The 2021 DII women’s basketball Elite Eight begins on Tuesday, March 23, with four quarterfinal games. It will continue on Wednesday, March 24, with the semifinals and conclude on Friday, March 26, with the championship game.
Here is one thing to know about each of the eight teams.
No. 1 seed Lubbock Christian (20-0)
What to know: The Chaparrals haven’t lost a game since Jan. 30, 2020. That’s 32 straight victories. Only two of those wins have been by less than 10 points. A three-point triumph over West Texas A&M back on Feb. 27 is Lubbock Christian’s smallest margin of victory during the winning streak. Not surprisingly, the Chaps’ scoring margin of 26.4 points per game ranks first in DII.
No. 2 seed Lander (19-1)
What to know: Sophomores Zamiya Passmore and Makaila Cange average a combined 37.1 points per game. That’s roughly 50 percent of the Bearcats’ total offense. Passmore is scoring a team-high 19.6 points while Cange is right behind her with 17.5.
No. 3 seed Drury (22-1)
What to know: The Panthers have the highest turnover margin in the country at 11.6, which means they’re forcing 11.6 more turnovers per game than their opponents. Six of their players, including all five starters, have come away with at least 30 steals this season. Drury’s 12.7 steals per game are the fifth-most for any team in DII.
No. 4 seed Belmont Abbey (24-2)
What to know: No one dominates the glass quite like the Crusaders, who lead the nation in rebounding margin at 12.4. It’s also a total team effort. Belmont Abbey has five players currently averaging at least five boards per game. Starting center Brittany Autry leads the way with 6.1.
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No. 5 seed Central Missouri (22-4)
What to know: Central Missouri combo guard Nija Collier has blocked 39 shots this season. That’s an average of 1.5 per game for someone who stands at 6 feet. No player shorter than 6-1 has swatted more field-goal attempts than Collier has this year.
No. 6 seed Charleston (WV) (19-2)
What to know: Golden Eagles guard Brooklyn Pannell has the highest scoring average of any player on an Elite Eight team. The senior averages 23.8 points per game on 45.3 percent shooting and 42.5 percent from beyond the arc. She dropped 27 points on 10-for-20 shooting against Tiffin in the regional final.
No. 7 seed Azusa Pacific (12-4)
What to know: The Cougars have four players that average at least 10 points and five rebounds per game. That group is led by sophomore forward Molly Whitmore, who ranks second on the team in scoring average (14.2 points) and first in rebounding average (8.5 rebounds).
No. 8 seed Daemen (14-2)
What to know: Opponents are shooting an even 32 percent against the Wildcats this year. That gives Daemen the best field-goal percentage defense in the country. In the regional final against Roberts Wesleyan, the Wildcats held the Redhawks to 25 percent on 14-of-56 from the floor.