Feeds:
Posts

Posts Tagged ‘Big East Conference’

As the No Longer Big East Commissioner.

A little flashback from Jayda: WNBA Talk: Ron Rothstein

Times reporter Jayda Evans will have a weekly conversation with a newsmaker in the WNBA. This week it is Miami Heat assistant coach Ron Rothstein, who won his second NBA championship in 2013. He was the inaugural coach of the WNBA Miami Sol until the WNBA team disbanded in 2002. He had a 48-48 record from 2000-02.

Read Full Post »

for the first time since 2004.

Graham reflects: Since the last time we were in New Orleans …

Let’s see, the last time the women’s basketball world gathered in New Orleans for a Final Four, Andy Landers and Georgia lost a regional final played in the state of Washington; Duke lost a regional final in Norfolk, Va; Tennessee lost a regional final against a program that wore a lot of yellow and had never reached a Final Four; and Connecticut extended a long streak of semifinal appearances without having to leave the Nutmeg State in the first four rounds.

 Oh, and the Phoenix Mercury were expected to use the No. 1 pick on a player with both uncommon ability and mass name recognition. 

So, um, clearly a great deal has changed since 2004.

But if some things stay the same, there are at least a few ways in which women’s basketball looks different on this visit to New Orleans.

Graham sings Kayla’s praises: Irish in good hands with McBride

One of college basketball’s more perplexing puzzles involves finding a shot Kayla McBride can’t hit.

Hand in her face? Please, you’re going to have to do better than that. Off-balance jumper from a tough angle? Child’s play for the Notre Dame junior. On the move, in traffic — with the shot clock winding down? Been there and done that.

But while opposing defenders and coaches have largely come up empty this season, freshman Jewell Loyd long ago discovered her teammate’s shot-making kryptonite.

Congrats to Sky: Diggins Named the 2013 Nancy Lieberman Award: Top Point Guard

From Curt: Big East goes out in style

Notre Dame, Syracuse and Pittsburgh are heading to the Atlantic Coast Conference next season. West Virginia already left for the Big 12.

DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova split away from the Big East, but took the name with them.

Rutgers, in another season, is heading for the Big Ten. Louisville, in another season, is going to the ACC.

Connecticut, Cincinnati and South Florida are staying in the league, welcoming in, among others, Southern Methodist, Memphis and Tulane. The league will have a new name, the American Athletic Conference.

But the last hurrah for the current Big East Conference in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament promises to be remarkable.

A little number counting from Norfolk: Notre Dame, Duke helped Norfolk Regional draw animated crowd

Jim Fuller writes, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis has become much more than just a shooter

There was no questioning that Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis’ majestic jump shot was going to be her calling card the moment she arrived on UConn’s campus.

However, even after a brilliant debut season where she set the program record for most points by a freshman, the sweet-shooting Mosqueda-Lewis was clamoring for so much more.

In case you need it, John Altavilla has a Short Refresher On The UConn Vs. Notre Dame Women’s Basketball Rivalry

Clay at Full Court thinks that, UConn-Notre Dame: Just this once, tactics may trump talent

From the Cal Bear blog: 

Observing Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb and her players this afternoon was a good illustration of just how far women’s basketball has come.

Gottlieb and her five starters spent two hours at New Orleans Arena today going through a series of interviews and photo shoots to promote the Final Four. It was attention fit for royalty, and the Bears appeared to have a lot of fun doing it.

Elliott says, Cal women’s basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb knew destination early

The Mama Bear has used a gentle touch to get her players to believe in each other like a family. It has helped the Cal women survive two overtime games to reach their first Final Four in history — and 53 years after the last appearance by the men’s team.

“She’s always been a people person,” older sister Chris Gottlieb said. “Since she was a kid bouncing around with a ponytail, it was ‘everybody loves Lindsay.’ “

Elliott and Stephanie Hammon add, Confidence is soaring for Cal women’s team

Clay also is busy Breaking down Cal and Louisville

As for the Louisville articles: *crickets* Nice Job, Kentucky papers.

Looking to the future:

A Moc is now a Wolfpack: NC State hires Wes Moore as coach

Sooners return three starting guards next season

And, from FOB Ellyn, this cool news:

‘Throwing open the door’ for female athletes

Lincoln Presidential Library explores the growth of women’s basketball in Illinois through oral histories

SPRINGFIELD – With basketball fever in the air, it’s easy to forget that the thrill of the game was denied to many Illinois girls less than 40 years ago. A new oral history project by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum chronicles the early struggles for girls and young women who wanted to play basketball.

Illinois didn’t host its first state high school basketball tournament for girls until 1977, five years after Congress passed Title IX. That landmark education law succeeded in “throwing open the door” to growth in girls’ and women’s sports, dramatically changing American culture.

The oral history project – entitled “What About the Character of the Girls?: Girls’ and Women’s Basketball in Illinois, 1968-1977” – includes 18 interviews, with many more to come. Participants include Sue Strong, whose Sterling team won the state’s first girls’ basketball tournament; Jill Hutchison, the winningest basketball coach in Illinois State University history; Linda Gollan, the first girls’ basketball coach at Hinsdale South High School, and Lorene Ramsey, former head coach at Illinois Central College.

The title of the project comes from Ramsey, who was only allowed access to the gym one day a week when she was coaching in Pekin decades ago. Her request for more gym time was turned down by administrators who said sports helped develop the character of boys. Ramsey responded by writing “What about the character of the girls?” in red letters across the rejection memo and sending it back to the school’s athletic director.

The oral histories can be heard at http://tinyurl.com/GirlsBasketballHistory. Additional oral histories are featured at www.OralHistory.illinois.gov.

The interviews were conducted by Ellyn Bartges, who knows firsthand about the difficulties facing female athletes. Bartges played in Illinois’ very first girls’ high school basketball tournament. She later coached basketball and softball at the collegiate and high school levels. Her own memories are part of the project, thanks to an interview conducted by Mark DePue, head of the oral history project at the Lincoln Presidential Library.

“These interviews capture an extraordinary time in the history of Illinois and the nation,” Bartges said. “Women, joined by some forward-thinking men, were working hard to give girls something that is taken for granted today – the same athletic opportunities that boys routinely enjoy.”

Bartges began conducting the interviews while working on her master’s degree at Western Illinois University. The project originally focused on the Illinois scene but expanded to incorporate stories from throughout the country while Bartges pursued her Ph.D. in the Kinesiology Department at the University of Illinois. The interviews now include people who influenced or impacted players and coaches in Illinois.

Bartges is now an affirmative action administrator at St. Cloud State University. She is available for interviews at320-308-5123 or via email at elbartges@stcloudstate.edu.

Read Full Post »

tonight’s game is going to a hot, Husky mess.

We will have to see, as Graham asks,“Exactly which team is the underdog?Irish have never won Big East tournament; Huskies haven’t beaten ND in a year

A trophy waits for the winner of Tuesday’s Big East championship game between Notre Dame and Connecticut (ESPN, 7 p.m. ET), an encounter that likely marks the final time the teams will play for conference hardware.

But gleaming statuary is only part of what’s at stake when the rivalry renews for the 14th time in the past four seasons. There is more on the line than an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Plenty of press in anticipation of the game:

UConn beats Syracuse in Big East semis, AP article from the Post
Game in a nutshell: No. 3 Uconn 64, No. 22 Syracuse 51, Post
Rich Elliott: KML, Huskies target Irish, Post
UConn Women Beat Syracuse, Earn Rematch With Notre Dame In Big East Final, Courant
Jeff Jacobs: UConn vs. Notre Dame, One Last Time, Courant
Pictures: UConn vs Syracuse, Courant
Anne Donovan Talks About A Coach’s Impact, Courant
Notre Dame Tops Louisville To Make It To Big East Final, Courant
Huskies beat Syracuse, will meet Notre Dame in Big East championship game, Register
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL GAMEDAY: No. 2 Notre Dame vs. No. 3 UConn, Register
Huskies, Irish advance to Big East final, Day
Notebook: Freshman Stewart could be UConn’s X-Factor at the XL Center, Hour
Semi-charmed, Daily Campus
Huskies aim for sixth straight Big East title, Daily Campus
UConn hopes third time’s the charm against Irish, Daily Campus

Notre Dame women’s basketball: Diggins drains big shots to propel Irish into Big East final ,South Bend Tribune
Notre Dame women’s basketball: Irish dispatch Louisville, await clash with UConn, South Bend Tribune
Notre Dame Tops Louisville To Make It To Big East Final, Hartford Courant
UConn and Notre Dame, the perfect script, Examiner.com

Perhaps the most important news story: Notre Dame Women’s Team Decides To Do Away With New Adidas Uniforms, College Spun

Read Full Post »

Got to write my first player profile in a looooong time. It’s on St. John’s Shenneika Smith. She was a delight to speak with.

Shenneika Smith hopes to guide St. John’s back to NCAA

Coaching change notwithstanding, the program began the 2012-13 season with high hopes. The Red Storm had gained national attention the previous season when, courtesy of Smith’s last second three, that simultaneously snapped the University of Connecticut’s 99-game home court winning streak and gave the Huskies their first home loss against an unranked opponent in 19 years. Then came St. John’s first-ever Sweet 16 appearance. There was every expectation that Smith, who had been named to the 2012 All-Big East first team, along with fellow seniors Nadirah McKenith and Eugeneia McPherson, would continue to elevate the program. The fact that St. John’s was to host first round of 2013 NCAA tournament on their home court was going to be the cherry on the top of their college career.

Things didn’t go quite as planned.

Read Full Post »

from Full Court:

Jim Clark: Notre Dame, UConn rule the Big East, and its last tournament as a major conference

I hate college football.

Greedy college presidents looking for football TV money have eviscerated the Big East, arguably the best basketball conference in the country over the last ten years. Boston College, Virginia Tech, and Miami wandered away in the last decade. Now the seven catholic institutions are seceding together. Rutgers is going to the Big 10 in 2014 (or sooner if they pay an exit fee), Louisville and Notre Dame are off to the ACC.

When “re-alignment” is over, UConn, Cincinnati and South Florida are all that will be left of the conference that has sent eight teams to the women’s NCAA Tournament the last two years. Nobody knows what that conference will be called. No one is quite sure what additional teams will be added and no one knows yet which conference will get the Big East automatic bid to the tournament. I’ll leave explanation of all the machinations still pending to the football writers.

Clay: NCAA seeds at stake in Big 12 tourney

It doesn’t matter to Baylor – but the Big 12 Tournament could make the path to the Sweet 16 a lot easier for teams that play well.

The Bears are going to be a top seed no matter what happens in their first-round game Friday against the winner of the Thursday’s Kansas State-Texas game. Even should one of the Big 12 bottomfeeders pull off an upset for the ages, it won’t affect Baylor’s chances of winning a national title at all – and it wouldn’t even help Kansas State or Texas unless the winner rode that momentum all the way to the conference title.

Paul Gackle at the SF Examiner says Cal, Stanford women’s basketball appear destined to meet this week in Pac-12 women’s tourney

James Kelley says, Arizona women’s basketball must dominate Pac-12 tournament to reach NCAA’s

Seattle’s Q13 has this story: Husky women’s basketball: Overcoming odds on and off court

The Husky women’s basketball team heads into the Pac-12 Conference Tournament after posting their best record since 2007.

And they’re ready, to say the least.

“I think it’s a real testament to the competitive character of our players that they didn’t accept that we had some limitations; therefore, couldn’t have success,” head coach Kevin McGuff said.

Marcus Fuller at the Pioneer Press wonders:  Gophers women’s basketball: Pam Borton’s secret deal a big deal for Big Ten tourney?

From the outside looking in, Pam Borton’s job status no longer appears tenuous, her team’s performance entering tournament season apparently no longer critical to the immediate future of Minnesota’s women’s basketball coach.

When Gophers athletics director Norwood Teague revealed last week that predecessor Joel Maturi had quietly given Borton a two-year contract extension last June, the women’s basketball coach no longer had to worry about a deal that would expire after next season. A new buyout clause was more university-friendly, but Borton needed a new deal to focus on rebuilding.

FC also has some player features.

Cal – Gennifer Brandon
Colorado – Chucky Jeffery
Maryland – Tianna Hawkins
Notre Dame – Natalie Achonwa
Penn State – Maggie Lucas

Time to revisit Vickie “Just Call Me Winner of the WBCA Mel Greenberg Award Media Award” Friedman’s look at the Mid-Majors:

We’re betting you’ve heard the name Elena Delle Donne.

But how about Naama Shafir, Jerica Coley or Victoria McGowan? You might not be as familiar with their credentials, but the Toledo offensive machine, the explosive Florida International guard and the Stetson floor general (who set an impressive Division I mark last season) have plenty of them.

Learn move below, along with info on several other monster resumes in a list we’ve compiled of this year’s best players from the non-BCS conferences.

Graham focuses on EDD: Elena shines in and out of spotlight – We rarely see Delle Donne play, but her story and game are as good as it gets

Most of the country didn’t experience Elena Delle Donne’s final regular-season home game.

There wasn’t a national television audience for the Colonial Athletic Association game between Delaware and Georgia State as there was when Skylar Diggins and Notre Dame played Connecticut on Monday night.

What transpired wasn’t likely to become part of any national conversation, as it did when Baylor’s Brittney Griner went for 50 points in her regular-season home finale the same night as the triple-overtime thriller in South Bend.

Basketball operates on a smaller scale in the second-smallest state.

Beth, Debbie and the Nell-ster discuss the upcoming NCAA tournament on their podcast.

Read Full Post »

while work has been kickin’ butt?

A whole lotta Griner and Baylor kickin’ Big 12 butt.

Oklahoma is continuing to win, despite injuries, and continuing to make Aston’s welcome to the Big 12 miserable.

TCU ain’t enjoying the Big 12 much, neither.

Texas Tech getting a nice, and somewhat surprising win, over #23 Kansas — unless, of course, KU ain’t all that, or TTU is something more than that.

Sacred Heart got a little of it’s swagger back, and handed St. Francis (PA) its first NEC loss.

Those Stetson Hatters are now 7-0 in the A-Sun (school record 10 wins in a row). They meet up fellow 7-0ers, FGCU, on January 26th, in Florida. Looks to be fun game.

It’s been a tough year so far, but the Bonnies can still beat UMass.

The Big South is kinda feisty. Winthrop took down Presbyterian. Liberty beat the Fightin’ Camels, and face Conference leader Longwood (who came back from 17 down to get a victory) next.

With a squeaker over New Hampshire, the Terriers have moved to 6-0 in the America East. They face 5-0 Albany next.

I’m not reading too much in to it, but it looks like the youngsters at Villanova have gotten some seasoning — they’re 4-0 in Big East play.

I’m still not reading too much in to it, but St. Francis (NY) won another game. Yes, wins in the past have been that rare that I notice. Credit new coach John Thurston.

Central Michigan stomped all over Northern Illinois, and is now 4-0 in the MAC. Akron got surprised by Western Michigan, but Toledo took care of Buffalo.

Looks like coach Michelle Clark-Heard learned a lot at Louisville:  The Hilltoppers are now 8-1 in the Sun Belt. They’ll meet fellow 8-1ers MTSU in a couple of games, January 27th AT Murfreesboro..

Hampton had a nice second half over Morgan State, and is now 4-0 in the MEAC.

In the Battle of the Big Sky, Tricia’s Montana State took down Robin’s Montana, 58-49.

Gonzaga has put together three straight wins since its lost against the Gaels of St. Mary.

Nice win for IUPUI and coach Parkinson (remember when they were a hot-coaching mess?) as they handed the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State their first Summit Conference loss, 57-56.

In the battle of the birds, the Phoenix took down the Penguins, and Green Bay is now 4-0 in the Horizon.

Boink: The Shockers moved to 4-0 in the MVC, after they gave Creighton their first Conference loss, 67-45.

Hmmm… that’s Seattle U at 7-0 in the WAC. Not looking too far ahead, but… they’ll go up against Utah State (currently 5-2) on Feb 2.

Chattanooga gave Davidson just enough hope to keep the game interesting, but exited with the win, 60-56, taking them to 6-1 in the Southern. That helps them keep pace with Samford and Elon.

In the past two days, two Elon University basketball players had something special happen to them on the hardwood in Alumni Gym.

One of them started most of their first two seasons. Then after suffering an injury two games into their junior season and missing the rest of the year, their playing time lessened, all the way to playing just 42 minutes in ten games this season.

Another one played two games of their sophomore season before tearing their ACL and missing over a year of basketball before returning to action this week.

Both played efficient minutes in their respective teams’ most recent games, helping to spark their teams to victory.

Marist may not be making national noise, but their still winning in the MAC. They held Canisius to 9 points in the first half.

Win or lose, Ohio State still has the Dispatch’s Jim Massie’s fine writing to fall back on. He reflects on the Buckeye’s struggles: Ohio State wants to add to success

As the Big Ten losses mounted, the Ohio State women’s basketball team had to develop the kind of tunnel vision that spelunkers need while exploring a cave as confining as a coffin.

At 0-4 in the conference, the only direction the Buckeyes could move was forward. And even after Ohio State trounced Indiana 68-45 on Thursday to end its losing streak, the single-mindedness couldn’t change.

While Nate considered Three things we learned about Stanford from the Battle of the Bay, Chiney made sure UCLA didn’t get any ideas, and led Stanford to a Bruin-stomping, 75-49. Writes Michelle:

Maybe playing Stanford on Friday night was a little like stepping in front of a freight train.

The Cardinal stared at the business end of a three-game home losing streak, something that hadn’t happened since way back in the 1986-87 season when Tara VanDerveer was a second-year Cardinal coach and parachute pants were all the rage.

Tomorrow, undefeated Duke goes to Connecticut to play the Huskies. At DWHoops, Rob Clough has a preview:

UConn’s top priority will be disconnecting Chelsea Gray from the rest of the team. They’ll face-guard her in an effort to get her to give up the ball or never get it in the first place. They’ll flood passing lanes in an effort to pick off passes made under duress. They’ll let her take contested jump shots all she wants, especially if Gray hesitates before shooting. If you hesitate before taking a shot against UConn, then they’ve already won.

As for UConn, Hartley was better against Louisville, but rolled her ankle (again) against Syracuse.

At Mel’s blog, Mike Siroky has his SEC Report: New Uniform for Bone – Still an SEC Star

Kelsey Bone is used to coming out parties.

Maybe all children born on New Year’s Eve arrive with great expectations.

She is back in the SEC after once playing at South Carolina and earning Newcomer of the Year honors with nine double-doubles. She transferred to Texas A&M and sat out the required year, but stayed busy. Last season, as a sophomore, she was the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and a member of the conference all-tournament team.

A good, but hard read, from Lady Swish: You’re Old Dominion’s Sara Jones, and here’s what that means

The doctor didn’t believe that the cancer had come back.

“For that to be so,” he explained to Sara Jones, “it would have to have eaten through the bone.”

Somehow, it did.

For the third time, Sara Jones had cancer. For the third time Sara Jones, 40 years old, has cancer. Metastatic cancer, and metastatic — the cancer has spread to other parts of the body — is one of those words —malignant, chemotherapy, tumor — that it hurts to say. Especially when you think you’ve beaten cancer not once, but twice. Remember, you weren’t supposed to even have it in the first place. That’s what the doctor said not once, but twice.

Read Full Post »

Notre Dame survived a post-big win let down, but it took overtime.

Connecticut failed to lose two games in a row for the zillionth time, but there was some serious butterfingers involved.

In the battle of the Reds, Rutgers gave Louisville a scare, but the Cardinals pulled away in OT.

The Longhorns started the year strong, but Big 12 competition is proving to be another matter. Newcomer to the Conference West Virginia wrangled them good, 53-49.

Seton Hall still doesn’t care their coach is leaving for the W. They take down the Bearcats, 64-56.

Stanford thought about it… and then said, no, we don’t want California to win.

The Buffs got back on track against Utah. The Cowgirls did, too.

Speaking of big cats, the Tigers aren’t going away: Rookie quintet making early contributions

Every season, there are always uncertainties about how the freshmen on a team will adjust to college-level play and the extent to which they will be able to contribute. For the five freshmen on the women’s basketball team, however, these questions have hardly been an issue. Despite the presence of a talented senior class, the freshmen quintet, consisting of guards Amanda Berntsen, Michelle Miller and Annie Tarakchian along with forwards Alex Wheatley and Taylor Williams, has received considerable playing time and provided an offensive boost in scoring and rebounding for the Tigers. The Class of 2016 has combined to score nearly a quarter of the Tigers’ total points so far this season, with each member averaging at least five minutes per game.

A full-strength Baylor continues their demolition of the opposition. This time, Iowa State.

Hmmm… UTEP looks to be strong again this year. We have to wait until Feb 7th for their game against Tulane.

Keeping an eye on Cal-Northridge and Fresno State — both still undefeated in conference play.

Nice check in from the “local paper” on Iowa’s freshman: Ex-Mainstreeter great acclimates to being a Hawkeye

No, it wasn’t the dreaded three letters: Stokes relieved injury not worse

Given the alternative, Ohio State women’s basketball team co-captain Amber Stokes didn’t complain yesterday about needing a pair of crutches to reach the practice gym in Value City Arena.

The fifth-year senior suffered a sprained left knee near the end of the first half on Sunday in a 79-73 loss to Illinois. The possibility that she had suffered a season-ending ligament tear crossed her mind.

Jim Massie at the Dispatch writes about Ohio State’s 0-2 Conference record: Buckeyes’ slow start must end with stops

Tough times for the Catamounts: Overwhelmed by the first-place women’s basketball team in the America East Conference, the University of Vermont suffered a 58-30 defeat to Boston University.

Still tough times for the Black Bears: Hartford hands University of Maine women’s basketball team 11th straight loss

Looks like Williams-Flournoy got outta the Big East when the going was good. Writes Mechelle: Coach Flo has plan for Auburn

Terri Williams-Flournoy had been here in Missouri before, but this was the first time in her new role as Auburn coach. In her 12-year apprenticeship as an assistant, she spent two seasons at Missouri State.

Williams-Flournoy — known as Coach Flo by her Tigers — has paid her dues in the profession she was practically born into. Part of a basketball family in Virginia that includes brother Boo Williams — he’s one of that state’s most influential youth hoops gurus — Williams-Flournoy climbed the coaching ladder with a purpose and a plan.

And now, she’s in her first season in what is a new era for the SEC. Pat Summitt is in an emeritus role at Tennessee, but not head coach of the Lady Vols for the first time since 1973.

Have you noticed? FSU women’s basketball quietly excelling – With recent winning ways, Seminoles may soon cast shadow on other sports

The women’s basketball team has silently tip-toed to a 12-2 record and have placed themselves among the game’s most elite programs. The Seminoles are No. 5 in the nation in scoring, averaging 82.3 points per game and their field goal percentage of 49 percent only trails Baylor and Connecticut, two perennial National Title contenders.

The .com says that Angel McCoughtry wants you to trust and believe.

Speaking of Angel, from Mechelle’s chat:

kevin (macon ga): Angel McCoughtry said on wnba.com that she had “nothing to do with the coaching change”. Should we believe her?

Mechelle Voepel: Maybe that means she actually wasn’t the one to call Marynell Meadors to tell her she was fired? :) Of course she had something to do with it. But, anyway, it’s water under the bridge now. Fred Williams is the Dream’s coach, and Angel will be back as his star player. These things happen in pro sports … look at the NBA and coach firings and players saying, “Oh, I had nothing to do with it!” Meadors, I believe, would still like to return in some capacity to the league, but if not, she’s had a long career in the sport with a lot of accomplishments. I feel bad for her that things ended in Atlanta as they did, though. She deserved better. Now Angel and Fred will have a revamped East – at least in terms of the new coaching hires – to deal with.

Congrats are in order: U.S. Men’s, Women’s Olympic Teams Honored By USA Basketball and Taurasi Is Named USA Basketball’s Top Female Athlete (sorry anti-tank-Merc fans)

Oops! WNBA’s Maya Moore’s Olympic Ring Stolen, Sold to Gold Buying Store and Phew! Man charged with selling ring stolen from WNBA player Maya Moore

Read Full Post »

…we get a women’s basketball double-header on non-cable TV again.

… we get TWO grand games on national TV.

…we get a competitive game between two top-ranked teams.

It was a good day to be a women’s basketball fan (not if you were a UConn fan, though).

The undercard was a fun game between #14 Purdue and #25 Nebraska – two teams that seem to enjoy overtimes.

In the overcard, #5 Notre Dame stormed in to a sold out Gampel and made the #1 Huskies blink. How much, I repeat, how much are we all looking forward to the rematch in South Bend? And how much are we going to miss this NolongerBig East rivalry?

Speaking of the NoLongerBig East, Quigley-less DePaul took it to #11 Louisville and held on for the upset, 86-80.

Speaking of the UsedToBePartOfBig East, West Virginia is not having a great time in the Big 12 — but they did put a scare in to Kansas.

The Hatters moved to 3-0 in the A-Sun.

Presbyterian didn’t let their win over Liberty go to their head —  well, maybe a little bit: They were down 40-19 at the half. But, they move to 4-0 in the Big South with their win over the Fightin’ Camels.

Texas couldn’t take advantage of their rebounding edge, and the Sooners escaped Austin with a win.

Hmmmm… St. Francis (NY) has been epically bad, and yet they defeated perennial NEC favorite Sacred Heart, 56-47.

The other St. Francis (PA) took care of their NEC opener with a win over Bryant, 81-76.

Let’s agree not to discuss the BU/Hartford game, okay?

Dickson went off, as did her fellow Memphis Tigers, and they won 109-68 over Wright State.

Duquesne stumbled at home, as Miami (OH) roared back in the second to take the game. How would you like to be the announcers with these two names: Olowinski (Redhawks) and Agunbiade (Dukes).

The Mocs of Chattanooga are now 3-0 in the Southern.

Coach is leaving you for the WNBA? Makes no nevermind. Seton Hall defeats Pittsburgh, 69-56.

Remember when we used to pay attention to Xavier? Kinda sad.

Remember the Bonnies? It’s been a tough season. They go down to Green Bay, 61-42.

Read Full Post »

It’s Graham’s fault. Bowling Green hands Dayton their first loss of the season (so much for ESPN analyst predictions, huh, Carolyn and Kara?)

#20 Texas turned it over a ton, and got upset by the feisty Chippewas of Central Michigan. Nice win for coach Guevara. Up next: tough Toledo.

Charlie’s got his latest Bracketology up and asks: Which mid-majors are bubbling over?

…here is a look at five teams for whom the door is still open to the at-large room and a few more that were close to getting inside before that same door slammed in their face. The margin for error is always small, but these are the teams to watch the rest of the season, the ones that really help shape the bubble come March.

Graham chips in with his Weekly Wrap Up: With Diggins on bench, Irish deliver

Diggins is a singular personality when she’s on the court. She’s also the point guard, so it doesn’t just feel like things run through her — they do run through her. Yet when she was out, it felt like the center of gravity for the Fighting Irish eventually settled in the post. Whether she took the shot, or even touched the ball, Achonwa was the player your eyes went to on offense. She finished the game with 15 points and 17 rebounds, even if she joked that she padded the latter number by having to follow too many of her own misses.

Lady Swish explains Why Skylar Diggins can’t set Notre Dame records

From Mel’s blog: Siroky’s SEC Report: Trends Not Changing in the SEC — Even With New Coaches and Two Additional Teams

As the new era dawns in Southeastern Conference women’s basketball, what we know so far this season is the top tier of teams are nationally competitive and the returning regular-season champ leads them all.

Scrambling the lineup for 2012-13 is the absence of the retired Tennessee icon, Pat Summitt, and the addition of two more teams.

At Full Court, Rob offers up The ACC recipe for success, team by team

Heading into conference play and a new year, every team in the ACC needs to make a few resolutions if they hope to achieve success. Some teams don’t have much work to do in terms of making a dramatic resolution, while others need to make drastic changes. In order of my current predictions, here’s what each team needs to do in order to become the best it can be.

Also at Full Court, a voice from the past, Jim Clark, writes: The big three in the Big East — plus some stars

Though the big news in the Big East is about the apparent collapse/contraction of the league, there’s still a lot to talk about when it comes to women’s basketball — so those who want more info on the conference changes can go here. In this article, though, we’ll focus on the three teams and the top players that will make this Big East season, with this Big East alignment, worth watching.

Nate takes Notes: Cal women off to best start in program history with win over George Washington

Read Full Post »

and somewhat disappointing to witness, since I trekked out to Newark in the hope of a real game, not a one-sided blowout. Lib 80-zillion, Merc not-nearly-as-much. Oh, and surprise: another Phoenix player was injured.

The highlight of the game was watching Diana and Cappie chat post-game with their USA Basketball/WNBA coach, Anne Donovan. Said coach of the 2008 gold medal team, “I miss that group.”

On an interesting “behind the scenes” note: President of Madison Square Garden Sports Leaving Post.

O’Neil’s departure comes just as the Knicks are facing a new challenge for fans and corporate dollars in their home market, with the Nets moving to Brooklyn this fall. The need for a strong, creative voice on the business side has perhaps never been greater.

Scott was the gentleman with whom I had a long conversation a year and a half ago about why, after joining up in 1998, I was no longer a NY Liberty season subscriber. He tried to convince me that better times were coming for subscribers — that he was re-vamping from the inside out. I wasn’t convinced then (not sure I’m convinced now), but it’s hard to see his departure as a good thing for the Lib (a team not mentioned in the article).

In Atlanta, looks like Angel is on a bit of a mission after the ruckus: Lindsey Harding, Angel McCoughtry lead Dream past Fever.

Paul Neilsen writes a somewhat overwrought defense of Angel: McCoughtry no angel but public assassination is over the top

A little on Sophia from the Carribbean Journal: From St Vincent to the WNBA

A little somethin’ from Nneka: Life on the Road as a WNBA Star

From Jayda: Aussie to Aussie: Storm All-Star Lauren Jackson speaks with Tulsa’s Liz Cambage

From Michelle: DeWanna Bonner’s game blossoms

From Nate: 2012 WNBA Most Improved Player Rankings: How Much Better Has Kristi Toliver Been This Season?

And yes, I watched as the Sparks faded in the second half against Minnesota. Amelia knows why: Fans give the Lynx an edge – Seats fill fast, and Target Center has become one of the toughest places for visiting teams to play.

Speaking of which, Mechelle chatted today:

Sofia (Durham, NC): SASS has lost 3 straight. LA’s lost 3 straight, too. Which team’s fans should be more concerned? I say LA’s fans should be more concerned because I think SASS has looked ‘better’ in their losses. But I may be over-impressed by that great OT game against the Lynx. What do you think?

Mechelle Voepel: I tend to agree with you that the Sparks fans might be more concerned now. Not specifically because LA has lost three in a row, but because Candace Parker hasn’t seemed a dominating force since she returned from the Olympic break. Some games, her numbers have been “OK,” but not others. Furthermore, she doesn’t look as engaged as she needs to for the rest of the Sparks to build off of her. It seems like the Sparks’ defense is not sharp, and the offense is tilting a little too much to the perimeter, especially for a team with the weapons inside that the Sparks have. Maybe LA will finish the last two games of this road swing stronger and then play well as they finish the regular season at home. But there are reasons now for Sparks fans to be a little worried, I think.

The finals are set at the Paralympics:

A little revenge: Australia edge US to make basketball finals

British women’s basketball team lose to Germany

In other Olympic news:

Bruno’s Olympic Trilogy—Part Two: Memorable Moments Off the Court – DePaul Coach Will Always Remember Emotional Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery and Part Three—Personal Reflections

In college news:

From Swish Appeal: NCAA Women’s Basketball Attendance: Winners and Losers for 2012

From Marquette: Five Big East newcomers will present different challenges on women’s side

From Missouri: Q&A with Robin Pingeton and The Rest Of The Story: Pingeton Q&A

From Champaign: Bollant’s up for challenge

From El Paso: Women’s basketball heads into challenging schedule

While there has been a lot of talk about the men’s basketball team – and for good reason, given the talented incoming class and the challenging schedule assembled by coach Tim Floyd – fans should also start getting excited about the women’s basketball campaign.

Head coach Keitha Adams has done a tremendous job of building the program into a consistent winner. UTEP boasts the best winning percentage of all league schools since joining Conference USA seven years ago, has the third-most victories among Division I programs in the state of Texas over the past six years, and has won a trio of C-USA crowns, the 2007-08 regular season and 2012 C-USA regular season and tournament.

Read Full Post »

Yes, college!

From Sherri Coale’s The Write Space and Time:

Really nice, well -meaning people sometimes strike up conversations with me in the spring that begin with, “It must be so nice to have the summers off!” Throughout the years, I have answered in a variety of ways. I went through the Explanation Stage: “Well, actually, summers are quite busy. We have camps in June and then we travel all over the country recruiting in July…” Then I went through the Sarcastic Stage: “Yes it’s awesome. I love summers in the gym with 300 campers, weeks whose days all run together, and playing planes, trains, and automobiles in my spare time.” Then I went through the Angry Mumbling Stage: “Grrrrrrrrrrarghhhhh (door slam)!” And I’ve finally, in the wisdom of my middle age, landed upon the Smile and Lie stage: “It is!! I’m having the best time.” Which is actually an innovative way of choosing to feed the proverbial positive dog, while simultaneously choosing not to humiliate the uninformed.

Summer is not off, ever. It’s just a different kind of on.

Funny, that’s how teacher’s feel.

Now, about how those players GET to college: check out the Dishin’ & Swishing podcast on recruiting featuring Kenny Kallina, from the Girls Basketball Insider Recruiting Service, Charmin Smith, Associate Head Coach of the Cal Golden Bears and Kelly Graves, Head Coach at Gonzaga.

From Dan Fleser: Pat Summitt gets outpouring of support from UConn fans

Alysa Auriemma’s tribute to Pat Summitt and the favorable response her blog has received from Tennessee women’s basketball fans is another example of improving relations between the two programs and their respective fan bases since the storied series dissolved in 2007 over acrimony involving recruiting.

Summitt’s secretary, Katie Wynn, said that outside of the UT faithful, Connecticut’s fans have sent the most emails, cards and letters of support since Summitt announced last August that she had been diagnosed with early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type.

Also, throwing in a little college/W/HOF: Sue Wicks had long journey en route to Hall of Fame

Speaking of Rutgers and the hot mess that is the Big East conference: University of Memphis women’s basketball program seeks to raise game for Big East move

Speaking of hot messes, from Clay: Olympic frenzy may not help the WNBA come September

So here’s the plan: Team USA wins Olympic gold, sparking some serious interest in women’s basketball. Then, when the WNBA gets back at it Aug. 16, new fans flock to a thrilling final five weeks of play as teams battle it out for a spot in postseason.

The only ugly little fact lurking around the corner with a set of brass knuckles is that the playoff hunt is already pretty much over. Only New York has the slimmest chance of displacing one of the eight teams already in playoff position, and the other three also-rans – Washington, Phoenix and Tulsa – can safely focus on hexing the ping-pong balls so that Brittney Griner winds up playing for them.

Honestly, once the Olympics are done, I’ll be glad they’re done, simply because I feel like the entire first half of the season has been played as if it’s a dinner of Generation Texters. Everyone’s at the table, pretending they’re paying attention to the food and conversation but really, they’re all just peeking at their phones to see what’s happening in London.

Read Full Post »

pretty much showed’em who’s boss. No, I’m not a betting woman, but I would be wicked surprised if there weren’t a lot of Green and Gold in Denver this April.

In College Station, they’re talking about what almost was:

No. 1 Baylor women beat No. 17 A&M 69-62 and  Brittney Griner and Odyssey Sims scored 25 points each and top-ranked Baylor used a late run to hold off No. 17 Texas A&M for a 69-62 win on Monday night.

In Storrs they’ve got the blues:

No. 3 Notre Dame gets in the final punch in win over No. 4 UConn and Huskies Swept Away By The Irish, 72-59 and It Really Was THAT Bad, UConn Fans and Geno Auriemma Takes His Team To Task

Things look golden from Curt Rallo: Notre Dame women’s basketball: Irish defense hushes Huskies

From the ESPN Folks

Graham: Irish have all the answers vs. UConn: Notre Dame plays like a team with no weak links, wins its first outright Big East title

Rebecca: Five Questions with Skylar Diggins

Mechelle: Auriemma frustrated, Novosel elated

Mechelle: Irish celebrate outright Big East title: Irish now shift their sights on winning Big East and NCAA tournaments

Now, they Notre Dame and rest of the crew will get ready for the Big East Tourney. FYI, by virtue of their victory over Georgetown, St. John’s will be the second seed.

Of course, some serious battling yet to be done. Check out the brackets for other conference tournaments. Get out and cheer on a basketball team or three, why dontcha?

Read Full Post »

at the YUM! Center (or was that a drumstick fight?) between UConn and Louisville. 16,000 plus saw some ugly offense, serious defense, and evidence that you can play well on the remnants of a knee.

Debbie is calling for a second monitor so she can watch tonight’s game between Miami and UNC. (Really?) (Oh, UNC-Duke men’s….)

I’m interested in…whoa. That’s what happens when work is busy and you can’t talk about upcoming games before they’re done. I am thinking that Gail really needs to pull out a win, though. Also guessing that American should survive Lehigh, but ya never know! And no, I’m not making a choice between Denver v. Florida Atlantic.

Go north, east, west, south…west Big East! Memphis is in.

Read Full Post »

That was the sound of that zero in the loss column disappearing.

Manhattan (12-11, 6-5 MAAC) surprised the heck out of Marist, using defense to exact a 48-44 win.

Looks like the Horned Frogs (12-11, 5-3 MWC) did an equally fine job of surprising the Aztecs, using a second half surge to pull the 58-39 upset.

I’m guessing the biggest surprise was in the SEC as LSU stunned Kentucky, 61-51. (Graham says “Don’t panic, Wildcats!”)

So, moving into the week of February 6th, the following teams are fer-0’s, so to speak, in their conferences:

America East: Boston University: 17-6 (10-0)
A-10: St. Bonaventure: 22-2 (9-0)
ACC: Duke: 18-3 (9-0)
Atlantic Sun: FGCU: 21-2 (13-0)
Big 12: Baylor: 23-0 (10-0)
Big East: Notre Dame: 23-1 (10-0)
Colonial: Delaware: 20-1 (11-0)
Conference USA: UTEP: 20-2 (9-0)
Horizon League: Green Bay: 20-0 (10-0)
Ivy League: Princeton: 15-4 (5-0)
Mid-American: Bowling Green: 20-3 (10-0)
MEAC: Florida A&M: 16-5 (9-0)
Ohio Valley: Eastern Illinois: 19-4 (10-0)
Pac-12: Stanford: 20-1 (11-0)
Patriot League: American: 16-6 (8-0)
Sun Belt: Middle Tennessee: 19-5 (11-0)
WAC: Fresno State: 19-4 (7-0)

On the 0-for side, we have:

A-10: Rhode Island: 1-22 (0-8)
ACC: Boston College: 5-18 (0-10)
Big 12: Missouri: 10-10 (0-9)
Big East: Pittsburgh: 8-15 (0-10) and Seton Hall: 7-17 (0-10)
Big Sky: Weber State: 2-21 (0-10)
Big 10: Indiana: 5-19 (0-11)
Conference USA: East Carolina: 6-15 (0-8)
Great West: Houston Baptist: 1-19 (0-4)
Ivy League: Columbia: 2-17 (0-5)
MEAC: North Carolina Central 2-20 (0-9)
Mountain West: Air Force: 5-18 (0-8)
Patriot League: Bucknell: 2-21 (0-8)
SEC: Alabama: 10-13 (0-9)
SWAC: Arkansas-Pine Bluff: 0-21 (0-10)
Sun Belt (W): Louisiana-Lafayette: 5-18 (0-11)

FWIW, I did a quick check of the men’s side:

fer-0’s: Long Beach State, Utah Valley, Harvard, Murray State, Bucknell, Kentucky, Texas-Arlington, Mississippi Valley State, St. Mary’s (9)

0-fers: San Jose State, Santa Clara, Navy, Tennessee-Martin, Boise State, South Carolina State, Dartmouth, Loyola (IL), UC Davis, Texas Tech, Kennesaw State, Binghamton (0-23, 0-11) (12)

Read Full Post »

Or perhaps it was the fact that Tech’s best scorer didn’t make the trip? Either way, Kansas stomped their way to a 19pt upset of #23 Texas Tech. (Yah, but K-State lost to Iowa State. How much fun is it for writers to type, “Poppens pops off for 23”?).

It was close at first, and it stayed close. The Bonnies escape the clutches of the Hawks, 68-61.

It was close at first, and it stayed close. The Terriers escape the clutches of the Retrievers, 59-53.

It wasn’t so close in the first, but it got closer. Still, the Falcons escape the clutches of the Cardinals., 63-52.

Indications of a good, well-coached team: Toledo loses their best player a while ago, and still puts together a 5-2 MAC record.

Good one between Richmond and Dayton — Flyers come out on top in OT, 81-78.

American kept Bucknell defeated in the Patriot and themselves undefeated, 71-45.

It was close at first, and then it wasn’t even close to close at the end. You could have taken away Tiffany Hayes’ 35pts and UConn would still have beaten Syracuse by 6.

The Orange are set to join ex-Big East member Boston College in the ACC. Wonder if coach Hatchell will enjoy playing ‘Cuse as much as she enjoys playing BC.

It was a tussle, but Georgia Tech topped Virginia, 63-53.

Sun Belt (and I mean Middle Tennessee) shouldn’t sleep on the Florida Atlantic Owls. They’re now 6-2 in the conference. (Yes, I know, so are the UALR Trojans & the Denver Pioneers, but that’s in the West.)

Okay, I know it’s the WCC v. the ACC, but how come 19-3 (7-1) BYU isn’t ranked (in the ESPN polls) and North Carolina (14-5) is?

Read Full Post »

Keisha Hampton out for season

“Keisha Hampton has been one of the greatest players in DePaul history,” DePaul coach Doug Bruno said in a statement. “Her presence and her ability to take over a game will definitely be missed. Losing any player to an injury is one of the only things that stinks about coaching.”

You may remember Graham’s piece on Keisha early this season: Hampton and hoops have long history – From playing for father to playing against an older brother, hoops always part of life

“It seemed like I was always around it,” Hampton said of basketball. “My dad would take me to the games with him and I would sit on the bench — I’d just be the only girl sitting on the end of the bench watching the game.”

With the notable exception of the time she didn’t stay on the bench. Coaching a 21-and-under men’s team in the city’s Hank Gathers league, where the competition at the time included the likes of future NBA players Kyle Lowry and Sean Singletary, Hampton’s dad found himself short a player to start a game one day.

In went Keisha, all of 14 years old at the time.

“I tried to set a screen and [the target of the screen] almost killed me,” Hampton recalled. “My dad said, ‘Keish, you OK.’ The guy must have forgot I was there, he just ran right through me.”

Writes Mechelle: Five key players out at DePaul – With Keisha Hampton lost for the season, Blue Demons hobbled in Big East play

In his 26 years as DePaul’s head coach, Doug Bruno has seen just about everything. Multiple times, in fact. But the run of injuries his Blue Demons have encountered this season is a little overwhelming, even for such a veteran coach.

Read Full Post »

today’s Notre Dame/Connecticut game (stolen from FOB HuskyNan):

UConn looks for a bit of revenge at ND, Post

UConn game day: Saturday at Notre Dame, Post

UConn not forgetting loss to Notre Dame, Courant

Last season was different for Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw, Courant

Both teams lost to Baylor, Courant

2011 National semifinal: Notre Dame 72, UConn 63, Courant

No. 2 UConn at No. 3 Notre Dame, Courant

Key issues forum: Ask the coaches, Courant

Huskies all too familiar with Fighting Irish, Register

This time around, UConn is the underdog, AP article

UConn’s Faris – back home in Indiana, Hour

UConn women’s basketball glance, Hour

Pivotal battle with UConn will be in the paint, South Bend Tribune

Irish to face rival Huskies, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

Preview of a Big East showdown: No. 2 UConn at No. 3 Notre Dame, Swish Appeal

Read Full Post »

are getting ready for tomorrow’s (sold out) tussle between #3 Notre Dame and #2 UConn (4pmEST CBS. Wow. When was the last time a “major network” broadcast a game nationally? They’re also doing Penn State v. Michigan State at 2pmEST).

From Graham: Timing is perfect for Devereaux Peters – Notre Dame standout picks up right where she left off during 2011 Final Four run

An all-time series record that stands at 28-5 in favor of Geno Auriemma’s team suggests the same kind of one-sided relationship the Huskies have with most Big East foes. A 2-0 lead for the Fighting Irish in Final Four meetings speaks to why this is a rivalry as good as any currently contested.

And as No. 3 Notre Dame prepares to renew acquaintances with No. 2 Connecticut in South Bend, Ind., on Saturday, it has all the parts it needs to do last season’s success one step better. That’s in no small part because after four years of more frustration than fun, Devereaux Peters is still emoting, energizing and thoroughly enjoying the ride.

Her timing, it seems, turned out to be perfect.

Video conference with coach McGraw.

From Chris Gallo at (W) SBT: Notre Dame women’s basketball: Will it be rest or rust for starters?

Diggins set a school record with 8-of-8 shooting in the 128-42 victory against Mercer on Dec. 30, and scored 21 points despite playing only 16 minutes. She is a sizzling 18-of-19 from the free-throw line during the four-game stretch. But the 5-foot-9 point guard from South Bend has only averaged 21.8 minutes a game during the same time. She only played 21 minutes in Wednesday night’s 74-36 romp against Seton Hall, a game in which the Irish zoomed to a 49-16 halftime lead.

And while McGraw has made sure that her bench has had extensive playing time during the blowouts, the minimal minutes that her starters are getting is a concern, especially with No. 2 Connecticut looming on Saturday.

Read Full Post »

a pause to ponder who to watch in (or out) of your neighborhood:

America East: Hartford sits atop the standings, but watch out for BU. And, might we have to learn New Hampshire’s mascot?

The Musketeers no longer rule the A-10. Perhaps Dayton will fly to the top, but at the moment it’s the Bonnies and Dukes who have the upper hand. Don’t ignore the Spiders…

It’s the Terps at 11-0 who are looking down at the rest of the ACC. Will the Tar Heels be able to right the ship during conference play? And while I don’t want to be too cavalier about the Cavalier’s 10-2 record, though their January 2nd game against Duke may give us a truer assessment of their mettle.

This is fun to type: The Hatters top the A-Sun. My gut says they won’t rule the FGCU Eagles.  Makes the NCST/FGCU game tomorrow worth keeping an eye on.

Yah, Mechelle says the Big 12 always offers an upset — but I’m not betting against Baylor running the table. Are the Red Raiders riding under the radar?

The Big East currently holds six ranked teams… but fess up, aren’t you really focusing on the two Irish/Huskies tilts? (Jan 7th and Feb 27th.)

Bloggin’ coach Tricia Binford…

Since I have been asked the question daily why we have two weeks between our North Dakota and Illinois games I thought I could just tell you all on my blog.

Scheduling preseason games is one of the most challenging tasks we have here at Montana State. That’s why I gave the task to Amy!

Scheduling away games is easy as EVERYONE wants a home game. Home games, however for a remote, and winterland tropicana, NOT SO EASY. If I was a California school I would be jumping at our offer to come play us. How many times do your players get to make snow angels or have a snowball fight.

…has her Montana State Bobcats (no, I’m NOT calling them the Lady ‘cats) high in the Big Sky. Of course, the sturdy Vikings of Portland State (though they’ve stumbled out of the gate a bit) are lurking.

Okay. Maybe typing this makes me happier: The Chanticleers rank above the Fighting Camels in the Big South (formerly the land where Liberty ruled). Oh, and since I know you’re wondering what, exactly, is a Chanticleer (no, it’s not these guys), click here to find out. Scanning the list, methinks the Big South has the best collection of nicknames….

Speaking of interesting collections, how about the handful of teams sitting at the top of the Big Ten? Yah, 13-0 Ohio State, but followed by Nebraska? Michigan? Northwestern (ouch)?

The Big West is a bit of a hot mess, to be honest. I can’t imagine working with the UC budgets is helping any of the programs thrive.

The big story out of the Colonial is Delaware, of course, but don’t sleep on the Hofstra Pride. They host the noteworthy Princeton Tigers at the Mack 4pm, Jan 29th. Hmmm… pondering a road trip.

C-USA is under construction next year, what with the realignment roundabout, but it looks like the Miners, Green Wave, Blazers and Tigers will go out with a bang.

There are only four teams listed amongst the Independents, and it looks like Nebraska-Omaha (aka, UNOs) and Joan Bonavicini’s Seattle U will fight for the top spot.

The Great West covers a lot of territory (New Jersey to Texas to North Dakota to Utah to Illinois) but not quite sure their talent level is that expansive.

I’m not saying that the 10-0 (and #10) Phoenix of Green Bay won’t rule the Horizon League, but c’mon! The Penguins are 6-4! (Call it the Ornithological Bias.) (Dang, 6-5.)

The Ivy League title seems destined to go to the Tigers, but are the Quakers shakin‘?

The Fairfield Stags of the MAAC stand at 7-3 (of course, they play UConn next. Oops.) followed by the Rider Broncs. The Red Foxes are at 5-5, but they might bite.

The MAC has been ruled by Bowling Green — they currently have the same record as the Miami (OH). Will coach Fantanarosa‘s Red Hawks topple coach Miller’s Falcons?

Looks like Hampton will pirate their way through the MEAC, but Bison are always unpredictable (check out the coach cam!).

In the Missouri Valley it’s the Bradley Braves (who lost to the Hatters), but I wonder if Missouri State and Northern Iowa will surge ahead of them once conference games come in to play.

The Mountain West is another conference in flux, but right now all eyes are on Kathy Olivier’s (ooo – did we catch this watn? Nikki Blue is assisting.) UNLV Rebels.

Usually I expect to see St. Francis (PA) Red Flash dominating the Northeast. Not this year — it’s Sacred Heart (CT). Interesting: the Pioneers play the Bonnies Jan 3nd.

Let’s let the Ohio Valley quietly sort itself out in conference play, shall we?

Yah, this will last: Pac-12 rankings have Colorado (11-0) in the top spot, followed by Arizona (who face UNLV tomorrow). Stanford clings to the #3 spot.

It’s all smushed up in the Patriot League, though American holds the #1 spot.

Yup, time for conference play in the SEC: You’ve got #6 Kentucky, #25 Vanderbilt, Arkansas, #17 Georgia and South Carolina. At 7-3, #7 Tennessee finds itself in 10th place.

Conference play is well underway in the Southern, but the top four teams (Furman, Appalachian State, Chattanooga and Davidson) have yet to play each other.

The Southland East (McNeese State) and West (Stephen F. Austin) are familiar. Looks like Central Arkansas might be the biggest threat to the Cowgirls.

As for the SWAC, please see Ohio Valley.

For the moment, I’ll say that for the Summit, see the SWAC. But it’s hard not to have a soft spot for the Jackrabbits.

Middle Tennessee is not the powerhouse it has been, but looks like they’ll still rule the Sun Belt (East). It will be interesting to see if Aston’s Mean Green North Texas team can challenge Denver.

In the West Coast Conference, Gonzaga’s gotten the (well deserved) press, but check out new-to-the conference BYU and its 11-2 record.

Last but not least, it looks like Spoon’s Techsters will have to hop to it to catch Fresno State.

Read Full Post »

Several teams enjoyed their daily dose of cupcakes: UConnLouisville, Ohio State, Maryland, Rutgers and Baylor.

Yes, Oklahoma has lost three-in-a-row, but don’t let that overshadow the fact that, after the debacle that was Klein-Johnson, coach Wiggins has done some really nice stuff with the Fresno State program.

Notre Dame stomped all over in-state rival Purdue, which means TAMU is…?

Could be a long year for Marist.

Ditto for Michigan State, but I’m guessing Gail could care less.

I’m not outrageously impressed with Michigan’s scheduling, but they are 9-1.

Have the Lobos and the Pit permanently lost their bite?

Keeping an eye on 7-1 Missouri.

We’re also noticing that Northwestern is 7-1.

Whoa, Navy beat Princeton!

And the Penguins won again!

Hooper had 32 in Nebraska’s double overtime win over Northern Arizona. That just seems right.

Yes, I remember a time when people enjoyed having BC in the Big East because they were tough and competitive. It’s been a while.

Speaking of the ACC, tough for Duke to have a nice lead away at Kentucky, and then go cold. How much of a challenge can the Wildcats give Tennessee and Georgia this year?

Read Full Post »

Me neither.

Luckily, The Onion ‘splains it all: Syracuse Leaves Big East For Woman Named ‘Misti’

Read Full Post »

Auriemma Cites McGraw’s Common Roots

Because Connecticut and Notre Dame will be meeting a fourth time this season on Sunday night at the NCAA Women’s Final Four at Conseco Fieldhouse there may be a tendency to apply a Big East conference label to the second national semifinal game after Stanford and rookie Texas A&M meet in the opener.

But in terms of common backgrounds of Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma and Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw the meeting between the Huskies and Irish can also be called the Philadelphia semifinal.

Read Full Post »

to the previous night’s drama. But yesterday did feature a significant upset as well as a couple other tasty surprises. Says our pal Doug Feinberg of AP: Two rounds done; women’s tourney full of intrigue:

The Stomps:

#1 UConn wasn’t working to earn style points, just survival points. Their defense stymied the #9 Boilermakers and Connecticut notched the win, 64-40. Writes Mechelle:

…next up is fifth-seeded Georgetown in the Philadelphia Regional semifinals. And there’s a possibility that the Huskies could also face a Big East team in the regional final (No. 3 DePaul) and the national semifinals (Dayton No. 2 Notre Dame).

UConn has not lost to a Big East foe since Feb. 5, 2007, when the Huskies fell 73-71 at Rutgers. The Huskies’ record in league play since 2005-06 is 93-3.

#7 Rutgers didn’t have the horses to keep up with Texas A&M’s Danielle Adams, and the Aggies moved on rather effortlessly, 70-48.

#9 West Virginia didn’t have the horses, or the ladders, to keep up with Baylor’s Brittney Griner and the Bears won 82-68. Writes Mechelle:

Players who are disappointed in an aspect of their performance frequently say that it will fuel them to improve. Frankly, it doesn’t always happen. But in the case of Brittney Griner and free-throw shooting, it has.

The Trip Ups:

# 6 Oklahoma raced out to a lead, then resisted the urge to fold in the face of a Hurricane comeback, surviving to knock off #3 Miami 88-83.

#3 Florida had the lead at the half, but #6 Georgia clawed their way to escape with the 61-50 upset.

Graham gets to keep on following them ’cause #5 Green Bay won their 25th straight. They also earned their first trip to the Sweet 16 by taking down #4 Michigan State, 65-56. Writes Graham:

The slippers fit for Green Bay, but they aren’t made of glass. And there is no midnight curfew on this party.

As Green Bay prepared last week to leave for Wichita, Kan., and the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, senior Kayla Tetschlag and junior Hannah Quilling distributed some unconventional wardrobe accessories to teammates who otherwise spend a lot of time clothed in the not-quite-emerald hue that makes their city famous. For the trip to Kansas, players donned ruby slippers like those worn in “The Wizard of Oz” by Dorothy, perhaps that state’s most famous fictional resident. Only it turns out there is a slightly different takeaway to this telling of the classic adventure.

Home is nice, but it will be there in another week or two. For this team, there’s no place like the Sweet 16.

The Stomp Trip Ups:

#5 Georgetown was all over #4 Maryland from all over. The Terps didn’t hear Kara’s advice (Umm, maybe guard #14?) and Sugar Rodgers’ 34pts powered the Hoyas to a 79-57 rout. A little ESPN Quick Dish:

When Georgetown’s Sugar Rodgers, already 5-of-6 from the 3-point line at the time, saw the shot clock about to expire late in the first half of Tuesday’s game against Maryland and tossed up a one-handed push shot that arced high in the air and banked in off the glass, she just shrugged her shoulders, put her hands out wide and retreated to the defensive end. Sometimes it’s just your night.

And the Hoyas couldn’t have picked a better one on which to live up to their coach’s inner shooter.

It was worse than the final score suggests. #2 Xavier had the lead and then went ice-cold as #7 Louisville got red hot (As did Schimmel) and took down the Musketeers, 85-75. Says Graham:

As good as Xavier was throughout the careers of Amber Harris and Ta’Shia Phillips (not to mention oft-overlooked point guard Special Jennings), it had a way of courting disaster in the postseason.

And considering what Louisville freshman Shoni Schimmel can do with even a sliver of daylight, you can’t open the door of opportunity when she’s wearing the other uniform.

Read Full Post »

From Mel: 2001 Big East Title Game Book Worth A Trophy

Earlier this month, after Notre Dame had edged DePaul to meet Connecticut for the Big East championship in Hartford, Irish sophomore star guard Skylar Diggins was asked about the time the two schools last met for the conference title in 2001, which was then played on the Huskies’ campus in nearby Storrs.

She was 10 years old growing up in Indiana back then and unlike this time around when Connecticut won a little, but not much, easier, the 2001 championship was decided by Huskies all-time great Sue Bird going coast to coast and hitting a pull-up jumper as time expired.

“I remember I was a fan watching it,” Diggins said. “I believe Sue Bird hit the shot and they wrote a book about it. I don’t like that book.”

Memo to Skylar from the Guru: Read the book.

Read Full Post »

the Sun Belt’s Arkansas-Little Rock clinched a NCAA berth with their 66-59 victory over the Hilltoppers.

It’s not been their most elegant season, but the Jackrabbits have returned to the NCAAs for the third season in a row.

UConn and Notre Dame met for the third time this season and, like their first meeting, the Irish kept it close. But, also like the previous two times (and 5 Big East finals), it was the Huskies that came out on top. Graham writes about the youngster wearing Tina Charles’ number: Stefanie Dolson just what UConn needs

Dolson and Tina Charles, the All-American she replaced, are distinctly different players at distinctly different stages of their basketball development. That caveat aside, it can’t thrill potential NCAA tournament opponents that Connecticut once again appears to have an inside-outside threat, making it that much tougher to focus on Moore.

It’s cool to read that Air Force upset Colorado State for their second win ever in the Mountain West conference.

Raimee Beck had attempted 1,298 shots for Air Force before she squared up behind the 3-point line with less than two minutes remaining against Colorado State.

Beck had never experienced a win at the Mountain West Conference Tournament. The Falcons had a chance to beat the Rams, trailing by just one point. On shot No. 1,299 of her career, perhaps the greatest career in Falcons women’s basketball history, Beck tried to will it in.

“That one, I was like ‘Please let this one go in if any of them go in,’” Beck said.

Read Full Post »

there simply is too much basketball to keep up with (especially if you go out birding all day and if you’re about to hop a bus to go up to Hartford for the Big East quarters…)

A quick scan before the run to the subway.

The Penguins won again!

Air Force defeated New Mexico in OT. Hmmm…. que paso con los Lobos? Or should is be las Lobos? Or Lobas?

Houston (the story no one is writing about) needed OT to escape the Green Wave.

La Tech defeated the Vandals. I love that: The Vandals.

Doink! Down goes “who can figure them out game-to-game” Oklahoma.

Wow – SPANK! Says UNC to Miami. Something got the Tar Heels focused.

In a (semi) upset, Tennessee-Martin earns their berth in the NCAAs by taking down Tennessee Tech.

See ya, Iowa State, says Mizzou.

Boy o boy o boy: West Virginia loses to St. John’s.

Maybe they ARE back: Ohio State smacks Michigan State.

Read Full Post »

STUDENT-athlete?

Yup!

Moore Named Capital One Academic All-American of the Year – Moore is a Three-Time Academic All-American

Her teammates:

Senior forward Erin Anthony of U.S. Military Academy and senior guard Liz Repella of West Virginia were named to the first team for the second straight season. Junior Amanda Johnson of Oregon, a second team pick last year, joins senior Kathleen Barry of Columbia to complete the Capital One Academic All-America® Women’s Basketball University Division first team.

A Civil Engineering major with a 3.79 G.P.A., Anthony is a Rhodes Scholar candidate and a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. A three-time All-Patriot League selection, she has been named as the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year twice. The only Patriot League player to be averaging in double figures in scoring (14.9) and rebounding (10.8), she serves as Tau Beta Pi president. A native of Allentown, Pa., she stands 28th in her class and she is a Battalion Executive Officer.

An Exercise Physiology major with a 3.94 G.P.A., Repella was named first team All-BIG EAST as a junior and earned second team honors as a sophomore. The ninth-leading scorer in West Virginia history with more than 1,500 points, she was the Most Valuable Player at the Paradise Jam earlier this season. A pre-season All-BIG EAST pick the last two years, the 5-11 guard is a co-captain for the #19 Mountaineers, who are 21-7 on the year. A native of Steubenville, Ohio, she averages 13.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

An All-Pacific-10 Conference honorable mention pick last year, Johnson is a graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree in Child & Family Health Services with a 3.97 G.P.A.  A second team Academic All-America® selection last year, she is a junior athletically and is averaging 16.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per game for Oregon. The Ducks’ second-leading scorer, she leads the team in rebounding. A native of Santa Rosa, Cal., she has already earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology, graduating Summa Cum Laude. A member of the Pac-10 All-Freshman team, she was the winner of the Doyle Higdon Memorial Trophy, presented to an Oregon sophomore who excels in athletics, scholarship and citizenship.

The top scorer and rebounder at Columbia, Barry is averaging 10.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game for the Lions. A senior with a triple major in Economics, Mathematics and Spanish, she has a 3.99 G.P.A. An honorable mention All-Ivy League selection last year, the Valley Center, Cal. native ranks among the Lions’ top 20 all-time scoring and rebounding leaders. She has been named to the Academic All-Ivy team twice.

Read Full Post »

(which ain’t really news). The NCAA Division I poll is out.

Of more interest, Charlie’s latest bracket and his explanation. Some might argue that Rutgers should replace Syracuse. Charlie says:

Syracuse (IN): The Orange picked up two huge victories, one at St. John’s in the past week, to match Texas Tech and play their way into the bracket. Plenty of holes exist in Syracuse’s case for inclusion, but no one in the mix has two road victories the quality of Marquette and St. John’s.

From Graham’s chat:

kevin (macon ga): How much of a headache will Syracuse be for the committee? Two top 25 wins and no bad losses is usually a lock, but the Orange are 9th in the BEast and had a very weak non-con schedule.

Graham Hays: Unless they do something strange against Cincinnati and Providence down the stretch, I don’t know that they’ll be one of the teams giving the committee the biggest headaches. You hate to see a program rewarded for that kind of scheduling, but at the same time, they did what they needed to do in getting wins against St. John’s, Marquette and Louisville, in addition to the Ohio State win that is looking better now than it did a week or two ago.

Read Full Post »

gets some attention from Laura Myers at the Observer: UConn do it – Irish look to stun Huskies on the road

A rebound here, or a shot falling there, and the No. 13 Irish could have come away with an improbable victory over the No. 2 Huskies on Jan. 8. Instead, they left with a 79-76 loss on their record.

In the six weeks since that game, neither team has lost. Connecticut, still No. 2, has averaged a 26.7-point margin in its 11 victories. Notre Dame, now No. 8, has averaged a 25.6-point margin in its nine wins. Connecticut has since defeated five ranked teams, Connecticut three.

Now they face each other again, this time in Storrs, Conn., Saturday, with a possible Big East title at stake.

John Altavilla at the Courant has some game notes and writes: Time For UConn’s Freshmen To Win Their First Prize

The time has come for them to start writing their own chapter in the history books that lured them to Storrs in the first place.
Step one is winning the Big East regular-season championship, something Auriemma’s teams have already done 18 times. And Saturday, the Huskies can take a major step in that direction.

No. 2 UConn (25-1, 12-0) and No. 8 Notre Dame (22-4, 11-1) play the biggest conference game of the season at Gampel Pavilion. And things will look vastly different in the conference race depending on who wins.

This talk of Notre Dame, UConn and Big East titles is a perfect segue to reminding people that Jeff Goldberg’s “Bird at the Buzzer” is now in bookstores. The book uses the classic match up between UConn/ND in 2001 (the year the Irish went on to win the NCAA championship) Reading his discussion of the book, it’s interesting to note that, unlike *some* fans, players and coaches don’t watch and rewatch games. (Game tapes are NOT the game.)

The players I spoke to were all very cooperative and generous with their time. Perhaps not surprisingly, because they were point guards, Sue and Niele Ivey were the easiest to arrange interviews. I did sit-downs with all but Ruth Riley, whom I spoke with on the phone. Niele was fantastic. This was her moment in the spotlight, the 2001 season, and she actually thanked me for allowing her to recount that season. I think the players really enjoyed taking a fun look back at an exciting chapter in their lives.

I watched the game with Sue, Diana and Niele in 2009 and all three said it was the first time they’d seen it since they played in it.

Read Full Post »

Shootaround is up and they’ve got a Kay Yow update, their all-time Starting Five, and talk about who gets in from the Big East.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »