’cause it’s the most wonderful time of the yeeeeeeear… Take a deep breath, y’all, shut the door and pull up a chair ’cause you’ve got a lot of reading to do!
First things first: WNIT!!
Saturday, April 2 | 3 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. CT
CBS Sports Network – Thad Anderson (play-by-play) and Chiney Ogwumike (analyst)
The finals are set and it pits two programs who’ve got something to prove (to the selection committee): South Dakota v. Florida Gulf Coast University.
The Coyotes earned a birth by throughly handling Oregon, 88-54.
DakotaDome’s long goodbye as a basketball facility will now officially be talked about for a very long time. The old gal just doesn’t want to give up on roundball just yet. USD will now play the winner of Michigan vs. Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday accompanied by a crowd expected to be bigger than Wednesday’s.
“Even when we were just warming up at 60 minutes (before the game), the people were filling in,” said Kelly Stewart, who was one of six Coyotes who hit double-figures. “Then every time we came out of the locker room there was more people. And finally, when we were about to do the starting lineups, I looked up and I got a huge smile on my face. Everyone was smiling.”
The Eagles took on Michigan in from of a record crowd, and came away with the 71-61 win.
“It was a great defensive effort against a great offensive team,” said head coach Karl Smesko. “Now we’re excited to get to play for the WNIT Championship. The crowd was exceptional tonight. It was a huge advantage for us to have it here with that type of atmosphere. I’m sure it’s the type of game that these players will remember for a long time.”
FYI: WNIT NOTES
-Minnesota’s Rachel Banham scored 48 points on March 16 to lead the Gophers to an 87-80 win over Milwaukee in Round 1. That set a Postseason WNIT record for most points in a game, surpassing Tamika Whitmore of Memphis (45 against Arkansas State, 1999).
-Sharnae Lamar of Northern Iowa dished out 15 assists to set a single-game WNIT record in the team’s 64-58 victory over Drake, 64-58.
-The 2016 title game between South Dakota and Florida Gulf Coast is the second time since 1998 that two mid-major programs have played for the Postseason crown. In 2004, Creighton beat UNLV for the title.
-Before 2016, there have been 13 mid-major teams to reach the Postseason WNIT championship game. The six mid-major champions are Creighton (2004), Missouri State (2005), Wyoming (2007), South Florida (2009), Toledo (2011) and Drexel (2013).
About that stuff happening in Indianapolis: FREE Women’s Final Four Activities
Indianapolis set to be center of women’s basketball world
All of the women’s basketball world will descend on Indianapolis this weekend in a celebration of the sport.
For the first time in NCAA history the Division I, II and III women’s titles will be decided on the same court.
“We can’t wait for the 2016 championship games in Indianapolis,” NCAA vice president for women’s basketball Anucha Browne said.
Celebrating 35 Years of NCAA Women’s Basketball
Beth Mowins to replace Dave O’Brien as announcer in Final Four, first-time all-female crew for ESPN at event
Women’s basketball | Final Four: Three first-timers crash party with UConn
Meet the Women’s Final Four
Audio: ‘Around the Rim’: Final Four preview
Audio: Kara Lawson with SI’s Richard Deitsch
Audio: Sue Bird talks about the low pay for women’s professional basketball in the United States on this edition of our Keeping Score with Rick Horrow audio podcast
Audio: HBO and The Ringer’s Bill Simmons is joined by Diana Taurasi to discuss her WNBA return from Russia, UConn’s dominance (6:00), the stupidity of lowering the rims (13:00), GSW’s selflessness (16:30), playing pickup with Westbrook and Draymond (21:00), and the struggling Lakers and D’Angelo Russell (30:00).
Audio: Special Dishin & Swishin Podcast: “Ambassador” Tamika Catchings welcomes the WBB world to Indy
Audio: Dishin & Swishin 3/31/16 Podcast: Doug Bruno is back to break down the 2016 Final Four
Women’s NCAA tournament: Four keys to the Final Four
Women’s Final Four: Can Anyone Stop UConn?
At Women’s Final Four, male-coached teams not a bad thing
These Are The Last Three Teams That Have A Chance To Beat UConn
SNYDER: UConn overshadows parity among other women’s basketball teams
VanDerveer: UConn’s rule isn’t bad for the sport — but next year it could be
Jeff Jacobs: In Women’s Final Four, It’s The Men Who Beat The Odds
Jeff Jacobs: Think UConn’s Geno Auriemma Is A Rock? You Should Meet His Wife
Pac-12 Feature: From ground floor to Final Four
My turn: JUST CATCH UP
How UW’s and OSU’s Final Four run is a breakthrough for Pac-12 women’s basketball
Pac-12 Feature: From ground floor to Final Four
7 things to know about Washington Huskies (Syracuse women’s basketball Final Four foe)
Meet the Final Four-bound UW Huskies women’s basketball team
Washington’s jump shooter doesn’t jump
HUSKIES WOMEN: Masters of the Unexpected
Four knee surgeries later, UW’s Walton unfazed by doubts
Mike Neighbors: From Blockbuster To The Final Four
Five questions for Beavers-Huskies
Washington and Oregon State new faces in Final Four
New to following Oregon State women’s basketball? Here’s a crash course on the Beavers
Oregon State Beavers women’s basketball blending intensity, playfulness during Final Four run
Final Four newcomer Oregon State scrappy on defense
Watch: Gary Andersen and Pat Casey on Oregon State
OSU dreams big, embraces Final Four berth
Watch: Oregon State women’s basketball Final Four appearance called ‘incredibly miraculous’
Can Oregon State Shock The World?
Rueck’s Beavers have big fans in OSU’s 1963 Final Four team
OSU has unfinished business in Final Four
Aki Hill and the bliss of the Final Four
Open tryouts to the Final Four: Oregon State’s dramatic rise
Syracuse’s Hillsman, Read preparing carefully for Washington
Syracuse women’s basketball guard Alexis Peterson brims with confidence
Keep shooting: Syracuse women’s basketball senior Brianna Butler does what she’s told
Turning point for Syracuse women’s basketball this season began with a loss
Kayla Alexander: Syracuse Orange Nation on Cloud Nine
Syracuse women’s basketball center Briana Day: Bigger foes aren’t going to push me around
Go Orange! Syracuse men’s, women’s basketball teams head to Final Four
Is UConn’s sustained dominance bad for women’s basketball?
UConn may be the greatest college basketball dynasty ever
Geno Auriemma: Having to defend success ‘makes no sense’
Geno: Ignore UConn Women If You Want, ‘But Don’t Demean Those Who Appreciate It’ –
Why the dominance of the U-Conn. women’s team should be embraced
UConn’s opponents need to step up their game
Jeff Otterbein: UConn Women Simply The Best, Just Watch And Learn To Live With It
Here are a few additional assignments for sports columnist
Fans appreciate greatness, even when the games aren’t close
Fans don’t agree with columnist who says Huskies are killing the game
UConn Women’s Basketball Team Confronts Consequences Of Being ‘Too Good’
UConn too good? Quit the whining, beat ’em!
Respect the Women!
Be Great. Don’t Apologize.
UConn women don’t find winning boring
UConn women should be respected
UConn can join a pair of 4-peat pioneers in women’s basketball
Connecticut poised to make history again
UConn making something hard look easy
Huskies closer to place no team has ever been
Freshmen provide Huskies with needed backup help
UConn freshmen stepping up in NCAA Tournament
Samuelson’s family is UConn women’s basketball’s family, too
Women’s basketball: Connecticut’s Breanna Stewart leads a star-studded Final Four
Other basketball news:
Rachel for threeeeee: Banham edges Smith in 3-point championship
Brava: Jennifer Azzi comes out as gay, announces marriage to her USF assistant coach
“I, too, lived a long time not being 100 percent honest,” Azzi said. “Kind of the don’t-ask-don’t-tell kinda of thing. And it’s so stupid. I don’t know why we do that, but we do that. I’m a college coach. Is it going to hurt me with recruiting? What are people going to think? And you are constantly worrying about those things.
Supporters laud Jennifer Azzi for her bravery – but you can read the fear…
New women’s basketball coach Kenny Brooks raves about recruiting potential at Virginia Tech
Jonathan Tsipis’ plan to grow Badgers women’s basketball attendance starts with being visible –
New UW women’s basketball coach wants to keep state’s best players
Tsipis tasked with turning tide for women’s hoops
Wisconsin Women’s Basketball: Tsipis’ energy stands out during initial meeting with team
Bradbury named UNM women basketball head coach
KSU Women’s Basketball Coach Agnus Berenato
Kim Rosamond named Tennessee Tech women’s basketball head coach
Finally poached: UCF announces Katie Abrahamson-Henderson as head coach of women’s basketball
Former UConn players apply Auriemma lessons as coaches
Bye: Jatarie White to transfer from USC women’s basketball program
Bye: Two leave Duke women’s basketball team
Up–down–up-down… honestly, I think the NBA should raise their rim. It’s ridiculous how easy it is for the giants who play the game to score…
Army brass supports Minato in WNBA bid
Jennifer Gish: The next goal for UAlbany’s Shereesha Richards — the WNBA
Lindsay Whalen Joins Timberwolves’ Broadcast Booth
Deep Diving WNBA Data — Griner’s Paint Defense
WNBA Award Accuracy by Win Shares
Girls Sports Month: Candace Parker on what drives her, dunking and being a mom
WNBA Reveals New Apparel Items Celebrating Landmark 20th Season
The Legend of Lauren Jackson
Cool: Boomers And Fire GMs Head To WNBA Again
Following on from a successful visit last year to work alongside management at the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA, the off-court leaders at the Deakin Melbourne Boomers and JCU Townsville Fire will again embrace a fact-finding mission in Los Angeles and Phoenix this June, this time taking in eight sporting events in 10 nights.
WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw “hitting game-winning shots” on and off the court
In case you missed it: Blake Griffin’s ‘Broad City’ appearance included a discussion about the WNBA
OT, but not really: Nike responds to U.S. national team jersey controversy
The sportswear behemoth that has outfitted the national team program for decades has been hit especially hard on two issues.
First, with the women’s jerseys, the low-cut neckline has been called unnecessarily sexualizing by some fans, and simply inconvenient anatomically for others whose body shapes aren’t the same as the widely used industry standard.
Second, with the men’s jerseys, you can’t buy one emblazoned with the three stars that represent the World Cups won by the women’s team. There are plenty of men who support Jill Ellis’ reigning champions just as much as they support Jurgen Klinsmann’s collection of question marks.