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in the WNIT: 

Semifinals
Wednesday, April 1
Temple at West Virginia, 7 p.m. ET
UCLA at Michigan, 7 p.m. ET

How they got there:

West Virginia 75, Villanova 70 OT
Michigan 69, Southern Miss 60
Temple 69, Middle Tennessee 57
UCLA 82, Saint Mary’s 66

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for for the season to continue:

Clay says: Not much controversy in the brackets — Let’s play the games

Baylor, A&M, Prairie View headed to women’s Big Dance, KHOU, Houston

Graduating women’s basketball players reflect on their time at Cal, Daily Cal
Feet on the Ground: Layshia Clarendon’s unselfish attitude, Daily Cal

Cal Poly women’s basketball team to play Penn State in NCAA tourney opener, San Luis Obispo

CU Buffs women’s basketball team earns No. 5 seed in NCAA Tournament, Denver Post
Matt Sparkman writes: Buffaloes Earn A Five Seed, Face Kansas Saturday

Injured wrist won’t stop Carra’s final hurrah for sixth-seeded Delaware, Times-Tribune

Alexis Jones will lead Duke women’s basketball to New Orleans,and
Elizabeth Williams is the centerpiece of Duke women’s basketball, Duke Chronicle
Duke women’s basketball NCAA tournament preview, The Blue Zone

Fresno State to face Cal in NCAA Women’s Tournament, Fresno Bee

Vandal women draw UConn in opener, Idaho Statesman

Resiliency of MSU women rewarded with No. 5 seed in NCAA tourney, Detroit Free Press

Michigan women’s basketball full of cheers after learning of their No. 8 seeding, Detroit Free Press

Lady Griz no strangers to NCAA experience, Missoulian

Huskers receive tough tournament draw, Omaha.com
Nebraska, Creighton nab NCAA Tourney bids, Omaha.com

Notre Dame women’s basketball: No favors from NCAA, Sopth Bend Tribune

Penn State women’s basketball: Lady Lions seeded third, bound for Baton Rouge, Centre Daily

Princeton women get date with Florida State, Baylor awaits winner, NJ.com

Purdue women’s basketball team draws No. 4 seed, faces Liberty in Louisville, Purdue Exponent

Quinnipiac Women To Open With Maryland, Courant
Long wait is over for Quinnipiac, New Haven Register
Quinnipiac Bobcats eager to step onto the big stage against Maryland, New Haven Register

Syracuse women’s basketball seeks history, first NCAA Tournament win against Creighton, Syracuse.com

No. 2 seed Lady Vols open with Oral Roberts; Baylor is No. 1 seed, GoVolsXtra
Chattanooga’s season-opening upset of Lady Vols turned out good for both teams, GoVolsXtra

Aggie women to face Wichita State in NCAA opener, Aggie Sports

UConn women, in Bridgeport Regional, opens vs. Idaho, Post
UConn’s opponent: About Idaho, Post
UConn Women To Open Against Idaho, Courant
A Look At UConn’s Competition, Courant
Huskies to play host to Idaho in NCAA tournament, Register
Breaking down Idaho, UConn’s first round opponent, Register
Idaho has tough draw: UConn, Idaho Spokesman Review
The Idaho women’s basketball team takes a 16th seed in NCAA Tourney, KREM
UConn looms again for Kentucky, Courier Journal
Huskies look for redemption in NCAA tournament, Sports Illustrated

Wichita State women to meet Texas A&M in NCAA Tournament, Kansas.com

ESPN, MV: Bracket has familiar feeling

ESPN, GH: Irish face tough road to Final Four – Notre Dame could face host Iowa, South Carolina and Duke to get to New Orleans

ESPN, CC: Geography a big theme of the bracket

ESPN, KF: Not an easy start for CU, Delaware

ESPN, MS: Stanford, Cal: Elite company – Pac-12 and Bay Area rivals gain top two seeds in Spokane Regional

ESPN, Who Dey Pick: Breaking down the bracket

ESPN, Who You Pick: NCAAW: 2013 tournament

ESPN, Chat wrap: Selection Monday

Kelly Whiteside asks: Can anybody stop Baylor women’s basketball?

2013 Women’s Final Four could have familiar teams playing in New Orleans, New Orleans Time Picyune

Swish Appeal’s staff predicts Final Four & upsets

Queenie has some details: Maryland, ACC at-largeUConn, Big East at-largeNorth Carolina, ACC at-largeKentucky, SEC at-large

Nate wonders: Should conference rivals be placed in same region?

He also says: 2013 NCAA brackets: Surprises & first impressions

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before the second half of last night’s game, you might have heard this.

That was the sound of Indy girl Kelly Faris revving up to take over the game.

Consider what Rebecca Lobo wrote in her preview piece, Duke ready for big stage:

Chelsea Gray

I haven’t seen a better passer in the open floor than Duke’s Chelsea Gray. The junior point guard has superb vision and strength to make passes that others cannot. She already has more than 100 assists on the season, and many have come from no-look and highlight-reel passes. She has tallied two triple-doubles already this season and a 15-assist game (versus Clemson). If you haven’t seen her play, it’s worth tuning in to this game just to check out Gray.

Now consider what Graham wrote after witnessing Ms. Gray’s encounter with Ms. Faris: Faris delivers ‘one for the ages’: Huskies win with decisive second half, hand Duke its first loss of season

Faris finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. Duke point guard Chelsea Gray — who spent a good portion of the night the subject of closer attention from Faris than President Obama received from his Secret Service detail during the day’s inauguration events in Washington, D.C. — finished with two points on six shots, four turnovers and a look of incalculable frustration.

Indeed, the numbers didn’t tell the whole story. They never do with Faris.

The interesting game we saw unfold in the first half turned into a Faris clinic on defense, offense and intensity. The end result? A two-point game turned into a 30-point blowout.

Mel was there to witness (ONE “s” Mel, ONE “s”): Faris solidifies star status as No. 3 Huskies rout No. 4 Blue Devils

“There have been a lot of great players and legends play in this building wearing the Connecticut uniform,” continued Auriemma, whose seven NCAA titles is just one short of Tennessee coach emeritus Pat Summitt’s collection. “But I don’t know if anyone has ever represented themselves, their family, and the University of Connecticut the way Kelly did tonight.

“I know there’s a lot of players out there that are really good … there’s a lot of All-Americans but man oh man, that was one for the ages right there.”

From Clay, we get: Duke takes another dive against UConn

In an epic second-half collapse, previously unbeaten No. 4 Duke unraveled like a cheap shirt, leaving nothing behind but shattered egos and yet another hammering at the hands of the unforgiving Huskies.

Of course, UConn is No. 3 for a reason – well, actually many reasons, but one of them is depth. In this game, for example, the Husky bench outscored the Duke bench 23-9; and two of the Blue Devil starters combined for four points.

Rob chimes in from DWHoops with a Nutshell and Analysis.

Areas For Improvement: Above all else, communication. A season’s worth of being slow to close on shooters, blocking out smaller teams and relying on talent instead of teamwork came back to haunt Duke in this game. They were thoroughly outplayed and outcoached, as UConn made a number of adjustments going into the second half while Duke basically kept doing the same thing. Coach McCallie was never able to find a way to stop the bleeding during the run and get her team’s attention.

In Michigan, the Wolverines were game, but the Lions were gamer. Penn State wins, 59-49.

“It was a quality team and they just wore us out,” said Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico. “I guess that’s why they’re probably No. 8 and we’re probably No. 23 at this point because they had four more minutes than we did.”

Nice to see I didn’t manage to jinx Texas Southern — they easily handled Mississippi Valley State 58-47.

Stetson (school-record 11th consecutive victory) and FGCU were equally immune to the WHB jinx. (You can watch the Hatters/Eagles showdown at 7:05 Saturday, televised by Comcast Sports Southeast)  Ditto with Quinnipiac, which stifled St. Francis (PA) in the first half and then secured a 85-69 victory.

Obviously, by not mentioning them, I assured the Wichita State a 70-51 victory over Drake. The Shockers are now 5-0 in the MVC.

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Texas senior Cokie Reed and junior Chelsea Bass retire from basketball

On the opposite side of the spectrum, looks like Duke commit Becca Greenwell took a little inspiration from the FGCU Eagles — making 17 three-pointers in a game. Oh, and so did a high school team: Michigan girls basketball squad sets new state record with incredible 22 made 3-pointers)

How’s Kim doing at her new gig in Michigan? It’s still early, but consider this: Women’s basketball ranked for first time since 2002

Their in-state rivals won their first Big 10 game of the season.

It ain’t easy being a Buckeye these days: They took Purdue to three OTs but,  their Valiant effort ends in defeat

It ain’t easy being a Ute, neither: Cold-shooting Utah loses to No. 23 Colorado

Make that “Hatters 6-0 in the A-Sun.”

Ditto with the 3-happy Eagles.

Got a little WATN? for ya: Usha Gilmore Named New Women’s Basketball Coach

And here’s a little, “You Stay Put” for ya: Silver Stars head coach accepts contract extension

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Or as “put” as any coach stays these days…

Cindy Fisher Receives Multi-Year Contract Extension

On the “not staying put” of coaches (What is it with these “Sources.” Does this mean wbball has hit the big time rumor mill?)

Source: KSU hires Perry as coach

Source: Kansas assistant Tory Verdi expected to be named EMU women’s coach

From Nate: The Significance of Michigan Hiring Kim Barnes Arico To Awaken A “Sleeping Giant”

Bibbs announced taking the position as head coach at Grambling State University

Source: ORU women’s basketball coach Jerry Finkbeiner to accept Utah State job (WHB readers will recall Oral Roberts was makin’ some noise this year.)

On the “staying put?” of players:

Girls basketball: Oral Roberts news affects Shawnee’s Taylor Cooper

On the “not staying put” of players

Former Great Oak star Sherbert leaving Cal

FGCU notes: Strong shooter Rechis transfers from team

Women’s hoops player leaving ODU for Hampton

Jenni Bryan among three players leaving OSU

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Kim to Michigan.

The Big East coaches are getting picked off one by one.

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Borseth Resigns to Accept Wisconsin-Green Bay Coaching Position

All sorts of interesting messages sent by this news.

Also, Boston College has a new coach, and rumors are that George Washington will get a coach with Notre Dame roots. Does this mean that St. John’s Duffy or VCU’s Cunningham go mid-west?

Hold off on checking the WBCA for coaching updates, they’re recovering from the Final Four and conventioning.

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amid all the hullaballoo in Indy….

Say, what? This was not the season the Dukes were expecting, but then this happens: St. Louis’ Jenna Mueller hit’s a jumper with 1.1 seconds left, and boom, the Billikens (I kid you not) take down Duquesne. This puts St. Louis at 8-15 (2-8) and the Dukes at 15-8 (3-5).

Another last second lay-up, and the Pride took one on the nose from the Monarchs. ODU traveled to Hempstead and, behind Mairi Buchan’s career high 20pts, beat Hofstra 81-79. Jackie Cook scored with 2.7 left to secure the win.

It was a tight one in the battle of the mittens: Michigan State 65, Michigan 63. Poole hit the winning basket with four seconds left.

UTEP squeaked out a win over Rice, 45-41, preserving their undefeated conference record.

Sweet story about the power of people to make a difference in a young person’s life: Oregon State women’s basketball: Anna Marchbanks rises from the ashes

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Penn was a respectable team under Kelly Greenberg (who’s moved over to BU and is doing good things this season), but the Quakers fell off the map after she left. They’re making their mark again under former Holy Family coach Mike McLaughlin. Latest accomplishment? OT win over Drexel.

Richmond is making some noise: they’re now at 10-2, as a second half surge earned them a 69-56 win over Hartford.

The Wolverines are now 11-2, the program’s best start.

The Bonnies are now 11-1.

The Green Wave is 9-2.

In a battle of M-Tigers, Missouri’s win over Memphis brings the team up to 9-1.

With their win over the Red Foxes, the Pride sits at 9-2. Next up, the Tigers (Princeton, that is).

Oklahoma State is 7-0 — I’m glad they’ve played their first six at home. From Mechelle’s chat:

Sometimes the demands of the season are a good way for people to deal with their grief. I remember Baylor’s Morghan Medlock, whose mother was murdered during the season a few years ago, said people kept asking her how she could play despite going through that. And she said that playing was what *got* her through it; the thing she dreaded was when the season was over. Jim Littell has been named head coach at Oklahoma State now – the interim is off his title – and he’s been very much a stabilizing factor for the Cowgirls. I think that for some of them, though, they may find that there is still a grieving period to go through – when they won’t have the season to occupy their minds.

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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?

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in the WNIT Round One Pt. 1.

Check out Lady Swish for the Liberty and ODU breakdown.

Here’s what’s on tap for tonight:

Thursday, March 17
Lehigh at St. Bonaventure, 7 p.m. EST

Monmouth at Syracuse, 7 p.m. EST
Michigan at Eastern Michigan, 7 p.m. EST
UNC Wilmington at Richmond, 7 p.m. EST
Boston College at Yale, 7 p.m. EST
VCU at St. Joseph’s, 7 p.m. EST
Morgan State at Virginia, 7 p.m. EST
Kent State at Duquesne, 7 p.m. EST
Arizona at Utah State, 7:30 p.m. EST
Oral Roberts at TCU, 7:30 p.m. EST
Lamar at Arkansas, 8 p.m. EST
Southern at Tulane, 8 p.m. EST
Creighton at Northwestern, 8 p.m. EST
Auburn at Tennessee Tech, 8 p.m. EST
Central Michigan at Illinois State, 8:05 p.m. EST
Rice at Missouri State, 8:05 p.m. EST
Alabama at Memphis, 8:05 p.m. EST
UC Riverside at Colorado, 9 p.m. EST
Denver at BYU, 9:30 p.m. EST
UC Santa Barbara at Southern Cal, 10 p.m. EST
Nevada at St. Mary’s CA, 10 p.m. EST
California at Cal Poly, 10:05 p.m. EST
Friday, March 18
UMBC at Florida, 7 p.m. EST

Drexel at FGCU, 7:05 p.m. EST

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PINK OUT!!!

The WaPo writes that Lynetta Kizer is an energizing presence for the #11 Maryland women’s basketball team. Unfortunately, she couldn’t help the Terps avoid losing their second game in a row, this time to Virginia.

A full house at Michigan State (their first) went home happy as the #13 Spartans defeated Michigan, 69-56.

Fellow-state member Central Michigan snagged their fourth game in a row as they took down Kent State. Kaihla Szunko recorded her 16th double-double of the season.

The Ducks were gloomy, as USC skewered’em.

This is not a fun time to be a Hokie.

Oklahoma notched a win before they flew off to Storrs in anticipation of their Monday night game against #2 UConn (who also won).

Brittney… I mean, #1 Baylor stomped all over the Longhorns in anticipation of their Monday night game against the Aggies. Texas A&M got in the mood by stuffing the Jayhawks, 81-58.

With their win over Loyola (IL), #16 Green Bay remains undefeated in the Horizon.

Xavier’s stays undefeated in the A-10 with their win over Fordham.

Kris at was at the game as Houston surged to 11-0 in C-USA.

Hartford surprised Boston U, 66-59.

West Virginia continued to stumble as the Mountaineers lost to Louisville.

Congrats to Jantel Lavender, who overtook Buckeye great Katie Smith as the Ohio State’s scoring leader. I’m guessing the win over Purdue made her happier.

It wasn’t a waltz, but Stanford did take care of Washington, 62-52.

Ten points also was the difference as UCLA slipped by Oregon State.

Yah, it was another win, but who really thinks Pat’s happy with her #4 Vols?

#21 Miami’s on a roll and this time they rolled over UNC.

Duke took care of BC, Penn State survived Indiana (Lucas went 6-10 on 3’s), wobbly Kentucky squeaked by LSU, but #17 Georgetown couldn’t escape St. John’s.

Jayda has the story of a player who’s not in the game: Seattle U.’s Breanna Salley keeps playing, even if she can’t get on the court

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simply plays better when they’re unranked.

Last night, the #23 Buckeyes lost a lead, and then the game, to Michigan. Michigan had never beaten Ohio State twice in a season and the Wolverines had not won in Columbus since Jan. 21, 2001.

In the ACC, #15 Florida State won a barn burner and #22 Miami survived North Carolina State.

Green Bay stayed perfect in the Horizon League after winning a dog fight with Butler. The Ducks were no match for Stanford, and UCLA put away Arizona State.

Friend Pseudonymity has the “who can figure what’s going on here?” SEC wrap up:

Dawn Staley got her first win against a ranked team at South Carolina by upsetting Georgia behind Newton’s 5 of 5 from the 3 pt. line.

#6 Tennessee overcame a first half deficit to rout Mississippi State behind Johnson’s standout performance.

Kentucky grabs the lead in the final minutes to beat Ole Miss.

Arkansas beats LSU in low-scoring game.

Florida beats Alabama to stop the bleeding at four.

Wednesday saw much of the same ole same ole amongst the ranked teams: #3 Duke smooshed Clemson, #2 UConn survived Rutgers, #2o Iowa State handled Nebraska and #5 Texas A&M v #12 Oklahoma was an Adams/Robinson duel where DRob won the battle, but DAd won the war.

#25 Texas Tech was not so fortunate against Texas, as the Longhorns got a nice win.

BU is now 8-0 in the Am. East. Ditto with Middle Tenn St. And Bowling Green’s home win streak didn’t survive its encounter with the Rockets. From Swish Appeal: Toledo’s “Steel Curtain” defense ends Bowling Green’s 23-game home winning streak

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From Graham: Borseth’s major progress at Michigan

When Michigan wanted to become one of the major players in the Big Ten in the spring of 2007, it turned to a coach who had only weeks before earned the respect of no less than Geno Auriemma for leading a great mid-major program into Hartford, Conn., and walking off the court with a halftime lead against Connecticut in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

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Get smarter about the Big 12 with the Oklahoman’s guide:

5 Players to Watch

→Danielle Adams, Texas A&M: Adams is a unique talent. Is she a guard? A wing player? A post? Or all of the above? Thick and sturdy at 6-foot-1, she can score from anywhere on the floor.

Meanwhile, one of the Mitten State teams gets some attention from Mick McCabe at the Free Press: Defense produces Michigan women’s basketball’s best Big Ten start since 1999-2000

Borseth is realistic after his team’s 2-0 start in the Big Ten and consecutive victories over three ranked opponents for the first time in program history entering tonight’s game at Purdue.

“This is a tough league,” he said. “When you look too far ahead you’re going to get bit, so we’re just kind of going day to day at this point. We’re just trying to keep our heads above water, fight for everything we have.”

Up in the northwest, Jayda is looking Around the Pac-10: Avoiding the bottom

Well, someone is going to get a conference win this weekend as the Oregon and Washington schools clash in the second week of Pac-10 play. Up first is Oregon State (7-6, 0-2 Pac-10) for Washington (5-6, 0-2). The surprising Beavers lost to the athletic Arizona schools by a combined five points last week.

Speaking of last year’s “daily disaster” story Beavers, from Brooks Hatch at the Gazette-Times: Oregon State is defensive by nature and by design

The philosophy is relatively straightforward.

“Limit possessions, force tough shots … the same things every defense tries to do, make your opponents do something they are not used to or comfortable with,” and rebound like crazy, Rueck said Tuesday in detailing the nuts and bolts of a defense that’s allowing just 52.9 points per game and holding opponents to a .360 percentage on all shots and .296 on 3-pointers.

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(And I typed that before I read Jim’s headline) Now, to Jim’s headline: Ohio State’s free fall is picking up speed.

Ohio State was schooled by Michigan, who snapped a 14-game losing streak to the Buckeyes. Looks like things got a little cranky during the game. Prahalis (1-13, no assists) got called for an intentional and a double-T was called later.

Speaking of cranky, C Viv is (somewhat confusedly) cranky because Tennessee wouldn’t reschedule last night’s game (Tennessee stomped all over the Knights):

“They never saw a tape [of Tennessee] or anything,” Stringer said of her team. “I tell you we could have had far better representation of ourselves. It could have been worth the money, worth the time to come here if we’d had a little bit more [time].”

If anyone is paying attention, Baylor’s won 10-straight and Duke is still undefeated (though you’ve got to believe that Temple’s pleased to have kept the game to single digits – especially in Durham.)

I’ve said before that I’m glad to be able to cheer for Penn State again (And players nicknamed Zha Zha). It’s said that it can take a new coach five years to rebuild a program. In her fourth year, Coquese Washington has had to battle the Portland-excusers and a program that was struggling with its reputation. So, nice to see Co get a big win for (at home), as the Lions took down #13 Iowa, 68-59.

“We made the big shots when we needed them down the stretch,” Penn State coach Coquese Washington said. “Zha Zha made some huge shots down the stretch. Alex made a really big basket driving to the basket.”

Oh, and there some records you just don’t want.

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From Milton Kent: ‘Super Six’ Conferences Announce Women’s Basketball Series

The six Bowl Championship Series conferences, which happen to be the dominant leagues in women’s basketball, announced Wednesday a two year challenge series of games pitting 12 teams against each other.

The “Super Six” series begins this year and continues next year with two teams each from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Southeastern Conference and the Pac-10 competing during next month. One team from each league will host a game while the other league team will travel, with the matchups to be determined on the basis of perceived competitive balance.

Depending on the quality of the teams, could be a great way to develop twixt-conference rivalries.

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Check out Aaron McMann’s piece from Central Michigan Life.com: Growing up with Guevara: new assistant women’s basketball coach begins new role alongside former coach, mentor

During Oesterle’s brief time there, Stanford finished the 2002-03 season 27-5, including making another NCAA appearance. Oesterle, able to sit in coaches meetings, learned and absorbed as much as she could from legendary Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer.

But the fact remained she wasn’t being compensated.

“It was hard,” Oesterle said. “I ended up moving in with Heidi, Tara’s sister, because I ran out of money. I had to sweep floors during halftime of the men’s games and volleyball games so I could earn some extra money.”

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