Our March Madness predictions: The women's first round went well -- but what happened to Tennessee?

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pat summitt.jpg
Legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt.

Although most fans who fill out brackets during NCAA basketball tournament season only focus on the men's teams, the contest through the Archdiocese of Denver that my daughter Lora and I have participated in during recent years gives the women equal billing. That's a good thing from the perspective of fairness -- and, as a bonus, Lora and I have generally had a better record guessing the outcome of the women's competition than the men's. And the same thing has held true thus far in 2009.

"Our March Madness Predictions: A Prelude to Humiliation...," published March 18, listed our men's and women's picks, with March 20 and March 23 updates cataloging our decent but not quite spectacular record on the men's side to date: We went 23-9 in first round games. In contrast, our women's record is 27-5. On day one, our only misses were Gonzaga over Xavier and Mississippi State over Texas. (We'd picked MSU to win in the men's tourney, but the team lost. What's wrong with this picture?) On Sunday, we went with Notre Dame and Wisconsin-Green Bay in minor upsets because we'd seen both squads play impressive games, but each of them came up short. More surprising -- to us, anyway -- was the quiet collapse of perennial powerhouse Tennessee, helmed by Pat Summitt, the winningest active major-college basketball coach in the NCAA. While we knew the Lady Vols wouldn't go that far this year, we thought talent and heritage would at least carry them to victories in the first and second rounds before being vanquished. But Ball State gave them a lesson in ballin'.

Click "Continue" for our women's record to date:

NCAA Tournament Bracket 2009: Women's

TRENTON BRACKET, ROUND ONE:

Connecticut over Vermont CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Florida over Temple CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Virginia over Marist CORRECT (Saturday, 3-21)
California over Fresno State CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Arizona State over Georgia CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Florida State over North Carolina A&T CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Notre Dame over Minnesota INCORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Texas A&M over Evansville CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)

BERKELEY BRACKET, ROUND ONE:

Duke over Austin Peay CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Michigan State over Middle Tennessee State CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Tennessee over Ball State INCORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Iowa State over East Tennessee State CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Texas over Mississippi State INCORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Ohio State over Sacred Heart CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
San Diego State over DePaul CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Stanford over UC Santa Barbara CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)

RALEIGH BRACKET, ROUND ONE:

Maryland over Dartmouth CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Utah over Villanova CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Kansas State over Drexel CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Vanderbilt over Western Carolina CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Wisconsin Green Bay over LSU INCORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Louisville over Liberty CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
South Dakota State over TCU CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Baylor over UTSA CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)

OKLAHOMA CITY BRACKET, ROUND ONE:

Oklahoma over Prairie View A&M CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Georgia Tech over Iowa CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Xavier over Gonzaga INCORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Pittsburgh over Montana CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Purdue over Charlotte CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
North Carolina over UCF CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Rutgers over VCU CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)
Auburn over Lehigh CORRECT (Sunday, 3-22)

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