Archive for February, 2012

Jayda will be chatting with Harlem Globetrotter and Temple grad Fatima Maddox at 1pmPST.

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it’s how far to take their role as Fashion Police.

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Chat Alert!

Mechelle at 2pmEST.

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…for being named NCAA women’s basketball 2012 Academic All-America of the Year.

BTW, EDD, if that pro-basketball thing doesn’t work out, feel free to bring your early childhood to NY and apply to work for me. :-)

BTW pt 2: in the, “it’s a small world” category: the other day I gave a couple from Denver directions. Mentioned I’d be in their city for the Final Four (and kind of expected a blank look). Mrs. Denver says to Mr. “Ask her about that player you know…” and I’m thinking “Not a chance, but hey…” Turns out Mr. Denver grew up with EDD’s grandfather and knows all about her. What I said: if you reach out it can be a really, really small world.

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some stuff to prep for the weekend (please excuse the clashing fonts):

Auburn: Fortner’s farewell

Cal Berkeley: Cal women having great year in Stanford’s shadow

Cal State Northridge: Matadors hit road one last time to protect top spot

Cincinnati: UC stays sharp as tourney nears

Colorado: CU Buffs face monumental task vs. No. 2 Stanford Cardinal (Michelle Smith will be live blogging from Maples: http://www.leftcoasthoops.com.)

Florida: Aragones’ journey one of love, loss and perseverance

Kansas: With loss comes redemption

Michigan State: Experiences shape Johnson’s outlook on basketball, life and Alton a true team player

Nebraska: Spartans’ muscle to test Huskers

Oregon State: Marchbanks leaves it all on the court

Stanford: Card looks to keep Maples streak alive against Colorado

Tennessee: Dean Lockwood: Lady Vols still seeking solution to inconsistencies

espnW’s Hoops Across America lands in Houghton, Michigan, where “I ain’t afraid of no snow” is a catch phrase because the hoops team brings warm glow to Michigan Tech

While many schools go to great pains to sell themselves to any student, from any place, Michigan Tech clearly is sticking to the snow-covered road less traveled.

The truth is, this place is not for everyone, due to the academic rigors, relative isolation, and frigid cruelty and length of its Upper Peninsula winters. Houghton, a town of 7,700 tucked into the Keweenaw Peninsula, and its neighboring town, Hancock, population 4,600, sit centered in the slender pinkie finger of rolling hills and deep woods that juts into the icy, winter-black waters of Lake Superior. There are no shopping malls or 24-screen cineplexes, no giant warehouse clubs where you can buy a 3-gallon container of laundry detergent. Getting to the state’s biggest city, Detroit, means a 10-hour drive — if you’re lucky enough to evade a snow or ice storm this time of year.

(Oh, and a literature reference clarification: we know that “The road less traveled” wasn’t “less traveled,” right?)

Via Sue via Cal State Northridge assistant media relations director Geoff Herberg: “Biggest turnarounds in women’s basketball this year.” Nice to see some names we’ve been noticing make an appearance on the list, in particular SDS, North Tx, UTEP, Towson, Florida Atlantic, ‘nati, SIEU, Howard, and clearly the one we should have paid attention to: Cal State – Northridge. Congrats to second year coach Jason Flowers and his +12 improvement.

Oh, and welcome to the real world of sports journalism, espnW, (Weekend warriors no match for elite women) and why I don’t allow comments on my blog. Comments are, as a wise man said, PART of the article (or post) and if you don’t monitor it, it’s amazing how quickly the “conversation” veers off into something you didn’t intend – though it is very revealing about general attitudes and ignorance towards women’s athletics.

It’s likely that the majority of sports fans could care less about female athletes — but it is amazing how passionate and vocal the “anti” female athletes contingent is. Gosh, I wonder why that is so….? Actually, I don’t wonder, but this is not the place to get into a deep discussion about ego and self worth and the fear of being challenged in the work place and on the sports field.

BTW, Adena, I think your seething is misplaced and, perhaps, you don’t understand sarcasm and/or self-deprecating humor.

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WHAT A REBOUND!- Once in a coma, Kansas high school girl now back on basketball court

Maggie Meier would cradle the beach ball in her hands and, with perfect form, shoot it through her the arms of her sister, who had formed a makeshift hoop.


The only thing out of the ordinary? Maggie Meier was in a coma.

“I have never seen anything like it,” said Dr. William Graf, Meier’s neurologist. “The act of shooting a basketball must have been ingrained as one of Maggie’s basic instincts — her basketball shooting motion came back to her even before she was able to stand up or walk again.”

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WHB readers will remember Jennifer Leedham (and her sister Johannah) and their fabulous careers at Franklin Pierce.

When Mark Swasey moved over to California University (PA – hmm, interesting article on salaries in the PSAC) (Oh, and we still don’t know why he’s no longer there), Steve Hancock returned to the big chair and the Ravens didn’t really miss a step. Now in her third year as an assistant with FPU, next year Jennifer and Steve will switch seats.

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Washington Mystics Trade Nicky Anosike To L.A. Sparks For Natasha Lacy, Latoya Pringle

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It would have bee my pleasure to nominate you for UoY, Fordham Rams (11-17, 2-11 A-20), but you needed to seal the deal. As it was, the Bonnies had to fight back in the second half to stay perfect in conference play. The 52-45 win earned St. Bonaventure their first Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season team championship in any sport and made the 2000+ fans in the stands very happy. Said Bona coach Crowley:

“Look over the last 10 years and the teams who have been No. 1 in our conference. Look at the size of the school, where they’re located, their funding. This is not supposed to happen. And it just did. … It’s unfathomable to everyone except these players. They saw it, went after it and got it. No one can take that way from them.”

Not quite a candidate for UoY, but deserving of a nomination, Ohio (6-8, MAC) did do a number on Bowling Green (12-2, MAC). Down five in the first half, Semeka Randall’s team turned up the defense and got just enough offense to take down the Falcons, 60-56. It’s the Bobcats have beaten the Falcons at home in a decade. Writes Matt Sussman at the Hustle Belt (No, YOU’RE a longshot for an at-large NCAA bid):

The Falcons had won their last eight games against the usually mediocre Bobcats and once again they are not considered a major factor in the MAC race. But OU’s senior leader Tenishia Benson was a major player tonight. With the game tied and essentially the final possession, Benson had the play of her career at the right time: a driving layup, plus the foul, whose ensuing free throw she missed and rebounded herself, forcing a jump ball and getting the possession back. It was essentially a huge final 10 seconds, and a normally composed Falcons team was caught with their pants down.

Hey, if you can’t win the tournament, make it difficult for someone else to.

All eyes turn to Eastern Michigan, which helped itself tremendously with their win over Toledo on Tuesday. Under coach AnnMarie Gilbert (an Oberlin graduate - where she was a rock star),  EMU is makin’ noise and here’s hoping the fans notice. This “nugget” from Rich Rezler pre the Toledo game: ” from the “Rocket Docket” blog by Toledo Blade sports writer Ryan Autullo:

“EMU has drawn a total of 4,894 fans to its 10 home games. (Toledo) has topped 5,000 in each of its past two home games.”

Ball State is next for EMU (at home, the 25th), then they’re at Central Michigan (28th).

My favorite “way under the radar, but looking like its working it way up” team, New Hampshire, is now at 8-7 in the Am. East. and they’ve guaranteed their first winning season since 2005-06.

In the battle of the dogs, BU recovered from their first conference loss, and the Terriers downed the Retrievers, 61-56.

The other big dog of the Am. East, Albany, rolled over Binghamton,69-37. The win marks the Great Danes’ first 20-win season since moving in to DI play.

Temple’s win (The last of Dawn’s recruits, Shey Peddy, 31 points) over St. Joseph puts them at 12-1 in the A-10. The Owls could make it an interesting conference tournament. Looking at their schedule, Cardoza has done a nice job of out of conference scheduling (something the Bonnies will have to beef up): Ohio State (L, by 4), TAMU (L, by 12), St. John’s (L by 6), Rutgers (L, by 21), Duke (L, by 11). Their only in-conference loss? At St. Bonaventure, by 11.

Oh, and I’m not ignoring Jabir’s Dayton Flyers, who ate the Musketeers for lunch. They’re 11-2 in the conference (Losses to Temple and St. B). Their tough out-of-conference games included: UConn (L), Toledo (L), Bowling Green (W)… and Cincy? (L) (Which is why I’m wondering about who gets COY votes in the Big East. I can’t imagine the winner won’t be Muffet, but….)

Bucknell’s run in the second half against American almost had the Bison’s getting a nomination for best supporting UoY, but the Eagles held on for the 62-59 victory, and a still perfect Patriot League record, and become the first team in league history to begin conference with 13-straight wins.  Not jinxin’ them, noI’mnot, BUT, no team has finished regular season conference play 14-0. Lisa Strack had a key assist to secure the win, and her team-high 19pts pushed her over the 1000pt mark in her career.

Something’s gotten in to little ole St. Louis (who are up for the best supporting UoY award since they took down Duquense, 56-55). Last night they (10-8, 4-9, A-10) took Charlotte (15-2, 7-6 ) to overtime and got a 70-69 win for their efforts.

“This might have been the most fulfilling win we’ve had since I’ve been here,” SLU head coach Shimmy Gray-Miller (Michigan grad) said. “Not many people gave us a chance to win this game. I’ve been talking about how much heart and pride this team has, and tonight they showed it in abundance. We didn’t give up or give in, although we had many chances to do just that.”

The Sugar Bears are roarin’ through the Southland (E, but they’re heads and shoulders above the W, too). Central Arkansas’ latest victim: Nicholls State, by 20 . This is a team that only lost to Georgia Tech by 6, and is probably cranky that SFA gave them their one conference loss (January, 54-45). They may be fierce in the conference tourney and (fingerscrossed’causeIdon’twannajinx’em) in the NCAA tourney.

Well keep things interesting, why dontcha? Samford (17-10, 12-6 Southern) took down Chattanooga (1908, 14-4), 58-48.

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attention from Graham for their long, steady evolution into an A-Sun power: FGCU eyes first NCAA tournament – Eagles a 3-point launching, turnover-forcing group just on the outskirts of the Top 25

For a guy who hasn’t gone anywhere, Karl Smesko has come a long way.

As a result, Florida Gulf Coast is going places.

A decade ago, Smesko was the coach of what he thought would be an NAIA program, one that had yet to play its first game. He worked out of a makeshift office in a trailer he shared with other members of the fledgling athletic department. His first individual workouts took place on the asphalt of an outdoor court, constructing a team even as the school in Fort Myers, Fla., constructed a building in which it could play.

Yet his team won by 17 points the first time it took the court. The next night, it won by 46 points. It lost just once that first season, rolling to a 30-1 record against the likes of Indiana Tech, Cardinal Stritch University and Flagler College.

Like a lot of coaches winning in the most distant reaches of college basketball, Smesko moved on to bigger and better things. Unlike almost any of his peers, he didn’t actually move to do so, save for relocating to a better office.

Longtime readers of the WHB are familiar with the Eagles’ story, but it’s great to have them get wider exposure. Focusing on the non-big six conferences is an essential part of building the game from the bottom, middle and top.  I’m looking forward to ESPN’s stories of program redemption (Fresno State, 10-0 WAC), program (re?) emergence (Boston University, 13-1, Am. East), program building (UTEP, 13-0 C-USA), and program fortitude (Middle Tennessee 14-0, Sun Belt).

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with diamonds!” (the stuff that happens when you’re hunting down DII NAIA info!). From Nate: Quick Analysis: Chicago Sky Sign Unrestricted Free Agent Ticha Penicheiro

And, since we’re on the subject of the W: Thoughts from Washington Mystics Season Ticket Holder Event on February 21

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which one was the BIGGEST one, asks Nate: Finding The NCAA Women’s Basketball Upset of the Year By Reframing Expectations

Shortly after the San Francisco Dons defeated the BYU Cougars on Thursday night, Matt Olson of Omni Rankings tweeted what many women’s basketball fans were already thinking: Jennifer Azzi’s Dons might’ve pulled off the upset of the year.

Helen of Women’s Hoops Blog reiterated the point on Friday, also suggesting that USF’s feat wasn’t quite as “sexy” as the Alabama Crimson Tide’s 77-75 upset win over the Kentucky Wildcats. Then there was the St. John’s Red Storm’s 57-56 win over the UConn Huskies, which was an upset in part because of the Red Storm interrupted a 99-game home win streak for the Huskies.

But this brings up a fun dilemma for basketball geeks, inspired by the very existence of Omni Rankings’ upset rankings: What constitutes the “Upset of the Year? And how on earth would we go about determining that with all the games that are played during any given season?

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NJCAA DI has some familiar names in the Top 5:

Scovel’s Gulf Coast State College sits in the ninth spot.

NAIA DII  - Oh, yah, we recognize #1. And the other four.

NAIA DI  – More familiar names…..

As D3hoops.com gears up for the Tourney, here’s how the teams stand in the latest NCAA DIII poll:

FWIW: University of Mary Washington is 25-0 and sits in the 7th spot. Interim coach Karima McKenzie has Kean still winning - they’re in the #23 spot.

NCAA Division II – cool! I’m seeing new names!

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Texas Tech is 17-10, and all 10 of their losses, the latest one against a staggered Kansas, are in the Big 12.

Okay, so I jinxed’em. Tulsa (11-3, MAC) gets stifled by Eastern Michigan (12-2), 54-33.

What if the Big East Coach of the Year wasn’t Geno or Muffet, but Jamelle?

Amongst the many things I didn’t (and don’t) know: Pittsburgh is the youngest team in D-1 bball. They have nary a junior or senior. They might get a win against Seton Hall. Didn’t have a chance against a cranky UConn.

You know, when Ellenburg can give’em 23, the Sooners have a chance to beat ranked teams. Like tonight, in Norman, against #11 Texas A&M.

#25-with-a-bullet St. John’s keeps truckin’, taking down West Virginia, 63-54.

I know they were playing Baylor in Waco, and that is never a fun time for opponents, but really, Debbie? You think Gail is not in trouble? (True, Texas may not want to buy her out, but they do have the money.) Longhorns drop to 15-12 (5-10, Big 12) as the Bears earned the outright Big 12 title with an 80-59 win.

Double-take moment: Ms. Brittney “Player of the Year” Griner gets a double-double 4 out of every 10 games she plays.

Oh, and thanks to Hoopfeed: Coach Kim? Where’d ya get dem shoes? Fort Knox? (On edit: How did I miss this musical reference from Kirsty MacColl!)

Aaaand: Sonja Hogg in the House! (Hey! Where’s the white mink coat!)

But it’s not all grins and giggles in the arena: Baylor will be waiting on knee news for sophomore Shanay Washington — someone who’s had too much knee news already.

Coach Burns has her team sitting at 12-1 in the MWC. San Diego State’s five loses? Four were early in the season (one head shaker at Portland). I’m not going to jinx them by talking about how good their chances are in their conference tournament.

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Depending on who you read, Nell Fortner resigning or retiring from Auburn.

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Nate says: 2012 WNBA Free Agency: Quality Contributors Still Available Among Remaining Restricted Free Agents

The Washington Mystics’ most significant move thus far this off-season was re-signing restricted free agent Crystal Langhorne, a two-time all-star and arguably the team’s most valuable player over the past two years.

However, the signing also leaves the team with a bit of a predicament in terms of what to do with their other free agent: Nicky Anosike.

Swish Appeal also has Alysha Clark’s Journal: On Tina Stewart, Playing Overseas, and WNBA Goals

Last year, 2010 WNBA draft pick Alysha Clark (Twitter: @Alysha_Clark) was kind enough to offer us first-hand insight of her experience in San Antonio Silver Stars training camp until she got released. Since then, Clark has continued her basketball career overseas and has provided occasional updates on her own blog Life In My Nikes. Today, Clark offers more about what she’s up to overseas, remembering an old friend from Middle Tennessee State University, and her continued transition from a college power forward to a pro small forward.

Over at Slam Online, it’s the Seattle Storm’s Brian Agler on Traveling Overseas: Why it’s necessary

Brian Agler, head coach and Director of Player Personnel of the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, is widely considered to be one of the hardest working coaches in the women’s game. During the WNBA’s offseason from October through March, Agler makes it a priority of his to visit Storm players overseas in various countries. One of the most successful coaches in women’s basketball, Agler shares with us his reasons for making these trips and why they are so vital for the continuity of his club. – Ben Y

In Chicago (home of the UAA Champs, Chicago University Maroon’s women’s basketball team), Chicago Sky owner Michael Alter spoke to students in Stuart Hall last night on the challenges of owning and operating a WNBA franchise.

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and gives the Buckeye’s the blues.

By earning a share of their first Big 10 title since 2004, I don’t know that Coquese Washington has quite exorcised the ghost of Rene-past — and she may never win over a certain core group of PSU fans — but for those of us who’ve followed Co’s journey, it is a wonderful moment. Writes Mechelle:

It might be trite to say Penn State needed this, but it’s still true. The school, buried under so much harsh publicity in the last three months, needed it. The program, which hadn’t won a Big Ten championship since 2004, needed it. The players, who this season lost two of their first three league games (both at home), needed it. And coach Coquese Washington, who took over at Penn State in 2007 hoping to give the program a completely fresh outlook and atmosphere, needed it.

You also can say that Washington and the players didn’t just need it, they deserved it and earned it.

“It” is the Big Ten regular-season title, which No. 17 Penn State has at least a share of now after an 84-66 victory over No. 11 Ohio State on Monday.

Kentucky righted the ship after three losses, keeping Vandy at arms length through out the game, and secured the 70-61 win.

The Ragin Cajuns of Louisiana got a win…. but dang, it wasn’t in the Sun Belt, so their still 0-fer in the conference.

Both Hampton and Florida A&M won, keeping the MEAC very, very interesting.

Hmmm… what’s going on with High Point? They started so strong, and now are 9-5 in the Big South.

Say what? The Blackbirds (9-7) of Long Island were all over the Pioneers of Sacred Heart (13-3), 74-68.

Happy Beth and Debbie moment: Double OT and the Red Flash pull out the win over Central Connecticut, 86-83.

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and it’s a doozy: Gulf Coast State College’s Roonie Scovel is stepping down at the end of the season.

“Hundreds of students have benefited from her as a coach over the last 16 years, and more importantly, how she has helped them succeed in the game of life,” [said president] Kerley in a release. “Her legacy will continue at Gulf Coast.”

What will the new coach build off of? Really good stuff: Scovel’s career record is 458-59 and she has led the Commodores to three national championships.

Junior College coaches are amazing, considering what they do with the little financial resources they’ve got. For instance, Native Nigerian Ugoka key force for GC. Wildcats fans will know that Taylor Dalrymple spent her first two years of college under Scovel’s tutelage.

Scovel is already going into the JUCO Hall of Fame. I hope she doesn’t have to wait too long for the call from the WBHOF.

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latest bracketology is up and he says Placement is key to 2012 bracket – For once, where to place teams in bracket is tougher than determining the field of 64

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Win, and win big.

From a UConn fan:

Kim Barnes Arico on WFAN (Francesa). She’s being interviewed by Mike right now (3:10 EST). Glad she and her program are enjoying some attention. (On the flip side, as many of you know, Francesa hardly EVER has any coverage of WCBB. So of course a NY team beating us is HUGE news. She’s giving a lot of credit to Geno for being gracious in defeat. She mentioned how Geno helped her in the profession and when he saw her later after the game pressers he was still very complimentary and congratulatory.

And another: Kim also mentioned that Geno texted her a few times that night on their bus ride home. They play WV tomorrow. Will be a tough one.

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Mississippi State’s Sharon Fanning-Otis To Retire


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BG, dat who!

Um, but don’t let the folks at the Sports Economist get a hand on the article. Consider their reaction to the Super Bowl: Revealing Economic Impact Numbers

According to Bloomberg/Businessweek, in preparation for the Super Bowl, Rick’s Cabaret International, a national chain of strip clubs, flew in more than 100 dancers to its Indianapolis club for a week of “nonstop party action”. According to Rick’s spokesperson Allan Priaulx, strippers from the company’s Miami, New York, Minneapolis and Texas venues converged on Indy to take advantage of the money-making potential of the Super Bowl crowds.

The presence of imported exotic dancers actually illustrates one of the primary economic factors that reduces the economic impact of mega-events on host cities. The money earned by these out-of-town performers during Super Bowl week would be counted by consultants attempting identify economic impact since any spending at Rick’s Cabaret by Super Bowl visitors would be figured into direct economic impact calculations. However, the money wouldn’t be earned by Indianapolis residents but instead would immediately head out of town in the pockets (well, maybe the g-strings) of the dancers when they head home. Furthermore, the earnings would not stick in the city to be spent and respent, lowering the multiplier and any potential indirect economic impact. Yet, it is the residents of Indianapolis who are on the hook for over $600 million in public funds that spent building Lucas Oil Stadium.

I asked TSE founder and Clemson professor Skip for his take on the article. His response:

My google news feed picks up several of these stories a day.  This story fits the type.  I really don’t understand why reporters keep producing them!  My take (and that of the other TSE folks):  the true net impact figure would be a fraction – somewhere between 1/10 and 1/2 of what is reported in the article.

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team’s 10-year journey: St. John’s Announces Its Arrival Noisily 

“A couple of years ago, when we were first on the scene nationally, it was a different role for us to fill,” said Barnes Arico, whose 170 wins are more than any other coach in program history. “But these kids have been there. They know what it takes to be successful. They’re not afraid of it. I think winning at UConn showed they’re fearless.”

Seems Kevin Armstrong was on point with his Times’ piece two year’s ago: Coach’s Career Risk Keeps Paying Off at St. John’s

A self-made coach who has had head jobs in Divisions I, II and III, Barnes Arico, 39, has St. John’s off to a 16-3 start going into Wednesday’s game at Syracuse. In her eighth season, she has refashioned the Red Storm from a winless outfit against Big East opponents to a trendy program attracting the nation’s No. 11 recruiting class according to HoopGurlz.com.

“We had a lot of parties in the office last year,” Barnes Arico said of the signings, which were highlighted by Shenneika Smith, a spindly guard from St. Michael Academy in Manhattan.

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Big Monday triple header preview. Hoopfeed’s Cheryl Coward and David Siegel and Ohio State/Penn State co-game-caller Stephanie White. Lots of talk about the tourney brackets/hosts/seeding.

Debbie says ‘ware the Terps, was somewhat physic re: St. John’s, and sets up how Texas might make the Tourney

Cheryl warns Green Bay and Delaware may hit a wall.

Beth wonders about the wonders of the RPI and its impact.

Steph talks Big 10 conundrums.

My input: Thanks to Cheryl for mentioning the “other” conference undefeateds.

Love the idea of having the regular season conference winners to get the automatic bid, and then have the conference tourney winners be “dancer-wannabes under Committee consideration.”

About “protecting” the top seeds and rewarding them… Not sure what they’re imagining the answer to be: For instance, Kingston is a host site because they are willing (and able) to take the financial risk and the other “deserving” sites don’t have the cojones, or practical requirements, to host. If you want to remove all restrictions on who can host what (and are willing to handle the howls), then legislation needs to be offered by colleges and universities to support that.

Logistics says you have to give a site at least a year to prep (’cause it’s a complicated process). But perhaps you say, for instance, the top 16 of the 2012 end of the year polls get first dibs to host the 2014 tourney. Then, the NCAA needs to do everything they can to pressure the ADs of those schools into accepting the hosting challenge.

But, don’t get stuck on Kingston. Look at next year’s hosts and respond to THEM: Baylor, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Duke, Gonzaga, Iowa, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Ohio State, Stanford, St. John’s, Tennessee, Texas A&M and Texas Tech.

Kinda looks like the NCAA has already made the neccesary moves.

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Early Poll watching

AP NCAA Division I

So, Fresno State (22-4) and UTEP (24-2) are inching closer to being in the poll,  while the Bonnies (25-2) are ranked #19. I’m not dissin’ the Bonnies. I love that they’re ranked. But take a gander and their records/schedules and ponder the mystery that is the ranking process and the possibility of east coast bias…. or lack of espn column bias?

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So get out the popcorn (or those lime flavored chips I’m suddenly addicted to…).

Graham preps viewers for the Louisville/ND game at 2pmEST (ESPN/espn3) (have the Irish recovered? It was a long lay off. And a return to the area for Novosel.) as Hoops Across America: They’re crazy about the Cardinals

The player the home fans came to see sprints downs the court, ball in hand, during the opening minute of Louisville’s game against Big East rival Connecticut. Calmly, almost casually, the point guard freezes retreating defenders with a no-look pass that lands in the hands of a teammate waiting open at the basket.

Energized by the same showmanship that left the defense on its heels, most of the 16,483 fans rise to their feet. Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson is standing by his front-row seat and leading the cheers.

It’s a scene that has played out in one form or another hundreds of times in this city, a place that ranks near the top of any list of the most basketball-mad major American cities without an NBA team.

The guard in this case was Shoni Schimmel, the newest star of the Louisville women’s basketball team, but it hardly seems to matter. Cardinals are Cardinals.

(Thanks for the accurate history lesson, Graham. You know how I love reminding folks that women’s basketball was played (and popular) moments after the men started playing in 1891.)

Graham also takes time to note (oh, and the fab shot of the Johnnies is back on the front page): Upsets prove anything is possible

St. John’s puts the exclamation point on a wild week

Doubt is a dangerous thing for an athlete. It’s a great thing for fans of a sport.

And doubt is suddenly easier to find than discounted Valentine’s chocolate.

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how happy are the DC BasketCases?!?! Very happy. (Oh, and don’t tick off the male Terps, Georgetown, ’cause that’s messing up an important rivalry on the women’s side.)

And, as a follow on, how happy is Miami?

I don’t know that “ugly” fully captures the game, but I’m guessin’ Mel’s tweet does: EDD drives through crowd and hits. Delaware up 40-39 with 2.0 seconds left. On her worst day she is still a blooming legend.

New York, sweep New York. The Princeton Tigers enjoy their weekend.

Rhode Island is 0-12 in the A-10, and Indiana is 0-14 in the Big Ten.

Didn’t see this coming (nor, I’m sure, did JMU): Northeastern (4-11, CAA) 61, the Dukes (11-4) 50. First win ever for the Huskies over James Madison.

The Pride came back from 4 down at the half to defeat Towson, 69-66, courtesy of a late three by Nicole Capurso. But dang, check out Shante Evans’ 29 pts, 20 rebs!

No you don’t, you PinkPurple Eagles, you! Niagara (7-9, MAAC) makes Marist  (15-1) work wicked hard (2OTs), but can’t quite pull off the upset. Red Foxes win, 79-77, and are conference champeens.

Fairfield (13-3 MAAC) sorta keeps pace, taking down Canisius, 63-51.

In a game Nate wanted us to watch, but we were too busy watching this and this and this). USC built a big first half lead and eased to a 66-54 win over UCLA and new coach Close.

So, Nell must be enjoying her post-Bonner time at Auburn, huh?

In the kind of news a program wants to hear, Creighton (9-6 MVC) took down Indiana State, 63-48.

Not a battle of powerhouses, but still painful to witness the state of George Washington basketball. They (4-8, A-10) go down to Massachusetts (2-10), 56-53.

Tennessee still keeping their fans on tenterhooks. They travel to Ole Miss (2-12, SEC) and win, 66-56.

Welcome to the world of Georgia basketball: up, down, down, up. Then goes down to Florida, and goes down to Florida.

Speaking of up and down, down and up, up and down: hello Michigan State fans! In OT, Spartans 67, Purdue 52.

I totally understand why a 24-2, 13-0 C-USA team is not ranked (right). BUT, I sure hope SOMEONE in the top 25 is checking their roster, counting the number of underclassmen, and pondering a game next season.

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Assistant coach of Creighton women’s basketball team arrested on suspicion of drunken driving

Yah, I know I’m jumping to guilty before proven, but read the text.

What actions Creighton takes is of no real concern to me. That’s an internal and, if there are abuse concerns, a very personal decision. But honestly, I have no sympathy for folks who get into their car when they’re drunk.That’s why taxis, couches and true friends were invented.

If I ruled the legal world, the first offense drunk driving would mean having your license suspended for a year. So you say you need to drive to get to work? You’re the sole provider? Well, then, don’t friggin’ get into your car when you’re drunk! Do it again and you’re never allowed to drive again. The fact that this is not the law of the land shows people, and the legislators, are willing to tolerate — even condone — drunk driving.

And yah, I know those who say, “But they’ll drive anyway.” So what? (Or, ask the NYC police department to keep track of them.) The solution is simple: If they get caught, they go to jail. Talk to someone who’s lost a brother or a parent or a dear friend to a drunk driver. Talk to the Angels pitching staffOh, wait, how quickly baseball forgets.

JGuthrie46 Jeremy Guthrie
Tweeting about umps during game=$20,000 fine & 2-game suspension. Driving Under the Influence=$0.00 MLB fine. @MADDonline @ozzieguillen

Deliberate, willful carelessness of others tends to tick me off.

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From her chat:

kevin (macon ga): In the last week, 10 ranked teams have lost to unranked opponents. Is parity a reality?

Mechelle Voepel: I asked Geno Auriemma about this Monday. He said that parity is kind of like global warming: Not everybody believes in it or always sees the evidence, but it really is there. Now … for those folks who don’t believe in global warming, I guess I can’t convince them that either thing really exists. :) I actually think “parity” to a degree has been around a long time. It’s just taking a while for it to reach the very top with any consistency. I do think weeks like this past one are good evidence of progress. And, yes, I believe in global warming.

After yesterday’s events, she blogs: You can wake up, St. John’s. It wasn’t a dream

Opposing coaches watch film, do the scout, and run their players through practice before facing UConn, just like going against any other team. Except it’s not. You wonder how many coaches – for instance, one of a program that had lost its last 27 in a row to the Huskies – could truly keep 100 percent faith that this preparation really mattered.

Yet that’s what being a coach is: Believing you always prepare to win because that possibility always exists. Even if you are about the only one on Earth who believes it.

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Huge, huge, HUGE win for a St. John’s team that is finally healthy.

They go in to Storrs on Senior Night, with a 99-game home winning streak on the line, take UConn’s best shot early, then nail shot after shot, keeping their cool, flustering the Huskies until… tada! It looks like UConn’s going to squeeze out the 2pt win courtesy of their defense BUT, St John’s has the ball in their hands and, with 8 seconds left, Shenneika Smith nails the three-pointer: Red Storm 57, UConn 56. (Anyone remember a certain Aussie named Jessica Foley did something similar?)

What a delightful shot (there was?) of the St. John’s kids on the front page of ESPN. Doesn’t it seems like we’ve seen a lot of shots like that this season? How cool!

The Penguins of Youngstown tried to pull of a similar upset of Green Bay – had’em down 5 with about a minute left in the game…. then poof! It was tied. And then it was overtime, and then it was an opportunity missed. This time it was Ritchie to the Rescue.

Baylor, too, suffered from the Feb. blahs and Texas Tech almost took advantage. Didn’t manage to complete the deal, but you gotta believe all those fans in Waco were reaching for the Tums as BG struggled (yes, she got a double-double, but was 5-14), Simms too. Fortunately, there was enough Destiny to go around. Bears 56, Raiders 51, Baylor Big 12 champeens.

In a match up initials, SIUE (10-4, OVC) took down EIU (12-2), 59-54.

Bowling Green has clinched a share of the Division and, yes, coach Curt is back.

Middle Tennessee State, 14-0 (Sun Belt). (Oh, and don’t mess with coach Insell.)

Wow — was there something in the air tonight? Liberty (12-2, Big South) can’t escape Winthrop (8-5), and goes down in Flames: 71-69.

Yes, clearly there was: BU earned its first conference loss against Albany, 48-41. (I know that Boston stinks at supporting women’s sports — but, jeez, you think the Globe or Herald would notice the team.)

Dang, did I jinx’em? San Diego goes down to BYU, 64-50.

Yup, I jinxed’em: La Tech got hammered by Hawai’i, 61-49.

It’s just all bad deep in the heart of Texas: Longhorns lose to Kansas State by 20. Is Gail’s seat so hot that she has to get out of the pan and find a different fire?

Wowza — West Virginia had no-mentum, as DePaul exploded for 53 in the second (and to rally from 14 down) to snare the win, 77-63. Looking at their records (not RPI and such), this match up is a perfect example of how hard it is to figure out the rankings. The Mountaineers have a huge win (ND) and a record of 19-7 (9-4) while the Blue Demons are 20-7 (8-5). And guess who’s ranked #20?

That’s Toledo at 11-2 in the MAAC. Again, this is without their best player.

Stanford enjoyed making soup out of the Ducks, 81-46, clinching their “first” Pac-12 title. N.O. had a double-double in 23 minutes. C.O was one rebound away from having one in 27 minutes. Must be discouraging for coach Paul — earlier in the season, Oregon, at Maples, kept it within 23.

Cal got a fight from Oregon State, but prevailed 75-68. So, what’s Rueck’s rank in the Pac-12 COY race? And when do Cal and Stanford play again?

In the Summit, Oral Roberts (12-4) had to go to overtime to take down the Mastodons (5-10). Congrats to junior Kevi Luper, who became ORU’s career scoring leader (2193+) and steal(er?) (374 and counting).

American U took care of business against the Black Knights of Army, and now are 12-0 in the Patriot League. And League champeens. (Why are they a League and not a Conference?)

Not to be outdone, St. Bonaventure ran their conference record to 12-0 with their 18-pt win over Xavier.

FGCU is hitting their stride: they took down the Hatters 79-56, and now are 16-0 in the A-Sun. (And conference champeens.)

Great game in the MEAC (though not one Debbie and Beth would be cheering about): Howard (12-2) over Coppin State (10-3), 50-49.

Another good game: Davidson (15-2, Southern) took down Appalachian State (15-2), 61-54.

That sigh of relief was Missouri getting their first win in the Big 12. (And it may mean no NCAA tourney for Kansas.)

Wonder how much coach Donovan is enjoying non-WNBA life: Her Seton Hall team is now 0-13 in the Big East.

Once upon a time in 2010, IUPUI was a hot mess. So, I’m just pointing out that, with their win over South Dakota (18-7, 9-6), second year coach Austin Parkinson has them at 7-8 in the Summit.

Speaking of hot messes that are no longer hot messes: Fresno State took care of business against Utah State, and the Bulldogs are still undefeated in the WAC.

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