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Tuesday tidbits

First: OUCH (and phew!) Breanna Stewart flying home from China to rehab sprained right knee

Also: “COME TO NEW YORK!” WNBA free agency begins

Speaking of “come to New York,” Kelsey Plum‘s at a lot of points. Oh, and #8 Washington  over #19 Arizona State, 65-54,

That was close! Ohio State 61, Purdue 56 as Buckeyes turn deficit into a win

Feisty, but hamstrung: Depleted Washington State loses at Arizona

The Ramblin’ Wreck has had moments of rumbling this year. This was one such momentCold-shooting Syracuse women’s basketball falls at Georgia Tech

#2 Baylor by 49.

Still A’ja-free, #4 South Carolina by 23.

#7 Florida State by… hold on, need more fingers…59.

Tight, ’cause it should be: #9 Louisville over #14 Miami, 63-59.

Tight, but it shouldn’t be: #11 Ohio State over Purdue, 61-56.

Tough time to be a Trojan. With their loss to #10 Oregon State, they fall to 1-5 in the conference.

0-5 in the SEC for Vandy, as they fall to Missouri, 74-68.

Whoops! #23 NC State takes down #12 Duke in a low-scoring slog, 55-52.

That’s the game they were hoping for! Utes over #24 Cal, 63-57.

All DePaul keeps doing is win.

It’s as weird not to be talking about Tennessee as it is to not be talking about UNC. Tar Heels are 1-4 in the ACC after Pittsburgh beats them, 68-48.

Of course, everyone is talking about the Lady Vols as they roar back from 15-down to beat the puzzling #6 Irish, 71-69.

Wake Forest gave’em a tussle, but #17 Virginia Tech escaped, 72-70.

Fordham’s at 6-0 in the A-10. They’ve got St. Louis on the 28th and George Washington on the 1st. The Billikens were dealt their first conference loss by Dayton, who’s holding it together post-Jabir.

Anyone notice that Iowa State is 1-5 in the Big 12?

If not Canada, then Billings. Monique’s 30 power the Bruins over the Ducks, 79-63.

NO, I’m NOT going to call the CAA, but Elon did stuff Drexel, 75-65. It’s early, but anyone looking for a new head coach? (That’s #100 for Smith.)

In case you were wondering, from the NCAA.com: UConn’s record win streak by the numbers

Bracketology: Bulldogs make big jump to top line

Mississippi State has never been a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. But in this week’s projection — and for the first time in Bracketology — the Bulldogs have risen to the top. The last remaining unbeaten team in the country that isn’t also riding a 91-game winning streak, Mississippi State slides to the top line past Maryland, which hasn’t fallen backwards. Rather, the Bulldogs’ overall profile continues to rise and get better as their winning continues.

Interesting: White: Fewer prep participants becoming bigger concern in girls basketball

Many factors have contributed to the decline of girls basketball participation. But coaches often point to one thing as the primary culprit: club volleyball. Club programs fire up during the winter and extend through the spring and sometimes summer months.

Said one western Iowa A.D.: “Single-sport athletes — club volleyball especially — is killing girls basketball.”

Congrats!

After six years of coaching junior high and junior varsity girls basketball at Bettsville and St. Wendelin, Randy Baker inquired about and received the head girls basketball coaching position at Arcadia.

“I didn’t go into this expecting to be a varsity basketball coach my whole life,” Baker, 65, said. “It just kind of happened.”

And quite a bit has happened under Baker’s watch as girls basketball coach at the little school on Ohio 12, more than simply 500 games the Redskins have won with Baker at the helm.

Ahem: CSU personnel management contributes to discrimination problems

On Sept. 28, a jury awarded $3.36 million to Beth Burns, the former head coach for the women’s basketball team at San Diego State University, in her wrongful termination suit. The jury found that the university had retaliated against Burns after she demanded that it comply with Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in schools. 

The Burns verdict comes nine years after the California State University system lost three similar cases filed by former Fresno State Athletic Department employees Diane Milutinovich, Lindy Vivas and Stacy Johnson Klein. Clearly, the CSU has a problem.

In part, this problem is rooted in the wider world of college athletics.

As he plans his transition and administration, like every sector of society, the athletic world considers how a Trump administration could alter its landscape. On issues such as immigrant players, visiting national teams, team and individual protests, White House team visits, and sexual assault and rape, how will the policies, cabinet, coverage, and reaction to the new president color one of the world’s favorite diversions?
Where will politics and sport blur, or collide? It didn’t take long after Election Day for clues to emerge.

Sunday Stroll…

From the .com/aka Indiana’s Kevin Messenger (why you don’t blog no more, Kevin?): A Stroll Made Possible by Mel Greenberg

Mel will turn 70 in April. At 29, he initiated the first AP poll in November 1976, four months after the first Olympic women’s basketball competition and nearly 30 years after the first AP men’s poll in January 1949. He has devoted over 40 years to the sport as its chief print scribe, national publicist, historian and archivist. His current blog, Womhoops Guru, is aptly named. He is effectively retired, but he’s still the guru. He is the Godfather of American women’s basketball and was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Without Mel, our relatively short history of women’s basketball would be significantly shorter – at least lighter and less meaningful. Without Mel, my short stroll down memory lane would have had less substance.

Speaking of history: Wide ranging Q&A by Steve Serby with Auriemma:

Q: What did you tell your team after Stanford ended your previous 90-game win streak?

A: We deserved to lose. We sucked. That whole stretch took a lot out of us. We looked tired, we looked like we had used up a lot of emotional energy. There was a lot of media nonsense back then about UCLA, and this and that and the other thing. It was the first time that anybody had in that situation, and our kids were hearing all kinds of stuff: “Yeah it’s only women’s basketball, you guys suck, you’re not UCLA, you’re not this, blah blah blah blah blah.” And we never said we were. But we deserved to lose.

About #91:

UConn Women Put 91 In Books; Breeze Past SMU, 88-48, Courant
SMU Coach Uses No. 1 UConn As Program Model, Courant
UConn women set NCAA record with 91st win in a row, Register
UConn Women Win Their 91st Straight and Rewrite History Again, NY Times
It’s business as usual for UConn in record-setting win, Mechelle Voepel, ESPN
UConn Huskies’ NCAA-record win streak: 91 and counting, ESPN
UConn women win 91st straight to break their own NCAA record

Flashback: The UConn Women’s Basketball Dynasty Is Over

Gets a Debbie Antonelli “like”: #3 Maryland over Iowa, 98-82.

Really strong third period by #16 Texas beat a strong fourth by #18 West Virginia. Longhorns win, 73-63.

Say, what? Rutgers outscored Michigan State 13-21 in the fourth to grab a stunning win, 58-62.

Northern Colorado looks to dominate in the Big Sky, as their 66-58 win over Montana State runs their conference record up to 6-0.

Again, worth noting a program demonstrating culture change: Norfolk State is now 3-0 in the MEAC.

That fwap-fwap-fwap sound you hear is everyone in the WCC still beating up on each other. Early take? They’ll be going down to the fourth line in the tiebreaker rules to try and figure out conference tournament seedings.

With a win over Toledo, Northern Illinois stakes a claim to the MAC West. Current rival? Central Michigan (Feb 8th). What’s bigger than basketball? NIU women’s basketball team rallies behind teammate with cancer

She was set for surgery in mid-December when she inquired about a small lump on her clavicle that had become sore. Doctors thought it was an infection, and told Castro, a Harvest Christian graduate, that they needed to treat it and eradicate it before they could proceed with the hip surgery.

When the lump didn’t go away, doctors looked closer. Just before the Huskies went on holiday break, they determined that Castro, 19, has Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.

Castro’s fight to save her career suddenly became a fight to save her life.

Perspective…

Northwestern teammates grieve, honor Jordan Hankins in victory over Indiana

McKeown joked about Hankins’ shoot-first, shoot-often mentality and how men’s coach Chris Collins would rib her for blasting music on the court near his office when she was putting up extra shots after practice.

But more than anything McKeown remembers Hankins’ heart.

“I was walking down the hallways of her high school in Indianapolis. Everyone was talking to her. There’s this group to the side. They all said, ‘Jordan , Jordan, Jordan.’ It was a special needs class she worked with,” said McKeown, whose son Joey is autistic. “I said, ‘J, who are those guys? She said, ‘Coach those are my friends.’ I’ll never forget that moment with her.”

For more information on suicide prevention, visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org. For the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, call 1-800-273-8255.

#3000AndCounting

Kelsey “Jackie Stiles I’m comin’ for your scoring record” Plum topped the 3000 point peak and is sailing towards 3,393. In the process, garnering herself (and her team) well deserved attention: Washington Women Paint a Target on Those Other Huskies

These Huskies do not overpower opponents as much as they sweep them up in their current. They score points in bunches, rattle opponents with pressure and pass the ball with flair. Blink, and they are up by 20 points. They went to the Final Four last season. This year, they expect to return.

But these are not the Huskies you usually hear women’s basketball fans talking about.

Did you catch Howard Medgal’s interview with the Plum-i-na-tor two months ago?

.com: WNBA Draft Senior Watch: Record-Breaking Week

What about them Blue Jays? Creighton women’s basketball: A Minnesota dream team

The running joke was created many years ago.

Maybe Steve Huber should get an apartment in the Twin Cities.

The former Creighton women’s basketball assistant coach was in town nearly enough to justify it.

It was Huber who convinced Creighton head coach Jim Flanery that the Bluejays needed to push more recruiting resources into Minnesota. With talent in the tundra and only one Division I university in the state, Minnesota was an area worthy of the staff’s time and effort.

Interesting: Distracting wall message covered up at Texas women’s basketball practice

Deep breath: Utah women’s basketball: After tough weekend, Utes renew focus ahead of ranked Stanford, Cal

Oklahoma State: Senior Diana Omozee’s patience pays off for Cowgirls

Culture! The Tall Girls, About Women’s Basketball Team, Premieres in Chicago

Shattered Globe Theatre continues its 2016-17 season with the Chicago premiere of Meg Miroshnik’s drama The Tall Girls, about five young women in the 1930s rural Midwest who discover a way to escape their crumbling town by playing basketball, at Theater Wit.

Directed by ensemble member Louis Contey, The Tall Girls plays through February 25. Performances began January 12 with an official opening set for January 15 at 3 PM.

Games

“Not so fast (to the Pac 12 top spot):” #17 UCLA snaps #10 Oregon State women’s basketball team’s 12-game win streak

Miss A’ja muchCuevas-Moore leads No. 5 South Carolina to 66-63 win

It was tight, but Florida State prevailed over Louisville, 72-65.

It wasn’t really tight, as Syracuse got a monster gamemonster game from Alexis Peterson (45) and topped #23 NC State by 10.

“Peterson just had an unbelievable game,” Moore said. “I feel kind of like an idiot sitting here having somebody score 45 points on us. We tried to double her. We tried to trap her. We tried to keep it out of her hands. We just couldn’t figure out a way. I’m disappointed we let one player really go off like that and be such a big difference in the game.”

Boom: Good win for LA Tech as they give the 49ers their first C-USA loss – with authority: 80-54. Nice history piece: How Tech’s ’82 title team revolutionized women’s basketball

There was a time, almost four decades ago, when Louisiana Tech ruled the world of women’s college basketball.

The program, led by future Hall of Famers and those considered pioneers of the game, helped revolutionize women’s basketball into the product it would later become and still is in the present day.

The Lady Techsters were that good, and it was evident to everyone.

Welcome to the SEC, Vanderbilt. With a loss to Auburn, they’re 0-4 in conference play.

In the WCC, everyone’s beating everyone.

This is not your last 4 years Ivy (sorta). Penn is 2-0, Princeton is 2-0 (hello, Brown!), but it’s Harvard I have my eye on.

*jinx alert* Thinking that the CAA is Elon’s – but their next two games will be key: Drexel and James Madison.

Lawsuit aside, Drake’s gotta be the heavy favorite in the MVC along, of course, with UNI (they  play January 27th).

Irish v. Panthers: No Big Mac, but Notre Dame women’s basketball satisfied with win

Ole Miss women’s basketball bounce back

The Tennessee women’s basketball team this year is not the same Tennessee women’s basketball team that was dominating the sport years ago.

But let’s not dampen the moment of what it feels like to beat Tennessee for the first time in 21 years.

WATN? Edna Campbell offers a little ABL and WNBA history.

WATN? UConn Women’s Insider: With New Job, Swin Cash Doesn’t Miss Playing

Upcoming games:

Saturday

  • 2pm MAC battle: Northern Illinois (4-0) v. Toledo (3-1)
  • 2pm WCC brawl: BYU v. San Diego and (4pm) Gonzaga v. Saint Mary’s (5pm) San Francisco v. Pacific.
  • 3pm Texas Tech v. #22 Oklahoma. Will the Lady Raiders build on their recent success?
  • 3pm Sun Belt Standoff: UT Arlington v. Troy. Both are 4-0.
  • Going for 91 at 3pm v SMU: UConn women’s basketball streak among best in sports history as the Mustangs wonder: Can the SMU women’s basketball team stop Connecticut from making history at Moody?
  • 4pm #16 Texas v. #18 West Virginia. Saying nothing about the state of the Mountaineers….but…
  • 4pm Big Sky Matchup: Montana (4-1) v. Northern Colorado (5-0).
  • 4pm: Mini MEAC Matchup: North Carolina Central v. Norfolk State. Both are 2-0.
  • 5pm Who moves up in the Mountain West? Colorado State (3-1) v New Mexico (4-1)
  • 5pm Good C-USA test: Charlotte (4-1) v. Southern Mississippi (3-1)

Sunday:

  • 12pm: A10 challenge: St. Louis v. Dayton
  • 1:30: #14 Miami v. #9 Louisville – it’s way early, but this game has conference tourney seeding implications.
  • 3pm: LSU is on a roll, #5 South Carolina is Wilson-less. Whaddaya think?
  • 3pm: #12 Duke v. NC State. An upset keeps the Wolfpack ranked?
  • 3pm: C-USA clash: Middle Tennessee State (4-0) v. Western Kentucky (4-1)
  • 3pm: As mentioned, Elon v. Drexel.
  • 4pm: #17 UCLA v. Oregon. Take a breath and refocus, Bruins – the Ducks are healthier.
  • 8pm: More Pac 12 fun: #8 Washington v. #19 Arizona State

In case you missed it,

90 happened.

Honestly, if you can’t shake your head in awe at the amazingness of this accomplishment I can’t help you….

Oh for a muse of fire! ’cause then I could write like Graham Hays. What pressure? UConn has fun in matching 90-game win streak

There was ample statistical evidence. It wasn’t until midway through the fourth quarter Tuesday that South Florida finally had more points than UConn had assists. But the Huskies were smiling too soon — Samuelson grinning from ear to ear even before the ball was tipped — for the joy to be the product of the play. The joy had to be the source.

Players come and go, but UConn’s coaching staff remains same — and is the perfect balance to Auriemma, ESPN

More coverage (Huge h/t to DoggyDaddy):

“It really was more about the way the game went as opposed to whatever numbers, whatever’s attached to it,” Auriemma said. “The way the first 20 minutes were played. We just played like a team that was tonight on a mission to do something that was really important to them.
“There are very few moments like this when you can take a deep breath, take it all in,” Williams said. “We did a lot of things we like to do and I think that kind of threw them off and allowed us to make a lot of really good plays. Once we got that momentum, we didn’t stop.”

Gabby Williams has a sore hamstring and two surgical scars on her knee.

So if the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team’s junior forward had decided to pull up and not crash into the South Florida bench saving the ball in the third quarter of Tuesday’s game, no one would have faulted her. It also would not have mattered in the outcome as the Huskies already owned a 56-point lead.

But in her first two years, Williams had watched her elders, including All-Americans Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck, make those kind of plays, and the Sparks, Nevada, native wants her younger teammates to be ready to do the same things when necessary.

The largest home crowd to watch the UConn women’s basketball team this season and largest contingent of media of the year turned out for the Huskies’ date with destiny and they did not disappoint.

The 102-37 win over South Florida was the largest margin of victory in program history against a team ranked in the Associated Press poll and that final score makes it sound closer than it actually was.

Chalk Up Win No. 90 In A Row As UConn Blows Out USF, 102-37 Courant

UConn routs USF, ties own record with 90th straight win Inside Ottawa Valley

No. 1 UConn Routs USF, 102-37 UConn Site

“Some things you just can’t really explain; you just have to enjoy it,” Auriemma said after the game. “We don’t set out to do these kinds of things. We don’t set out to set records, break records or keep track of records. We set out to play as hard as we can.
“I did think someone would break it, and when I did I thought about keeping it in the family,” Hayes said after watching the Huskies beat Central Florida at CFE Arena in Orlando on New Year’s Day. “That’s what happening so I’m really happy about it. We took a lot of pride when we set the record and I hope this team is taking pride in what they’re doing. What they’re doing is great. And if they are going to do this, do it right.”

“Come watch film, I’ll show you why we should lose games and why I think we’re going to lose,” he said at the time. “You saw what happened (tonight): All we need is one of those kids to foul out earlier … we’re one thing away. I’m sure most teams are.”

Why?

Well for one thing, any coach in America will tell you it’s a bad idea to look past any game.

But here’s another simple explanation: In 2010, the Huskies set the record that the current team tied on Tuesday, before their then-historic win streak was broken by Stanford that December. Four months later, both UConn and Stanford found themselves watching the championship game from the sidelines after being upset by Texas A&M and Notre Dame in the Final Four.

You’ll hear it said often: Auriemma and his assistants don’t just go for talented recruits. They insist on the exact type of personality they want, too. They really won’t take chances on players who don’t meet the program’s iron-clad requirements of discipline, teamwork, responsibility, good attitudes and positive body language.

Because the UConn culture of excellence has been in place so long, it serves as a magnet for the exact type of player that will sustain it.

Four special admirers of Connecticut’s historic streak, ESPN

Other games of interest:

Riddle me this Ohio State: How do you spell defense? Michigan State’s Tori Jankoska scored 42 points (passing Ariel Powers’ record). Mitchell shoots 4/18 and as a team, the Buckeyes shoot 31%. The Spartans? 50%. Result? #11 Ohio State falls to Michigan State, 94-75.

#16 Texas is getting its groove on in the Big 12, downing Oklahoma State, 66-35.

Speaking of groove on, #2 Baylor splatted TCU, 77-54.

Keep an eye on Michigan – they beat Indiana, 78-74.

Also keep an eye on Maryland – they got all they could handle from Penn State, 89-83, and needed every one of Brionna Jones’ 42 points.

Undefeated no more. In their first test against a ranked team, #15 Virginia Tech falls to #14 Miami, 82-75. Hokies face Duke in two games.

Didn’t I say pay attention to Texas Tech? They upset #18 West Virginia, 75-66.

Billikens win! That being said, if they want folks to take’em seriously, they need to beef up their out of conference schedule.

Speaking of which, Buffalo’s now 1-3 in the MAC, falling to 3-1 in the MAC Toledo, 73-64.

Baby steps: Defensive struggles don’t surprise Badgers’ first-year coach Jonathan Tsipis

Heard this story before: OU women’s basketball: Ortiz reclaims joy in basketball

Talk about timing: WNBA’s new security app put to the test after Istanbul shooting

What was hinted becomes reality: Swin Cash Officially Moves From Court Into Liberty’s Front Office

Click bait, much? What is and isn’t working for the Washington women’s basketball team

But really, click here: For 40 minutes of fun, it’s hard to top Washington women’s basketball

Nice to be asking: Culver: Is this the best FSU women’s basketball team ever?

Cool: Women’s basketball: Tennessee’s Joan Cronan to receive Pat Summitt Award

Congrats: Oregon State earns Team of the Week honors

More congrats: Consuegra leads 7-member Quinn Hall of Fame class

It doesn’t get much harder than this: Northwestern women’s basketball player Jordan Hankins’ death ruled a suicide.

87, 88, 89….

“I don’t want to minimize it, because it’s an incredible thing,” Auriemma said Monday. “To be in a position to do it once, much less twice. So I don’t want to minimize; I don’t want to discount it. But at the same time, I don’t want it to distract us from what we’re trying to do long-term, which is get us ourselves ready for March. And that’s way more important than whatever number it is or whatever the streak is at.
Over the decades, the wins have come at a fast and furious pace and the winning streaks earned entries into the NCAA record book. But the philosophy of staying true to the process has never waned even as the Huskies are on the verge of tying their own record with their 90th straight win when No. 20 South Florida comes to the XL Center on Tuesday night (7 p.m., CBS College Sports). The Bulls happen to be the only team to lead the Huskies for more than 10 minutes in a game twice during this current streak.
“We understand that we have an opportunity to do something special,” junior guard Kia Nurse said Monday. “We’ve said it, but we try not to focus on it. Tomorrow is a game that we want to win. It’s not about the streak right now for us, but the chance to make history is incredible and something a lot of people dream of.”

If not for UConn’s 88-86 loss in overtime at Stanford on Nov. 17, 2014, this streak would be 137 in a row. But that’s the thing: Losses like that one should happen, even to great teams. Yet they typically don’t happen to UConn.

With that one stumble, UConn went 38-1 during the 2014-15 season and outscored foes by an average of 40.7 points. In 2015-16, it was 39.8. This season, UConn has less experience and sheer star power. The Huskies are winning by an average of 24.7. And in their four games against top-10 opponents, the winning margin is 7.5 points. Yet the key word is still “winning.”

And I’ll say this about all that: past performance in not guarantee of future performance. Not saying that South Florida will beat them… and not ignoring UConn’s game against South Carolina, BUT – a winning streak does not equal a championship.

If anyone is thinking this team is invincible, they’re simply not paying attention. Its winning rests on a razor’s edge. To my mind, the Final Four is still wide open. More importantly, it’s likely that if UConn does make the April trip to Texas, any team they play  will have already faced them this season. Huge difference between studying the Huskies on tape and studying them on the court….

Next countdown to pay attention to? Plum-i-na-tor and Jackie Stiles.
Speaking of the Player of the Week Plum-i-na-tor… for some reason I just scrolled over that Sunday game that #12  Washington had against #8 UCLA . Musta been the snow glare. Didn’t distract Kelsey, who dropped 39 (Canada scored 12 on 4/16 shooting) to lead the Huskies to a 82-70 win.

In review:
2PM: Texas A&M v. #24 Kentucky – who shows up?
2PM: #4 Mississippi State v. Tennessee – who solidifies their journey?
  • MSU, I guess, winning for the first time at TBA. It was nip and tuck throughout the game. Not only was the team offense unimpressive, what’s with all the fouls, Bulldogs?
2PM: #18 Virginia Tech v. Clemson – undefeated v. rebuilding.
2PM: North Carolina v. Virginia – equivalent records… someone’s gotta lose.
3PM: LSU v. Alabamakansas– who’s trying to make a statement?
3PM: #13 Duke v #6 Florida State – top of the ACC anyone?
  • That would be us,” said Florida State, with aplomb and in front of a program-record 6,687 fans.
3PM: #7 Notre Dame v. #14 Miami – there sure are a lot of ranked teams in this conference.

4PM: Ole Miss v. Auburn – who are you two?

4PM: #20 Oklahoma v. #17 West Virginia – soaring v. stumbling.

  • Heard from Mike Carey’s office, “Wait, Wheelock said WHAT?” Mountaineers prevail, 83-73.

4PM: Oregon v. #20 Cal – can either team regroup?

8PM: #10 Stanford v. #16 Oregon State – time to stake an (early) claim to the Pac-12

BTW:
South Carolina rolled over Florida, but A’ja also rolled her ankle.
Georgia squeaked by Vanderbilt at the buzzer.
Arizona’s growing under Barnes, takes down the Utes.
Towson shows it’s no paper tiger, taking down James Madison, 54-51.
Wait – did Loyola (MD) just beat Army?
Washington State is still feisty, sending USC to a 74-57 loss.

For the past few years Princeton coach Courtney Banghart was nervous before the Penn game.

The Ivy League championship had come down to those two teams and losing the first one of their two meetings in early January would leave little margin of error for the rest of the 14-game conference season. Now with the league holding its first-ever postseason tournament, losing the opener to Penn on Saturday isn’t as bad as it used to be. Well of course except for losing to your rival that is.

Snowy Sunday Stuff

If you were a ranked team, you won:
#2 Baylor (Bountiful Brown):
#3 Maryland (Super Slocum, Neutralized Nia),
#11 Ohio State ( Marvelous Mitchell-MavungaFeisty Flaherty),
#15 Texas (Accumulating Aston)

So, maybe we have to keep an eye on Northern Illinois in the MAC? They just took down Ohio, 88-80.

It’s a big (win) but it’s early,” Carlsen said. “It’s one of those things, a lot of people probably thought NIU wasn’t supposed to get this one. I feel like it’s the one you got that maybe you didn’t count on, so that’s a big win. Ohio is going to go beat a lot of teams and at the end of the year, they’ll probably be where they want to be. For us to defend home court against a team like that, it’s big.”

The Q’s rolling in the MAAC.

Yup, the WCC is wide open: BYU over Pacific, 68-55.

  • Games to keep an eye on today:
    2PM: Texas A&M v. #24 Kentucky – who shows up?
    2PM: #4 Mississippi State v. Tennessee – who solidifies their journey?
    2PM: #18 Virginia Tech v. Clemson – undefeated v. rebuilding.
    2PM: North Carolina v. Virginia – equivalent records… someone’s gotta lose.
    3PM: LSU v. Alabama – who’s trying to make a statement?
    3PM: #13 Duke v #6 Florida State – top of the ACC anyone?
    3PM: #7 Notre Dame v. #14 Miami – there sure are a lot of ranked teams in this conference.
    4PM: Ole Miss v. Auburn – who are you two?
    4PM: Oklahoma v. #17 West Virginia – soaring v. stumbling.
    4PM: Oregon v. #20 Cal – can either team regroup?
    8PM: #10 Stanford v. #16 Oregon State – time to stake an (early) claim to the Pac-12

Wildcat things: Kentucky’s ‘emotional leader,’ senior Epps finding fun on floor again

“She has a huge heart; she needs connection with people,” Coach Matthew Mitchell said of the guard, who didn’t seem like herself in recent losses at Duke and Tennessee. “She needs some time where we can just spend and talk.”

The breakfast chats were a product of Epps’ minor brush with the law several seasons ago. It was then that the player and her coach started spending more time getting to know each other outside of basketball.

Stupid things: Vicious brawl breaks out in Utah State-UNLV women’s game

Listening things: Locked On Women’s Basketball Episode 18: Bracketology with @CharlieCreme including my case for @SaintLouisWBB (Billikens!)

Good things: Drexel Women’s Basketball Star Uses Her Assists On Court To Assist Others Off It

Heartbreaking things: On New Year’s Eve, 13-year old Shamoya McKenzie, a young girl with dreams that included UConn, WNBA and being a business major, was killed by a stray bullet. Family members reached out to the program, and they responded:

UConn officially made Shamoya McKenzie an honorary member of the UConn women’s basketball program Friday, complete with a No. 30 jersey to match her number at Mount Vernon. A letter enclosed in a package ended with, “Once a Husky, Always a Husky.”