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From the Tulsa World: OSU women’s coaches take on extra work in wake of tragedy

The Oklahoma State women’s basketball team has rebounded from tragedy to win 18 games and reach the Sweet Sixteen of the WNIT.

The Cowgirls, who host Missouri Valley Conference champion Missouri State at 7 p.m. Thursday, were shepherded to this point by Jim Littell, who was promoted from assistant coach to head coach after former head coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna died in a Nov. 17 plane crash.

But the unsung heroes of OSU’s forge-ahead season have been members of Littell’s staff.

From CBS-Philly: Temple, Villanova Ready For WNIT Battles

Just two Division I teams in the city are still playing basketball.  Both the Temple and Villanova women’s squads are into the Sweet 16 of the WNIT with both look to advance tonight.

Temple will be home at McGonigle Hall to host Syracuse out of the Big East while Villanova is on the road tonight to run with Colorado out of the Pac 12.

From the Daily Toreador: Tech hopes to extend WNIT run, hosts San Diego

We’re just excited to be able to continue to play,” she said. “We’ve got a chance to go to an Elite Eight. There’s another Elite Eight about to happen and when you look across this tournament, there are very worthy NCAA Tournament teams, so, again, it’s just trying to turn it into the most positive experience we can. That’s what life’s about.”

From the Richmond Times: U.Va., VCU set for WNIT third-round games

University of Virginia women’s basketball coach Joanne Boyle doesn’t believe in the status quo. After 34 games and nearly five months, Boyle is still tweaking her club’s on-court personality.

U.Va., which will play host to Appalachian State tonight at 7 in the third round of the WNIT, has thrived throughout the season on an inside-oriented zone defense. But in Monday’s second-round victory over the University of Richmond, a dangerous perimeter-shooting team, Boyle’s Cavaliers played an uncharacteristic amount of man-to-man.

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WNIT results.

Third Round Schedule
Tuesday, March 20
Washington at Oregon State, 10 p.m. ET
Thursday, March 22
Appalachian State at Virginia, 7 p.m. ET
Syracuse at Temple, 7 p.m. ET
VCU at Toledo, 7 p.m. ET
San Diego at Texas Tech, 8 p.m. ET
Missouri State at Oklahoma State, 8 p.m. ET
Villanova at Colorado, 9 p.m. ET
Friday, March 23
South Florida at JMU, 7 p.m. ET

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“on the right side of the bubble,” even with their loss to Texas Tech. What do you think the Mike Finger at the Houston Chronicle thinks? Texas women suffer humiliating loss in Big 12 opener

After overcoming two months of torturous ineptitude and then staving off three potential death blows in recent weeks, the Texas women’s basketball team arrived at Municipal Auditorium as the Big 12’s great survivors.

Then the Longhorns spent two hours inventing horrific new ways to kill their season.

In a dismal performance that brought their supposedly safe at-large NCAA tournament bid back into question, the eighth-seeded Longhorns were humiliated by ninth-seeded Texas Tech 81-58 in the first round of the Big 12 tournament Wednesday.

Gail is a lovely person, and Texas has had it’s share of injuries, but if you ask me, I think Charlie’s talkin’ “big conference bull.” It’s a privilege, not a right, to go to the Big Dance. Risk the ire of the establishment horde and send, say, Appalachian State instead of this year’s sorry excuse for a big money program.

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(And more teams watching their bracketology bubble hopes pop)

Tell me if you notice a pattern. *cue music* “Do ya, do you, do ya wanna dance?”

By virtue of their upset victory over Appalachian State (25-6), Samford (20-12) won the So Con Championship and an automatic bid to the Dance. Clearly, the Bulldogs have the Mountaineers’ number: It was the third straight year Samford has defeated Appalachian State in the tournament.

By virtue of their upset victory over St. Bonaventure (29-3), the Dayton Flyers won the A-10 Championship and earned an automatic bid to the Dance. It’s the Flyer’s first A-10 Championship and it must be incredibly rewarding for coach Jabir, who’s worked tremendously hard to take the program from his first year record of 3-35, to this year’s record of 23-6. It’s amazing what a coach can do with a little institutional support — right Providence?

By virtue of their upset victory over Gonzaga (26-5), BYU (26-6) won the WCC Championship and earned an automatic bid to the Dance. This is the Cougars’ first WCC championship. The two teams split their regular season games, and one can imagine a lovely rivalry developing between these two programs.

By virtue of their upset victory over American (23-7), Holy Cross (18-13) prevented the Eagles from winning the Patriot League Championship and earning an automatic invitation to the Dance. That invite will either go to the Crusaders or the Midshipmen of Navy (17-3).

Marist (25-7) made sure that Fairfield (24-8)  didn’t even get a glimpse of an upset, coming out strong in the first and putting together almost an exact duplicate of their effort in the second. Red Foxes win their 7th straight MAAC title and are goin’ dancin’.

“Revenge as a Rout” was the theme at the Big East as Notre Dame tattooed West Virginia and UConn demolished St. John’s. ND will go for the 3-defeat and UConn will try for redemption in Tuesday’s finals.

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#6 Duke by 40 over (soon to be no longer ranked?) North Carolina.

#1 Baylor by 27 over Oklahoma.

#11 Ohio State by 14 over Wisconsin (Prahalis with 34).

It was a little tighter between #10 Maryland and #22 Georgia Tech, but the Terps came out on top by 8.

It was a little more interesting amongst some of the top unranked:

The Rattlers got all they could handle from North Carolina A&T (10-13, 5-5 MEAC), but pulled out the 5-point win to remain unbeaten in conference play.

Davidson also got a tussle from Georgia South (7-16, 3-11 Southern), but prevailed, 69-62.

In a battle of Big South Big Dogs, it was Liberty (15-7, 9-1) over High Point (14-8, 9-2), 73-65.

Appalachian State (18-3, 12-1 Southern) held off Charleston (6-18, 5-10), 50-41.

It wasn’t a cakewalk, but Eastern Illinois’ win over Eastern Kentucky took their OVC record to 11-0.

The Mocs were not so lucky: Furman (12-11, 8-6 Southern) took down Chattanooga (16-7, 11-3), 75-61.

Quinnipiac (17-6, 9-3 NEC) got upset by Fairleigh Dickinson (11-13, 6-6), 74-65.

Nice win for first year coach Palmateer, as Monmouth (13-10, 8-4 NEC) stomped Sacred Heart (17-6, 10-2), 70-50.

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Looks like the Mocs are on a roll in the Southern, pushing their conference record to 6-0 with their win over Wofford. They’ve got back-to-back challenges coming up: Appalachian State (5-0) on the 21st and Davidson (6-1) on the 23rd.

I’ve got some wonderings about the strength ACC: Florida State, which is just barely above .500, went in to Cameron and shot over 50%. Liston (20pts) helped push #6 Duke to a 7pt win. Notes DWHoops:

In a game where Duke was only up a possession or two for much of the time, it took a flurry of jump shots down the stretch to pull away from a rugged Florida State squad. The duo of Haley Peters and Tricia Liston helped turn a 4 point lead into a 10 point bulge with six minutes to go. FSU could do little more than trade baskets after that. Florida State was impossible to stop once they got ball in the low block, outscoring Duke in the paint by a 42-34 margin. Of course, that was only when they weren’t turning the ball over against Duke, as the Devils had a 26-7 edge in points off turnovers.

As always, it’s hard to find the transcript of Mechelle’s chat (C’mon, maaan!), but this past Thursday she had this to say before the Terps/Hurricanes game:

Craig (Salisbury, MD) Maryland-Miami tonight. What are the keys for each team???

Mechelle Voepel: Maryland needs to avoid careless turnovers (few too many of those vs. UNC almost cost them a win), and really establish their inside game. The Terps are very strong on the boards and should try to pound away inside if they can. By the same token, Miami has quite a winning streak going at home, and we know how good the Hurricanes’ perimeter can be when it’s on. This is big game for Maryland to prove that it can assert itself on the road like it ultimately did in beating Carolina. (Although that took OT.)

Speaking of UNC, they get to going in to CT (Mon. 7pm EST, ESPN2)after UConn plays Villanova – always a frustrating experience. If the Tar Heels aren’t careful, it could get ugly (sorta like it’s been).

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Yah, there were some tickets punched (which is a rather violent way to be invited to Dance). Certainly the ‘dogs, Foxes and Vols (um, ESPN? “Laugher”? Really?) were expected and I’d call the Blue Devils and “all but” expected. Xavier? Well, yah, but I’m still not sure what to make of them and wonder if they might be the first major upset in the tourney.

The Tigers’ success was impressive, considering they’d lost their top player to an ACL.

I bet Ohio State’s 14-point win over Penn State to win the Big 10 title is making everyone wondering, “Jeckyll or Hyde, which one will we face?”

You may have caught Appalachian State’s heartbreak as Samford won the Southern Conference crown and earned their first NCAA bid.

In the, “Oh, really?” vein, Oral Roberts may be 16-2 in the Summit, but Oakland (1-6) took’em down in the semis.

It was the #2 seed Stetson defeating Jackson to earn the A-Sun championship. Ditto in the Ohio Valley, where #2 UT-Martin took down #1 Tennessee Tech to earn their first trip to the Dance.

I SAID Hartford was sneaking up on people, and they did just that in the AEast semis, trouncing conference leader UMBC by 20. They have to wait until the 12th to face Boston U and see who gets the automatic NCAA berth.

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