round.

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No. 1 seeded North Carolina State defeated No. 8 seeded South Florida 79-67.

North Carolina distanced itself in the third quarter and defeated South Florida 24-11.

March 23, 2021, 4:00 p.m. ET.

March 23, 2021, 4:00 p.m. ET.

Paid spectators are not yet allowed to attend the games in San Antonio. The Alamodome, where South Florida led by one point at halftime against North Florida State, is eerily quiet for such an evenly matched game. At this point, each person on the team can host up to six guests. The bleachers behind the hoops are completely empty, and the only side of the field with bleachers has about 30 guests.

March 23, 2021, 15:57 ET.

March 23, 2021, 15:57 ET.

Caitlin Clark’s 11 points in the first quarter gave No. 5 Iowa a 23-11 lead at No. 4 Kentucky after one quarter. Clark made 4 of 7 shots on goal.

March 23, 2021, 15:53 ET.

March 23, 2021, 15:53 ET.

If South Florida keeps the momentum going, North Carolina State might be the first to enter the tournament. The teams battled to take the lead and tied the score at halftime on a jump shot by Cristina Bermejo. Elissa Coonan missed a 3-pointer with two seconds left that could have turned the tide. 36-35, South Florida.

March 23, 2021, 15:49 ET.

March 23, 2021, 15:49 ET.

South Florida plays the first game of the second round and faces North Carolina…Credit…Eric Gay/Associated Press

The tournament’s games will be broadcast on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU and can be streamed through the ESPN app. Here is the schedule for Tuesday and Wednesday (all times Eastern):

Tuesday

  • 3pm. – North Carolina State, no. 1, against South Florida State, no. 8, ESPN2.
  • 3:30 p.m. – No. 4 Kentucky vs. No. 5 Iowa, ESPNU.
  • 5 p.m. – No. 3 seed Tennessee vs. No. 6 seed Michigan, ESPN2
  • 17 H 30. – No. 4 is scheduled to face West Virginia against No. 5 is scheduled to face Georgia Tech, ESPNU reported.
  • 7 p.m. – No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 8 Oregon State, ESPN.
  • 7 p.m. – No. 2 Baylor vs. No. 2 Virginia Tech 7, ESPN2.
  • 9:00 p.m. – Connecticut placed first against Syracuse placed eighth, ESPN.
  • 9:00 p.m. – No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 8 Oklahoma State, ESPN2.

Environment

  • 1 p.m. – No. 2 Maryland vs. No. 7 Alabama, ESPN2.
  • 3pm. – No. 3 seeded Georgia against No. 6 seeded Oregon, ESPN2.
  • 3pm. – No. 5 seeded Missouri State against No. 13 seeded Wright State, ESPNU.
  • 5 pm. – Number 2 Louisville versus number 7 Northwestern, ESPN 2.
  • 5 pm. – Fourth-seeded Indiana against 12th-seeded Belmont, ESPNU
  • 7 p.m. – No. 2 Texas A&M vs. No. 7 Iowa State, ESPN2
  • 7 p.m. – Third-seeded Arizona against 11th-seeded Brigham Young, ESPNU.
  • 9 p.m.. – No. 3 seed U.C.L.A. vs. No. 6 seed Texas, ESPN2

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March 23, 2021, 15:33 ET.

March 23, 2021, 15:33 ET.

Mark Emmert went to San Antonio. Faced with criticism from players and coaches about the difference between the facilities, coronavirus testing and marketing of the men’s and women’s tournaments, the president of the N.C.A.A. attends the first game of the second round of the women’s tournament – which happens to be the first part of the competition not to be played simultaneously with the men’s games.

March 23, 2021, 3:26 PM ET.

March 23, 2021, 3:26 PM ET.

South Florida held off No. 1 N.C. State and led by just one point after the first quarter on a three-pointer by guard Maria Alvarez with 11 seconds left.

March 23, 2021, 2:41 p.m. ET.

March 23, 2021, 2:41 p.m. ET.

If Caitlin Clark and Iowa get past Kentucky in the second round, they could face UConn.Credit…Eric Gay/Associated Press

Caitlin Clark and Iowa will take on Kentucky in the second round. A prize? The winner will likely take on top-seeded UConn.

The Sweet 16 is what you dream of as a basketball player, said Clark, who led the nation in scoring this season. This is a great opportunity. We have nothing to lose.

Iowa won seven of nine games, helped by the well-documented success of Clark, their freshman star. His average of 26.7 points per game this season has drawn the most attention, but his passing ability and 3-point shooting range have also helped take the pressure off the defense.

Kentucky may present a more difficult challenge. The Wildcats and Hawkeyes have a common opponent this season, Indiana; Kentucky beat the Hoosiers 72-68, and Iowa has lost to them twice in the Big Ten.

Kentucky used the rebound advantage – it had 16 offensive rebounds – to keep Idaho State scoreless in the first half. Senior Chasity Patterson and star junior Ryne Howard each scored 14 points.

But the Hawks will enter the second round with something else: a chip on their shoulder.

At the beginning of the year, people said: Oh, if only they could get to the N.C.A.A. tournament, Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said of her team, adding: Then it’s O if they can only win one game.

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March 23, 2021, 2:40 p.m. ET.

March 23, 2021, 2:40 p.m. ET.

Natasha Mac jumped over chairs to cheer on her teammates in the first round. Credit…Ronald Cortez/Associated Press

After a first-round victory on Tuesday, no one will be able to make it to the next round. 1 Stanford will take on Natasha Mack and No. 8 Oklahoma State.

The Cowgirls face a doubly difficult task with the top spot and their own difficult history: They are between 3 and 11 years old when they play as outsiders in the tournament. But they also have 6-foot-5 Mack, an intriguing shot-blocker and rebounder who could be one of the most overlooked players in the country.

A rare W.N.B.A. prospect with two years of community college basketball on his resume. Mack was one of the top recruits in high school before joining the Big 12. Mack attended Houston after high school, but was never admitted and eventually went to the small Angelina College in her hometown of Lufkin, Texas, where she became an American as a freshman.

She is now one of four finalists for Naismith Women’s Defensive Player of the Year after leading the country with 4.1 blocks per game. She ranks third nationally with 9.3 defensive rebounds per game.

Mack had 27 points and 15 rebounds in the Cowgirls’ first-round victory over Wake Forest, along with four assists. Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell praised the aggressive nature of her performance – she was too unselfish at times, he said afterward – but Mack acknowledged that she and her team need to be better against Stanford.

It’s such a strong feeling, Mac said. It’s like there’s a spotlight on you.

We need to bring the same energy, she added. It’s going to get harder and harder from now on.

The four No. 1 seeds can advance to the second weekend of the tournament if they win Tuesday. In addition to Stanford, UConn will take on Syracuse, No. 1 South Carolina will take on No. 8 Oregon State, which is looking to reach the Round of 16 for the fifth time in a row, and North Carolina State will take on South Florida.

The Wolfpack ran into a few problems in the first round against no. 16 North Carolina A&T, but pulled away with a strong second half. According to North Carolina State coach Wes Moore, that may be due in part to rust; his team hasn’t played since Week 7. The march is no longer played.

I felt like we needed to put more pressure on, Moore said of the quick turnaround to another opponent. We’ve been here for two weeks and we need to find our mojo and develop more energy and urgency on the defensive side.

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March 23, 2021, 2:39 PM ET.

March 23, 2021, 2:39 PM ET.

Nika Muehl was injured in UConn’s first-round victory. Credit…Eric Gay/Associated Press

As expected, UConn defeated High Point in its opener by 24 points behind rookie star Paige Buchers, but UConn’s maturity level is rapidly increasing.

In the next round, the Huskies will face a Syracuse team that impressed in the first round against South Dakota State. And while UConn was already without coach Geno Auriemma, who tested positive for the coronavirus before the tournament, it was now also without freshman Niki Muhl, who sprained her right ankle on Sunday.

Muhl, a Croatian, walked on crutches in UConn’s win over High Point. She’s questionable for the Syracuse game, but Huskies interim coach Chris Daly wasn’t ready to rule her out Monday.

If there’s any way Nika can be on the field, she’ll be there, Daly said.

Sunday’s win was the 27th for UConn. First consecutive victory in the tour. But perhaps it was more satisfying (and reassuring) for the team’s coaches as Bookers – who also had nine rebounds, six assists, four steals and two blocks in 36 minutes – and several other members of the junior class made their debuts in the game. Another freshman, Aaliyah Edwards, registered a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Syracuse, ranked No. 8, defeated South Dakota State 72-55 after a strong second half. Emily Engstlerr’s 18 points provided a balanced attack – all five Syracuse starters scored in double figures – and the Orange set a record with 14 blocks.

Guard Tiana Mangakahia, however, could be a player the Huskies want to keep: She leads the country with 7.47 assists per game.

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frequently asked questions

Will NCAA basketball be eliminated in 2021?

Leaving: 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, first and second round.

Is March Madness cancelled or postponed?

There is no craziness in March, April and May. The NCAA has announced that all remaining winter and spring championships, including the men’s and women’s basketball tournament, have been cancelled and have not been rescheduled. … The NCAA men’s basketball tournament is one of the most prestigious and lucrative sporting events.

Can I watch March Madness for free?

College basketball fans should have no problem watching the 2021 NCAA Tournament, they can watch it live for free on their cable subscription via NCAA March Madness. Streaming sites showing all or part of the NCAA Tournament include Paramount+, fuboTV, Hulu Plus Live TV and YouTube TV, all of which offer free tests.

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