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(or the heavy favorite).

Just ask Louisville, which got a taste of why USF gave Notre Dame fits: down the Cardinals, 73-62.

Just ask Oklahoma State, which got stunned by previously Big 12 winless TCU, 64-63.

Just ask Purdue, which saw Indiana made excellent use of a time out with 12 seconds to go and get the winning basket as time expired. Hoosiers 62, Boilermakers 61.

Just ask Army, which may have been reveling in their win over Navy a bit. They got upended by Colgate’s (2-9, Patriot) strong second half, 60- 56. Navy returns to first place in the conference.

Just ask Fresno State, who couldn’t control the Wolf Pack (2-9, MW) in the second half, nor find the basket, and as a consequence lost 60-54.

Teams that didn’t have any issues: Penn State (12-1, Big 10),  Toledo Rockets (11-1, MAC), Hampton (12-0 MEAC), Charlotte (10-1, A10), Davidson (14-2 Southern, though it took overtime and they face the Mocs on the 25th), Quinnipiac (14-0 NEC and getting some press), St. Joe’s (10-1, A10), Central Michigan (10-2 MAC) and San Diego State, 11-1, MWC).

It’s not been the “season to build on” Magarity may have hoped for, but that didn’t prevent New Hampshire from knocking off Hartford.

Behind Smith’s 24/9, St. John’s is still making a run at the NCAA tournament.

Finally: Ohio got its first MAC win.

Ouch: Pittsburgh is still winless in the Big East.

Surprise win for Texas — they handle Kansas in a game Debbie would have liked, 93-83.

Some team news:

Their recent weekend of success may have something to do with this: Second-year spark ignites Penn women’s basketball – Resurgent Quakers have received significant efforts from a quintet of sophomore stars

Health news: CU Buffs’ Lexy Kresl remains day-to-day

It’s been a while since we’ve spoken about the impact of walk-ons: Ex-Memorial star Draper eager to aid Fresno State

From Bill Rabinowitz at the Columbus Dispatch: Coach, player develop bond at school for deaf

Coaching a college basketball team that loses 15 straight games can be discouraging.

The same applies for a senior whose playing time evaporates as a result.

That’s why Saturday’s season finale for the Gallaudet University women’s basketball team was so special for central Ohio natives Amy Bachtel and Stephanie Stevens.

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Well, the NCAA has, too:

Denver (AF) – The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee today announced new rules governing the transfers between Division I women’s basketball programs, taking effect immediately. According to the committee, these changes are intended to improve the level of parity in college women’s basketball.

“We just looked at the results and knew we had to do something,” said Greg Christopher, chair of the committee. “It wasn’t just having all those one seeds in the Final Four, or even all of those 1-2 matchups in the Elite 8, but the scores in those games were almost embarrassing.”

According to Christopher, under the new rules, student athletes who wish to “transfer down” will be subject to liberalized rules intended to foster player movement. Student athletes who wish to “transfer up” will be required to meet current requirements and, in some cases, will be prohibited from transferring at all.

The new rules provide that a student who wishes to transfer from a team that reached the Elite 8 in the preceding national championship tournament may transfer to any team that did not finish in the Elite 8 and begin to play immediately. The same rule will apply to a student who played for a team that won at least one game in the tournament and wishes to transfer to a team that did not win any games in the tournament.

“We were inspired by what Tina Martin has done at Delaware,” explained Carolayne Henry of the Mountain West Conference, who is the incoming chair of the committee. “We saw how she used transfers to take her team from being an also ran in a mediocre conference to a top ten ranking. Not everybody can have an Elena Della Donne fall into their laps, but even a few players like Raven Ferguson could help out a lot of teams. Look what Kevin McGuff did with Dee Dee Jernigan, at least until the end of that game.” (more)

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Some great games yesterday mean wicked tough decisions for the Committee (check out Charlie’s latest brackets) and heartbreak for bubble and near-bubble teams. (And I’m thinking the WNIT won’t be disappointed at their choices.)

It’s been a pretty horrible season by Jen Rizzotti standards (16-15 overall), but her team pulled together a superb tourney run. They beat Boston University, 65-53, in front of a raucous Boston crowd to steal a bid to the NCAAs.

Their 18-16 record made Utah the obvious underdogs against the Horned Frogs (22-10), but that didn’t phase freshman Michelle Plouffe. She scored 8 of her 24 points in OT, and the Utes grabbed the Mountain West championship and an automatic bid.

The Midshipmen are dancing, courtesy of their comeback against American. What a win for the home crowd to witness: they were down 12 at the half and won by 7 to earn their first Patriot League championship.

“Obviously all the girls on the team have been dreaming of this since they were little, from kindergarten all the way up to this moment,” Geif said. “To walk up the ladder and cut down the net was the greatest feeling, just knowing we had all done it together. It was really incredible.”

It’s (pretty) certain LaTech is dancing, but they’re getting in because of their record, not because they won the WAC title. That honor goes to Fresno State, who used a buzzer-beater to avoid (yet another) OT and snag a 78-76 win and punch their dance card.

It wasn’t quite a buzzer-beater, but Robin Jones’ first basket of the game was enough to help Prairie View take down Southern, 48-44 and claim the SWAC title.

Bowling Green’s day went as expected (though it may have been a little tighter than fans would have liked) and they won their 2nd straight MAC championship (and the auto bid) with a 51-46 win over Eastern Michigan.

Their in-conference record (10-6) would suggest that UC Davis’ 66-49 victory over Cal Poly to win the Big West championship was an upset, but their out-of-conference record (24-8) suggests otherwise. Either way, the results mean they are going to the NCAAs and coach Sandy Simpson has to wait a little longer his to start his retirement.

Hope MEAC champs Hampton will bring their fabulous band with them when the play in the NCAA tourney. They earned the right after easily handling Howard, 61-42.

Congrats to Chicago State who grabbed the lead and held on for a 74-66 win over North Dakota. The Great West championship is theirs.

Tulane battled, but they couldn’t keep up with Joi William’s UCF Knights. Central Florida’s 85-73 win means they’re the C-USA champs and on their way to the Big Dance.

Doesn’t it feel like a lot of the conference championship games have featured teams playing each other for the third time? Stanford survived UCLA, Baylor survived Texas A&M, but Portland State was not so lucky. Montana defeated the Vikings 62-58 to clinch the Big West championship and their third trip to the NCAAs in the last four years.

The TBAs are playing tomorrow (DON’T FORGET TO SPRING FORWARD!!):

Horizon: ESPNU has the Butler v. Green Bay game at 1pmEST.

NEC: You’ll find the St. Francis (PA) v. Monmouth game on the U at 3pm. (D’ya think the chair of the D-1 committee might be watching?)

MVC: Is TV-free, but features Northern Iowa against Missouri State.

CAA: The Elena v. Dawn match up is on ESPN3 at 1pmEST. Delle Donne’s offense (29pts) and defense (7 blocks, 10 rebs), helped power Delaware to a 62-47 win over UNC-Wilmington. Meanwhile, James Madison was down by 5 at the half, but roared back to drop VCU by 10. (Dawn dropped 20.)

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the Sun Belt’s Arkansas-Little Rock clinched a NCAA berth with their 66-59 victory over the Hilltoppers.

It’s not been their most elegant season, but the Jackrabbits have returned to the NCAAs for the third season in a row.

UConn and Notre Dame met for the third time this season and, like their first meeting, the Irish kept it close. But, also like the previous two times (and 5 Big East finals), it was the Huskies that came out on top. Graham writes about the youngster wearing Tina Charles’ number: Stefanie Dolson just what UConn needs

Dolson and Tina Charles, the All-American she replaced, are distinctly different players at distinctly different stages of their basketball development. That caveat aside, it can’t thrill potential NCAA tournament opponents that Connecticut once again appears to have an inside-outside threat, making it that much tougher to focus on Moore.

It’s cool to read that Air Force upset Colorado State for their second win ever in the Mountain West conference.

Raimee Beck had attempted 1,298 shots for Air Force before she squared up behind the 3-point line with less than two minutes remaining against Colorado State.

Beck had never experienced a win at the Mountain West Conference Tournament. The Falcons had a chance to beat the Rams, trailing by just one point. On shot No. 1,299 of her career, perhaps the greatest career in Falcons women’s basketball history, Beck tried to will it in.

“That one, I was like ‘Please let this one go in if any of them go in,’” Beck said.

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there simply is too much basketball to keep up with (especially if you go out birding all day and if you’re about to hop a bus to go up to Hartford for the Big East quarters…)

A quick scan before the run to the subway.

The Penguins won again!

Air Force defeated New Mexico in OT. Hmmm…. que paso con los Lobos? Or should is be las Lobos? Or Lobas?

Houston (the story no one is writing about) needed OT to escape the Green Wave.

La Tech defeated the Vandals. I love that: The Vandals.

Doink! Down goes “who can figure them out game-to-game” Oklahoma.

Wow – SPANK! Says UNC to Miami. Something got the Tar Heels focused.

In a (semi) upset, Tennessee-Martin earns their berth in the NCAAs by taking down Tennessee Tech.

See ya, Iowa State, says Mizzou.

Boy o boy o boy: West Virginia loses to St. John’s.

Maybe they ARE back: Ohio State smacks Michigan State.

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ranked teams were pretty straight forward unless, of course, you’re intrigued by a ton of turnovers or a team in a tailspin with a cranky coach.

Bowling Green made a (12-3) MAC statement by stomping Kent State, 80-59.

American moved to 10-4 in the Patriot by disposing of (Beth Mowins’) Leopards, but Navy matched them with their 75-59 victory over Colgate, and earned the #1 seed.

Stony Brook surprised the heck out of Binghamton, 54-37.

Toledo (13-2 MAC) followed suit by being surprised by Northern Illinois (6-9)

Coast Carolina lost by 20 to Liberty, which is now 12-1 in the Big South.

Centenary finally won a game!!!

Sacramento State won a game in the Big Sky!

Down 16, BYU moved to 13-1 in the MWC with a 56-52 win over San Diego State.

There goes Hampton, now 14-1 in the MEAC.

Spoon and her Techsters are still undefeated in the WAC.

Gonzaga (yah, they’re ranked, but quietly) is 14-0 in the WCC.

That’s three losses in their last four games for USC.

The Bulldogs beat the Crimson, but the Tigers still rule the Ivy League.

Chicago State lost their first Great West game courtesy of South Dakota.

Portland State roared back from a 10-pt halftime deficit to take down Montana State. Both teams are now 10-4 in the Big Sky, but it’s Northern Colorado in the top spot, on the verge of winning their first regular season title.

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#3 Baylor, #6 Xavier and #19 Georgetown got wins (though the Hoyas struggled a tad). But the Blue Demons got eaten up at the YUM Center by Louisville. The Cardinals have knocked off five ranked teams this season.

DePaul had company in the upset department: Colorado used 24 points from Brittany Spears to snap an 8-game losing streak against #15 Oklahoma, 73-68.

Over at Fanhouse, Milton Kent looks ahead to the tourney No. 1s.

With roughly three weeks remaining before the field for this year’s NCAA tournament is unveiled, it’s a pretty safe bet that, barring some catastrophe, one part of the women’s basketball committee’s work is largely done, even before the nine members get to Indianapolis.

That is to say, that we pretty much already know who the four No.1 seeds are, and can pretty safely assign them to their regions.

As for the other teams still in the “discussion:”

Toledo escaped with a one-point win over Eastern Michigan to go to 13-1 in the MAC West. Central Michigan (West) and Kent State (East) both got wins to take them to 10-4 in the conference.

It’s interesting at the top in the America East, especially since Binghamton beat BU. Now both teams sit at 11-4 in the conference. UMBC rules the roost, though, at 13-3. Oh, and don’t look now, but Hartford’s lurking at 10-4.

It’weren’t easy, but the Owls beat the Hawks to stay perfect in the A-10. On the horizon looms the clash with the Musketeers. (Feb. 27th, ESPNU, 4pm EST)

Navy’s defeat of American runs the Midshipmen’s record to 9-4 in the Patriot League. They’ve got a shot at the regular season conference title on Saturday.

With their 81-57 win over Air Force, Wyoming looks to run up on TCU and BYUs heels in the Mountain West. By the way, congrats to Dale Ann Meeker, who’s having her Powell High School jersey retired:

The first female athlete to receive a basketball scholarship at the University of Wyoming, Meeker played for the Pokes from 1975-1979. During her senior season, her team earned the Intermountain Conference championship, finishing with a school-record 25 wins and seven losses. That season would stand as the best in school history until surpassed by the 2006-2007 NIT team.

In high school, Meeker was part of the first-ever girls’ basketball team at Powell High School as a freshman. As a junior, she brought home a mythical state title — mythical because Wyoming did not hold an official state championship tournament for girls — while serving as the team captain. One year later, she repeated the feat, again as team captain.


 

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and it’s always cool when people are generous with each other. From BYU’s site: Kaufusi Health Concerns Rallies Support From Utah

When student-athletes are faced with a challenge off the court, rallying forces come in from all corners to show support. BYU sophomore forward Alexis Kaufusi was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and will miss the rest of the 2010-11 season.

Purple has become a part of the BYU uniform in support of Kaufusi, from her purple hoodie she wears on the bench to ribbons worn by the coaching staff.

In the Deseret Duel rivalry game at the Huntsman Center on Feb. 12, the University of Utah women’s basketball team showed its concern and support for Kaufusi by wearing a purple warm-up t-shirt that said “Hope Fight” and had her number on the back. Prior to the game, players also gave her a bouquet of roses and a gift.

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TCU Accepts Offer From Big East

Yah, duh, it’s about money. I mean, football. But it raises some interesting geographic scheduling challenges — think of the travel costs for all the non-football/basketball teams. Any guesses as to what kind of fan-traveling you’ll get? Sorta the same that you get with BC and Miami in the ACC.

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