Thanks to Mingo and Houser and Moses, Purdue punched out Michigan State and punched in to the NCAA Tournament. Oh, and crowned themselves Big 10 Conference Champeens. Graham asks, Purdue is back … is the Big Ten?
March is made for moments that don’t require a bigger picture.
After Purdue’s Drey Mingo completed an on-court television interview in the minutes immediately following her team’s 62-47 win against Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game, the sixth-year graduate student turned, grabbed coach Sharon Versyp in a bear hug, lifted her off the ground and held her there for several seconds before she returned the coach to terra firma.
Then Mingo picked her up again.
About 15 yards separated the Duke and North Carolina locker rooms inside the Greensboro Coliseum. But at halftime of Sunday’s ACC tournament final, the strategies being discussed behind those doors could not have been further apart.
The Blue Devils had just streaked into the break, clamping down with a full-court press and finishing the half on a 14-2 run that gave them a 39-24 lead. One Duke player called out, “We can’t stop now,” then, “Let’s keep doing what we’re doing!”
From Rob at Full Court: Duke does it again, wins eighth ACC tournament
Meanwhile, on the West Coast, UCLA and Stanford were channeling their inner Rutgers (27%/39%) as they painfully clawed their way through the Pac12 finals. With Chiney having an off night (perhaps the weight of the team on her back finally took a toll), the Cardinal were fortunate to have Orrange appear to counter the Bruins’ Marckel. And that the clock ran out when it did. Stanford escapes 51-59, and earn the Conference Championship. From Michelle:
The buzzer sounded Sunday evening on a Pac-12 tournament final that was alternately excruciating and compelling, and Stanford point guard Amber Orrange became ground zero for the celebration.
The sophomore, the shy Army brat whom Tara VanDerveer has been pulling out of her shell since she arrived on The Farm, had just willed the Cardinal to a 51-49 win against UCLA to send Stanford to its seventh straight conference tournament title.
Orrange finished with 20 points, including the game winner as she split two significantly larger defenders to score on a drive to the basket with seven seconds to go, capping the best game of her college career.