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Now that Baylor is gone and everybody’s brackets have gone boom! (except for Mom and Dad Cardinals), Fagan has Elite Eight: Five points to ponder

She also says Kentucky ready for UConn rematch

Kentucky says it isn’t scared of Connecticut — not at all.

On Monday night, we’ll discover whether that’s empty rhetoric or reality, but the Wildcats were emphatic Sunday afternoon about how unafraid they are to face top-seeded UConn, arguably the greatest program in women’s college basketball history. In this way, Kentucky is borrowing a page from Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins, who told reporters earlier this year, “I think a lot of people are afraid of the name on the front of the jersey, and I don’t think we are anymore.”

From Full Court, A’Dia Mathies and Kentucky are “focusing on what we need to do”

Doug at the AP has a UConn/KY preview

Matthew Mitchell is trying to build Kentucky into a women’s basketball power. Getting to the Final Four for the first time will be a huge step in reaching that goal.

Mitchell’s team is one victory away, and Connecticut stands in the way for the second straight season. The two teams played last year and UConn came away with a 15-point victory. They’ll meet again Monday night in the Bridgeport regional final.

UK women: ‘We beat ourselves’ vs. UConn last year, Lexington Herald Leader
Mark Story: ‘Bigs’ will determine Kentucky’s fate versus UConn, Lexington Herald Leader
Auriemma heaps praise on UK’s Mitchell, Lexington Herald Leader
Kentucky worked to put time on their side, Louisville Courier Journal
The clock is ticking for Kentucky, Post

The biggest theme in the UConn Horde coverage is injuries — especially to Dolson, who is very hobbled.

Dolson is laughing in the face of pain, Hour
Despite injuries, UConn one win from Final Four goal, Post
UConn In A Good Spot, But It Hasn’t Come Without Pain, Courant

Huskies can make record sixth straight Final Four appearance with win over Kentucky, Register
Bria Hartley will square off against good friend Jennifer O’Neill of Kentucky, Register

One last test for Huskies, Day
Huskies set to battle Wildcats for another Final Four berth, Hour

Out west, Michelle has Georgia, Cal seniors still being tested

Ask Andy Landers about his senior class and then get ready. He’s about to start telling the story about a program that wasn’t what it once was and how one of the game’s legendary coaches planned to get it back.

“Let’s set the stage,” Landers says, as he begins the tale of a senior class, five kids who came into his program four years ago and needed a history lesson. So Landers gave it to them.

“High school kids don’t really know a lot about what they are signing up for,” Landers said. “They don’t understand that it’s a big-time commitment if you are going to win, if you are going to be the best you can be. So the first thing we wanted to do was educate them.”

At the Advocate, Scott Rabalais says

Andy Landers pulled no punches. The Georgia coach never does.

Georgia women’s basketball, in his estimation, was broken. Not shattered — the Lady Bulldogs were still reaching the NCAA tournament every year and occasionally making a run.

But nothing as deep as Georgia’s five Women’s Final Fours, the most recent one in 1999, or its previous trip to the Elite Eight against LSU in 2004.

That began to change when his current seniors were freshmen. And that team will square off with California in Monday’s Spokane Regional final.

The APs Tim Booth offers up Georgia women’s basketball to take on California in tonight’s Spokane Regional final

Thanks for sharing Killion’s piece: Cal women’s bond forged from tragedies

The summer after her sophomore year, Eliza Pierre was full of information from her African American studies classes at Cal. Then 20, she came home to Southern California for a visit and shared the sobering facts she had learned about young black men in America – statistics about the homicide rate, gun violence and incarceration.

She warned her 22-year old brother, Wilson, to be careful and joked with her mother that they needed to keep an eye on him.

That was the last time Pierre saw Wilson. He was gunned down at a party a few weeks later and died at the hospital.

Pierre is one of three members of Cal’s basketball team whose lives have been changed by homicide. Gennifer Brandon’s father was shot and killed by police when she was 6 – mistaken for an armed-robbery suspect. Tierra Rogers’ father was shot to death on a San Francisco street corner during halftime of one of her high school games.

One basketball team. Three players. Three tragedies.

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the Final Four only twice in 31 (now 32) tournaments

  • 1989 Auburn, Louisiana Tech, Maryland, Tennessee
  • 2012 Baylor, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Stanford

So why did Rachel Whittaker of the Times-Picayune say this on March 29th?

“In other words, a high probability exists that Baylor, Notre Dame, Stanford and Connecticut could repeat as Final Four participants in New Orleans next month.”

And yes, it’s Easter Sunday-afternooning quarterbacking, but in the same article …. “oops!”

“Those four would have to actually fall on their face,” said Lieberman, a two-time national championship winner at Old Dominion and the only woman to play in a men’s professional sports league (United States Basketball League). “Now there’s parity beneath them, but those four would have to absolutely mail it in and have a horrible tournament, and I can’t see it happening.”

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Welcome to the SEC, Missouri. #10 Georgia wins, 77-46.

Welcome to the SEC, TAMU. The Aggies pummeled Alabama, 91-52.

The Hilltoppers continue winning, as their 78-69 win over AR-Little Rock puts them at 5-0 in the Sun Belt.

Michigan State’s win over Minnesota puts them at 13-1. We’ll learn more about them when they meet their next opponent, #9 Penn State. The Lions defeated Northwestern, 73-69.

Kim has her Michigan team at 12-2. Iowa next.

Iowa takes down Ohio State, 77-71.

Presbyterian moved to 3-0 in the Big South with their (first time ever) win over Liberty, 51-49.

Not a good day to be a team from Mississippi: LSU took down Ole Miss, Vandy stomped all over Mississippi State.

Creighton opened conference play with a 81-60 win over Southern Illinois.

A strong second half pushed #3 Duke to a win over NC State, 67-57.

Zone in the second half pushed #12 Tennessee to a comfortable win over #18 South Carolina, 73-53.

Georgia Tech gave them a run for their money, but #19 Florida State emerged victorious, 85-78.

Florida tried, but #6 Kentucky prevailed, 76-69.

Auburn (they’re making some noise) takes down #23 Arkansas, 50-47.

#15 North Carolina held on for the win against #8 Maryland, 60-57.

With a hat tip to Doug Feinberg: the AP’s Pat Graham writes: Off to 11-0 start, CU steadily gaining recognition

Off to an 11-0 start, the Buffaloes are definitely a cheerful and chipper bunch these days. Only, it’s now time to turn serious as No. 20 Colorado hosts fourth-ranked Stanford on Friday night in the Pac-12 Conference opener.

Or is it?

The reason for the Buffaloes’ success on the court may be as simple as this: They just don’t take themselves too seriously.

Others are, of course. Or at least beginning to, anyway.

The writers are getting ready for the Notre Dame/UConn game on Saturday, 4pm EST on CBS:

Debbie and Beth are back with their podcast: They preview the SEC, ACC and Pac 12 as well as the UConn-Notre Dame game. Plus, they’re joined by Oklahoma State coach Jim Littell.

NCAA.com: Connecticut and Notre Dame meet again

Michelle: Breanna Stewart exceeding the hype

Compliments from Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma come neither easily nor frequently.

So when he said recently that freshman forward Breanna Stewart “has the opportunity to be a good as anyone we’ve ever brought here,” it was high praise indeed.

When you are the top recruit in the country and choose to join Auriemma’s program in Storrs, hype inevitably follows.

Rebecca Lobo: One of top rivalries resumes Saturday – Top-ranked and unbeaten UConn hosts No. 5 Notre Dame at Gampel Pavilion

Connecticut versus Notre Dame has become one of my favorite rivalry games in women’s college basketball over the past few years. The contests have been close and there is always something at stake. And when you add the players’ and coaches’ distaste for one another, the game becomes even juicier. Here are some of the matchups within the game that will be worth watching:

Graham: Freshman Loyd ahead of schedule

When Jewell Loyd was in junior high, she worked out with her older brother on the basketball court. He wasn’t trying to get her ready for the eighth grade team, he told her. He was preparing her for varsity.

The instruction continued when she made it to Niles West High School in the Chicago area, by which time Jarryd Loyd had already played four seaons for Valparaiso University and embarked on a career in professional basketball that eventually took him to Poland, New Zealand and more than a few map points between them.

Now the older brother was readying her for college.

Notre Dame: #5 Irish Open BIG EAST Play At #1 Connecticut Saturday

Notre Dame: Healthy Mabrey adds to Irish options

Michaela Mabrey climbed up the steps to the stage of the basketball auditorium at Notre Dame’s Purcell Pavilion, and eased herself into a chair, a bag of ice wrapped around her right ankle.

“I’m completely healthy,” Mabrey insisted. “The ankle is just a little sore after games.”

UConn: Kiah Stokes getting closer to returning

UConn: Auriemma, Hartley Discuss Benching At Oregon

UConn: Geno Auriemma(isms) From Friday’s Press Briefing

UConn: Notre Dame Has Had UConn’s Number In Recent Big Games

From the West Coast, Jayda has: Huskies’ Kristi Kingma glad to be back on court for Washington

In WNBA news, Mechelle writes about Donovan’s return to WNBA with Sun

Coach Anne Donovan is headed back to the WNBA, taking over at Connecticut in an Eastern Conference that will have both a new and old look to it in 2013. It’s intriguing — especially because right up until the WNBA Finals started this past October, the Western Conference really seemed to have the East trumped.

At that point, no currently existing East team had won a WNBA title. The championship teams from each of the three previous seasons — Phoenix in 2009, Seattle in 2010 and Minnesota in 2011 — were from the West. The 2013 No. 1 draft pick was headed to the West, as Phoenix won the Brittney Griner sweepstakes in the lottery held after the regular season.

The East was pretty clearly the league’s second banana. But then …

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See you February 18th.

Sincerely, UConn

Connecticut walked in to Maples and stomped all over the Cardinal. After an opening few minutes that tempted us with the possibility of an interesting game between the #1 and #2 in the country, UConn’s defense (In particular, Stef Dolson on Chiney– take note, Adams & Courtney) simply shut Stanford down.

The beauty of the Stanford women’s offense is rhythm and preparation. When it works it looks as in sync as the San Antonio Spurs and the Radio City Rockettes. On those days, the Cardinal could be sponsored by Arthur Murray Dance Studios.

When it doesn’t work, when Tara VanDerveer’s team does not connect, does not adjust much on the fly, the result can be as ugly as it is repetitive. And on this Saturday, when UConn executed its defensive game plan as well as Geno Auriemma could ever remember and when Stefanie Dolson demonstrated that to arrive in Storrs means to leave as a smarter, fitter, more determined athlete, the results can be epic.

Writes Michelle:

 As showdowns go, Saturday’s Connecticut-Stanford game at Maples Pavilion was a failure. As a fact-finding mission, it was illuminating.

Geno Auriemma now knows that for as much offensive talent as he has assembled, that for as many nights as his team dances around triple digits, he can lean on defense to win some big games. And he can lean on Stefanie Dolson as hard as he ever has.

He also surely understands, after a shocking 61-35 shellacking of No. 1 Stanford — ending the Cardinal’s 82-game home winning streak and handing Tara VanDerveer the worst home loss of her 26-year tenure on The Farm — that his team is a legitimate challenger, perhaps even the favorite over Baylor, to win the national championship in April.

It wasn’t a particularly elegant offensive display by the Huskies, but it was beautifully balanced, with the home state kid, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis returning to make a statement, in spite of partaking of an IV.

“At halftime we talked about getting her the ball,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “She’s been sick since she left Connecticut, she was in the hospital, she was getting IVs, I don’t know if it was the flu or whatever she (had), but I thought in the second half she really responded.

“That just goes to show you how much she changed in one year, how many more things she can do now than she could last year.”

Other ranked teams were also involved in routs: Baylor over  SE Louisiana, Maryland over Hartford, Notre Dame over Hartford, South Carolina over Western Carolina (how much more attention should we be paying to S.C.?). Oklahoma over Cal-Northridge, and Colorado over New Mexico.

BTW, I see you, Toledo.

In other news, Illinois’ defeat of previously unbeaten Georgia gets them some attention: Matt Bollant out to turn around Illini

…when Illinois offered Bollant the coaching job in Champaign after last season, he felt he couldn’t turn it down. At the moment, Green Bay is a better basketball program than Illinois. It wins more games, plays better basketball and draws more fans. But like many coaches who move from successful mid-majors to middling majors — Indiana’s Curt Miller, Texas’ Karen Aston also among the most recent class — Bollant made his move based on a calculation about the future. No matter how close to perfection Green Bay comes on the court, it is rarely, if ever, going to beat majors off the court.

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AP poll.

AP Voters.

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the Bluegrass state (teaching, not birding). *And honestly, I’m trying to ignore the horror that is the Lib at Connecticut.*

From Nate: 2012 WNBA Most Improved Player Watch: Five Players Who Have Had Early-Season Success

All reports out of Chicago are that the Sky were more than happy not to endure another thriller in beating the Seattle Storm on Wednesday evening.

Nevertheless, Sky guard Epiphanny Prince still found a way to demonstrate that she’s taken her game to a new level this season.

I’m sure you all know what Nate is referring to: Efficiency In The World Of Basketball As ‘Effective Damage Per Second’ In World Of Warcraft

More Nate: Thursday Links: Sylvia Fowles’ Injury Scare, Candace Parker Makes Impression In Connecticut. Parker sure as heck did. Cool to hear UConnLobo cheer for a triple-double from TennesseeParker, wasn’t it?

*Holy carp! Will you LOOK at that Lib/CT score?*

’cause you can never have too many cooks: Lawyers Weigh In On Lawsuit Facing Auriemmaand for those so inclined: Trying To Understand The Point Of Law On A Difficult Case

What follows is an amalgamation of opinion about what both sides of this case may likely be thinking and what’s likely to happen sooner or later.

The most important thing to remember is: Listen, anyone can sue anyone for anything. That is not the issue. The issue is, can they win?

Did you see this over at Mel’s blog: Introduction and Robin Roberts’ Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Acceptance Speech

*Gads. The Lib/CT game is, as we used to say in college, “So ugly it’s WUGLY.” Unless, of course, you’re a CT fan. Down 40 at the end of the third. It’s kinda like a car crash. I’m having a hard time turning away.*

Interesting coaching hires at Jackson State (Surina Dixon), Buffalo (Legette-Jack) and SIUE (Buscher). And I’m not sure I mean interesting in a good way.

Ouch: Wiggins Completes 2012-13 Class With Destini Price (A decommit from Fresno St).

*Just turn away from the screen, Helen. You don’t need to see this. Actually, LA and Indy fans aren’t having so much fun neither.*

The rules review crew’s been at work: Decals, sportsmanship changes – Officiating ‘guidelines’ approved for charge/block calls

*Sigh. Shouldn’t there be a mercy rule or sumthin’?*

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UConn gave their fans palpitations, and then revved up their defense in the second half to handcuff the Wildcats and move in to their fifth Final Four in a row. Writes Graham: Hayes answers call for Huskies – With teammates in foul trouble, senior guard steps up, leads UConn to Final Four

Forget about Maya Moore, Tina Charles or Renee Montgomery coming to the rescue. For a good stretch of Tuesday’s regional final between Connecticut and Kentucky, as whistles blew and fouls piled up, it didn’t look like Tiffany Hayes was going to be able to count on much help from even those teammates with eligibility remaining.

In a moment feared by many fans whose expectations begin and end with championships, a career defined largely by those Hayes played alongside rested squarely on the senior’s shoulders.

And those aren’t big shoulders.

That loud hiss you heard during the first half of the Maryland-Notre Dame game was the sound of some brave bracketeers watching their brackets crashing. Behind Skylar’s triple-double, the Irish made quick work of the Terps.From Kate Fagan: Notre Dame simply dominates Terps – Skylar Diggins notches Irish’s first triple-double since 1990

Skylar Diggins caught the ball at the top of the key.

She faked left, drove quickly right, put a dribble far ahead into the lane, swung the ball to her right hand, absorbed a Maryland defender, and kissed the ball off the glass. The whistle blew at about the same time Diggins turned — face steeled — toward her oncoming teammates. And-1. Dagger delivered. No time on the first-half clock.

Oh, wait, this was in the first half?

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some speed reading:

From the DC Basket Cases: The Raleigh Natty Regional

Whether you’ll be catching all the action in person at the RBC Center PNC Arena on Sunday, or at home (or at a sports bar) glued to your TV . . . if you aren’t excited about tomorrow’s games in Raleigh, the BCs respectfully suggest that you check your pulse.

Nate’s got some 2012 NCAA Women’s Sweet 16 Predictions: Kingston Bracket

Rebecca’s Breaking down Raleigh’s Sweet 16

Fagans says the Terps relaxed, ready for Aggiesand the AP says the Aggies have to keep Terps off the boards in NCAAs

If they do, Viv says Gary is threatening to dance again.

Graham has a couple: Taelor Karr finds home in Spokane – K-State transfer rediscovered love for basketball at Gonzaga and PSU’s Maggie Lucas diversifies game

Curt takes note: Notre Dame women’s basketball: Irish on way to free throw shooting mark and warns the Irish better beware of the Bonnies

St. Bonaventure knows they’re about to Take On a Women’s Basketball Titan and the Buffalo News’ Amy Moran thinks Irish talent can trump Bona defense

Al Lesar says Time, players have softened McGraw’s approach

The fans offer encouraging sendoff to Gonzaga women‎ but they are losing home-court advantage in regional‎.

Meanwhile, UK Hoops tries to put Gonzaga in the forefront, avoid side stories‎ as they feed off those other Cats.

In Kingston, Jim Fuller says the Huskies, Penn State are ready to run as the Lady Lions hope to continue charmed season against No. 1 seed Connecticut.  Bentley says “I don’t think they’ve played against a real, true scoring team.” and Faris says, “I think any player would take that as a challenge,’’

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Mechelle previews the Des Moines Sweet 16 games:

Florida coach Amanda Butler had a bemused look on her face Tuesday night when someone asked if she was pleased that her Gators seemed to have had Baylor flustered at least a little bit in the first half of their NCAA second-round meeting.

“Really?” Butler said with a wry smile. “OK. If you say so.

Graham Hays previews the Kingston Sweet 16 matchups:

The smallest state in the country could play host to some of the biggest scores of the tournament’s second week.

Top-seeded Connecticut, No. 2 seed Kentucky, No 4 Penn State and No. 11 Gonzaga make for a geographically disparate quartet in Kingston, R.I., but the four teams there still dreaming of Denver share a propensity for scoring points. All rank in the top 20 nationally in points per game. The other three regions feature just six such teams among them.

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An update from overseas:

We take a look to Europe in this week’s overseas update, where Phoenix’s Diana Taurasi was named Week 4 MVP of the Euroleague. We also have updates from Seattle’s Ashley Robinson, Minnesota’s Rebekkah Brunson, a blog from Washington’s Jasmine Thomas and a Connecticut update featuring Tina Charles among others.

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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.

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Point guards lead the way in Sweet 16

We may be living in the year of the quarterback, but March will always be the month of the point guard.

When the Sweet 16 gets under way on Saturday afternoon, some of the biggest stars on the court will be the smallest players on the court. From eight standout seniors looking to play at least one more game to four freshmen who appear ready to battle for bragging rights for years to come, the weekend’s most intriguing subplots may come from duels between players who do considerably more than merely bring the ball up the floor.

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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.

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to prepare for tonight’s game (thanks HuskyNan):

UConn women face rigid test in Stanford, Post
UConn women’s game day, Post
UConn vs Stanford: Two streaks on line, Courant
No. 1 UConn vs No. 9 Stanford, Courant
Stanford poses biggest threat to streak, Register

90 game streak on line at sold out Stanford arena, Day
Huskies have hands full tonight, Bulletin
Could this be the game?, Bulletin
Sun turn a profit, make history, Mike DiMauro, Day
Two streaks at stake in UConn-Stanford matchup, San Jose Mercury News

Winning streak on line, UConn steels for fight at Stanford, Fan House
Record 90-game victory streak on line as Connecticut women face Stanford, Bloomberg
A winning streak is a winning streak, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Something must give in UConn-Stanford matchup, USA Today

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and has…audio?

Richard Deitsch (Hi, Richard!) interview’s Jack McCallum, Sr. Writer on “The Streak. (And thanks for putting Mr. Pompous Ass (aka Bryant Gumbel) in his place. And, no, I don’t understand why people are threatened by women’s basketball either.)

The article: The Nutmeg Dynasty – Basketball is serious business for Maya Moore and her Connecticut teammates, who need just three victories to surpass UCLA’s 88-game winning streak

A few days before she became Connecticut’s alltime leading scorer, Maya Moore listened self-consciously as her sophomore teammate Kelly Faris went off on a compliment rant. “Maya does everything,” Faris said. “She’s a great player. A great person. A great leader. We’re going to miss Maya so much when she’s gone.” You know—all the usual stuff about the 6-foot senior forward who is already a three-time All-America and Academic All-America and a two-time player of the year, a young woman so poised and grounded that she might consider politics when she’s finished with what should be a fruitful WNBA career.

When Faris was through, Moore pulled out a tissue, dabbed at her eyes and handed Faris a five-dollar bill. “I thought it was supposed to be 10,” Faris said with a straight face.

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but it is something that needs to be looked at carefully.

Set aside the Tennessee/UConn rivalry and its awkward end.

Set aside your disdain for that smart-ass, disrespectful Philly guy.

Set aside your impatience with the reverence of all things Orange.

And just look at what was said at the Southeastern Conference media day event (and day after interview).

“I’ve never compromised at all, and I wouldn’t. And if I did, they should fire me,” said Summitt. She was asked if she was talking about Bruce Pearl, Tennessee’s men’s basketball coach, who is currently under investigation for recruiting infractions.

“I didn’t have Bruce Pearl on my mind. I probably had Connecticut on my mind. There’s a reason we don’t play them,” she said.

Any way you cut it, Coach Summitt has accused Connecticut of recruiting violations.

A toss away remark, a poor attempt at humor, an attempt to clarify her support for a friend and fellow employee, a deliberate revelation of a known truth — however it got out into the world, there it sits.

The winningest and, easily argued, most respected, visible coach in ALL of women’s basketball has accused the coach of the second most storied program in women’s basketball, the current coach of the United States National team and the president of the WBCA, of cheating.

This is not about a fanbase’s outrage or Itoldyaso.

This isn’t about whether Summitt and Auriemma despise each other.

This isn’t about wondering whether this is “news” the national press should jump all over.

This isn’t about questioning whether the Chris Strobel and the NCAA enforcement crew is doing a thorough job of investigating.

This is about how women’s basketball has said it wants to self-regulate itself.

As they often say,  there are some ways in which they don’t want to become like the men’s side. That is why the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association recently established their Ethics Committee which “assists in monitoring ethical standards, enforces appropriate action for any misconduct, and continues to positively influence and uphold ethics in women’s basketball.”

That is why, in September of this year, the following guidelines were laid out by the WBCA:

The WBCA Ethics Committee is comprised of coaching peers and was established in response to a membership perceived lack of communication and accountability among coaches regarding unacceptable behavior. The Committee has been directed to honor the mission statement of the WBCA, which is to develop and foster a reputable identity for the sport of women’s basketball.

In addition, in order to help cultivate a higher standard of conduct and self-regulation regarding recruiting, the Ethics Committee has created a mechanism to identify and act on emerging and/or continuing NCAA violations. Specifically, the procedures outlined below are designed to increase communication between the membership and their respective compliance contacts, and are intended to complement NCAA, conference and institutional systems that are already in place.

The process begins when a coach calls the WBCA to report a potential violation by another coach(es)

Step 1 The initial response from the WBCA will be to clarify the facts of the potential violation, educate/ remind the coach about the processes that are already in place, and to recommend that:
a. the involved coaches discuss the issue amongst themselves;
b. the complaining coach discuss the issue with his/her institutional compliance officer and/or
athletic director;
c. the complaining coach and his/her institutional administrator discuss the issue with their
conference office; and
d. the complaining coach and institution follow proper procedures to notify the NCAA Enforcement staff

Step 2 After receiving a report of a potential violation(s), the WBCA will call the head coach of the program that has allegedly committed the violation(s) (hereafter referred to as respondent coach). Note: the WBCA will call the head coach regardless of whether the allegation(s) was made against an assistant or associate coach. This courtesy call is intended to (1) notify the respondent coach that a colleague has reported a concern and (2) request a response to the allegation(s). The complaining coach’s name will be kept confidential, throughout the process. In addition, the WBCA will remind the respondent coach of his/her obligation to inform his or her own institution of the allegation. The respondent coach has ten business days to reply following the initial WBCA contact. During that time frame, the WBCA will attempt to reach the coach up to three times. If the coach does not respond, the allegation(s) will be forwarded from the WBCA to his/her institution, conference office and possibly the NCAA Enforcement staff.

Step 3 After speaking with the respondent coach, the WBCA will share his/her response with the coach that originally reported the potential violation. At that point, one of the following scenarios will apply:
a. IF AFTER THE EXPLANATION THE COMPLAINING COACH AND RESPONDENT
COACH AGREE THAT THERE IS NO VIOLATION THEN THE PROCESS ENDS AND
NO REPORT GOES FORWARD.
b. If the respondent coach agrees that a violation has occurred and agrees to report the violation, then the process is complete. The WBCA will forward a letter to the respondent coaches’ institution and a summary of the case to the co-chairs of the ethics committee.
c. If the complaining coach continues to believe that a violation occurred and the respondent coach disagrees, the WBCA will forward a summary of the case to the co-chairs of the Ethics Committee as well as the ethics committee divisional or regional representative of the respondent coach. Note: In Division I it would be the regional representative, and in Division II and III it would be the divisional representative.) Ethics Committee members are expected to keep all matters brought to their attention confidential. If the Ethics Committee representatives become involved and determine that the nature of the case warrants review by a Hearing Panel (e.g if they believe an NCAA violation may have occurred), they will “Red Flag” the case and the following additional step applies:

Step 4 The Hearing Panel shall include the Ethics Committee co-chairs, the WBCA liaison and an Ethics Committee representative. The Hearing Panel may invite the respondent coach to participate in a conference call. The Hearing Panel has two options for disposition of a case:
a. The Hearing Panel may determine that a case warrants further review by the NCAA, the respondent coaches’ conference office, and/or institution. In such a situation, the full Ethics Committee would review the specifics of the case in order to determine the appropriate entities to be notified. In ANY situation where there is credible evidence to indicate that a NCAA violation has occurred, the WBCA will forward that case to all three entities.
b. The Hearing Panel may determine that the case warrants no further review and will close the case.

Okay, WBCA Ethics Committee (see members below), here’s your first test. And it’s a doozy.

Whatcha got?

Position Name School
Co-Chair Tara VanDerveer Stanford
Co-Chair & WBCA Alumnae Jody Conradt Texas
Division I/Region 1 Harry Perretta Villanova
Division I/Region 2 Sue Semrau Florida State
Division I/Region 3 Sam Dixon Furman
Division I/Region 4 Audra Smith UAB
Division I/Region 5 Sherri Coale Oklahoma
Division I/Region 6 Pam Borton Minnesota
Division I/Region 7 Jane Albright Nevada
Division I/Region 8 June Daugherty Washington State
Division II Sue Ramsey Ashland
Division III Kris Huffman DePauw
WBCA Staff Liaison Shannon Reynolds WBCA COO

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