Archive for March, 2017

Hopefully it stays gentle and doesn’t interfere with flights to Dallas. Always enjoy flying backwards in time. Means when we land we’ll be wicked ready for the BBQ at the Pecan Lodge…

In the meantime:

NCAA.com: Women’s college basketball: Six storylines to follow at the Final Four

Get your vote on: Which teams will advance to the national championship game?

Geno Auriemma had some pointed words today about ESPN’s role re: the Women’s Final Four schedule:

Listen up: Locked On Women’s Basketball Episode 43: Rebecca Lobo, Doris Burke of ESPN and Final Four talk with Debbie Antonelli

Sally Jenkins in the house! You’re about to play U-Conn. in the women’s Final Four. This is what you tell yourself.

What do you tell yourself, when you have to play the colossus U-Conn.? You start with your last double-digit butt whipping at their hands, and you watch the film on it over and over again, the lowlights and the highlights, not once or twice, but enough times that it becomes grooved in your mortified psyche. Then you tell yourself that at least you don’t have to live through that one again. You tell yourself you’ve grown from it, and now that you’ve seen their standard up close, their unrelenting headlong speed on every possession, their habitual purposefulness on every single play, maybe you can meet it.

Maybe it will all be different next time. 

Wendy Parker at Blue Star Media: A ‘sleeping giant’ awakens at Mississippi State, on and off the court

USAToday, Will Sammon: Willingness to take charges behind MSU’s toughness

 Mississippi State’s road to the Final Four hurt and the Bulldogs fell down a lot.

That wasn’t meant to be interpreted as a philosophical statement or metaphor. For MSU, the path to Dallas and a semifinal against UConn Friday night (9 p.m., ESPN) was literally painful.

NCAA.com’s Rebecca Harris:  Last year’s meeting with UConn driving Mississippi State

Catch a little DawgTalk from the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas

Cool: Schaefer father-daughter duo leads Mississippi State to first Final Four

Players Tribune: The (singular) William: The Reason I Play

I’ve had a lot of people come up to me the past few days.

“What’s it feel like?” 

“How’d you do it?”

This is the first time Mississippi State has ever reached the Final Four. I scored 41 points in the game that got us there, our 94–85 upset of Baylor on Sunday. After the game, someone even told me it was the most points scored by any SEC player in the history of the women’s tournament.

I’m still letting it sink in because it doesn’t feel real to me. I was just playing basketball. So how did I do it? To really understand, I’d have to take you back to when I was growing up. 

Back to Birmingham.

Michelle Smith: Dawn Staley to take on mentor Tara VanDerveer in Final Four

Dawn Staley rubs her thumb and index fingers together as she talks about the minute level of detail she employs when she watches video and prepares scouting reports — practices that she learned from Tara VanDerveer.

“It really is down to this,” Staley said, looking at her fingers. “Those are the things she taught me. Watching film, breaking down film, little nuances that create edges that can win you a basketball game.”

Make no mistake, those edges have landed both of their teams in this position.

Matt Connolly, The State: Staley no stranger to Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer

Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer was the head coach when Stanford beat Virginia in the 1990 Final Four during Staley’s playing days for the Cavaliers. 

And VanDerveer coached Staley in the 1996 Olympics as Team USA won the gold medal. The two have remained friends.

“I’ve always had a very good relationship with Dawn,” VanDerveer said Thursday. “I always have respected Dawn’s competitiveness, her work ethic, her absolute passion for the game of basketball. She’s everything you could look for in a coach and a friend.”

After South Carolina defeated Florida State in the Elite Eight to reach the Final Four and advance to face Stanford, VanDerveer reached out to Staley.

Mechelle: A’ja Wilson has taken leadership role ‘to another level’ for South Carolina

For the previous two years, Melanie Balcomb — as Vanderbilt’s head coach — was trying to slow down South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson. This season, as Balcomb moved over to join the Gamecocks’ program, she has been working with the 6-foot-5 junior forward. And now you won’t find too many bigger Wilson fans than Balcomb.

“I think the game has slowed down for her. She was always very skilled, but she did everything very fast,” said Balcomb, South Carolina’s director of offensive analytics. “Now I see her reading the defense, seeing the help, and she’s more efficient offensively. She’s not just using her speed, quickness and size. Now she’s more cerebral.

Sue Favor: Carly Thibault carrying on winning family name with Bulldogs

Elliot Almond: Stanford has tall task to stop South Carolina

Now Stanford (32-5) has one of its biggest challenges of the season in trying to stop All-American forward A’ja Wilson and third-ranked South Carolina.

Wilson, a 6-foot-5 forward from Hopkins, South Carolina, is the kind of player who attracts defenders. 

“She’s obviously one of the greatest players in the nation, there’s no debating that,” Stanford forward Kaylee Johnson said.

Gene Wang, Washington Post: Stanford’s team approach suits point guard with eight siblings

During Marta Sniezek’s high school years playing basketball at National Cathedral School in the District, circumstances at times were such that even when she scored 40 points, her team still lost the game. 

The sophomore point guard at Stanford recalled such an instance the other day, less than 24 hours after helping the Cardinal rally past Notre Dame, 76-75, to advance to the women’s Final Four.

More Elliot: March Madness: Dad tries to manage sweet sibling rivalry at Final Four and Follow Jon Samuelson’s three-day odyssey to watch daughters play

Channel 8: Geno Auriemma says confidence UConn has played with is “remarkable”

Aaron Johnson, Connecticut Post: Stubborn vision grows clearer for ex-Huskies turned coaches, Post

538 blog: UConn And Gonzaga Are Very Different Kinds of NCAA Favorites

Adam Minichino, Commercial Dispatch: Finding right players has helped UConn remain gold standard

Newsday: UConn coach Geno Auriemma doubted his team, for a bit

Mechelle: Napheesa Collier becoming more comfortable — and only getting better — at UConn

Collier’s success now competing for a perfectionist coach like Geno Auriemma makes it especially funny to hear this story. When Napheesa was in second grade, her parents got a note from her teacher.

“It said, ‘She’s too aggressive playing foursquare,’ ” Sarah said, laughing. “And then a couple years later, when she was playing third base in softball, they said she was throwing too hard to the first baseman.”

Putting a damper on this whole thing: Women’s basketball regional attendance at 20-year low

Speaking of dampers: Erps. Geno Auriemma On Decrease In Female Basketball Coaches: Ladies Just Don’t Want To Coach, Duh and from AP : Auriemma, VanDerveer differ on decline in female coaches and Jere’ Number of Women Coaching in College Has Plummeted in Title IX Era  (and me, in 2006, for the WBCA)

My response? Gotta echo Michelle:   

And, his daughter: Geno Auriemma’s daughter calls him out over “women don’t want to coach” comments

Other stuff:

AP Doug: Plum and Auriemma are AP Player and Coach of Year

OSU women’s basketball: Beavers feel future remains bright

Ooooo, finally, some WNBA draft location news. It’s in NYC!!! Oh, you can’t attend. Nevermind. (WNBA marketing brilliance in action, folks!)

Big brains: UW professor: The information war is real, and we’re losing it

It started with the Boston marathon bombing, four years ago. University of Washington professor Kate Starbird was sifting through thousands of tweets sent in the aftermath and noticed something strange.

Too strange for a university professor to take seriously.

“There was a significant volume of social-media traffic that blamed the Navy SEALs for the bombing,” Starbird told me the other day in her office. “It was real tinfoil-hat stuff. So we ignored it.”

Same thing after the mass shooting that killed nine at Umpqua Community College in Oregon: a burst of social-media activity calling the massacre a fake, a stage play by “crisis actors” for political purposes.

“After every mass shooting, dozens of them, there would be these strange clusters of activity,” Starbird says. “It was so fringe we kind of laughed at it.

“That was a terrible mistake. We should have been studying it.”

Before Title IX, only one in 27 girls played sports. Today, that number is two in five. This shows a dramatic increase in participation rates of over 900%. Girls want to play too. Let us continue to celebrate these historical achievements for women in sport while ensuring every girl has access to sports and the lifelong benefits they offer.

This month, join us in celebrating the incredible achievements of women in sport since the passing of Title IX in 1972, as we honor them across our social platforms and here on the S.H.E. Network. Below we have compiled just a few of the outstanding accomplishments in the last 45 years since Title IX’s passage.

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UConn and South Carolina were all about NO drama (Unlike work the last couple of days, but no need to dwel.

1) The Huskies did the Husky thing, leaping out to a huge lead early, and then cruising to a dominant win over the young Ducks.

Four Tradition: UConn Making Trip Again
UConn Gives Little, Shuts Down Oregon Offense,
Jeff Jacobs: UConn Dominance Is Thunder Clap Heard Around The World
UConn Women’s Notebook: Capacity Crowd Attends Elite Eight Win Over Oregon
Ducks’ Magical Run Leaves Them Hungry For More
Four UConn women’s basketball stars earn All-American honors
UConn women headed to 10th straight Final Four after racing past Oregon
Napheesa Collier, Katie Lou Samuelson break record for combined points by UConn duo
Women’s Basketball: UConn throttles Ducks for 10th-straight Final Four appearance
Women’s Basketball Analysis: Collier joins the 1000 point club in Elite Eight blowout
UConn routs Oregon 90-52 to advance to Final Four
Brian Koonz: UConn cuts down Oregon, but not the nets
UConn women’s notebook: It’s not a rematch for Geno
UConn Women Pound Oregon on Their Way to the Final Four
UConn Forward Feels the Pull of the Family Name
Napheesa Collier scores 28, UConn easily advances to Final Four
UConn’s defense dominates Oregon from beginning to end
UConn women’s basketball: The Huskies’ record 111-game win streak (and counting) by the numbers
Oregon Ducks fall to UConn in Elite Eight of NCAA women’s basketball tournament
As Oregon Ducks women lose in NCAA Elite 8, Sabrina Ionescu sees her team’s future in UConn
Whether it’s the UConn dynasty or the field, history will be made at the women’s Final 4 in Dallas

Interesting post-game note: Geno on Vic – “I think he should have been coach of the year.”

2) South Carolina got itself a nice cushion, and then push the Seminoles away every time they tried claw back into the game.

A superb performance: Gamecocks junior dazzles at Stockton Arena
With best player on the bench, USC didn’t skip a beat
Davis rules as USC returns to Final Four
South Carolina holds off Florida State, head to second Women’s Final Four in three seasons
South Carolina stops FSU rally to make Final Four return
South Carolina holds off Florida State to reach Final Four
Final Four Bound: South Carolina women knock off Florida State again for trip to Dallas
South Carolina women’s basketball rolls into Final Four after beating Florida State
Make it two: Gamecocks heading back to Final Four
Gamecocks overcome adversity, distance en route to Final Four
WATCH: See the amazing way South Carolina celebrated its win over Florida State to go to Final Four
Lil Wayne shouts out Dawn Staley, South Carolina women after Final Four bid

Lots of other stuff to catch up on while you start packing for Dallas.

The Tourney
Women’s Final Four: 10 things to know
There’s a great women’s hoops tournament going on. Has anyone told the NCAA’s website?
If you haven’t been watching the NCAA women’s tournament, here’s 4 reasons you should
Women’s basketball: 10 things to know ahead of the Final Four

The Games
South Carolina vs. Stanford Final Four Preview and Prediction
Why each Final Four team could win it all in Dallas
Women’s Final Four preview: Analyzing UConn-Mississippi State, South Carolina-StanfordWhy South Carolina Will Win the National Championship

The Coaches

Mississippi State Has Grown Since Last Year’s Regional Loss To UConn

Mississippi State’s Final Four matchup against UConn is set
Facing a familiar Goliath: Bulldogs still feel sting from last year’s loss to UConn as they leave to face Huskies
Mississippi State out to take best shot vs. UConn
Mississippi State versus Connecticut Round Table Discussion
Where does Morgan William rank among the 10 greatest women’s NCAA tournament performances?
Kellenberger: Next step is hardest for Mississippi State
Mississippi State looks for redemption
Coach who came close vs. UConn says what MSU should do
Mississippi State women’s basketball coach impressed with UConn’s defense

All Aboard: UConn Women Head For Final Four
UConn’s Geno Auriemma Hits On Number Of Topics During NCAA Call
Numbers work better than words when trying gauge UConn women’s dominance
UConn Women’s Basketball and that winning streak
Nurse takes her game to another level
Kia Nurse addresses crowd at rally, saying UConn players excited to ‘finish what we started’
Business as usual as UConn enters Final Four undefeated once again
Column: Auriemma continues postseason domination with 10th Final Four appearance
UConn women turn focus to Mississippi State
Auriemma on Final Four: It Gets ‘Harder and Harder’
Numbers work better than words when trying gauge UConn women’s dominance
112 wins and counting
Sullivan: UConn women are perfectly good for the game
From the Vine: The story of Geno and Lynne’s venture to Lodi

WNIT: Michigan defeats Villanova, advances to WNIT championship

The Michigan women’s basketball team (11-5 Big Ten,  26-9 overall) was in this exact position a year ago, and a year previous to that, making this the third-straight attempt at crossing over into the finals of the WNIT. 

And finally, this year, they did just that, winning 65-61. 

The Wolverines hosted the Wildcats (11-7 Big East, 20-14) at Crisler Center for the semifinal of the WNIT on Wednesday, where Michigan has gone 19-1 on the season.

They’ll play Georgia Tech, who defeated the FEISTY Washington State Cougars. Which explains coach Joseph’s hair.

Congrats!Florida hires Cameron Newbauer to coach women’s basketball team. Seems to be a great hire and, FWIW: While it would have been cool, I don’t know that Becky Hammon is ready for a college head coaching gig. HUGE difference between picking folks from the draft/trades and running around the country recruiting. I call wise decision by Becky.

Congrats! Pepperdine Promotes DeLisha Milton-Jones to Head Coach

Good luck! Woodard Pledges To Turn Around Women’s Basketball Program During Introductory News Conference

Interesting: Wichita State will hire UTEP’s Keitha Adams

Well done! Precious Hall ends career as a JMU women’s basketball legend

Oregon State women’s basketball turns attention to future

Just don’t call it chai tea…. WNBA star Tamika Catchings’ new job: Running a tea shop?

Staying put: Tennessee star Mercedes Russell to return, forgo WNBA Draft

Staying put, too: Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell says she’s returning

Excelle: WNBA Mock Draft Monday, version 3.0

Building the Dam: Draft Site 2017 WNBA Mock Draft: Sydney Wiese Projected As #15 Overall Pick

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Holy kamole, is the Elite Eight well named or WHAT? The Monday folks are going to have to step it up to top these two games.

#2 Stanford v. #1 Notre Dame

It was exactly the chess game you’d expect from these two coaches – a back and forth game that suddenly bloomed into a 16-pt lead for the Irish. And then, the Cardinal made a monster run in the third to tie and take the lead, creating a chess game to the finish. How fitting that it should come down to a last second shot/block.

“It took us a while to get going,” [Vanderveer] said, “but then when we got going, we were charging down that stretch and came across that finish line.”

Brittany McPhee’s career-defining performance sends Stanford to its 13th Final Four
Stanford Women’s basketball heads to the Final Four after defeating Notre Dame 76-75
Stanford defeats Notre Dame in Elite Eight to advance to Final Four
For the Stanford women, NCAA hoops win was in the details
Frantic Fourth Quarter Sees Irish Fall to Cardinal
Notre Dame falls short of Final Four, drops heartbreaker to Stanford
Lesar: Regret clutters Notre Dame women’s basketball locker room

“It all went downhill for us (in the third quarter),” said Irish sophomore Marina Mabrey. “We started changing up our defenses and we’re not on the same page. Some people thought we were in one defense, some people thought we were in another.

“(Stanford) had open 3s. That was a problem.

#2 Mississippi State v. #1 Baylor

It’s almost as if Baylor and Mississippi State looked at the earlier game and said, “That was fun. Let’s do it one better!” And the 5’5″ Morgan William went OFF for 41 points (and 7 assists and no turnovers) AND the game went into overtime. Mercy!

In a game that featured two players that were 6 feet, 7 inches, it was the smallest kid on the court who stole the show.

William, Mississippi State women earn 1st Final Four berth
Emotional Morgan William scores 41 to lead Mississippi State to first Final Four

Four-gone conclusion: William, Bulldogs end Baylor Lady Bears’ Final Four dreams, 94-85
Baylor misses chance at Final Four in Dallas as Mississippi State forces turnovers, an upset

Monday Night – no pressure, y’all

#10 Oregon v. #1 UConn

Upset-minded Oregon sets sights on No. 1 UConn

“We’ve played against a lot of really good teams,” Graves said. “We’ve played them tough. We’ve won a few. I think our kids — the more you win these close games and these big games, they start to believe. Like they said, they really don’t have a lot to lose.”

UConn women’s coach Geno Auriemma isn’t surprised by Oregon Ducks’ NCAA Tournament success
Oregon Ducks women’s basketball team gets its shot at UConn Huskies juggernaut
Oregon Ducks women’s basketball team hopes to join the men’s team in the Final Four
Oregon women need monumental upset to reach Final Four
Inside the Pac: The Oregon Women Keep on Dancing
How Oregon took over March Madness

Auriemma: Attendance woes can be fixed
Scott Hamilton: Never seen anything like UConn
Oregon hopes for monumental upset of UConn to reach Final Four
Elite Eight notes: Graves and Auriemma admire each other, another large crowd expected

#1 South Carolina v. #2 Florida State

Dawn Staley not sleeping much as South Carolina women prepare for physical Florida State in Elite Eight
Notes from Stockton: USC women go bonkers for men’s win, Kaela Davis’ family all over the map

Michaux: Gamecocks toast of basketball world

Florida State coach Sue Semrau is quite aware of South Carolina’s strengths. The teams have been scrimmage partners the past two years.

One South Carolina player who won’t be on the floor Monday is senior center Alaina Coates (ankle). While Staley said Coates’ presence is missed, particularly on rebounds and defense, the Gamecocks are more than holding their own in her absence.

Florida State gets another shot at South Carolina with Final Four on the line
Florida State, South Carolina like to scrimmage in preseason
Final game deserves respectable crowd


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It started slowly but, after an even first period, the Ducks inexorably pulled away from the Terrapins. The freshmen played just like everyone said they were playing – NOT like freshmen – and Kelly Graves’ #10 Oregon team recorded its third upset of the Tournament, 77-63, becoming just the third double-digit seed to make the Elite Eight.

Freshmen lead 10th-seeded Oregon to upset of Maryland

“We’re just excited about everything,” Ionescu said. “None of our kids have experienced anything like this. So, I think we’re just excited to advance and be able play another day and see where that takes us.”

Oregon women on way to Elite Eight after upset of Maryland
Oregon Ducks women stun Maryland, will face UConn in Elite Eight
Cinderella still dancing: Oregon Ducks shock Maryland to advance to NCAA women’s tournament Elite 8
Oregon women’s basketball upsets Maryland to advance to Elite 8
Ducks women’s basketball coach delivers intense postgame victory speech

The third-seeded Maryland women’s basketballteam almost always had been able to lean on Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Brionna Jones during the most meaningful moments this season. Uncharacteristically, the senior duo was not up to the task in a 77-63 loss to No. 10 seed Oregon on Saturday, bouncing the Terrapins from the NCAA tournament’s round of 16.

Brionna Jones and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough saw their legendary Maryland careers meet a sad end against Oregon
Maryland Falls Short In NCAA Women’s Tournament

Florida State/Oregon State
The Seminoles joined that Duck, as they found their defensive chops and ignited a comeback from 17 down to upset the #2 Beavers.

Ivey Slaughter stands corrected. And she will probably continue to stand there for the next couple of days.

Sitting in front of a microphone after her game-changing performance Saturday in the Sweet 16 against Oregon State — an 11-point, eight-rebound, nine-steal effort that led the Seminoles to a 66-53 comeback win over the Beavers at Stockton Arena — she tried to demur.

The senior forward tried to say that she isn’t the best defensive player on the Florida State team. But teammate Leticia Romero and coach Sue Semrau weren’t having it, and they cut her off before she could finish her thought.

Florida State brings its defense to defeat Oregon State


Don’t let the score fool ya – UCLA v. UConn was a dogfight, especially in the second half. Close’s team has learned from their previous NCAA experiences, and there’s no doubt that the program is on the move up.

After an Uncharacteristic Early Stumble, UConn Breezes to Win

“We like to say that, you know, to play with us, it’s a marathon; it’s not a sprint,” said Gabby Williams, who had 17 points and 9 rebounds for UConn. “They came out hard. They came out aggressive. But there was 37 minutes left to play.”

UConn Women’s Basketball Holds Off UCLA, 86-71
UConn beats No. 4 UCLA for 12th-straight Elite 8 appearance
UConn Storms Back From Early Deficit, Beats UCLA; Geno Ties The Great Pat Summitt
Connecticut women turn back UCLA, 86-71
UConn women march past gritty UCLA team, into Elite Eight
UConn women rout UCLA in Sweet 16 showdown in Bridgeport
110 in a row for U-Conn. women’s basketball, and a record 112 for Geno Auriemma
UConn beats UCLA 86-71 to advance to regional final in Bridgeport
Analysis: Chong’s all-around performance key to help Huskies beat UCLA
Brian Koonz: In her senior year, Chong isn’t letting go
In a Twist, It’s Saniya Chong Powering UConn Women’s Basketball

Saniya Chong fell hard after a rattling foul late in Connecticut’s 86-71 victory over U.C.L.A. on Saturday. She made two free throws, then soon jogged to the sideline. She rinsed a small cut on her lip with a swig of water and spit into a cup, as if the game were being played by rounds instead of quarters.

After rolling through the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, UCLA’s (25-9) season ends after making consecutive trips to a regional semifinal for the first time in program history.

“I don’t want it to end,” UCLA Coach Cori Close said after the game as her voice cracked and tears welled in her eyes. “I thought they fought their guts out.”

South Carolina/Quinnipiac
The Gamecocks soared early against the Bobcats, barely giving Cinderella a chance to put on her shoes, much less dance.

“It doesn’t matter what name is on the jersey, we come out to play. Obviously they had a good run, but we’ve still got a mission to complete, and that’s to make it to the Final Four and national championship,” Allisha Gray declared.

“I second that,” Davis followed.

South Carolina women’s basketball easily moves to Elite Eight
Elite Again: South Carolina women romp Quinnipiac out West
South Carolina destroys Quinnipiac in NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament: Score, stats, live updates recap
A dominant performance in Stockton: South Carolina women roll past Quinnipiac in Sweet 16
Siroky’s SEC Report: South Carolina Eases Into Elite 8
Keys for Gamecock Women to Make the Final Four

Tears Fell But Martucci Helped Lift Bobcats Program

As these things go, tears tend to fall. There was no shortage of that from Martucci.

“You’re going to make me … water-works over here … Indescribable, life-changing, the best years of my life,” Martucci said in talking about her experience at Quinnipiac and her voice cracking. “I’m just so proud to be a Bobcat and to be a part of this family. It’s really hard to describe my five years here because it’s been so amazing and just the growth that I’ve witnessed with our program and within myself, it’s life-changing.”

1-2, 1-2, Testing the 1-2s…

#1 Notre Dame v. #2 Stanford, 12:06

Graham: Notre Dame, Stanford meet again with Final Four trip on the line

“I think the NCAA committee just really likes this matchup,” Stanford’s Erica McCall said. “They want to see it time and time again. So it means it must be pretty iconic.”

That sounded at least a little tongue in cheek, but she’s right.

Notre Dame women’s basketball set for Stanford chess game in Elite Eight
Elite Eight Collision With Cardinal
Notebook: Defending Arike Ogunbowale a challenge for Stanford
Notre Dame, Stanford meet for 3rd straight year in NCAA
Irish downplay revenge factor vs. Stanford in duel for Final Four berth
Irish look for revenge against Stanford in Elite Eight
Notre Dame, Stanford meet with Final Four on the line (Mar 25, 2017)
Lesar: Can Erin Boley deliver big again for Notre Dame women’s basketball?

#1 Baylor v. # Mississippi State, 7:36

Mechelle: Finding the perfect fit will be key for Baylor, Mississippi State

Victoria Vivians led Mississippi State in scoring average this season, while Baylor’s Alexis Jones was second on her team in that statistic. But when Sunday’s Elite Eight game begins at Cheasapeake Energy Arena, both guards could be on the bench. Or … neither could. Both might make a huge difference. Or … neither could.

Baylor hoping to get back to Final Four with win over Mississippi State
Mississippi State, Baylor battle for Women’s Final Four berth Sunday
After rolling to 3 wins in record fashion, Lady Bears face tower of power in Mississippi State freshman
Kellenberger: How MSU’s Vic Schaefer built an Elite 8 team
Mississippi State’s success all about conditioning
Kellenberger: MSU makes history, focuses on next game
Baker wears many hats, helps keep MSU women’s basketball program going

BTW: Yes, we see you, Michigan Women’s Basketball going to the WNIT semis, notching your 26th win of the season.

ICYMI: How Kelsey Plum and Sydney Wiese transformed their programs

A few weeks ago between games at the Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament at Key Arena, I popped into the bathroom and witnessed a scene that perfectly encapsulates women’s basketball on the West Ccoast right now.

At the sink, a young mother washed her hands while her toddler daughter, who looked to be 3 or 4, dribbled a small basketball underneath the paper towel dispenser. “Look mama!” she said. “I’m dribbling! I’m dribbling like Kelsey, I’m dribbling!”

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Wanna get to the Elite Eight for the first time? Teaira McCowan says, “Follow me!”

McCowan’s career night pushes MSU to Elite Eight
Kellenberger: MSU makes history, focuses on next game
NCAA women’s basketball: Mississippi State tops Washington
Teaira McCowan leads Mississippi State into Elite Eight; Kelsey Plum has 29 points in final NCAA game
Veteran Nina Davis and youngster Teaira McCowan drive Baylor, Mississippi State to Elite Eight
MSU Notebook: Sophomore center shines in win
MSU women advance to Elite Eight for first time
Dillingham’s defense helps Mississippi State advance

Huskies fall to Mississippi State 64-75
Washington Huskies fade in fourth as their NCAA women’s tournament run ends
Women’s basketball’s season ends after loss in Sweet Sixteen
Huskies fall to Mississippi State as Kelsey Plum’s record-setting career ends
How Kelsey Plum Took Over Women’s College Basketball
Washington’s Kelsey Plum: ‘I think everyone can learn a lot from UConn’s success’
After delivering surprise joyride of a season, these Huskies will never be forgotten

“Think you can outscore us?” Ogunbowale and Da Yoots say. “Just try.”

Notre Dame women’s basketball puts on a clinic to beat Ohio State
Ogunbowale leads Notre Dame women to Elite Eight
Irish Elite in Historic Victory Over Buckeyes
NCAA Women: Top-Seeded Irish Rout Buckeyes
Notre Dame rolls to Elite Eight
Lesar: Glass is half-full for Notre Dame women’s basketball
Lesar: Jackie Young a key part of re-tooled Notre Dame attack
Notre Dame Sizzles Into Elite 8

Buckeyes bounced from NCAA Tournament by hot-shooting Notre Dame
Ohio State’s season ends with 99-76 loss to Notre Dame in Sweet 16
Ohio State eliminated in Sweet 16 by Notre Dame
Ohio State women’s basketball falls to Notre Dame, 99-76
2017-18 recharge begins with Kelsey Mitchell’s decision
Ohio State star Kelsey Mitchell undecided on senior year return

“Want our seat?” Stanford asks. “Can’t have it.”

Erica McCall leads Stanford women past Texas for Elite Eight berth
Stanford women hold off Texas for 77-66 win in NCAA Sweet 16
Stanford women seek the win at the end of the rainbow
Hot-shooting Stanford rallies to stop Texas, ending UT’s season

This Just In – Texas Fans Tired of Stanford
No. 14 Women’s Basketball Falls in Sweet Sixteen to No. 6 Stanford, 77-66

ESPN: Confident stars carry Irish, Cardinal to Elite Eight

Baylor says, “Oh yeah, we remember you…”

OKC notebook: Lady Bears paint Louisville into a corner
Rocket-fast start pushes Lady Bears past Louisville, 97-63
Baylor women roll into Elite Eight, crush Louisville 97-63
Baylor rolls past Louisville 97-63 to reach Elite Eight
Baylor too much for women’s basketball, Cards’ season ends in Sweet 16

UofL Sweet 16 loss a lackluster final
Louisville women can’t slay the giant again, Baylor r – WDRB 41 Louisville News
No. 13 Women’s Basketball Falls to No. 5 Baylor in Sweet 16
The Louisville’s women’s basketball team saw its season come to an end on Friday night, a 97-63 loss to top seed Baylor


Oregon v Maryland

Maryland women’s basketball is fueled by regret ahead of Sweet 16 game vs. Oregon
NCAA Tournament 2017 preview: Maryland takes on Oregon in Sweet 16
Maryland women’s basketball will arrive in Bridgeport with plenty of motivation
Former Courant Player Of Year Gillespie Back In State With Maryland At Bridgeport Regional
Mountain View grad Destiny Slocum is the talk of the town for Maryland women’s basketball
Maryland Women Face Tough Task In Bridgeport Regional
Women’s basketball tournament: Maryland women ride rails to NCAA regional
Maryland-Oregon to face off in Sweet 16
Maryland’s Brenda Frese sees similarities between Oregon and her 2006 title team
Maryland women embrace Ashlyn Barrett, the youngest Terrapin

Oregon Ducks women’s basketball set to face No. 3 seed Maryland in Sweet 16: Game preview
Oregon’s rebuilt women’s basketball team prepares to face Maryland
Sweet 16 notebook: Ionescu and Slocum to square off, Maryland fans shut out of ticket allotment
Starting for Oregon, Three Freshmen Who Don’t Play Like It
Oregon Ducks women’s basketball team feels like it’s playing with house money entering Sweet 16
Oregon Ducks go to the land of the Huskies for their first women’s basketball Sweet 16
Bridgeport Regional: Oregon Not Shying Away From Mighty Maryland
Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens has memories of hiring Brenda Freese

UCLA v UConn

Tipping Off: Reaching the Sweet 16 Commonplace for UConn
Collier, Samuelson at forefront of UConn’s quest for another national title 

UConn women’s notebook: UCLA’s Ally Rosenblum goes way back with UConn’s Katie Lou Samuelson
Women’s basketball gameday capsule: Sweet 16, UCLA vs. UConn
UConn Women’s Basketball Exceptional at Passing the Ball
UConn’s Recipe for Success Is to Run, Run and Run Some More
Bridgeport Regional Capsule: UConn Vs. UCLA
UConn women’s basketball lives for tournament pressure
The Auriemmas and the UConn dynasty: Its Philly roots, and why they stayed
UConn’s Collier isn’t flashy, but she’s a ‘nightmare’ for opposing defenses
Bent does jersey number 10 proud at UConn
UConn Invades Bridgeport’s Webster Bank Arena For Regional Semifinals
UConn Women’s Basketball Team Dynasty Reveals Sexism in March Madness
UConn women’s basketball one win away from holding longest winning streak ever in a college team sport

Pac-12 NCAA Feature: What UCLA has to do to stop UConn
Bruins building solid foundation
How Smart Is UCLA’s Cori Close? She Chose Wooden, Geno As Mentors
UCLA women facing tall order vs. mighty UConn in regional semifinal

Quinnipiac v South Carolina

Sweet 16 Has All 4 Top Seeds, 2 State Schools In UConn, Quinnipiac
 Meet Quinnipiac, the NCAA Tournament darling
Quinnipiac women on bigger stage against South Carolina
Gamecocks wary of Quinnipiac, the Cinderella story of women’s NCAA Tournament
Quinnipiac is a team with a story to tell
From LI to Quinnipiac, Jen Fay has No. 12 seed dancing in Sweet 16
Quinnipiac women eye another NCAA basketball tourney upset
Quinnipiac women’s basketball focused on Sweet 16 matchup against South Carolina
Quinnipiac women’s basketball ready for not-so-sweet task of playing South Carolina
Quinnipiac women’s basketball takes on South Carolina in Sweet 16

South Carolina women’s basketball not going to ‘sleep on’ Quinnipiac
Staley transforms South Carolina into elite program
South Carolina Stands In Way As Quinnipiac Women Try To Reach Elite Eight
South Carolina players love coach Staley’s Lifesaver habit
Candy girl: Gamecocks dish on Staley’s courtside habit
Unspoiled by success, Gamecocks keep on striving
Allisha Gray’s injury stressed USC fans, but not her
USC broadcasters help fans make Sweet 16 memories

NCAA Notebook: UConn sends love to Quinnipiac
Quinnipiac Coach, Daughter Will Look Back On The Magical Run Later
Geno Auriemma says Quinnipiac reminds him of UConn back in 1991
Jeff Jacobs: Geno Shows He’s A Big Quinnipiac Fan, And Dresses The Part

Florida State v Oregon State

WBB Preview: #2 Oregon State v. #3 Florida State – Q&A With Tomahawk Nation
Meet Oregon State
Beavers playing with sense of urgency for seniors
OSU women’s basketball: Brown focused on the present
For Love of the Game: Tudor returns home for Sweet 16
Breanna Brown making impact in possible final NCAA Tournament run with Oregon State
Oregon State women’s basketball winning with grit, experience

Florida State no stranger to the Sweet 16
FSU women’s hoops in familiar territory against somewhat familiar foe
Seminoles arrive at third consecutive Sweet 16
Here and Now
FSU women’s hoops pushes for first Final Four bid
Our View: Sweet hoops: NCAA regional a highlight for Stockton
Women’s Hoops vs. Oregon StateRomero breaks out of slump at right time for Florida State

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Mind the Gap

Listen up! LaChina Robinson is joined by espnW writers Michelle Smith, Graham Hays and Mechelle Voepel to discuss Kelsey Plum, key injuries and break down the regional brackets.

Listen up, too! Locked On Women’s Basketball: First Weekend Recap with Gabriella Levine

A little something from Howard: TAKEAWAYS FROM THE WOMEN’S TOURNEY

The first weekend of the women’s NCAA Tournament is in the books, and as you’d expect once 32 games are played, we’ve learned quite a lot about the shape of both the season so far and what to expect over the next two weeks, when a champion will be crowned. Here are the biggest takeaways from the paring down of 64 teams to the Sweet 16, which resumes this Friday night, beginning with Notre Dame vs. Ohio State at 7:06 p.m. ET (all games air on ESPN and ESPN2).

Parity is real

Notre Dame v. Ohio State

Stinky news: Those who saw, knew…. Notre Dame women’s basketball loses top scorer Brianna Turner

And so, Injury might change landscape for Lexington Regional in Rupp Arena this weekend

When Notre Dame’s women’s basketball team opened the season ranked No. 1 in the nation — ahead of even mighty UConn — an appearance in the NCAA Tournament’s round of 16 seemed a certainty.

After what the Fighting Irish went through to get to Rupp Arena, taking the next step might be significantly more difficult.

When the Notre Dame women’s basketball team took personality tests earlier this season, Lindsay Allen wasn’t surprised by her results.

Her color was green, an appropriate choice — not just because of the lime shade she and her Irish teammates wear on their fingernails during the NCAA tournament.

“Greens” are eminently disciplined, precise, logical and analytical. They aren’t overly expressive or dramatic. “Low-key” is the most fitting description.

“That’s Lindsay!” teammate Kathryn Westbeld said. “She’s that calm, cool, collected person we all enjoy being around on and off the court.”

Buckeyes in better position in return to Sweet 16

“No question. We’re deeper, we’re more experienced, and we’re just better,” McGuff said. “I think we’re in a much different place this year. I like where we are, and I like the opportunity that’s in front of us.”

Buckeyes catch a break against Notre Dame

South Carolina v. Quinnipiac

Quinnipiac Women’s Basketball Team Headed for Sweet 16

Bruce Saulnier has been teaching in the School of Business at Quinnipiac since 1972, long before it was known as a university as opposed to a college, long before many of its current structures were built.

And he has been following the women’s basketball team nearly as long, rarely missing a home game — a season ticket holder, he says, “ever since they moved up to Division I and started selling season tickets.” The Bobcats hadn’t kept him up past midnight, though, until Monday.

“Stayed up past my bedtime,” said Saulnier, 70, as he noshed on a soup and sandwich in the student center. “Watched the game the whole way and it was just amazing. We’ve come a long way.”

Quinnipiac takes 12-seed, good omens and great shooting into Sweet 16

“It’s honestly addicting,” Quinnipiac guard Adily Martucci said of the wins. “There is something about this tournament. You just want more and more and more. And we’re going to try to get some more.”

AP: Quinnipiac: Tough to say, hard to beat

Quinnipiac women’s basketball team returns home after making their first ever Sweet Sixteen

Good news: Allisha Gray gets nod to play for South Carolina in Sweet 16 and After a scare, Gray full-go as Gamecocks head to Stockton

South Carolina the toast of tourney

More news: Fearless freshman Tyasha Harris is playing beyond her years as South Carolina’s point guard

South Carolina point guard Tyasha Harris said before the SEC tournament final in early March that she expected to have a few jitters, considering she was playing for a championship. But they never showed up.

“I live for big moments,” she said, smiling. “I thought I would get nervous, but nothing came. I was ready to go get that ring.”

Ah, the life of a freshman. Much of what you encounter in college basketball is new. But depending on your personality and how your coaches and teammates respond to you, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It can be exciting.

Oregon and Quinnipiac crash women’s Sweet 16 field

Pac-12 making statement with 5 teams in the Sweet 16

Louisville v Baylor

Meet U of L’s Sweet 16 opponent: Baylor

Mechelle offers: First impressions of the Sweet 16

Probably the most anticipated regional semifinal matchup will be No. 1 seed Baylor versus No. 4 Louisville in Oklahoma City. Those teams met in 2013 in the same round on the same Chesapeake Energy Arena court, when Baylor was the defending national champion with one loss, and Louisville a No. 5 seed with eight losses. But the Cardinals upset the Lady Bears 82-81 in an epic game, and went on to the NCAA final.

Both coaches might downplay that 2013 game — Baylor’s Kim Mulkey almost certainly will — and the key players from that matchup are all graduated. But the fact that it’s in the same building, with the Lady Bears again as a No. 1 seed … it’s natural to look back on what happened then

Baylor heads to Oklahoma City, site of both cheers and tears

Washington v. Mississippi State

Schaefer’s bold strategy moves Bulldogs to second straight Sweet Sixteen

Mississippi State thriving with father-daughter combo

Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer and guard Blair Schaefer established the separation between father-daughter and coach-player nearly a decade ago when Blair was in seventh grade.

The coach watched from the stands as his daughter turned the ball over multiple times during an AAU game. She was nearly in tears at halftime. He said at that moment Blair had a decision to make — did she want him to talk to her as a coach or a father? She said a coach.

“Then stop turning that dadgum thing over,” he said.

Victoria ViviansHow We Do It in Mississippi

I am pretty sure you’ve never been to my hometown, but there’s a chance you’ve driven past it and not even known. It’s called Forest, Mississippi. Five different highways crisscross through Forest — the biggest one, Interstate 20, runs west toward Jackson and east toward the Alabama border. The other four are state highways. People are always either coming or going in Forest, but hardly anybody ever stays. The population there is less than 6,000. 

I know about the highways because since before I was born my dad has been a truck driver, cruising all over the South in one of those big 18-wheel rigs. My dad was on the road a lot when I was a kid, and when he was gone I’d always try to envision him driving his truck on those highways. I bet you’re thinking I’m really country —being from a tiny town with a big rig in our driveway — but oh well. 

To this day, I’m really grateful to my dad for making it a priority to come to my basketball games

UW Women’s Basketball confident about return trip to the Final Four

When the Washington Huskies Women’s Basketball Team made the Final Four as a #7 seed during last year’s NCAA Tournament it was seen as an aberration to many outside the program.

“I think a lot of people wanted to think that was a fluke,” Washington head-coach Mike Neighbors said. “I heard that a lot during the offseason. That it was a fluke year, blah, blah, blah.”

Loved this: Players put on impromptu dance-off during Oklahoma-Washington NCAA tournament game

Although Washington went on to win 108-82 to advance to the Sweet 16, star guard Kelsey Plum admitted defeat on the dance-off. “When they really started going at it,” Plum said, “the girl from Oklahoma did some crazy stuff.”

Osahor attributed that to the lineup on the court. “They were very fortunate that Aari [freshman guard Aarion McDonald] was in the game because if she wasn’t, it would have been over,” Osahor said.

She also appreciated the message the friendly competition sent.

UCLA v. UConn

UCLA women’s basketball team warms to the idea of facing mighty Connecticut

“[UConn is] a great team; they obviously have our respect,” Close said after the Bruins, the No. 4 seed in the Bridgeport Regional, routed No. 5 Texas A&M, 75-43, Monday at Pauley Pavilion. “But my team has my respect and I need to lead them the same way that we’ve done it all year long.”

What’s Bruin Show – Episode 128 – UCLA Basketball in the Sweet 16!

UConn is dominating women’s basketball by realizing it takes more than just talented players

UConn Is 1 Win From Being The Streakiest College Team Ever

Up next for the Huskies is No. 4-seed UCLA, a team that was ranked 15th at the end of the season and that UConn hasn’t played since 2014. If UConn wins that game, it’ll have 110 straight wins, moving it clear of Penn State’s 109 consecutive wins in women’s volleyball in 2007-10 — acknowledged as one of the longest winning streaks in collegiate sports history.

Both streaks are over twice as long as the next-longest streak by any other entity in their sport.

Carl Adamec: Huskies don’t pass up opportunities for assists

BTW: Auriemma, UConn haven’t lost consecutive games in 24 years

Maryland v. Oregon

Oooops: Sold-out Connecticut regional leaves ‘furious’ Maryland fans boxed out

The school did, in fact, get its usual NCAA allotment of 100 tickets. That’s been the allotment for schools in the women’s basketball tournament for years, although typically schools are given the opportunity to purchase more, which Maryland has usually done. (Their regional request has been about twice the 100-ticket allotment in recent years.)

Bridgeport, though, features a smaller venue — Webster Bank Arena seats just 7,881 fans. And with Connecticut’s women’s team in the midst of a historic win streak and certain to be playing regional games in Bridgeport, the arena sold out of inventory on March 9, four days before the brackets were even unveiled.

Maryland fans, of course, were not about to buy tickets at four different regional sites in early March, just in case.

Maryland women’s basketball to play Oregon in Sweet 16

Oregon college basketball’s historic week: What to know

Oregon Ducks wait for another chance to play road warriors in NCAA women’s basketball tournament

“The Pac-12 and the season prepared us for this moment,” Graves said after Oregon handed the Blue Devils their first home loss of the season. “Duke is a great team, there’s no question about it. But so is Oregon State, who we had to play twice. So is Stanford, who we had to play three times. They’re both two seeds. Washington we played a couple times, and they were a three seed. UCLA was a four seed.

“I think that’s what made these guys better. They couldn’t take a night off.”

Oregon alums say NCAA Tournament run has brought them together

Oregon State v. Florida State

Ducks and Beavers would love an all-Oregon NCAA championship

Gazette Times: Beavers will see familiar teams in Stockton

For seniors Sydney Wiese and Gabby Hanson, their desire to face Florida State is finally going to be a reality.

“There are some schools that when you’re in college you want to play them and somehow you hope that you will,” Wiese said.

Semrau, third-seeded Seminoles focused on Oregon State

Semrau’s message throughout the tournament – really, since the end of the regular season – has been about the “now.”

“It’s so easy to spend way too much energy on the wrong things,” Semrau said. “We have to spend energy on focusing on our film today. We have to put energy in our practice today. We don’t have time or space for anything else.”

Stanford v. Texas

Janie McCauley/AP: Travel challenges just part of NCAA Tournament for Stanford

Nadia Fingall took her three-hour economics final Wednesday while stationed in the hotel dining room. Erica McCall and Briana Roberson were set up in different conference rooms for their psychology exams.

Brittany McPhee and Karlie Samuelson each had chemistry finals — biochemistry for McPhee, organic for Samuelson.

When the charter plane for Sweet 16-bound Stanford never arrived Monday night in Manhattan, Kansas, because of a parts issue, Tara VanDerveer and her staff decided the best course would be to head to the next game destination without a trip first to the Bay Area. The coach checked with a few players and the plan was a go: onward to Lexington, Kentucky.

Texas women’s Basketball to face No. 6 Stanford in NCAA Regional Semifinals

Development of Joyner Holmes culminates in re-match with Stanford

Texas seeks revenge in rematch with Stanford

The season-opening loss for Texas at Stanford in November seems so long ago that the five newcomers for the Longhorns no longer seem like freshmen.

Joyner Holmes, a guard, is one of those top recruits who had more fouls (four) than points (three) in the 71-59 loss to the Cardinal in Palo Alto, Calif. She enters the rematch with the Cardinal on Friday night in the Sweet 16 averaging 12 points and 8.2 rebounds.

A sweet (16) look at Texas women’s postseason history

Other news:

Dan: Lady Vols need to pay more attention to consistency and John Adams: Holly Warlick could be coaching for her job next season

The last game of a season, no matter when it occurs, invariably leads to a question about the next season.

Monday night was no exception. Moments after Tennessee’s 75-64 loss to Louisville in the second round of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament, UT coach Holly Warlick was asked: “What is the message for the offseason with the No. 1 recruiting class coming in?”

Said Warlick: “These kids know what they’re getting into. It’s Tennessee. You’ve got to be on your A game every game.”

That also could apply to the season that had just ended, short of the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2009.

Syracuse women’s basketball faces massive rebuilding job to remain among the elite

Congrats to coach Fahey, new head coach at Illinois. Lucky program. D-III says farewell to Fahey

At times, her teams were unbeatable. At their worst, they were still a threat to reach the NCAA Tournament and advance. But if you learned nothing from Nancy Fahey’s 31 years coaching Division III basketball, know this: She, and her teams, never ducked a challenge.

Now, Fahey will be taking on another challenge: Division I basketball. 

Spurs Asst. Coach and WNBA Legend Becky Hammon In Running For Florida WBB Job

Excelle: WNBA Mock Draft Monday, version 2.0

Moriah Jefferson’s Emergence Gave Stars’ Coach Hughes Second Thoughts On Retirement

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Moving on, Pt. 2

Honestly, ESPN techs – as a techie myself, I gotta say: You only had ONE job… And for the producers who decided which games to broadcast when? YOU only had one job….Fix this, @CStiffESPN

As for the games…anyone notice there’s a lot of history being made this Tourney? Amongst the fantabulous player performances, the equally fabulous  informs us that

We will have our third with two double-digit seeds. 1996: (11) SFA, (12) San Francisco 2007: (10) Florida St., (13) Marist

(Seriously, @WNBA, HIRE THIS TWEETER!!!!!!!)

MAAC ATTACK, Pt. 2. Not satisfied with their first NCAA tournament win, the Bobcats raced out to a 15pt lead over the host Hurricanes, then held on for dear life as Miami clawed its way back into the game. But Quinnipiac did. not. fold. Helllllloooooooo, the (other) team from Connecticut makes their first Sweet Sixteen!

PAC ATTACK: Yes, #2 Duke was without guard Kyra Lambert, but that doesn’t diminish #10 Oregon’s accomplishment – winning on the Blue Devils‘ home court. With all the pieces finally healthy, the Ducks are really clicking. Boom – a 74-65 victory means the program is going to its first Sweet Sixteen.

#4 Louisville kicked it into high gear in fourth to put away #5 Tennessee, 75-64. Fouls and free throw shooting hurt the Vols, and Mariya Moore’s perfect night of three-point shooting really helped the Cardinals. Anyone feel like Jeff has his team cruising, shark-like, under everybody’s radar?

So, how does that old Jim Croce song go, “You don’t tug on UConnGuards’ cape…” #1 UConn crushed the #8 Orange#8 Orange, as Kia Nurse made like Katie Lou Samuelson and went 9-12 from three (tying the NCAA Tournament single-game record). Rest of the Huskies weren’t too shabby, neither: 62% shooting, 30 assists on 33 made baskets.

The Cal Bears were no match for the Baylor Bears who look loaded for…bear on their way to an 86-46 win.

#2 Stanford proved to be rude guests as they declawed the #7 Wildcats, 69-48.

Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer has been doing this a long time — 37 seasons as head coach, to be exact — and so when she gets a feeling a player will have a big game, she’s usually right.

And she had a feeling about guard Brittany McPhee on Monday. The 6-foot junior set the tone for No. 2 seed Stanford in an NCAA tournament second-round matchup with No. 7 Kansas State. By the time she’d finished a 21-point, seven-rebound, five-assist night, McPhee had helped break down the Wildcats’ zone, and her team’s post players had done their thing, too.

Down 21 at the half, #5 Texas A&M simply didn’t have another run in’em. The Bruins kept pouring it on, earning a 75-43 victory. With its win, #4 UCLA adds to the Pac 12 Sweet Sixteen total of FIVE.

So, ya gotta believe before the game Osahor turned to Plum and said, “You’ve never had  double-double? What’s wrong with you?” Pluminator goes out,  breaks Jackie Stiles’ women’s NCAA D-I single-season scoring record AND notches her first double-double. ’bout time, woman! Oh, yah, and Washington mauled the Sooners, 108-82.

So you know what all this means (beyond some of us being able to catch up on our sleep):

Friday, March 24th:

#5 Ohio State v. #1 Notre Dame (7:06pm)
#3 Washington v. #2 Mississippi State (7:11pm)

#4 Louisville v. #1 Baylor (9:00)
#3 Texas v. #2 Stanford (9:00)

Saturday, March 25th

#10 Oregon v. #3 Maryland (11:36am)
#4 UCLA v. #1 UConn (1:30pm)

#12 Quinnipiac v. #1 South Carolina (4:06pm)
#3 Florida State v. #2 Oregon State (6pm)

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