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March Madness: Top takeaways from Day 4 of the women’s tournament

March Madness: Top takeaways from Day 4 of the women's tournament

The Sweet 16 is set in the women's NCAA tournament.

All four No. 1 seeds advanced, along with three No. 2 seeds. Seventh-seeded Duke is the lowest seed remaining after it defeated No. 2 Ohio State.

Day 2 of the Round of 32 on Monday saw record-setting performances from players like Caitlin Clark and Dyaisha Fair, four games decided by single digits, and one mid-major topping a Pac-12 opponent.

Here’s what you need to know about Monday’s games.

'Big 3' on a tear for Notre Dame

Throughout the season, Notre Dame has relied on Hannah Hidalgo, Maddy Westbeld and Sonia Citron. The Irish used that same formula to defeat Ole Miss 71-56, earning the program’s third straight Sweet 16 appearance.

The Big 3 combined for 56 of Notre Dame’s 71 points. Westbeld led the way with 20, Hidalgo had 19 and Citron finished with 17 to go along with 10 rebounds and six assists.

In every game this season, one of the three has led Notre Dame in scoring. Typically, Hidalgo owns that honor, as she’s led the Irish in scoring 24 times. But in the NCAA tournament, Westbeld and Citron have been at their best. Westbeld’s 20 against Ole Miss is her third highest total this season — she had 24 against Illinois in November, and 23 against UConn in January. Citron led the way in Notre Dame’s first-round win over Kent State with 29 points, tying her career-high.

The Irish have continued a hot streak that started in the ACC tournament, winning their last nine games.

Record books will remember Dyaisha Fair

Syracuse may have lost to UConn, but Dyaisha Fair will forever be a part of NCAA history, as she climbed to third on the all-time scoring list. Fair had 20 points in her team’s 72-64 loss, which moved her into third place past both Jackie Stiles and Kelsey Mitchell. Fair finished her career with 3,402 points, just one more than Mitchell.

The Rochester, New York, native played three seasons at Buffalo before transferring to Syracuse alongside head coach Felisha Legette-Jack, who took over the program in 2022.

Fair was sixth in the country in scoring this season, averaging 22.3 points per game. Over five seasons, she averaged 22.3 points per game, and never averaged less than 19 points.

Syracuse’s Dyaisha Fair (2) is comforted by teammate Georgia Woolley toward the end of Monday’s NCAA tournament second-round loss to UConn in Storrs, Connecticut. (Photo by Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images)

Clark sets single-season scoring record

It was yet another record-setting night for Iowa’s Caitlin Clark. She’s already the NCAA’s career all-time leading scorer — passing Kelsey Plum and Pete Maravich this season — and the all-time leading scorer in women’s basketball — passing Lynette Woodard in February. And in her team’s Round of 32 win over West Virginia, Clark became the single-season scoring leader with 1,113 points.

She scored 32 points in a 64-54 win over West Virginia, and the Hawkeyes needed every one of them. The Mountaineers kept things close throughout, and the game was tied at 52 with 2:15 left to play. The Hawkeyes went on a 12-2 run to close out the game and secure a spot in the Sweet 16.

Clark was 8 of 22 shooting with five 3-pointers, while going 11-for-12 at the free-throw line. She also had eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Gonzaga the lone mid-major in Sweet 16

Gonzaga defeated Utah 77-63 to earn a spot in the Sweet 16. The Zags, from the WCC, are the only non-power conference team to advance past the Round of 32. This is Gonzaga’s fourth Sweet 16 in program history, and the first since 2015. Gonzaga seeks its second Elite Eight, with the first coming in 2011 when Courtney Vandersloot captained the team.

Four Gonzaga players finished in double figures. Kayleigh Truong led with 21 points, Yvonne Ejim had 17, Kaylynne Truong had 14, and Eliza Hollingsworth added 13. Utah’s Alissa Pili led all scorers with 35 points.

Despite the Utah loss, the Pac-12 advanced five teams to the Sweet 16, the most of any conference. Oregon State, Stanford, Colorado, USC and UCLA all won in the Round of 32. The ACC has three teams in the Sweet 16, while the SEC, Big 12 and Big Ten each have two. UConn represents the Big East as its only team.

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