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Archive for December, 2014

Happy New Year?

Yah, we’re on the eve of 2015, but scanning some of the the sexist and racist social media reactions to Mo’ne Davis being named AP Female Athlete of the Year, one gets a clear understanding of the battles to be faced by female athletes and their fans.

So are we surprised when we get this? OH MY GOD, I CAN’T BELIEVE I NEED TO WRITE THIS COLUMN

On Sunday, the New Zealand Herald printed a story by sports columnist Chris Rattue beneath the headline, “Girls, you can’t fight genetics.”

The “girls” about whom Rattue was writing: international soccer stars, including Abby Wambach (she’s 34 years old), Nadine Angerer (she’s 36), Homare Sawa (36), Marta (28), Alex Morgan (25) and Sydney Leroux (24).

Need we go on?

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10-2, South Dakota v. 10-3 Chattanooga (1pmEST)

Undefeated Princeton v. Hartford. Yah, the Hawks are 5-7, but it’s dangerous to count them out. (3pmEST)

Quinnipiac (10-2) v FGCU (11-2), 4pmEST.

#15 Maryland v. The Stubborn Ohio State will feature ESPNw’s POW Kelsey Mitchell. (7pmEST)

#5 Texas A&M v. the 10-1 Washington Huskies. (9pmEST)

#10 Duke v. #2 Connecticut (9pmEST) in what looks to be their final in-season matchup. 

#12 Nebraska v. Minnesota (11-1). (9pmEST)

In conference rivals: San Diego (10-1) v. Gonzaga (8-4), (9pmEST).

As San Francisco tries to establish themselves in the WCC, they need challenge the “regulars.” They were stomped by Pacific – now they get a chance against St. Mary’s. (10pmEST)

Graham gives a shout out to the Flyers (and Seton Hall’s coach, Tony Bozzella): Dayton wins mid-major showcase

 It’s clear the University of Dayton Arena is a proper Midwestern basketball barn. 

Few frills, just a place to come in out of the cold and savor the game. Sunday’s clash was a battle worthy of such a venue.

One team put the nation’s longest home win streak on the line. The other arrived ranked in the AP Top 25 and sixth in RPI. Between them were wins against Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Purdue and Vanderbilt, among others.

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It’s been a season where being ranked means people wanna knock you off.

Northwestern proved its record is no fluke, taking down #20 (flu-smitten) MSU, 61-57.

The Flyers stumbled at the start of the season, but they seem to have found their footing, taking down the #24 Phoenix,  72-66.

Huge, I mean HUGE win for Seton Hall: they take down #14 Georgia (though I had my suspicions about the Bulldogs) with authority, 70-51.

Northeastern (3-6) surprised the Great Danes, 70-67.

Davidson (4-8)came back in the second half to upset Virginia (9-3), 67-57.

The 5-6 Badgers added to their win total by surprising Michigan, 63-53.

Good news: Rutgers got Betnijah Laney back, and she notched her usual double-double (20 points/10 rebounds) The Scarlet Knights hold off Indiana, 66-51.

After an even first half, a nightmarish second half meant #10 Oregon State dropped their first game of the season to the #8 Vols, 74-63. Hello, Ms. Harrison!

The Irish handled the Bruins, 82-67, behind a stellar game from Allen. But boy, UCLA, learn to make your free throws! (14-27).

BAD news: UNC’s McDaniel may be out, torn calf muscle.

Good news: Leticia Romero ruled eligible for FSU women’s basketball

From around:

UND focused on repeat title

A season ago, UND was projected to finish in the bottom half of the Big Sky Conference women’s basketball race.

UND, however, was the surprise of the league last season, earning a share of the regular-season title and powering its way to the Big Sky postseason title. UND advanced to the NCAA Tournament and turned in a solid effort at Texas A&M, which went on to the Sweet 16.

From the Indy Star (and AP?): Breaking down Big Ten women’s basketball

From the Ames Tribune: Laid-back freshman Fernstrom adjusting to college basketball 

Bryanna Fernstrom wants to make one fact clear – she has feelings like a normal human being.

The 6-foot-5 center for the Iowa State women’s basketball team may not always contort her face the way her more excitable teammates do. She may not yell after a good play or pout after a bad one. As coach Bill Fennelly puts it, “her personal demeanor is so low-key, to the point where it’s like, ‘Is she breathing?,’ sometimes.”

From Washington State: EWU, WSU women’s basketball squads off to successful starts

The Eastern Washington women’s basketball team went into the Sunshine State this week as apparent alligator bait for Florida, which had a four-year run of claiming its own Gator Holiday Classic.

But the Eagles ended up securing their first victory over a Southeast Conference opponent, something a Big Sky school hadn’t done since Montana beat Mississippi in 2007.

“Everybody stepped up and took care of the things we needed,” coach Wendy Schuller said of 67-56 win. “It was a fun week.”

A little something on the Maggie Dixon Classic on Sunday, Jan 4th: WNBA Commemorative Rematch Coming To MSG

Nearly 40 years after the first-ever women’s basketball game pitted Queens College against Immaculata, these teams will see each other in court – at worldfamous Madison Square Garden. Their commemorative rematch will take place on Jan. 4, 2015, at 10:30 a.m., in the opening round of the annual Maggie Dixon Classic.

Trailblazing members of the 1974-75 team will attend the game.QC’s 1974–75 squad featured Gail Marquis and Donna Orender, and was coached by Lucille Kyvallos. Marquis earned a silver medal at the 1976 Olympics as a member of the US team and Orender would later become commissioner of the WNBA; Kyvallos was inducted to the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. All three were named to the inaugural class of the Queens College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.

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Sunday Siesta?

What better way to recover from the the holidays than with a little Sunday basketball gazing…

What does Oregon State #10 ranking mean? We’ll see when they meet #8 Tennessee at TBA. (1pmEST)

The rebuilding Seton Hall Pirates get a chance to test themselves when they host #14 Georgia. (2pmEST)

Hmmm… Let’s see what the 10-1 Wildcats can do against #20 Michigan State (2pmEST)

Another 10-1 v. a ranked team: Indiana (and Buss) hosts #17 Rutgers.(2pm#EST)

A chance to “compare and contrast.” The feisty Bears that UConn handled go up against #4 Notre Dame (4pmEST).

Graham says “Hello” to the Mocs: Three new teams break in to top 10 – Chattanooga, Long Beach State and Indiana State enter mid-major rankings

With the winter solstice come and gone, days are getting longer (keep telling yourself that through the snow shoveling to come). But with conference play underway or right around the corner, the mid-major teams below that spent the first part of the season seeking out big prizes will find themselves the ones that get every opponent’s full attention

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do you?

Maggie Dixon Classic, January 4th, Madison Square Garden. Look for me and 175 other folks in Section 11!

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Lehigh traveled to Arizona State and earned its first loss, 81-61.

ASU continued it’s undefeated-slaying by taking down Northwestern, 88-75.

The Penguins lose! After a rough start, Pittsburgh seems to have found it’s sea legs.

It took two overtimes, but Indiana State (10-1) handed St. John’s their first loss, 73.67. ISU’s record send me to their websitet, because I remember a while back they were very good… and then something mysterious happened and their coach was dismissed. Much not-good followed. Good started when coach Joey Wells entered the scene four years ago. How cool to know that Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir has landed there as a Graduate Manager (she finished her career there)!

As for the still undefeateds: I’m still looking at #21 Mississippi State and #15 Georgia with a jaundiced eye. They face each other on Jan 2nd.

In what one hopes for in the match up between two undefeated teams: #3 Texas and #4 Texas A&M, the Longhorns captured the victory with a last-second Davenport layup. How fun will in-state THIS rivalry be over the years!!

Speaking of in-state rivalries: South Dakota over North Dakota, 86-81. Off topic – I’ve not been to either state… and boy, is the mid-June birding festival in Carrington, ND is soooooo tempting. But, I might be conferencing in New Orleans… sigh. ;-)

Akron is 10-0.

#16 (and climbing) Oregon State. They’re at Tennessee on the 28th.

Princeton. Honesty, if they stay focused and injury-free, an undefeated regular season should be in the bag. If the can get a high seed in the tourney, they might move into the next round. BUT, they need to beef up their out-of-conference schedule. Unless folks are afeared of them….

#1 South Carolina. Looking at their schedule I see #12 Kentucky on the Jan. 11th… #5 TAMU on Jan. 26th…. but isn’t everyone looking towards their game at UConn on Feb. 9th?

As I called it, Stanford v. Tennessee was ugly. Graham seems optimistic about the future of the Vols (Better defense, Harrison’s return boost Lady Vols), but I’m not convinced. And Stanford is looking mighty shaky, aren’t they? When you need 30 from Samuelson to overcome 4-7 UC Davis…. Doug talks PAC12: Oregon State rises in AP women’s poll.

Is #17 Rutgers reverting to type? 66 v. Iona (a win.) Still no Laney.

#8 Baylor spotted #18 Michigan State a nice lead at half time, then quickly reeled the Spartans in, clamped down on defense and pulled away for the 19pt victory.

Not a huge win, but for someone who seems to be painstakingly building a program, San Francisco over San Jose State, 77-62, is something Azzi must be proud of. Junior Taylor Proctor earned West Coast Conference Player of the Week honors – the first Don do earn in-season mention in two years.

Speaking of painstakingly building a program, I’m guessing Patty Coyle knew what she was taking on when she stepped into the head coach position at St. Peter’s, but 0-9′s still gotta hurt.

Yup, I’m paying attention to Tsipis’ George Washington team, who defeated Saint Mary’s, 70-52. The Gaels aren’t quite the force they’ve been in the past, but when was the last time folks could think encouraging thoughts ’bout GW? Baby steps, y’all, baby steps.

Yes, they’re missing Goss, but to fall to #13 Duke, 89-68? Makes you go “hmmm” about the Wildcats.

You know, even in a “down” year, Marist is a force to be respected. The Red Foxes took down the Wabbits, 82-64.

Good news for the #5 Irish: Turner is back. Not so good news: they needed all of her 19ptsp to take down (3-7) Saint Joseph’s. 

Debbie Antonelli Special: Penn State v. South Florida. After the first half, tied 37-37. After the second half, tied 77-77. After one OT, the Bulls come away with the win, 90-87.

Debbie Antonelli Special, Part 2: (No overtime needed) #23 Iowa over 5-6 Drake, 100-98. (24 points in the last 65 seconds!) Guess we need to keep an eye on Bulldog sophomore Lizzy Wendell, huh. (41pts)

Debbie Antonelli, Special Part 3 includes some usual suspects: San Jose State 102, Sacramento State, 94.

Kudos to Cynthia Cooper and her team for not bowing under the challenges they’ve faced this year. West Coast USC has a lot of fight in them – as #19 Oklahoma State found out, though the Cowgirls escaped with a 66-62 win. Looking to the Trojans’ future, they will absorb UConn transfer Sadie Edwards and Alabama transfer Kaneisha Horn.

Speaking of teams that haven’t given up. Ohio State seriously stomped #21 West Virginia. This is a weirdly iffish Mountaineer team. They “let” the Buckeyes’ Kelsey Mitchell score 39pts in 27 minutes.

Got to see UCLA in person v. #2 Connecticut. The score says “rout” but man, the Bruins play hard and have some players. Looking forward to watching them grow.

So, I find this score interesting, how about you? Kennesaw State 61, Xavier 60.

Remember when I was wondering what happened to Florida (and Vandy and LSU)? Well, they faced Eastern Washington from the Big Sky and got schooled, 67-56.

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This version rings truer for me than the “original” Nike commercial for so many reasons..

h/t to FOWHB G.G.

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The Shortest Day

By Susan Cooper

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!

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New York Gossip: Dolan to sell Liberty

The man is a business idiot, that’s universally known. This is just the latest example. I mean, think about it: You’re trying to sell season tickets for a team that has no GM or coach and no immediate prospect of success on the court…and now you’re muttering about dumping or moving the team. Well, THAT’s an attractive deal, ain’t it?

Merry friggin’ Christmas, you son-with-a-silver-spoon-up-your-*$(#&. Putz.

In other W news: WNBA makes rule changes for the 2015 season

From Kalana Greene: Greene’s Lantern: What Happened When I Wore a Dumb Hat to the NBA’s Holiday Party

Doris talks to Becky: Impact 25: espnW Woman of the Year Becky Hammon on the Opportunity of a Lifetime

Other impactful women you might want to read about:

Michele Roberts Knows Exactly What She’s Doing, by Kate Fagan »

• Mo’ne Davis On Pressure, Grace And Being A Kid, by Bonnie Ford »

• Simone Biles On Power, Personality And Endless Potential, by Dvora Meyers »

• Serena Williams Serves Up Ambitious Goals For ’15, an interview by Chris Evert »

• A Letter To Lauren Hill, by Alyssa Roenigk »

• Amy Purdy On Almost Dying, Always Living And Everything In Between, by Ryan Hockensmith »

• Gillian Zucker On Her Drive To Build An NBA Power, by Ramona Shelburne »

In NCAA news:

From Doug: Parity abounds among women’s hoops elite

So far this season Top 25 teams have lost 15 games to unranked opponents which is up 50 percent from last season, but still short of the 23 times it happened to this point in the season two years ago according to STATS.

With all the upsets so far, women’s basketball analyst Debbie Antonelli sees parity in the game. She said Connecticut’s early loss opened the eyes of fans and other programs that this season could be something other than a Huskies’ runaway.

“That gave everyone in women’s basketball hope,” Antonelli said.

Yup, Michelle, it’s been A season full of surprises — so far

A little taste of the unexpected can be refreshing, and this women’s basketball season has already had its share of surprises. Here is a list of the most unexpected developments over the first month of 2014-15:

Who’s on top?

Someone other than Connecticut is occupying the No. 1 spot in the national rankings. More than a month has passed since Stanford knocked off the Huskies at Maples Pavilion, stunning the country and turning everything we thought we knew about this season on its ear in the first week.

Finally! Sacramento State wins a Debbie Antonelli Special: 102-92 over Utah State.

It was close, but #9 Baylor escaped with a two-point win over #19 Syracuse, earning Kim her 500th victory. Next up (today) is #18 Michigan State.

Things do get better: UVM women’s basketball wins third straight game. Of course, Green Bay is next.

Geno to Doug: Just because we’re longtime friends doesn’t mean my team won’t tattoo yours like a drum.

From Angel Moreno at the Bee: Fresno State women’s basketball: Toni Smith delivers big minutes as starting center

After their upset win over UNC, Oregon State tries to stay focused on the task at hand. It was harder than they expected: they were down in the first half against Southern Illinois, but recovered for a solid 71-55 win.
Penguins win! They’re still loss-free.
Akron is still undefeated.
So’s #1 South Carolina. Jan 11th they face #8 Kentucky. But I expect their next game v. the Chippewas will be not be a cakewalk… not necessarily a loss, but it ought to be a nice test.
So’s #3 Texas. On Sunday they get to face #4 Texas A&M.
So’s Princeton, as Banghart earned her 150th win.
So’s Lehigh. They face 8-1 Arizona State today.
Whoops! Vanderbilt (7-3) gets thrown for a loss by Marquette (3-7).
Man, it’s tough being a Red Bird this season.

As it should be: Notre Dame Women’s Basketball team, police meet to discuss perspectives

Saturday Special:

Tennessee v. Stanford at 1pm EST. This could get ugly. Both teams are coming off stunning losses. The Vols got Shocked and Stanford got Snakebit (why don’t they listen to my warnings?). The Cardinal loss to Chattanooga on Wednesday was its first loss to an unranked nonconference opponent in the regular season since 2000.

 

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but his #16 team sure does. As #6 North Carolina discovered. (And, if I might add, WHB readers knew already. And George Fox opponents knew way back) It was never really close, as the Tar Heels shot poorly.

And did I mention that #11 Tennessee better not overlook Wichita State? But for some poor end-of-game management, the Shockers were this close to upsetting the Vols AT TBA.

Norfolk (2-6) was this close to upsetting Marshall, but the Herd survived, 73-71.

Princeton is setting themselves up for an undefeated regular season. And yes, Banghart is a gem.

Arizona State is now at 9-1… but let’s wait until they play Stanford to decide what that means. And you know Stanford is keeping a careful eye on the Mocs tonight.

No, this shouldn’t be a surprise: Long Beach defeats LSU, 59-44.

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…and 27.5% shooting won. However you slice it, I’m glad I didn’t purchase a ticket for the  #11 Tennessee v. #  17 Rutgers game. To add insult to injury, the Knight’s will have to wait for the doctor’s report on Betnijah Laney’s thumb to see what’s up.

So, what does the fact that the Mercer Bears beat Alabama tell us?

Debbie Antonelli Special: Sacramento State 99, USC 101. One of these days, the Hornets are going to win one of these shootouts.

Ouch 1) Kentucky’s Goss has a broken thumb.

Ouch 2) Missouri women’s basketball team loses forward Kayla McDowell to ACL injury

So long:

Sadie Edwards Leaving UConn Women’s Team

Freshman  Kaylee Page leaves Nebraska.

Freshman Brielle Blaire will leave Virginia Tech.

Dishin & Swishin 12/11/14 Podcast: Looking at the first part of the college basketball season with Debbie Antonelli & Brenda VanLengen

From Graham:  Major finds lead way for Green Bay – Phoenix score fifth win against a team from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten or Pac-12

Separated by a little more than 100 miles, after all, the two schools form the points connecting the hypotenuse of a right triangle that has the population center of Milwaukee as its 90 degree angle. One of those points has Big Ten money. The other has the smallest athletic budget in the Horizon League.

How often did his program and the University of Wisconsin go head-to-head on recruits?

“I don’t know that we’re really in that arena for the most part,” Borseth eventually allowed. “We lose a lot of kids to bigger schools, not just Wisconsin but other schools equally, as well.”

And yet the Phoenix rarely lose to those teams on the court. Especially against the Badgers.

Upcoming game of interest:

Nice matinee matchup of undefeateds: #16 Oregon State v. #6 UNC.

Speaking of undefeated: Northwestern Zipped Past Gonzaga, 62-43

The Wildcats, at 8-0, are off to their best start since the 1995-96 season when the squad opened with nine victories.

From Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw: “Stand for something you believe in.”

From Michelle Smith: ‘I wanted to see what it meant to protest’ – All-America candidate Brittany Boyd, coach Charmin Smith join Berkeley protests

They pulled out masking tape and a black permanent marker and began to write names on the strips they pulled from the roll.

The players on the Cal women’s basketball team woke up Saturday morning in Long Beach to the news that back in Berkeley, three cardboard cutouts of African-Americans in nooses had been hanged in effigy on the Cal campus.

While campus officials worked to determine both who was behind the act and their intent, the players gathered after their shootaround. The team’s plan was to wear black shirts with the phrase “I Can’t Breathe” Sunday at home before a game against Louisville. But the Bears felt compelled to act immediately.

Forwarded by Sue, a FOB: Goshen basketball player Olivia Love copes with tragedy with help from family

Kimberly Love and her two youngest children — Kristian and Kiana — died in a 2007 fire, leaving Kimberly’s mother Rita Mickles to raise grandchildren, including Goshen basketball player Olivia Love.

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WAT?:

Hutchinson native Whalen stops by Crossroads

WNBA All-Star Shoni Schimmel takes in Cherokee game

Sue Bird Storm makes surprise visit to Marysville Pilchuck High School video – “Goosebumps cool.”

WATN?: Tamika Williams Overcomes Divorce, Dad’s Death

From her new office at the University of Kentucky, Tamika Williams was able to see the Wildcats volleyball team practice this season. That must have been therapeutic for someone who as a girl in Ohio played softball and volleyball before picking up a basketball.

Unfortunately, life has become more complicated for Williams, the former UConn starter — with Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Asjha Jones and Diana Taurasi — on the 2001-02 team, perhaps the greatest women’s college basketball team. 

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does it feel like the top 25 were playing every other day and now… they’re not.

Ah, well. Doesn’t mean we haven’t had some enjoyable games.

#3 Notre Dame visited Chicago and #25 DePaul had upset plans. They made mistakes and let the Irish take it to overtime. It must be lovely for McGraw to have someone like Loyd on her team, but she’s got to hate being so one-dimensional. They got better balance against Michigan.

On an actually important note:

UPDATE: Notre Dame women’s team wear “I Can’t Breathe” shirts

Irish wear ‘I Can’t Breathe’ shirts

Notre Dame women’s basketball the latest to don ‘I Can’t Breathe’ shirts (PHOTOS) | CollegeBasketballTalk

Notre Dame women’s players wear ‘I Can’t Breathe’ T-shirts

ND Women’s basketball team make a statement

Disconcerting disconnect for Notre Dame women’s basketball – Notre Dame Insider

Have you been noticing #17 Rutgers sneaking up the polls. Nice test for them coming up today against the #11 Vols, 3pm EST/ESPN 2 at the RAC. From the Knoxville Sentinel: Lady Vols bracing for resurgent Rutgers

After Rutgers, Tennessee will take on Wichita State. I’m not saying they’ll be shocked, but don’t take’em lightly – they just took down Kansas State

The Phoenix just missed being whapped by the Wabbits, 77-75. They took care of the Badgers, though.

I say something nice about the Huskers, and suddenly they’re struggling a bit.

A 9-1 record would be more impressive if it didn’t feel like the Gophers were feasting on cupcakes. And now Rachel Banham is out for the season.

Yes, #9 Baylor has won 6 in a row…And Nina Davis is rockin’. But look at their schedule. Syracuse looms on the 19th.

See what I mean? #22 Mississippi State is undefeated, but they let La Tech put a scare in’em. NOT a confidence builder.

The Red Storm is undefeated, and UConn looms January 4th at the Maggie Dixon Classic (Yup, that’ll be me and 173 other folks hootin’ and hollerin’ at midcourt!). But, I wouldn’t overlook their game on the 2nd against Seton Hall. This is not your father’s Pirates.

I’ve mentioned the success of Long Beach on the blog. #18 Cal should have paid attention (and Reshanda Gray should have watched her footing-temper), as the 49ers got a hug win for the program: 58-56. In OT, of course.

Coach Fennelly is glad that sophomore Jadda Buckley is finding her footing when ISU needs it

Something to keep an eye on: Basketball Stars Sue Pepperdine – ‘Lesbianism Is Not Tolerated On This Team’

Haley Videckis and Layana White are students at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, where they met playing on the women’s basketball team. Their relationship has been fraught with challenges, though, as they are now suing the school and their coach, Ryan Weisenberg, for violating their rights to privacy and their rights under Title IX, which prohibits discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities.

A little W news: Stable and calm, WNBA finds itself in a ‘nice place’ and looks for ways to keep growing

WNBA President Laurel Richie was all smiles after the annual Board of Governors meetings this week.

It’s hard to blame her.

The league has labor stability after a six-year collective bargaining agreement was ratified in March. The WNBA also is in the midst of a long-term television deal with ESPN for the next decade.

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Making a statement…

Notre Dame players wears an "I Can't Breathe" shirts during warm-ups before an NCAA college basketball game against Michigan,  Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 in South Bend, Ind.  (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

Notre Dame players wears an “I Can’t Breathe” shirts during warm-ups before an NCAA college basketball game against Michigan, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

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Timber!

Down goes:

#16 Michigan State, courtesy of #19 Georgia, 69-60.

#12 Nebraska, courtesy of Alabama, 53-51.

#10 California, courtesy of Kansas, 62-39.

#7 Louisville, courtesy of #13 Kentucky, 77-68.

Coulda, shoulda gone down:

#1 South Carolina escaped #9 Duke, 51-50.

Holding serve:

#25 DePaul over Chicago State by 53.

#23 Mississippi St. over SE Louisiana by 61.

#22 Iowa over Colorado by 15.

#18 Rutgers over #25 Arkansas by 12.

#15 Maryland over Towson by 29.

#14 Tennessee over Lipscomb by 34.

#11 Baylor over Ole Miss by 42.

#5 Texas A&M over TCU by 11.

So, are you enjoying this season or what?

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So, we had a nice game going between Notre Dame and Connecticut, didn’t we? Crowd was rockin’, Irish were rollin’, and then coach Auriemma called that timeout. And before you knew it, UConn was going on one of its patented “Patented Runs” and cleaning up the glass. Game over.

Ya, Brianna was on the bench (meh, says Muffet), but when you consider the line the “superstars & expected leaders” of the Huskies had, it’s pretty disconcerting that Notre Dame lost by 18. And the announcers sure were disappointed, weren’t they?

Following up on some of the other “games of interest”:

Tulane gave Arkansas-Little Rock their first loss of the season. The Green Wave is now 7-1 with a less-than-fearsome schedule ahead.

Yup, that’s Princeton at 8-0. Looking forward to their next game: @ Michigan.

Is it time to pay attention to George Washington again? Their two losses: First game of the season v. FGCU (by 13) and then Maryland (by 10).

Penguins win!

Illinois moves to 6-2. Seton Hall, which has been making some noise, is next.

Oregon State scored 109 points. Sacramento didn’t.

Undefeated no more: Ohio lost to East Carolina, 76-68.

The Debbie Antonelli Game of the Day was rooted in an in-state rivalry. AND an OT. North Dakota, 90. North Dakota State, 87.

Since their opening day lost to BC, Saint Mary’s has been on a roll. They just took down Cynthia Cooper’s USC, 64-58.

Set ’em  up Sunday!

1pm: #1 South Carolina v. #9 Duke – ESPN2

2pm: #13 Kentucky v. #7 Louisville – ESPN3

2pm: St. John’s v. South Florida

3pm: Colorado (6-1)  v. #22 Iowa – BTNPlus

3pm: #18 Rutgers v. #25 Arkansas –  SECN+

3pm: #12 Nebraska v. Alabama (7-3) – SECN+

3pm: #11 Baylor v. Ole Miss (6-2) – SECN+

4pm: #16 Michigan State v. #19 Georgia – SECN/ESPN3

5pm: San Francisco v. Long Beach State

6pm: #10 Cal v. Kansas – Fox Sports 1

 

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From the NY Times: A Trinity, Courtside – Three Sisters Coach Girls Basketball in Riverdale

“They’re almost like the blessed trinity here,” said Helen Kalajian, whose two daughters have played for the sisters in recent years.

But the sisters’ success on the court is no joke. In the six years they have been group-coaching the team, they have amassed a remarkable winning record and a devoted local following.

The team is undefeated this year and has not lost a regular-season game over the past three seasons, winning three Bronx championships, and a state title in 2013.

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keeps the skeptics at bay.

On Wednesday, #12 Nebraska stepped up, taking down the still Williams-less #9 Blue Devils, 60-54. Since coming to my attention, it seems that Coach Yori gets the most out of a bunch of players who are high quality, but not necessarily highly ranked.

Did ya notice that Akron and Ohio are undefeated? No? Was it because you got distracted by the fact that Clemson only managed 28 total points against Middle Tennessee?

You SHOULDA been distracted by Cal’s Brittany Boyd who notched her second triple-double in three games during the Debbie Antonelli Special – Cal 107, Sacramento 94.

St. John’s got defensive in the second half, limiting Xavier to 17 points and powering themselves to a 6-0 record, 65-42.

Yes, it’s a nice  espnW feature on Tyler Summitt, but LaTech is still a work in progress: LSU 73, LaTech 59.

Man, it’s tough being a Catamount fan since Courtnay and May left.

Wow, talk about a conference upside down cake: In the SWAC, Texas Southern is 1-6, Southern is 1-4 and  and Mississippi Valley State is 0-6.

Remember that team that put a scare into Stanford? #4 Texas didn’t even let them think about any word starting with a “u”: Longhorns over New Mexico, 86-37.

#2 Notre Dame made quick turtle soup out of #15 Maryland. No word on Brianna Turner’s shoulder, though.

On Thursday, the #25 Razorbacks forgot to ‘ware the Wabbit, and South Dakota State fwapped’em in OT, 80-75.

#18 Rutgers had every chance to upset #6 UNC but couldn’t close the deal, losing in two overtimes,

Georgia Tech almost upset #16 Michigan State, 79-73 (in OT, of course).

Squeak! That was Lehigh (7-0) escaping from St. Joesph’s (2-5), 73-71.

Northwestern is still undefeated.

On Friday, no ranked teams played, but we can still call Hampton over Penn an upset.

Saturday has some upset opportunities:

#2 Notre Dame v. #3 Connecticut. In anticipation, Graham offers: The secret behind UConn-ND rivalry

If disliking Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma made a rivalry matter, there would be a great many more meaningful rivalries in women’s college basketball. That meaningful, in this era, is mostly defined by the ability to beat his teams explains their scarcity.

And it explains why the state of what has been the best rivalry in recent years turns not on anything the coaches say before it is renewed Saturday afternoon in South Bend, or anything we say about the two of them before No. 2 Notre Dame hosts No. 3 Connecticut (ESPN/WatchESPN, 3:15 p.m. ET), but what the scoreboard says with 10 minutes remaining.

That’s what the rivalry has been. That’s what it has to be if it’s going to continue to matter.

Charlie weighs in: UConn-Notre Dame Rivalry Burning Bright.

Rich Elliot counters: Time apparently has healed McGraw’s animosity toward Auriemma

Additional prep for the game:

Five Things To Know About Notre Dame, Courant
Capsule: No. 3 UConn Women at No. 2 Notre Dame, Courant
UConn seniors Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Kiah Stokes ready for redemption against Notre Dame, Register
No. 3 UConn meets No. 2 Notre Dame in title rematch, Daily Campus
Rivals set to collide, Notre Dame Observer
Game’s Greatest Rivalry Resumes: UConn Women At Notre Dame, Courant
Notre Dame women’s basketball set for bout with old rival UConn, ND Insider
Irish and Huskies meet in women’s hoops showdown, Doug @AP

Yah, Sacramento State is only 1-5, but they’ve been scoring like it’s going out of style (their love of the three is FGCU-esque). What will happen when they encounter #17 Oregon State (6-0).

Another games to keep an eye on:

Tulane (6-1) v. AR-Little Rock (5-0).

Green Bay (5-2) v. Western Michigan (4-1).

Northern Colorado (5-1) v. South Dakota State (5-2).

Florida Gulf Coast (5-2) v. Southern Miss (6-1).

East Carolina (6-2) v Ohio (6-0). Remember the job Bob Boldon did at Youngstown State? He seems to be doing similar work with the Bobcats.

From Dishin & Swishin, the 12/04/14 Podcast: With five Sweet Sixteen visits in seven years, Louisville Jeff Walz will settle for nothing less than a championship

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#19 (8-0) Georgia, 49. (1-5) Coppin State, 29.

No. You are not going to suck me in, #23, 7-0 Mississippi State. Not until you play those three games in February.

Lehigh is rolling (6-0) and Hampton is not (0-5).

Interesting: Hofstra over Albany, 65-55. The Pride offers up a great basketball name: Loftus, and Kelly delivered: 7 three-pointers.

I’m going to say this very, very quietly, so as not to draw the basketball gods’ attention: San Francisco is now 6-1 and atop the West Coast standings. Tough string of games coming up, though.

Tonight’s Debbie Antonelli special: San Jose State, 110, Southern Oregon, 91.

Watch Out Wednesday!!! #2 Notre Dame hosts the #15 Terps (in Ft. Wayne) ESPN3 @ 7PMEST.

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Northern Colorado was stubborn, but the #15 Huskers prevailed, 63-56. The Bears have an interesting schedule ahead, including the Wabbits, USF and FGCU. Two games against in-conference rival North Dakota – including the last game of the regular season.

#21 Rutgers scored 100! Against Davidson.

Just call us Notre “Steamroller” Dames. Shall we start hyperventilating about their game against UConn on Saturday, or should we wait until they try and de-shell the Terps?

With one Williams out, the other Williams stepped up as #8 Duke blew a 15-pt  lead and #7 Texas A&M exited with a win. From Rob Clough:

Duke’s 63-59 loss to Texas A&M in College Station was one where on one hand, the players will be kicking themselves for blowing an amazing opportunity at an upset win. On the other, the fact that Duke dominated the game’s tempo for thirty minutes without its top player, Elizabeth Williams (out with an ankle sprain) and still had a number of chances to win at the end is a form of consolation.

Both teams were missing key players, so injuries can’t diminish #6 Texas’ stomping of #4 Tennessee. Holly’s not happy, and Margo certainly ain’t. Writes Graham:

There is always the unspoken and unwritten caveat when sizing up potential contenders in the preseason. At the end of every sentence about the offseason progress of the returning players and the endless potential of the new arrivals, behind every ranking and prediction, are four silent words: if all goes right. 

All, of course, rarely goes right. 

As much as the consensus before the season was that both Tennessee and Texas looked like Final Four contenders, and perhaps even national championship contenders (if all went right), those two teams can attest that stuff happens, to offer the family-friendly version of the phrase. Injuries happen. Fouls happen. Bad shooting nights happen. 

But one of the two teams looked a lot more ready to contend than the other Sunday night.

Hmm… Host Hawai’i rolls over for no one – not even for the #11 Tarheels.

There were seven OTs on Sunday. Just sayin’.

Mechelle and folks have the POW: Chattanooga’s Keiana Gilbert (Lia Galdeira, Washington State and Kelsey Lang, Texas were also nominated).

Where’s Lin at? Talking UConn basketball.

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Just got this info from the fabulous Sue Donohoe, Executive Director of Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
#GivingTuesday is a nationally celebrated holiday that encourages charitable giving following the Thanksgiving Holiday. It also happens to be the Kay Yow Cancer Fund’s 7th anniversary! Help us celebrate this milestone on social media through a great application called Thunderclap. Thunderclap is a website that allows people to pledge to Tweet or Facebook a message all on the same day – and at the exact same time – in order to achieve the maximum effect. Think of this action as an online flash mob helping to encourage donations to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund on #GivingTuesday.Step #1: Click on this link – https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/19474-giving-4kay-on-givingtuesday?locale=en

Step #2: Scroll down and click on “Support with Facebook” and/or “Support with Twitter”
Step #3: Click on “Add My Support”
We are thankful to you for your support of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
So glad she’s working with KYCF, but women’s NCAA basketball sure does miss her.

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