NC State falls, becomes 1st top seed to bow out

    Mechelle Voepel covers the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and other college sports for espnW. Voepel began covering women’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.

SAN ANTONIO — The first No. 1 seed in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament has lost, as No. 4 Indiana upset NC State 73-70 in the Mercado Region semifinals Saturday, giving the Hoosiers their first-ever trip to the Elite Eight.

Indiana had been to the Sweet 16 only once before, in 1983, the second year of the NCAA women’s tournament, when the field was just 36 teams and the Hoosiers had to win only one game to get to the regional semifinals.

Indiana had all five starters finish in double figures in scoring Saturday, led by Ali Patberg with 17 points.

The Hoosiers finished second in the Big Ten regular-season standings to Maryland, the No. 2 seed in the Hemisfair Region that will play in the Sweet 16 on Sunday vs. Texas. But Indiana was upset in the conference tournament by Michigan State before coming to San Antonio and getting victories against VCU, Belmont and NC State. This is Indiana’s seventh trip to the NCAA tournament, and it’s their third under coach Teri Moren.

The Wolfpack were without senior starter Kayla Jones, who suffered a knee injury in their opening-round victory and didn’t return. NC State was the ACC tournament champion and had victories this season against then-No. 1 South Carolina in December and then-No. 1 Louisville in February.

Indiana won despite making just 2 of 14 attempts from 3-point range, compared to nine 3-pointers from NC State.

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