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Santa Clara squeezed into the semi-finals with their one-point win over Gonzaga… and then San Francisco upset San Diego in OT, 84-80.

Time to refocus for the C-USA tourney, Miners. Miserable defense in the fourth paved the way for an upset by Texas San Antonio, 69-64.

Speaking of focus, SIU-Edwardsville needed to focus in OT to escape Southeast Missouri State and get into the second round of the OVC tourney.

Baby steps – Rhode Island (5-11) moves into the second round of the A-10 tourney with its win over St. Joseph (8-8)

Well, look at that – Norfolk State gets itself another regular season win, this time over perennial MEAC power Hampton, 71-66.

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Indiana is working on its best start since…. Archie, Flip and Marcus ruled the airwaves.

Despite the loss of the team’s top three scorers from last season, the Hoosiers have reloaded with seven freshmen and redshirt sophomore Kaila Hulls, who is donning cream and crimson for the first time in her career after transferring from Bowling Green.

Freshman guard Larryn Brooks leads IU in scoring at 19.5 points per game and she dropped 37 points against Virginia Tech on Dec. 4 in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge. Six of the Hoosiers’ top seven scorers are in their first season playing for IU. First-year players are responsible for 71.2 percent of the team’s scoring.

It’s great timing, ’cause IU is going to recognize 1972-1974 women’s basketball teams

“Becoming a varsity sport in 1971, our women’s basketball program compiled an incredible four-year record of 62-15, advanced to two Elite Eights and reached the 1973 Final Four,” IU Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Fred Glass said in a release. “We are thrilled to give this amazing group of women the recognition they so richly deserve.”

Speaking of history, check this out from PA: Helen Myers and the dandy 1926-27 West York girls’ basketball team“Every member was a star. Helen Myers and Wilhelmina Bufflap at all times outplayed their guards. Anna Joseph and Kathryn Sheffer2in center held their own against all odds. Margaret Stauffer, Catherine Neiman, and Marguerite Strayer as guards put up such a mighty battle that West York outclassed its opponents with a total score of 622 points to 390.

Ohio State is working on defining itself: Defenses turn attention to Buckeyes’ Ameryst Alston

The OSU newbies wrote an exciting first chapter by shocking West Virginia 70-61 in Morgantown in the season opener behind a 29-point performance from Ameryst Alston.

The sophomore point guard would follow that with a 28-point outburst against Florida Atlantic in the second game, and word about Alston and the free-flowing, basket-attacking style of McGuff began to circulate.

As the storyline progressed, defenses started to place more roadblocks on the court for Alston, and points for the entire team became harder to find.

An injury provides an opportunity: Volleyball player’s first contributions highlight move to 10-0

Just days after the Iowa State volleyball team fell out of the NCAA tournament in early December, senior Tenisha Matlock was on the hunt for a pair of basketball shoes.

With the loss of sophomore forward Madison Baier for the season to a torn ACL, the 14th-ranked women’s basketball team was searching for a tall player to replace her.

Revved up: Princeton University women’s basketball tops an SEC opponent for first time (Looks like Alabama will get some help from Baylor: Hayden to transfer to Alabama)

In what Graham called “the game of the year” (so far) the Gaels downed the #24 Zags in overtime. Writes Michelle:

Ascribing the designation of “statement game” after a big victory can be a tricky business. What exactly is the statement? Are we limited to only one?

Because when Saint Mary’s closed out a 79-78 overtime win over Gonzaga at home Saturday afternoon, there were a few things to say about the 11-1 Gaels.

For starters, this team is for real. The best start in school history has now included wins over Washington, Alabama, USC and the No. 24-ranked Bulldogs, who have won nine consecutive West Coast Conference regular-season titles since 2004.

It doesn’t get easier for St. Mary’s. Up next: Portland, 12-0 San Diego and 11-1 BYU.

How “on fiyah” is Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas? She notched her  second triple-double in three games as the Terps whomped Wofford. 

Central Michigan put up a fight — and there was not a lot of defense played by either side — but #17 Purdue escaped with a 109-97 win.

#14 Iowa State cruised to a win over Holy Cross, but their tests are coming in January: Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

From Chicago Now: Women’s Sports 2013: Five Great Moments for Women…and Chicago Chicago Sky Makes Playoffs

Speaking of the W: Albert Lee has several Reasons why the WNBA should not significantly spend more money in the immediate future

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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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(And more teams watching their bracketology bubble hopes pop)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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for basketball west of the Mississippi: Gonzaga women have challenge for WCC title

After a decade of domination, Gonzaga finally has a challenger or two for the top spot in the West Coast Conference.

And coach Kelly Graves couldn’t be happier.

“It speaks so well for our conference,” he said. “Our conference is a ton better now and I love it. For so long, we’ve needed another team to go with us. Our men have had it with Saint Mary’s. We’ve wanted that competition.”

The 22nd-ranked Zags (17-3, 6-1) now have it with BYU, which joined the WCC this season after being a founding member of the Mountain West Conference. The 23rd-ranked Lady Cougars entered the Top 25 on Monday for the first time in five seasons.

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