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A) Drey Mingo named tournament Most Outstanding Player. Why? Remember this and this and this?

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.

B) Fordham Rams in the A-10 Finals. Hmmmm…. Brooklyn, March 16th. 7pm.

St. Joe’s got, and kept, an early lead against #11 Dayton, rudely interrupting the Flyers’ march to the A-10 Finals. Instead, it will be Hawks v. Rams.

Oklahoma State kept #1 Baylor honest with the zone, but the Bears prevailed, 77-69. Will the Cowgirls go Dancin’?

St. John’s kept #13 Louisville honest, but the Cardinals prevailed, 62-55. Will the Red Storm go Dancin’?

South Florida kept #2 Notre Dame honest, but the Irish prevailed, 75-66. Will the Bulls go Dancin’?

It was a back and forth game between Kentucky and Texas A&M…. and then the Aggies went forth. Nice way to start your tenure in the SEC, huh?

It was never really close between Duke and North Carolina. Blue Devils are ACC Champs.

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.

No BU in the tournament means Albany’s path to the America East Championship is really clear. Will Hartford be able to surprise ‘em?

The Southern Conference’s top two seeds held serve. The final will be Chattanooga v. Davidson.

See above for the Sun Belt: Middle Tennessee (after a fight with Florida International) will face Arkansas-Little Rock.

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and many were eaten by Baylor, Notre Dame, Duke, Vanderbilt, Stanford and Maryland. (Can anyone tell my why Borton is still coaching? And, “because she’s not Cheryl Littlejohn” doesn’t qualify as an answer. ’cause Borton isn’t Frese, either.)

Games that weren’t expected to be total cake walks were Tenn over Tx and Kentucky over Louisville.

There were almost some pineapple upside down cakes, but Georgia survived GT, Georgetown escaped Rider, and Green Bay wriggled out of the jaws of the Northern Iowa Panthers. (We remember NI from last season.)

#24 Gonzaga couldn’t rise to the occasion and lost to USC.

The ESPN poll had them equally measured, but #18 Ohio State would have none of that and beat #18 Oklahoma.

Coach Versyp added a little spice to the game and got the Boilermakers cookin’ with gas. End result: #16 Purdue 60-51 over TAMU.

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Out of Purdue:

MEDIA ADVISORY

Purdue women’s basketball coach Sharon Versyp and team physician Alayne Sundstrom will be available at 4 p.m. ET today to discuss a confirmed meningitis case involving one of the university’s women’s basketball student-athletes.

Drey Mingo, a redshirt junior from Atlanta, remains hospitalized in stable but critical condition this morning. She was admitted Tuesday afternoon.

The Boilermakers were scheduled to fly to Mexico this morning to participate in the Caribbean Challenge, but the team cancelled the trip. The team had already arrived in Indianapolis on Tuesday night in preparation for its flight when the decision was made not to participate in the two-day tournament. The Boilermakers were to have played Montana on Thursday and Florida Golf Coast on Friday.

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from Stacy Clardie at the Journal-Gazette: Purdue women returning to health, becoming a team

Nearly her full team will be healthy enough to participate in summer conditioning – a blessing after having only five players last summer – and it’s during this grind that teams form bonds.

And the Boilermakers need to get solid.

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