Just ask Jeff Walz.
He offered Tuesday to email or call the boss of anyone who wanted to come to the game but couldn’t because of work. He’s already had 100 or so fans take him up on that, including someone in the mayor’s office.
”Whoever sends me a note on Twitter or on Facebook – if they give me their boss’ email – I’m writing them a note asking if they can make the ballgame,” Walz said in a phone interview Wednesday.
Check out Aneela’s “Top 25 Players To Watch in NCAA Tournament”
Washington: ‘Sharp’ Huskies Head To NCAA Tournament
The Huskies are sharp, because they share a common goal and have rallied around each other. They are in sync. They are focused.
“The difference between last year and this year, last year we were happy to be there,” junior Kelsey Plum said. “It was a cool accomplishment after having not been in the NCAA tournament for a long time.
“We were just so excited about the whole thing, we lost focus in the game. This year, we’re not just happy to be here. We’re trying to do something with it.
Connecticut: Stewart, Tuck and Jefferson looking to make history
UConn coach Geno Auriemma jokes that when the trio now known as ”The Big Three” first arrived on campus, he wasn’t sure they should play as freshmen either.
Stewart, he said, had unbelievable talent, but was often lackadaisical, because things were too easy for her. Jefferson, he said, had no grasp of running an offense. Her idea of playing point guard, he said, was to run at full speed until she ran into something.
Tuck was the best of the three in practice, but that didn’t always translate to games.
Little by little, he said, they began to gel.
Connecticut: Former Huskies break down UConn’s winning ways
As BYU’s women’s basketball players, assistant coaches and supporters reacted excitedly when the Cougars received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament last Monday, head coach Jeff Judkins stared stoically at the large screen, realizing the task that lies ahead.
It was almost LaVell Edwards-like, which is fitting, because Judkins is having the kind of success that the legendary football coach had in Provo in the 1980s and ’90s, albeit in a sport mostly out of the national spotlight.
“He doesn’t get the credit he deserves,” BYU guard Makenzi Pulsipher said. “He’s such a good, nice person, but he’s also a really, really good coach.”
California: Jordin Canada leads UCLA back to the Big Dance
During a recent practice at UCLA, one of the Bruins players commented out loud about point guard Jordin Canada, “She’s our all-conference player, let’s just get it to her.”
And Canada cringed.
“Her shoulders went in, and she looked uncomfortable,” UCLA coach Cori Close said. “She didn’t like it. But at the same time, when the lights brighten, she’s at her best.”
Jennifer Azzi’s expression — an ear-to-ear grin — didn’t change when she saw that her USF team was matched against her alma mater Stanford, during Monday’s NCAA selection show.
Azzi knows how these things work — Azzi against her mentor Tara VanDerveer is the kind of story line selection committees love. She knows how often basketball can bring one full circle — such as when the Tennessee kid won a national championship with Stanford back home in Knoxville in 1990.
“These things happen,” she said.
It has been a season of firsts for women’s college basketball teams Florida, and the roll will continue in the NCAA Tournament.
When the field of 64 was announced on Monday, it marked the first time that five teams from the Sunshine State were selected.
What’s the old cliche, if they didn’t have bad luck, they’d have no luck at all?
The Syracuse University women’s basketball team is living proof of that. The Orange have had their best regular season in program history. Syracuse went to the ACC championship game and received a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, again, its best ever.
The high seed means the Orange are rewarded with one — possibly two — home games for the first two rounds of the tournament. And when does the NCAA Tournament committee (with help from ESPN) have Syracuse playing.
Friday at 2:30 p.m. Right after the Syracuse men’s game. A weekday afternoon when the majority of local people are working or in school.
For Cluess and Godsey, that made last Monday twice as sweet. They understand better than most the challenges midmajor programs face in facilities, recruiting and financing when competing against major conferences for players as well as victories.
“It’s so hard for one team to make it, let alone two, especially in a conference our size,” Cluess said.
This time last season, the Missouri women’s basketball team was sitting around coach Robin Pingeton’s house, eyes glued to the television during Selection Monday. They were on the outside looking in.
While watching other teams celebrate their success, the overall mindset of the team was, “That’s going to be us next year,” according to senior Morgan Stock.
North Carolina: Coaches of Asheville men, women share special bond
Seconds after the UNC Asheville women beat Liberty on Sunday at Kimmel Arena to earn a berth in the NCAA tournament, some of the first people on the floor to celebrate with the women were members of the Bulldogs’ men’s team.
It was a scene that didn’t surprise those close to the program.
There is a closeness between the teams and it begins with the coaches.
Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick and Nick McDevitt can’t help but run into each other several times a day because their offices are separated by a conference room, which they share along with a printer.
They wouldn’t want it any other way. McDevitt is a fan of Kirkpatrick and her staff and Kirkpatrick feels the same way about the men’s coaches.
Tennessee/Michigan: Belmont, Michigan State coaches are friends, now NCAA foes
“Suzy and I got to be good friends back then,” said Newbauer, who was an assistant at Georgia at the time. “My sister almost went to Michigan State and instead went to Indiana, so I’ve known Suzy since my first year in women’s basketball. I’ve just been really good friends with her since then. We were texting each other about, ‘Wouldn’t that be great if we wound up in the same place?’ But I didn’t think we would be playing them.”
Wanna listen while you work? LaChina Robinson and Chiney Ogwumike break down the Sioux Falls Region of the women’s NCAA Tournament with special guest L.A. Sparks F Candace Parker. 2) They then break down the Bridgeport Region of the women’s NCAA Tournament with special guest Indiana Fever G Briann January.
As a self-identified Conference Generalist, I take great pleasure in tracking programs raising their profiles. Marshall was one such story: A Different `Long Season’ for Daniel’s Herd
Marshall makes its first trip to the Women’s NIT with a visit to longtime rival Ohio on Thursday night, and riding on the bus with the Herd as it heads up the road this evening is an attitude that has carried Coach Matt Daniel’s team all season.
It’s not where you start; it’s where you finish.
When Marshall opened the 2015-16 season back on Nov. 13 with an out-of-breath, 104-101 triumph at Morehead State, eight of the 12 healthy players on Daniel’s roster were in their first game in a Herd uniform. Six were freshmen … and Marshall had been picked to finish 10th in the 14-team Conference USA race by Daniel’s sideline peers.
Four months later, the Herd (21-11) has more wins than all but one team (24-5 in 1986-87) in the Herd women’s hoops history dating to 1969-70. Marshall has only its third postseason bid in its major college era, which dates to 1981-82. And while finishing tied for sixth in the C-USA standings, the Herd won a school-best 11 C-USA games (regular season and tournament) in its 11 years in the league.
So were the Jacksonville Dolphins: Mentee vs. Mentor
It happens at the start of every athletic competition. Typically after the national anthem and player introductions, and often overlooked as one of the unwritten rules of the game. It’s the coaches’ handshake, a brief meeting a midcourt that will have a deeper meaning for Yolett McPhee-McCuin Friday.
When the head coach of the Jacksonville University women’s basketball team shakes the hand of Dawn Staley, she will see more than the opposition, she’ll also see a mentor and a friend.
“Dawn Staley is someone that I mirror my program after,” said McCuin. “Not every step but definitely the how and the why. How to build a program and why we do what we do?
“I don’t think any of us were expecting this in the beginning of the season, so the fact that we’re even here is so exciting,” senior Emilie Gronas said. “From the preseason, we could feel this was a different team with a lot of new faces. A lot of people didn’t expect us to do as great as we did.”
But after playing in other postseason tournaments in each of the last seven seasons, Duquesne didn’t have any preseason intentions of receiving another WNIT bid.
The Dukes broke record after record this year, setting program highs for wins (27) and conference wins (13) while earning a share of the Atlantic-10 regular-season title. Now, all of those accolades come second to achieving an ultimate goal.
If you’re filling out your bracket for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and want some statistical background to the broader forecasts, you have a slew of options. Start at Sports-Reference.com: powerful search tools; team rankings for anything from pace to point differentials adjusted for strength of schedule; and player pages with stats such as usage percentage, win shares and Box Plus/Minus. Ken Pomeroy’s site offers more detailed and adjusted team rankings and a wide array of individual player metrics. For $100 a year, Shot Analytics delivers detailed spatial analysis of shot selection, including weighted shot charts.
If you’re looking for similar information to help you fill out an NCAA women’s basketball tournament bracket, you’re out of luck.
Mirts, who played college basketball for Missouri, appreciated the challenge of not being able to recruit players for high school basketball, instead developing the young women in her district.
“You get what you get and you try to make a masterpiece out of it year in and year out,” she said.
In addition to her coaching achievements, Watkins holds a special place in Campbell athletics history. She was the school’s first female athletic scholarship recipient after graduating from nearby South Johnston High School in 1975. She was a member of that school’s 1974 North Carolina state championship team.
She served as team captain of the Lady Camels basketball team as a senior and captained the softball team for three years. Despite suffering an injury in her final season, Watkins was named MVP of the 1978-79 team and selected as Campbell’s Outstanding Female Athlete.