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Posts Tagged ‘Championship Week’

while you’re at work. (Not that anyone reading or writing this would EVER do that….*cough, cough*)

First up: CHAT ALERT! 2pm EST. Get your questions in for Mechelle right quick.

Charlie says: More than NCAA bids are on the line

Championship Week has arrived. For some, it is the best 11 days of the college basketball season. For others, conference tournaments are a way to kill time until the magic of March known as the NCAA tournament gets started.

But this year, even in the big conferences in which so many teams have already secured bids, the games still have huge meaning. The ACC, Big Ten, and SEC tournaments, among others, open Thursday, and for some teams the ramifications are obvious. For others, the value isn’t as evident, but these outcomes are no less important.

Michelle Smith looks at the traditional powerhouses and talks Championship storylines.

Me, I’m wondering if the Champeens will look like this:

AEast: BU (They got refocused)
A-10: Temple (They’ve got revenge on their mind)
A Sun: FGCU (They’ve got the three)
Big Sky: Northern Colorado (They’re on a roll)
Big West: Cal State Northridge (They’ve got to take the pressure of their SID)
CAA: Delaware (They’re going to handle, and build, the pressure)
C-USA: UTEP (They’re going to earn some attention)
Horizon: Green Bay (They’re seeing the rise of a challenger: Wright State)
MAAC: Marist (They’re thinking they can take down the Stags)
Mid American: Upforgrab (Bowling Green’s proved they’re human)
MEAC: Hampton (They’re in for a challenging semi)
MVC: Missouri State (Their name has changed, and so have their fortunes.)
Mountain West: San Diego State (They’ve stumbled, but that got their attention)
Northeast: Sacred Heart (They want it)
Ohio Valley: Tennessee-Martin (They’re Skyhawks – my birding bias shows)
Patriot: American U (They’ll handle the pressure of being 14-0)
Southern: Chattanooga (They’ve been there and they’re peaking)
Southland: Central Arkansas (They’re the Sugar Bears. How can your resist?)
SWAC: Mississippi Valley State (Their in-conference record is key)
Summit League: South Dakota State (They’re Jackrabbits — you can’t go against a jackrabbit)
Sun Belt: Middle Tennessee (They’re looking to keep their coach local)
West Coast: Gonzaga (They’re going to have to survive the semis)
WAC: Fresno State (They’re the top dog)

From Joanne C. Gerstner: Michigan is on the rise

“I’ve had friends ask me about what Coach Borseth is really like — is he really as crazy as he looks?” senior guard/forward Carmen Reynolds said while shaking her head and smiling. “I can kind of see why it looks that way. He’s the best. He’s not crazy. … He just wants us to be our best, so badly, and for us to win.

“It’s like he wants to will us to get things done. He knows how to push our buttons, and isn’t that what you really want your coach to do? I think he’s awesome — we’d do anything for him because he’s doing anything for us.”

Michigan’s style of play reflects Borseth’s personality: intense defensively, leading to tense, grind-it-out affairs. And that’s why Borseth is so tightly wound.

Pat Borzi and Hoops Across America blows in to Iowa: Fennellys make Cyclones go

The younger Fennelly son, graduate assistant Steven, sits at the end of the Iowa State bench nearest the scorer’s table. The older, Billy, the director of player development, takes the next folding chair. Their father, Iowa State women’s basketball coach Bill Fennelly, claims the middle of the bench when he isn’t wandering the sideline giving instructions or lobbying the officials.

That’s right: one team, three Fennellys. And up among the enthusiastic cardinal-and-gold-clad fans at Hilton Coliseum, the fourth Fennelly — Deb, Bill’s wife and mother of their two boys — looks on, smiling. What could be better than this?

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wouldn’t you say?

Here’s what Debbie Antonelli, Kara Lawson, Rebecca Lobo and Stephanie White, Beth Mowins and Brenda VanLengen have to say about a season “that featured non-traditional teams and players emerging, new teams jumping into the top 25 and exciting games being played across the board.” (WHB note: Except for most every Big Monday game…)

Memorable moment from a particular venue or fan base of a game you covered?

LOBO: My moment happened after the UConn at Baylor game ended when fans were allowed to come onto the court. A bunch of elementary and middle-school-aged kids began playing basketball and the Baylor men’s team joined them for an impromptu pickup game. I’ve never seen anything like it, and it was awesome.

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It’s been thirty years since they won an Oscar or an SEC title. Writes Graham: Mathies making good on coach’s prediction

A chance to be one of the best players in the nation.

That’s how Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell described what the future might hold for A’dia Mathies not long before her sophomore season began. Almost two seasons later, her exact place on such an inexact list remains up for debate, but she is the go-to player on the first Kentucky team to win an SEC regular-season title in her lifetime. It’s a pretty good label in its own right.

I wouldn’t call it a “roll,” but it was a win over UNC that sent Duke to the outright ACC crown. Oh, and I can see why coach Hatchell is so concerned by physical play.

Virginia finishes up their first regular season under coach Boyle with a 66 -57 win over Florida State and a 9-7 ACC record.

26 in a row for the Blue Hens. No pressure….

Middle Tennessee finishes up the regular season perfect in the Sun Belt.

UTEP wasn’t so lucky, and the Owls pulled away in the second, sending the Bulldogs to their first loss in the C-USA.

In the battle of the Washingtons, it was the Huskies over the Cougars.

OK, what happened to the Shockers? Somebody? Anybody?

Redbirds came back in the second to send it OT, but it was Missouri State who came out the winners in the end, 80-76. They’re also 13-3  in the MVC.

South Carolina pulled away from Arkansas in the second half — both teams finish 10-6 in the SEC.

Take away Lucas’ 24pts and Penn State loses by 1. Fortunately, the Gophers aren’t allowed to do that.

Ohio State tried, but they couldn’t stop Nebraska freshman Emily Cady.

Come the second half, it was no contest: Dawgs over Tigers.

There was plenty of emotion, and the Vols finished up the regular season right: 16pt victory over Florida.

ESPN has its Championship Week results, bids link up.

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