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A) Drey Mingo named tournament Most Outstanding Player. Why? Remember this and this and this?

Thanks to Mingo and Houser and Moses, Purdue punched out Michigan State and punched in to the NCAA Tournament. Oh, and crowned themselves Big 10 Conference Champeens. Graham asks, Purdue is back … is the Big Ten?

March is made for moments that don’t require a bigger picture.

After Purdue’s Drey Mingo completed an on-court television interview in the minutes immediately following her team’s 62-47 win against Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game, the sixth-year graduate student turned, grabbed coach Sharon Versyp in a bear hug, lifted her off the ground and held her there for several seconds before she returned the coach to terra firma.

Then Mingo picked her up again.

B) Fordham Rams in the A-10 Finals. Hmmmm…. Brooklyn, March 16th. 7pm.

St. Joe’s got, and kept, an early lead against #11 Dayton, rudely interrupting the Flyers’ march to the A-10 Finals. Instead, it will be Hawks v. Rams.

Oklahoma State kept #1 Baylor honest with the zone, but the Bears prevailed, 77-69. Will the Cowgirls go Dancin’?

St. John’s kept #13 Louisville honest, but the Cardinals prevailed, 62-55. Will the Red Storm go Dancin’?

South Florida kept #2 Notre Dame honest, but the Irish prevailed, 75-66. Will the Bulls go Dancin’?

It was a back and forth game between Kentucky and Texas A&M…. and then the Aggies went forth. Nice way to start your tenure in the SEC, huh?

It was never really close between Duke and North Carolina. Blue Devils are ACC Champs.

About 15 yards separated the Duke and North Carolina locker rooms inside the Greensboro Coliseum. But at halftime of Sunday’s ACC tournament final, the strategies being discussed behind those doors could not have been further apart. 

The Blue Devils had just streaked into the break, clamping down with a full-court press and finishing the half on a 14-2 run that gave them a 39-24 lead. One Duke player called out, “We can’t stop now,” then, “Let’s keep doing what we’re doing!”

From Rob at Full Court: Duke does it again, wins eighth ACC tournament

Meanwhile, on the West Coast, UCLA and Stanford were channeling their inner Rutgers (27%/39%) as they painfully clawed their way through the Pac12 finals. With Chiney having an off night (perhaps the weight of the team on her back finally took a toll), the Cardinal were fortunate to have Orrange appear to counter the Bruins’ Marckel. And that the clock ran out when it did. Stanford escapes 51-59, and earn the Conference Championship. From Michelle:

The buzzer sounded Sunday evening on a Pac-12 tournament final that was alternately excruciating and compelling, and Stanford point guard Amber Orrange became ground zero for the celebration.

The sophomore, the shy Army brat whom Tara VanDerveer has been pulling out of her shell since she arrived on The Farm, had just willed the Cardinal to a 51-49 win against UCLA to send Stanford to its seventh straight conference tournament title. 

Orrange finished with 20 points, including the game winner as she split two significantly larger defenders to score on a drive to the basket with seven seconds to go, capping the best game of her college career.

No BU in the tournament means Albany’s path to the America East Championship is really clear. Will Hartford be able to surprise ’em?

The Southern Conference’s top two seeds held serve. The final will be Chattanooga v. Davidson.

See above for the Sun Belt: Middle Tennessee (after a fight with Florida International) will face Arkansas-Little Rock.

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Mingo gets sixth year

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Damn it. It’s just not fair.

Purdue’s Drey Mingo tears ACL

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the WaPo article, Dissecting women’s college basketball, is in the Arts & Leisure/Style section? (Yah, I know, don’t look gift coverage in the mouth, Helen)

Other random articles of interest:
From Illinois: After serious illness limits her hearing, Mingo calls basketball ‘a blessing’

From Ohio: Buckeyes claw their way back out of losing spiral and OSU women can’t let off the pedal

From Graham: Ta’Shia Phillips is one of a kind and Ebony Gainey starts, shoots … and scores

There are times, Ebony Gainey admits, when she wonders about what could have been or thinks back to what she envisioned the present would look like when it was still a future waiting to take shape. Only a belief that all things happen for a reason offers the strength to keep regret and bitterness at bay, the past less deserving of her attention than the future.

Whatever happened Saturday when Gainey took the court for Dayton’s game against Fordham, the first game of a college career seemingly cut short by a heart ailment before it began four seasons ago, wasn’t going to change any of that. As Dayton coach Jim Jabir suggested beforehand, whether Gainey got a shot or scored mattered less than simply seeing her in a uniform and in the starting lineup after withstanding years of adversity, including the loss of a beloved older sister and the loss of a sport that enthralled her.

From New York: UConn’s Hopes for 8th Title May Rest With Dolson

From California: Stanford seniors look to finish 63-0 at home

From Michigan: After starting during turbulent time for Michigan State women’s basketball squad, seniors now have special bond

From North Carolina: Heels’ Breland is struggling

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but Purdue just got its first win over a ranked team in over  a year.

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lot of running and clubbing and cruising and romping and mauling and ripping and whipping and season high-ing.

DCBC watched the Tiger Taming and C&R tracked the Cardinal.

Some escaped, in spite of a serious case of fumble fingers (28 TOs!). Some escaped in OT.

Some proved they were Monty Python fans (“I’m not dead yet!”)

As for “other” teams:

Coach Stockon’s Green Wave ran their C-USA record to 4-0 with a 30-pt victory over Marshall. (Did anyone catch Tulane on TV last week? FUN team to watch!)

Wonder if they need to watch out for Houston, who’s also 4-0.

She’s baaaaaak! Drey Mingo goes double-double on Northwestern, securing a (101st for Versyp) Purdue win.

A big win for Penn State (83-62) puts them at 4-1 in the Big 10 (and yes, it’s weird that Illinois’ Penn had a double-double) (And yes, Lucas snapped Mazzante’s record of freshman threes.)

Swish! Drexel uses a last-second three to topple William & Mary 59-58.

Are the Lady Bears (Mo) becoming relevant again? They’re 5-1 in the MVC.

Don’t look now, but Army is 3-0 in Patriot League play (and have won five straight).

Marist rules the MAAC. So what’s new?

Middle Tennessee still rules the Sun Belt — but it was close against Arkansas State.

Old Dominion over Delaware. That’s #599 for Wendy Larry. (Oh, and the ODU SID peeps do a great job keeping up with their alums. Check out Former Lady Monarch’s Pen is as Mighty as Her Jump Shot and Nancy Lieberman’s Historic Debut.)

Coach Boyle is at a loss, and so are her Cal Bears.

Didja catch Coop’s UNC-Wilmington team squeeze out a win over Hofstra? (They’re now 4-1 in the CAA.)

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More good news

Purdue’s Mingo picks up minutes, inspires teammates

In a span of three games and six days, Mingo — who was stricken with acute bacterial meningitis two days before Thanksgiving — continues to make strides.

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Sweet

Purdue’s Mingo will play this season

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who were at Mackey Arena for the Terps win over the Boilermakers:

Our evening at Mackey ended well, and it began well too, as we ran into Drey Mingo’s Mom in the lobby and got to hear first hand how well Drey is doing. Thank goodness! And then we got to see this for ourselves, as Drey returned to the court tonight, escorted by her teammates, hooked up to an IV for her antibiotics, and beaming her 1,000 watt smile. Everyone in the arena stood and cheered — Drey’s former Maryland “family” and her current Purdue “family” — united in the joy of seeing Drey walking back onto the court after being struck by such a frightening, life-threatening illness. It’s not known yet whether Drey will be able to play again this season, but she’s such a fighter, we wouldn’t bet against it!

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h/t to BallState1984.

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Good news

Purdue’s Drey Mingo out of hospital

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Out of Purdue:

MEDIA ADVISORY

Purdue women’s basketball coach Sharon Versyp and team physician Alayne Sundstrom will be available at 4 p.m. ET today to discuss a confirmed meningitis case involving one of the university’s women’s basketball student-athletes.

Drey Mingo, a redshirt junior from Atlanta, remains hospitalized in stable but critical condition this morning. She was admitted Tuesday afternoon.

The Boilermakers were scheduled to fly to Mexico this morning to participate in the Caribbean Challenge, but the team cancelled the trip. The team had already arrived in Indianapolis on Tuesday night in preparation for its flight when the decision was made not to participate in the two-day tournament. The Boilermakers were to have played Montana on Thursday and Florida Golf Coast on Friday.

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