Around the games:
An Old Big East matchup produces an upset: St. John’s vs. Seton Hall: Red Storm stands firm against #24 Pirates.
One team cracked under the pressure. It wasn’t the team I was expecting. One phenomenal backcourt got into foul trouble and was never quite the same. It wasn’t the backcourt I was expecting.
OT produces another upset. Villanova (6-7) takes down prohibitive New Big East favorite, #25 DePaul, 79-76. Why? The Blue Demons went ice cold at the end of the game and in OT, but they also shot 4-19 on threes and the Wildcats shot 7-13.
#17 Mississippi State held serve against #19 Georgia, 64-56. The Bulldogs are still undefeated, and the locals are noticing: While MSU men’s hoops struggle, women’s team surges
Two programs under third-year coaches host big-name opponents today at Humphrey Coliseum.
The similarities end there. They are two programs heading in opposite directions.
Mississippi State’s men’s basketball squad is 1-5 in its last six games. Meanwhile, the women’s team, led by coach Vic Schaefer, is 15-0, marking the best start and longest winning streak in school history.
Around the Conferences:
Penn Quakers: Women’s Basketball Eyes Big 5 Title vs Temple
Penn will start 2015 with possibly the biggest Big 5 matchup in school history. The Quakers can clinch a share of their first-ever Big 5 title with a win over Temple at The Palestra on Monday night. The Red and Blue haven’t beaten the Owls at home in more than 15 years, but snapped a nine-game losing streak in the series last season at McGonigle Hall. Tip off is set for 7 p.m., and the game can be seen on the Ivy League Digital Network.
Pac-12 women’s basketball primer: Is Stanford still the favorite?
Scott Rueck isn’t sure if the Pac-12 is the most competitive conference in women’s basketball.
But the Oregon State coach believes his league belongs in the discussion.
OSU women’s basketball: Beavers ready for competitive Pac-12 campaign
There’s no doubt the No. 13 Oregon State women’s basketball team is prepared for the upcoming rigors of a Pac-12 schedule that features numerous deep and talented teams.
So are several other teams thanks to some solid nonconference battles against ranked teams.
The conference showed well over the first part of the season with three Pac-12 teams knocking off top-6 opponents.
‘We’re playing to win the conference’: UMaine women’s basketball opens America East slate against Albany
There was a time not too long ago that facing the University at Albany might have been a daunting prospect for the University of Maine women’s basketball team.
And while the Black Bears have the utmost respect for the three-time defending America East champions, they are beginning to feel as though they’re very much in the same league as the Great Danes.
Bowling Green State University women’s basketball student-athletes Erica Donovan Lauren Webb are expected to miss the remainder of the 2014-15 season due to injury, head coach Jennifer Roos has announced. Both Donovan, a redshirt junior, and Webb, a freshman, were injured during the Falcons’ win at Illinois State University on Dec. 19.
Additionally, redshirt freshman Leah Bolton will apply for a medical retirement with the NCAA due to recurring injuries, ending her BGSU playing career.
That’s one, by one: St. Peter’s over Rider, 50-49.
Clemson has not been good for a long, long time. But under first-year coach Audra Smith, they did come back from 11 down to take down Virginia Tech in OT. Keep an eye on the Tigers’ senior Nikki Dixon.
Worth a read and look: Sarah Kadazi from CBS Sports offers a lovely piece as she follows up with the Richmond Spiders: Healing in the Game:
The story begins here, where the glaring overhead lights bounce off the giant red spider down at center court. The Richmond Spiders women’s basketball team trots out, a mélange of braids, ponytails and curls bobbing in unison in front of 7,200 empty seats. It’s a late-October preseason practice at the Robins Center arena, and this is where the healing happens.
Here, a scolding about a missed defensive assignment is a reminder of the right now, a fixture in the normal. Five months ago, this tight-knit family’s fabric was torn, when two of its core members — associate head coach Ginny Doyle and director of basketball operations Natalie Lewis — embarked on a hot-air balloon ride and never came home. The wounds are fresh. The upcoming basketball season is long. Every second spent on the court is an act of resilience.
Around the country: Babcock McGraw: Top women’s sports stories
6. Magic moment: In January, shock waves hit the WNBA when the Los Angeles Sparks laid off their front office staff and suspended operations. A marquee cornerstone of the league, the Sparks had lost $12 million since 2007, including $1.4 million in 2013.
In February, Magic Johnson and Los Angeles Dodgers chairman Mark Walter partnered to buy the Sparks, saving the franchise, from relocation or contraction.
Most popular NCAA story: Daisha Simmons’ roommate Brittany Jack sharing her own experience at Alabama (Mike Robinson/Brittany Jack)
Two of Atlanta’s top business leaders and their wives — Kelly Loeffler and Jeffrey Sprecher, CEO of the Intercontinental Exchange Inc.; and Mary and John Brock, CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. — are exploring an ownership stake in the Atlanta Hawks.
Their main interest, however, is the Atlanta Dream — the local WNBA team — which is owned by Kelly Loeffler and Mary Brock.
From Swish Appeal: WNBA collective bargaining agreement posted at player website
Time-off bonus: These bonuses are granted to players who decide to spend some amount of time playing overseas which is less than or equal to 90 days. (And remember, zero days is less than 90 days.) This bonus is $50,000 for players and can be split among more than one players. Teams can decide to increase or decrease these bonuses in subsequent seasons, but by no more than two percent of the time off bonus for the first year ($1,000). They can also decide how many days they wish to limit the players receiving the bonus in spending time playing overseas – and that limit can be set at zero.
League minimums and salary caps: With the 12 player rosters, league minimums and salary caps get a little hairy.
Finally: I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Muffet McGraw, but never on this topic: Not My Job: Coach Muffet McGraw Gets Quizzed On Tuffets