LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Tennessee and Louisville have both navigated bumpy roads to reach the NCAA Tournament.
Both schools aim to smooth things out when they meet in the second round.
Tennessee's roller-coaster season has featured big wins and questionable losses. Four days before the Lady Vols (20-11) beat Notre Dame - now a No. 1 seed in the Lexington Region - they lost at Mississippi. After winning their regular season finale at Mississippi State, a second loss to Alabama followed in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
That's why a team with wins over two No. 1 seeds and a No. 2 is seeded fifth entering Monday night's game at No. 4 seed Louisville. A Sweet 16 berth is on the line.
"We had a tendency to lose to teams that people would think aren't as talented," said Tennessee coach Holly Warlick, whose team withstood Dayton's second-quarter rally to win Saturday's first round game 66-57.
Fourth-seeded Louisville has also been inconsistent at times when it comes to getting the most from its top scorers at the same time. Asia Durr, Myisha Hines-Allen and Mariya Moore all average double figures but have reached double digits simultaneously just 10 times for the Cardinals (28-7).
Their bench has also played unevenly, leaving coach Jeff Walz unsure who will step up and provide key minutes off the bench. The Cardinals pulled away late to beat Chattanooga 82-62 on Saturday, but he's concerned that it might be an issue against Tennessee.
"We're going to need our bench ready when their name is called to go out there and perform," Walz said. "This time of year, you don't have three minutes to get loose. You know, when you go out there, you've got to make a difference from the start."
ALL THAT JAZ
Louisville freshman guard Jazmine Jones entered Saturday's game midway through the first quarter and made an almost immediate impact. She scored two fast-break layups in her first 56 seconds to help give Louisville the lead. Jones made 7 of 8 for 14 points, just the fourth double-figure game for the 6-footer from Tallahassee, Florida. But two have come in the postseason. "She's just a great player, and she's finally showing that," Durr said. "We've believed in her since day one."
NO DIAMOND JUBILEE
Lady Vols guard Diamond DeShields hit a jumper with 6:01 remaining against Dayton to reach 1,000 points at Tennessee. Afterward, it was just another bucket. "Points are what I do," the junior said. "I'd be more excited for, like, an assist record or a steals record or rebounding or something like that. I never really got too high about points because that's what my team expects me to give each and every night. That's my job."
Combined with her freshman season at North Carolina, DeShields has 1,651 points in her three-year career.
GET THE RED OUT
After averaging more than 8,800 fans per game at the KFC Yum! Center during the regular season, Louisville drew 5,441 for Saturday's first-round doubleheader. On Sunday, Walz called on Cardinals fans to support the team on Monday night and said he was thankful for the 6:45 p.m. tipoff.
"I'm challenging our fans, challenging our city, to see if we can't get 8,000 to 10,000 out here," Walz said. "Because it's going to be a great basketball game."
Warlick said a big road environment might be just what the Lady Vols need and noted that her team beat both South Carolina and Mississippi State in their gyms.
"Our kids tend to play better when there's a big crowd and on the road," she said.