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Dunno who’s more upset…

#6 Texas, # 8 Stanford or me having to come home from Bonaire. The last of SCUBA:

I do know the boys are waiting….

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Almost done with…SCUBA

Yes, basketball, but….SCUBA!

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Red Hind

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Stoplight Parrot Fish

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French Angel Fish

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Blue Striped Grunt

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Smooth Trunk Fish

 

 

 

 

SCUBA!

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I’m (almost) ready to go!”

Yup, February Board of Ed Break in NY means it’s time for my annual SCUBA trip. Off on Saturday and back on Saturday. Please don’t start the impeachment hearings until I get back.

Before I go, some things to keep you busy:

Listen Up! Lachina: Rebecca Lobo chats about UCONN’s 100th consecutive win, being a part of the Huskies family, Geno Auriemma’s coaching legacy.

Listen Up! Howard (dang, it’s hard to keep up!):

Breanna Stewart talks about her journey to China, how offseason changes alter her role on the Seattle Storm, and what she plans to do for an encore in the year ahead.

Harvard coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, the winningest head coach in Ivy League history, talks about fighting Title IX battles in the 1970s, her career arc, how the Ivy League has developed, her young, talented 2016-17 team, and where the game goes from here.

Listen Up! Richard: Kim Barnes-Arico taking Michigan to new heights

Listen Up! College Sports Now and Rebecca Lobo.

Games: 

Did I not mention they were wobbly? Huge win for Coach Abe as her UCF Knights knocked off #22 South Florida, 66-62. How huge?  Just the first win over ranked team in school history

Rider continues it’s nice run in the MAAC, defeating Marist, 65-46.

Don’t want to ignore the #2 Terps, even if they’re whomping Wisconsin. Ohio State looms.

Welcome to #24 Kansas State’s season – they get back into the poll, they get whacked. This time, it was a stumbling West Virginia doing the honors, 66-59.

With Maine and Albany having “transitional” seasons, New Hampshire is stepping into the void. They’re at 12-1 in the Am. East, and my Durham friends have noticed!

Belmont has moved to 14-0 in the OVC.

Say who? Western Illinois defeated South Dakota State. In his fifth year, coach JD Gravina’s team now sits atop the Summit.

Colorado State repelled Mountain West challenger Wyoming, 61-54. A tougher loss for the Cowgirls: Junior guard Liv Robert out with an ACL.

Sure, Notre Dame was “dealing with a short bench,” but the fact they only beat Clemson by four tells you a ton about what Coach Smith has been doing with the Tiger program (did I not tell you?)

Yes, Tennessee lost to Alabama, but let’s not bury the lede: Diamond took a whack to the head/neck and was taken off the court on a board. Sounds like she may be okay, but head-neck injuries are no joke.

Another significant injury: Shakayla Thomas’s shoulder put her in a sling. Wheels fell off #4 Florida State wagon and Virginia’s up and down season had an up(set). Cavaliers over the Seminoles, 60-51.

Hmmm… what’s up with #3 Mississippi State, looking ahead to the conference tournament? They’re lucky Georgia ran out of gas in the fourth – Bulldogs win, 58-49.

JINX! (Sorry Kim). #2o Michigan falls to Indiana, 72-61.

#23 TAMU continues to confound. They lose to LSU, 67-63.

The WWC continues to try and keep it interesting: Loyola Marymount over Saint Mary’s with authority, 72-57 (Remember – LMU beat BYU) and USF beat Gonzaga.

Wright State and Green Bay are heading to a showdown Feb 24th. That likely will be for Conference Tourney seeding – and some “wanna go to the NCAA tourney” mojo.

Speaking of showdowns, Western Kentucky got the season sweep over Middle Tennessee. C-USA tourney ought to be fun….

Ouch – Montana State (11-3) loses to Portland State (5-8).

“Hello, it’s…Drake:” Drake takes over top spot in espnW mid-major poll

You might have heard that Connecticut is still unbeaten in conference play — and every other kind of play. Maryland and Texas are similarly making runs at conference perfection in the Big Ten and Big 12, respectively.

But those three giants aren’t alone in their excellence. With only a handful of games remaining, Belmont (Ohio Valley), Drake (Missouri Valley), New Mexico State (WAC) and Penn (Ivy) are also close to wrapping up unbeaten conference seasons.

Three of the four appear below. Spoiler alert: sorry, Aggies.

Michelle Smith: Postseason resume assessment of Pac-12 teams as Hard work keeps Beavers at top of standings

Damnit: USM’s women’s basketball Joye Lee-McNeliscoach battling cancer

Step by Step: As Michigan women’s hoops soars, Barnes Arico trying to ease pressure

The biggest problem for Kim Barnes Arico these days: Everything may be going a little too smoothly.

Her Michigan women’s basketball team is 21-5 overall, the best start in program history.

The No. 20 Wolverines are 10-2 in the conference with four games remaining and can clinch the No. 3 seed or higher in the Big Ten tournament with a win at Thursday at Indiana.

Only twice in program history has U-M finished the conference season in third place or higher.

So what’s she worried about?

Interesting: USC coach Dawn Staley to critics: ‘Be fans, don’t be coaches’

Staley’s crew has heard from the online critics who panned what the team didn’t do at UConn. 

“We do got a lot of coaches out there that want to coach our basketball team,” she quipped. “But you can’t just coach on game days. Got to get in here, got to coach on waking up, losing to a team and then getting them back, psychologically. 

“Be fans, don’t be coaches, because there’s a lot that goes into coaching. It’s just not X’s and O’s.”

It involves stressing to the team that a championship can still be won without putting undue pressure on it.

Congrats: Texas named NCAA Team of the Week.

WNBA

Mini Mi! Phoenix Suns Sign Olympian Leilani Mitchell

Ciao (Thank you for the memories Bria Hartley! and welcome (An Elena Delle Donne and Emma Meesseman frontcourt will open up the Mystics’ playbook this season) from Bullets Forever.

Talk about a Super Monday!

#10 Texas and #4 Florida State started off the night in style, as the Longhorns battled back from a deficit, got the lead only to see a clutch three from Leticia Romero send the game into overtime. Two extra periods later (and far too many missed free throws, kids!), the Longhorns earned the 92-88 victory.

“To be on the road in this type of environment and have the adversity — we had a lot of people in foul trouble — I thought our team showed a lot of toughness and resiliency,” Texas coach Karen Aston said.

Burnt Orange Nation says it’s Time to pay attention to Texas women’s basketball after double-OT W

The Texas Lady Longhorns traveled all the way to Tallahassee on short rest, played a 50-minute, double-overtime game last night, and came out 92-88 winners over the No. 4 Florida State Seminoles.

Did you watch? I admit I meant to and forgot. So today I’m committing, for the next few weeks, to relegate the men’s squad to second-affection status and hop on the Lady Longhorn bandwagon.

Next up, South Carolina pushed UConn on a night the Huskies should have been vulnerable. Nurse was hampered by a bad ankle, Samuelson was shooting blanks, and Collier was garnering fouls, and yet… Gabby Williams. Somehow, some way, the Huskies scratched out the 66-55 win and upped their record to 100 in a row.

Joe Ward, NY Times: UConn’s 100-Game Winning Streak, One Blowout at a Time

Harvey Araton, NY Times: With 100th Straight Win, Connecticut Women’s Team Redefines Dominance

Graham Hays, ESPN: UConn once again defies expectations in winning 100 consecutive games

Both teams missed shots they might make other nights, but it was South Carolina that made the mistakes — committed the turnovers and gave up the rebounds that decided the outcome. Connecticut didn’t beat itself. And no one else has proved capable of it.

“Our defense was not bad,” South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. “I thought we did a really good job with that. It’s just we let our guard down, and when you let your guard down, a team like UConn is going to make you pay every time.”

She paused for a beat, then almost whispered the final two words again. Every time.

One hundred times in a row, for those counting.

David Cloninger, The State: No, UCan’t: No. 1 Huskies get past Gamecocks

It was working. The system was working.

But Connecticut disrupted a lot of systems in winning 99 consecutive games, and did it again in defeating No. 6 South Carolina for its 100th.

The Huskies (25-0) beat the Gamecocks 66-55 on Monday to extend their record for consecutive victories and let USC know that stopping them is a temporary solution.

Sports Illustrated: Athletes react to UConn’s 100th straight win

Friend of the sport, Richard Deitsch, Sports Illustrated: Geno Auriemma has UConn women living in 100-win fantasy land

Three weeks before the start of this year’s women’s college basketball season, UConn coach Geno Auriemma sat in his office contemplating the prospect of finishing this year without a loss. He considered the suggestion laughable, preposterous, pick your own adjective to describe such crazy.

“To think we will go undefeated this year, we would be setting ourselves up for failure,” Auriemma said. “Stewie [Breanna Stewart], Moriah Jefferson and [Morgan] Tuck were 151-5 in their career. That’s not the real world. How long do you think you can live that world? I don’t know when it is going to happen. It might happen early, it might happen late, but it’s going to happen. And I’m okay with it because we will coach them through it and they will see that’s the real world, and the world everyone lives in.”

Four months later, UConn remains in Fantasy Land.

Also from Richard: UConn’s 100th-Consecutive Win is Highest-Rated College Basketball Game on ESPN2 This Season UConn-South Carolina women’s hoops drew an 0.9 overnight rating, highest-rated CBB game on ESPN2 this season among men’s & women’s B-ball.

Ryan Cooper, NCAA.com: UConn women’s basketball wins 100th straight game, beats South Carolina 66-55

USA Today: No. 1 UConn tops South Carolina to extend record to 100 wins in a row

NBC: UConn Women’s Basketball Gets 100th Straight Win Against South Carolina

NPR: UConn Women Win Historic 100th Game In A Row

UConn Blog: UConn Women’s Basketball Overpowers South Carolina for #100, 66-55

Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant: UConn Wins No. 100 Just Like The Rest — With A Comfortable Margin Of Victory

“We’re one injury, couple fouls away from just being average at best,” Auriemma said.

So on a night when the UConn women’s basketball team stood under the bright lights with a celebrated milestone in front of it, Auriemma saw it unfold. One of his starters was hampered by an injury, a few of his core players picked up some untimely fouls, and his best scorer was simply not scoring.

Jim Fuller, New Haven Register: UConn women win 100th straight game, take down South Carolina

Just in case the stat line of Gabby Williams wasn’t impressive enough during the UConn women’s basketball program’s date with destiny, her Hall of Fame coach bestowed the compliments to end all compliments on the junior forward.

Not long after his team became the first NCAA basketball team to win 100 games in a row with a hard-earned 66-55 victory over No. 6 South Carolina before a sellout crowd of 10,167 at Gampel Pavilion on Monday night, UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma compared Williams’ majestic performance to the most offensively-talented player to suit up for him.

“You can’t explain Gabby Williams ever having any expectations of ever being Maya Moore and (having) a Maya Moore performance tonight exactly when she needed it, exactly when it needed to be done,” Auriemma said.

SB Nation: UConn women’s basketball wins its 100th straight game

Newsday: UConn women get tested early, beat South Carolina for 100th win in a row

UConn Today: 100 Facts About the Historic 100th Win by Women’s Basketball

Beth Maiman, NCAA.com: UConn women’s basketball: What was happening in the world the last time the Huskies lost?

Bleacher Report: UConn Women’s Basketball Team Records 100th Straight Win with Victory vs. USC

A 100-game winning streak is not supposed to happen in any sport at any time.

After all, there are salary caps, scholarship limits and parity-inducing draft orders in place to check such power, and that’s not even accounting for random factors such as luck and poor performances on any given day.

That’s what makes the Connecticut Huskies’ 100th straight win—which they notched Monday with a 66-55 victory over South Carolina—downright incredible. Injuries, strong opponents and even the graduation of superstar Breanna Stewart have not slowed them down, and a fifth straight national title seems like an inevitable conclusion to this ride.

Hartford Courant: Huskies Take Streak To Triple Digits Surrounded By Legends and UConn Women: The Past And Present Come Together For 100th Win In A Row

Journal Inquirer: Alum Stewart proud to still be part of it all at UConn

Swish Appeal: HUSKIES’ SPECTACULAR STREAK CONTINUES and History Made: What UConn’s 100th straight win means

Rhode Island Public Radio: UConn Women’s Basketball: New England’s Other Dynasty

SEC Country: Recap, box score from 66-55 loss at No. 1 UConn

South Carolina women’s basketball largely played the game it needed for the first 18 minutes Monday night against UConn.

But the rest of the game served as a reminder of why No. 1 UConn was playing for the first 100-game winning streak in Division 1 basketball history — and why the Huskies got the job done in a 66-55 win against No. 6 South Carolina (21-3, 11-1).

Greenville News: College basketball does regular season right

The University of South Carolina women’s basketball team will be a footnote in the history books. The Gamecocks suffered a 66-55 loss Monday night at the University of Connecticut. It was UConn’s 100th consecutive victory, the longest streak in NCAA history in any sport.

South Carolina may find no solace in the undesirable distinction of being UConn’s 100th victim. Yet, the Gamecocks are a fitting foe for the milestone.

South Carolina is ranked No. 6 in the USA Today Sports coaches poll. Even amid the conference schedule, both teams eagerly relished this enticing encounter. UConn has never cowered to protect its streak.

Good Men Project: Who Runs the (Basketball) World? U Conn.

Yahoo Sports: One hundred straight wins only hints at UConn’s dominance

Pulse/Business Insider: The 3 plays in sports everybody will be talking about today

ESPN: UConn prez: Huskies one of greatest success stories in American athletics

To get more specific, I think a lot of times people look at UConn women’s basketball and are not interested in particular players and their stories. These are really fabulous women who are going to rule the world someday. They are great students, leaders, and are excellent citizens of the community. I’d like to see a lot more emphasis on individual players and their achievements in addition to the team.

UConn Report: UConn Women’s Basketball Postgame – South Carolina

Silliness from Philly: Smallwood: Just give the trophy to UConn already

Philly.com: Geno Auriemma, UConn’s winning women’s basketball coach, got his start in Philly

NJ.com: UConn wins 100th straight | Rutgers’ C. Vivian Stringer weighs in on historic feat

.com: WNBA CONNections to The Streak

In other news: 

Follow up on an earlier story:  Golden Bears rally for Rama N’diaye after cancer diagnosis

At first, Rama N’diaye kept a secret from her loved ones and entire support system last summer: She had breast cancer.

Privacy is the cultural norm back home in Senegal, yet N’diaye quickly realized she would need everybody cheering her fight. She gathered the courage and reached out to former California basketball staff member Sarah Holsinger, now at Virginia working as associate athletic director of basketball administration for Joanne Boyle, the coach who recruited N’diaye to Berkeley more than a decade ago before leaving for Charlottesville.

“I was so amazed,” N’diaye said Sunday. “They came and they were there for me.”

Congrats: Texas’ Holmes named espnW National Player of the Week

Road Trip!!!

I had a lovely time, thanks for asking. Zipped up to Northampton to listen to the fabulous Patty Larkin, got to hang with my college friends, eat breakfast waffles, head to Boston and visit with my mom, the crawl my way through the snow back. Then I… what? You were asking about South Carolina’s road trip? Where are they going? :-)

So, yah, it’s kind of a big deal. I’m feeling like it’s more of a big deal for the Gamecocks. They need to know they can beat UConn. They’ve got the talent – can they play with the offensive and defensive discipline needed to conquer the Huskies? We shall see.

As for UConn, a nice round 100 would be lovely, of course, but what they really want is a shot at National Championship #12. We all know they’re playing on a razor’s edge – and injury, foul trouble, an off night or a team that’s supper hot and bob’s you uncle, your waiting for next season.

Pop some popcorn and pull up a chair…Until them, indulge in some work-time procrastination:

In Pursuit Of 100: UConn Ready For South Carolina On National Stage, Courant
History Drives UConn To Great Heights, Courant
Preview Capsule: No. 6 South Carolina At No. 1 UConn, Courant
Auriemma puts win streak in perspective before taking on South Carolina, Daily Campus
UConn women’s basketball leaving legacy on and off the court, Daily Campus
South Carolina a unique challenge as UConn women look for 100th straight win, Register
Women’s basketball gameday capsule: No. 6 South Carolina at No. 1 UConn, Register
UConn’s winning streak: By the numbers, ESPN
ESPN Plans Full Coverage of Monday Night’s Game, ESPN
A streak like no other: UConn plays USC trying for 100th consecutive win, The State
UConn women’s basketball: 5 keys to beating Huskies as they go for win No. 100, NCAA.com
UConn recruits have same goals, Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette
No. 6 South Carolina looks to spoil UConn’s run to 100 wins, USA Today
South Carolina women’s basketball heading into historic meeting with UConn, SECcountry
Gamecock women’s basketball preps for No. 1 UConn, WYFF Greenville
The Feed Pail: South Carolina vs. UConn the big draw this Monday night, Garnet and Black Attack
Gamecocks stand as final hurdle between UConn and 100 — and maybe much more, Charleston Post Courier
Michaux: South Carolina women out to stop UConn’s bid for 100th consecutive win, Augusta Chronicle
USC Stands In The Way Of UConn’s Historic Streak, WLTX
Gamecocks feel confident going to UConn, The State
USC between UConn and 100th straight win, The T and D
UConn Women’s Basketball to Go for 100th Straight Win, NBC CT
USC women will try to snap UConn’s 99-game win streak, Spartanburg Herald
Auriemma to Say Good Morning to America Monday as UConn Goes for 100 in a Row

Meanwhile, on the west coast, someone with the initials S.R. is bucking for Coach of the Year honors…Or should those initials be M.N.?

Midwest news: Drake women’s basketball makes MVC history

The Drake women’s basketball team cruised to a 98-46 victory over Bradley on Sunday afternoon at the Knapp Center in front of 3,219 fans. The victory improved Drake’s record to 13-0 in Missouri Valley Conference play to set the best-ever start to league play in MVC history.

And the mystery continues in Knoxville: A&M women’s basketball earns first victory in Knoxville in crucial SEC matchup

Speaking of the SEC: Nell Yes: Women’s basketball stars – Nell Fortner analyzes standout performances from Dominique Dillingham, Caliya Robinson and Katie Frerking.

Other interesting results:

Ooofta – Missing leading scorer Jenna Burdette, Dayton came crashing down, losing to A-10 challenger George Washington, 52-39.

Rider is having themselves a nice season in the MAAC (13-3).

James Madison takes down Elon. You’re gonna have to pry that CAA title out of the Dukes’ hands.

Speaking of prying titles out of hands… Ohio upsets Ball State, 72-68.

See above: Middle Tennessee (11-2) had Charlotte’s (9-4) number, 83-81.

Keeping your focus is hard. Little Rock is dealt their first Sun Belt loss by Texas State (8-4)… and it wasn’t even close: 64-47.

Speaking of which, the IUPUI Jaguars (9-4) caught the Wabbits (10-3), 64-59.

Nice to see Hampton v. Howard games have their groove back. Bison over Pirates, 67-62.

New Mexico State is rollin’ in the WAC. Now at 10-0.

Your record has nothing to do with your fight. Upstate and North Florida went three overtimes to decide their game. Ospreys win, 77-74.

Chicago State could really use a win.

Congrats to the inductees! Sheryl Swoopes Headlines 2017 Women’s College Basketball Hall of Fame

Stay put: Two-Time WNBA MVP Candace Parker Extends Contract With Los Angeles Sparks

You stay put, too: Alana Beard Re-Signs With Los Angeles Sparks

.com: EDD Adjusting To Life As A DC Sports Star

What to do with your free time: Broadcasting helps Hughes fill void