Another of the mighty has fallen.
South Dakota became the second 10th seed to reach the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament this year, knocking out second-seeded Baylor 61-47 on Sunday in a game that wasn’t as close as the final score l indicated. The Coyotes never trailed and led by as much as 16 points in the third quarter.
This is Sweet 16’s first appearance for South Dakota. For Baylor coach Nicki Collen, who was hired after Kim Mulkey left for LSU, it’s an abrupt end to her freshman season. It’s the first time since 2008 that the three-time national champion Bears have failed to reach the Sweet 16.
Six double-digit seeds, one shy of the record, won in the first round, and the mayhem continued in the second round. Earlier Sunday, 10th-seeded Creighton upset Iowa on a 3-pointer with 12 seconds left by Lauren Jensen, who was traded from Iowa after last season.
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South Dakota didn’t need last-minute heroism. The Coyotes opened the game with an 11-0 run, and despite two-time All-American NaLyssa Smith and Queen Egbo, Baylor never seemed to want to take control of the game. South Dakota went scoreless for the first seven-plus minutes of the fourth quarter, but Baylor could only close within seven minutes.
Hannah Sjerven led South Dakota with 16 points, one of three double-digit Coyotes. Egbo, who was on the bench for much of the third quarter due to foul issues, led Baylor with 13.