How they got here and what's next for every team in the Sweet 16

Sweet 16 stars to watch (2:28)

It's down to 16 teams in the NCAA tournament with a ton of talent on the court. Rebecca Lobo and Andy Landers break down notable players to watch such as Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu, Texas A&M's Chennedy Carter, South Carolina's A'Ja Wilson and more. (2:28)

The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds are all still alive as the women's NCAA tournament goes to the Sweet 16.

For just the third time, two teams seeded No. 11 or below reached the regional semifinals, both for the first time. Welcome, Mid-American Conference teams Buffalo and Central Michigan, both at No. 11.

The Chippewas took out the Women's Final Four's hometown team, Ohio State, on Monday, and by the end of the night there were no Big Ten teams left in the field. The ACC and Pac-12 have the most teams remaining with four each. And, of course, No. 1 seed UConn has cruised into another Sweet 16; the last time that didn't happen was 1993.

Albany Regional

No. 1 UConn Huskies
First round: Defeated Saint Francis (Pennsylvania) 140-52
Second round: Defeated Quinnipiac 71-46
Up next: Duke

How they've gotten this far
Their first-round track meet with Saint Francis (Pennsylvania) got a lot of attention because of the score, as UConn took advantage of the Red Flash's desire to play up-tempo. The style was different against Quinnipiac -- slower and more deliberate -- but it didn't matter. The Huskies won easily both nights and have reached the Sweet 16 for 25 years in a row.

What it'll take for them to keep winning
Post players Napheesa Collier and Azurá Stevens have been particularly sharp in the early rounds. There were a combined 22-of-29 from the field against Saint Francis and 14-of-17 against Quinnipiac. Those were obviously overmatched teams, and Duke is from the ACC. But the Huskies have had the Blue Devils' number in their past eight meetings; none have even been close. Stevens, who transferred from Duke, has a chance to go against her old team. -- Mechelle Voepel

No. 2 South Carolina Gamecocks
First round: Defeated North Carolina A&T 63-52
Second round: Defeated Virginia 66-56
Up next: Buffalo

How they've gotten this far
Things haven't been totally smooth for the defending national champions; they were pushed in both their early-round games for longer than expected. Both opponents got within single digits in the fourth quarter. But led by espnW national player of the year A'ja Wilson, the Gamecocks pulled out victories. The senior forward had a combined 44 points, 27 rebounds, 5 assists, 6 steals and 8 blocked shots. Freshman guard Bianca Jackson has provided a scoring boost with a combined 29 points in the two games.

What it'll take for them to keep winning
Like last year, the Gamecocks will be facing a double-digit seed in the Sweet 16. It was No. 12 Quinnipiac in 2017, which resulted in a blowout win for the Gamecocks. This year it's No. 11 Buffalo, which upset third-seeded Florida State. The Bulls forced the Seminoles into 17 turnovers, and the Gamecocks have to be wary of that. They had 19 turnovers in the first round, but cut that to 10 in the second. The Bulls might test the Gamecocks' defense, too. -- Mechelle Voepel

No. 5 Duke Blue Devils
First round: Defeated Belmont 72-58
Second round: Defeated Georgia 66-40
Up next: UConn

How they've gotten this far
The Blue Devils have won with strong defense and a lot of Leaonna Odom. The 6-foot-2 sophomore forward had a career-high 25 points against Belmont, and followed that with 16 against Georgia. The redshirt senior backcourt of Lexie Brown and Rebecca Greenwell was solid, too, but the Blue Devils had a worrisome amount of turnovers (21) against Georgia. It didn't hurt because of Georgia's terrible shooting -- 16-of-68 overall, 1-of-17 from behind the arc -- but they can't have that many giveaways against UConn.

What it'll take for them to keep winning
The numbers for coach Joanne P. McCallie while at Duke when facing UConn are not good: 0-8, with an average losing margin of 28.6 points. The teams have not played since 2015. For Duke to have a chance to pull the upset, the Blue Devils must try to control tempo and get a lot of scoring from their guards. And perhaps hope they are extremely inspired by the chance to face former Duke player Azurá Stevens, who transferred to UConn. -- Mechelle Voepel

No. 11 Buffalo Bulls
First round: Defeated South Florida 102-79
Second round: Defeated Florida State 86-65
Up next: South Carolina

How they've gotten this far
The Bulls aren't messing around: They can score, and they've already pulled two upsets for their first two NCAA tournament victories in program history. They don't need to hit a lot from behind the arc to do it. They made 14 3-pointers against South Florida, but only five against Florida State. In both games, they went to the foul line a lot, going a combined 49-for-54. The Bulls will force South Carolina to guard them.

What it'll take for them to keep winning
Junior guard Cierra Dillard was outstanding in the early rounds, with a combined 58 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. A big question will be who can guard South Carolina's 6-foot-5 A'ja Wilson. The Bulls don't have a lot of size; 6-3 Cassie Oursler and 6-1 Summer Hemphill will try to slow Wilson. Florida State's Shakayla Thomas scored 25 points against the Bulls, but they contained the rest of the Seminoles, who were 3-of-25 from behind the arc. And after playing so far away from home in Florida to open the NCAA tournament, the Bulls get to go back home to New York state. -- Mechelle Voepel

Spokane Regional

No. 1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
First round: Defeated Cal State Northridge 99-81
Second round: Defeated Villanova 98-72
Up next: Texas A&M

How they've gotten this far
By piling up points. Only three teams in the country average more points per game than the Fighting Irish, so that has been the plan. The first two rounds still saw the No. 1 seed take it to new and necessary extremes. Notre Dame's 197 points are its most in back-to-back games since the first two games of the season. But the 153 points scored by No. 16 Cal State Fullerton and No. 9 Villanova also represents the second-most Notre Dame allowed in back-to-back regulation games all season. The most were the final two games of the ACC tournament, a troubling trend.

What it'll take for them to keep winning
Spokane features four offenses ranked in the top 30 nationally in scoring, so continuing on the theme, defense would help. As the second-round win against Villanova made clear, keeping senior Kathryn Westbeld on the court is a big part of that and any other success Notre Dame hopes to have. Injuries limited her to three minutes in the first round and kept her out of the first half in the second round. The already-depleted Irish are a different team with her balancing Jessica Shepard inside the 3-point line. -- Graham Hays

No. 2 Oregon Ducks
First round: Defeated Seattle 88-45
Second round: Defeated Minnesota 101-73
Up next: Central Michigan

How they've gotten this far
Wow, to think that just last year, it was Oregon that was the double-digit seed that pulled off three straight upsets and made the Elite Eight. That propelled the Ducks to a favorite's role this season, and they've handled it great as Pac-12 regular-season and tournament champs who demolished their early-round opponents. Sabrina Ionescu had a triple-double against Seattle, and wasn't far from it against Minnesota. The Ducks' offense looked scary good in both games, but especially in shooting 60.9 percent from the field against the Gophers.

What it'll take for them to keep winning
No doubt coach Kelly Graves will remind his team that they know first-hand the run that an underdog not feeling much pressure can go on. That's Central Michigan in 2018. The Chippewas stood up to a good SEC defense in LSU and beat it, and then out-gunned the offense of Big Ten champion Ohio State on the Buckeyes' home court. Oregon's offense is reliably led by Ionescu and forward Ruthy Hebard, but the Ducks need to guard the Chippewas, especially behind the arc. -- Mechelle Voepel

No. 4 Texas A&M Aggies
First round: Defeated Drake 89-76
Second round: Defeated DePaul 80-79
Up next: Notre Dame

How they've gotten this far
Have you been introduced to Chennedy Carter? Most anyone who wasn't already familiar with the freshmen guard who is willing to take the big shots -- and the medium and small shots -- learned all about her during a wild second-half comeback against DePaul capped by a game-winning 3-pointer. Carter totaled 26 points and 11 assists in an opening-round victory that wasn't as easy as the margin suggests, but her 37 points on 30 field goal attempts against the Blue Demons was easily among the boldest performances of the opening rounds.

What it'll take for them to keep winning
Kayla Wells was the only Texas A&M substitute to play more than six minutes in either of the first two games, so the Aggies need to stay healthy and out of foul trouble. They outshot their first two opponents 40-12 in free throw attempts. Texas A&M is also the best rebounding team in Spokane. So while Carter isn't going to stop shooting, it's just as important that 6-foot-5 Khaalia Hillsman and Anriel Howard -- the nation's second-most prolific rebounder shorter than 6 feet at 12.1 rebounds per game -- keep control of the boards. -- Graham Hays

No. 11 Central Michigan Chippewas
First round: Defeated LSU 78-69
Second round: Defeated Ohio State 95-78
Up next: Oregon

How they've gotten this far
The Mid-America Conference champions played like they were the favorites against LSU and Ohio State, and they were successful in dictating the action. Coach Sue Guevara empowers her shooters to just keep shooting if the shots aren't dropping, because eventually they will. The Chippewas shot 50 percent and hit seven 3-pointers against LSU. And then squashed the hopes Ohio State had of getting to a Final Four in the Buckeyes' hometown, hitting 14 3-pointers and 25 of 27 free throws.

What it'll take for them to keep winning
It will be a big challenge to slow down Oregon's offense, even after facing Kelsey Mitchell and Ohio State. The Chippewas also will have a hard time duplicating their success on the boards against the Buckeyes, whom they outrebounded 46-35. But they will still try to win with offensive firepower, led by Presley Hudson, whose 28 points led the way against Ohio State, and MAC player of the year Tinara Moore, who was also honored as the league's top defender. -- Mechelle Voepel

Kansas City Regional

No. 1 Mississippi State Bulldogs
First round: Defeated Nicholls 95-50
Second round: Defeated Oklahoma State 71-56
Up next: NC State

How they've gotten this far
The Cowgirls hung with the Bulldogs into the second half of Monday's second round, but there was no way this senior-led Mississippi State group was going to lose its last game at home. Mississippi State got the rebounding it needed from center Teaira McCowan (18 boards), and that will be important against NC State as well. Victoria Vivians had a combined 43 points in the early rounds for the Bulldogs. Oklahoma State tested their defense, which is good preparation for what's next.

What it'll take for them to keep winning
The Bulldogs are becoming a regular at the Sweet 16; it's their third consecutive trip to the regional semifinals. They have an experience edge over the Wolfpack, whose last Sweet 16 was 2007. The Bulldogs' only loss this season was to South Carolina in the SEC tournament, when McCowan's foul trouble took a toll. She needs to stay on the court. Mississippi State is known for its defense, but so is NC State; both hold opponents to less than 57 PPG. The Bulldogs' offense, though, is more potent, averaging 82.1 PPG to the Wolfpack's 67.1. -- Mechelle Voepel

No. 2 Texas Longhorns
First round: Defeated Maine 83-54
Second round: Defeated Arizona State 85-65
Up next: UCLA

How they've gotten this far
The Longhorns had to love the consistency of their offense in the early rounds; they shot 61.8 percent from the field against Maine and 61.7 against Arizona State. They were also dominant on the boards in both games, a combined 83-31 edge. And guard Lashann Higgs has been en fuego, shooting 6-of-7 for 15 points against Maine and 9-of-12 for 19 against Arizona State.

What it'll take for them to keep winning
The Longhorns' only losses since mid-January have been to No. 1 overall seed UConn, and to fellow No. 2 seed Baylor (three times). Coach Karen Aston thought the Longhorns' offense missed opportunities to feed the ball inside in a close 77-69 Big 12 tournament final loss to the Lady Bears. In the early rounds, it seemed like Texas capitalized on whatever was left open by the defense. Point guard Brooke McCarty will have an interesting matchup with UCLA counterpart Jordin Canada, who will try to force turnovers. -- Mechelle Voepel

No. 3 UCLA Bruins
First round: Defeated American 71-60
Second round: Defeated Creighton 86-64
Up next: Texas

How they've gotten this far
It's fair to say the Bruins weren't tested much in the early rounds, but that's a credit to how they played. UCLA forced 15 turnovers against American and 18 against Creighton. And as good as Texas' guards are, UCLA will still try to turn them over, too. Defense has been the most consistent thing for the Bruins this season, although they gave up a combined 20 3-pointers to their early-round opponents. However, they shot well from behind the arc, making 16 treys in the two games. And fleet post player Monique Billings could prove a challenge for Texas to guard.

What it'll take for them to keep winning
UCLA knows how Texas feels about Big 12 nemesis Baylor. Because this season, the Bruins felt that same way about Oregon, which beat UCLA three times. Interestingly, UCLA handed Baylor its only loss, back in November. That should give the Bruins a little confidence in facing Texas. UCLA's defense will have to be sharp against the Longhorns, because they've shot well thus far in the tournament. -- Mechelle Voepel

No. 4 NC State Wolfpack
First round: Defeated Elon 62-35
Second round: Defeated Maryland 74-60
Up next: Mississippi State

How they've gotten this far
The Wolfpack have won 14 of their past 17 games, and two of those losses were against No. 1 seeds Notre Dame and Louisville. In fact, NC State played Louisville twice, in the regular season and ACC tournament. So the Wolfpack had a lot of preparation for the NCAA tournament, and that showed with confident victories in the early rounds. This is the first time NC State has been in a Sweet 16 under coach Wes Moore, who took over in 2013-14.

What it'll take for them to keep winning
They had all five starters score in double figures against Maryland, led by Kiara Leslie's 21 points, and that's the kind of offensive attack they'll need against Mississippi State. They also outrebounded the Terps, which isn't easy to do. Senior forward Chelsea Nelson leads NC State in scoring (13.1 PPG) and rebounding (9.6), and she'll have to stay out of foul trouble while helping center Akela Maize guard the Bulldogs' 6-foot-7 center Teaira McCowan. -- Mechelle Voepel

Lexington Regional

No. 1 Louisville Cardinals
First round: Boise State 74-42
Second round: Marquette 90-72
Up next: Stanford

How they've gotten this far
Home court hasn't always been kind to Louisville in the NCAA tournament, but the Cardinals looked the part as a No. 1 seed for the first time. They never even needed All-American guard Asia Durr to hit fifth gear. A good rebounding team compared to most of the nation but only average among the teams in the Sweet 16, Louisville nonetheless pounded Boise State and Michigan on the glass and got good minutes out of 6-foot-4 Kylee Shook off the bench.

What it'll take for them to keep winning
Louisville needs to defend like it's capable of defending. With good quickness and size, the Cardinals can make life almost as uncomfortable for opponents as Mississippi State or even, for stretches on a good day, UConn. While the Stanford team it faces in the Sweet 16 isn't the most offensively efficient that program has produced, Lexington is still full of teams that aren't easy to unnerve. To be its best offensively, Louisville needs its defense to set the tempo. It also won't hurt if Durr, whose 3-point shooting has been lukewarm since the ACC tournament, goes off. -- Graham Hays

No. 2 Baylor Lady Bears
First round: Grambling 96-46
Second round: Michigan 80-58
Up next: Oregon State

How they've gotten this far
It has been a month and a half since any team other than Texas came within 20 points of Baylor, so its ease of victory in the first two rounds comes as no surprise. While Michigan post Hallie Thome caused some issues at the other end in the second round, Baylor's bigs were just too much to handle in the first two rounds. Lauren Cox averaged 24 points and 16.5 rebounds and Kalani Brown 19 points, 11.5 rebounds and 5.5 blocks in the two wins.

What it'll take for them to keep winning
They need freshman guard Alexis Morris to continue making the incredibly daunting task of replacing Kristy Wallace look as easy as she has through the first two rounds and the Big 12 tournament. Natalie Chou played in the first round, but the fact that she barely got off the bench in the more competitive game against Michigan suggests her wrist injury isn't likely to allow her to be a big factor. So with little backcourt depth, Morris will continue to pull major minutes. -- Graham Hays

No. 4 Stanford Cardinal
First round: Defeated Gonzaga 82-68
Second round: Defeated FGCU 90-70
Up next: Louisville

How they've gotten this far
There wasn't going to be any repeat of 1998 here. Stanford didn't let itself get in trouble in the first two rounds, averaging 45 points in the first half through its first two games. After struggling with her 3-point shot all season, the asset that otherwise makes her such a special player at 6-foot-4, Alanna Smith hit 7-of-13 shots from behind the arc in the first two rounds. Stanford as a team shot better than 50 percent from the 3-point line in those games, a big deal for a group that takes a lot of 3-pointers but didn't hit them with much consistency this season.

What it'll take for them to keep winning
This team can do defense. It needs to outperform its own identity at something offensively -- 3-point shooting, ball control, free throws, something. Even with Louisville playing close to home in Lexington, Stanford should feel as comfortable as any of the teams in Rupp Arena this week. This is the third consecutive season the Cardinal will play in a regional there, and the first two trips produced two regional finals and one Final Four trip. -- Graham Hays

No. 6 Oregon State Beavers
First round: Defeated Western Kentucky 82-58
Second round: Defeated Tennessee 66-59
Up next: Baylor

How they've gotten this far
Oregon State made history when it handed Tennessee its first home loss in 58 NCAA tournament games in Knoxville, but it wasn't much of an upset for a Beavers team ranked one spot behind the Lady Vols in the AP Top 25. Against two opponents intent on pressuring it into mistakes, Oregon State averaged just 12.5 turnovers in the first two rounds. Not a senior among the group, the starting backcourt of Katie McWilliams, Mikayla Pivec and Kat Tudor, with help from freshman Aleah Goodman, controlled pace and hit shots.

What it'll take for them to keep winning
Lean on Marie Gulich. The All-American senior center had good numbers in Knoxville, but her points generally came after Oregon State already had its lead. Against Baylor's size -- and after battling Mercedes Russell, the 6-foot-5 German will give up inches for the second game in a row against Kalani Brown -- Gulich can make the difference just by playing her opponents to a standstill. The Beavers also need to hit 3-pointers. They got decent looks against Tennessee but were uncharacteristically inaccurate. They must also deal with a tough travel schedule that sent them home for finals for about 72 hours before flying back across the country to Lexington. -- Graham Hays