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all that’s left is to prepare for the second guessing of the committee. Until then, argue with Charlie.

Amongst those who are in, but awaiting word on where they are going:

Four, count’em FOUR overtimes. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.  In the end, Prairie View A&M had the legs and the points to secure the victory over Mississippi Valley State. That’s the third SWAC title in a row for coach Wilson’s Panthers.

“To be honest with you, I didn’t even know how many overtimes we played,” Prairie View A&M coach Toyelle Wilson said. “I credit our girls; relentless. They said they could go five more (overtimes).”

Hampton did what it’s been doing all season. Rollin’ over opponents. That’s four straight conference tournament championships for the Pirates.

Cal Poly did what it’s never done: Punch their ticket to the Big Dance. And they did it in style, upsetting top-seed Pacific, 63-49.

Cal Poly overcame the loss of star forward Kayla Griffin on Saturday to upset top-seeded Pacific, 63-49, in the Big West Conference women’s basketball tournament final at Honda Center.

The win earned the second-seeded Mustangs their first trip to the NCAA tournament.

Griffin tore knee ligaments early in the second half, but Cal Poly was able to maintain the 11-point lead it built in the first half. Griffin had four points in her 24 minutes.

“We wouldn’t be in this position without Kayla, there’s no question,” Cal Poly Coach Faith Mimnaugh said. “I hated that she couldn’t be on the court at the end of the game.”

That’s the way to make an impression: Change coaches, join the Southland, win the Conference Championship. Sam Houston couldn’t make up the five point first half difference, and so Oral Roberts has a ticket to ride. Obviously, the Bearkats are disappointed, but consider this: the program hasn’t  had a winning season since 1996 before going 17-14 last year.

Central Michigan proved that finishing strong in the regular season can pay dividends in the conference tournament. They carried their momentum through the tournament and earned their first trip to the Dance since 1984. (Lordy, I was a year out of college and “When Doves Cry” was the #1 song). You’ll recall the heartbreak last year.

“I wanted to put 1.5 seconds on T-shirts,” coach Sue Guevara said. “This was the goal. To get to this tournament and win because it was such a heartbreaking loss last year.”

I’ve got to believe that for Guevara, it was both heartbreaking and galling, considered the post-tourney revelations.

Speaking of 1984, 1985 was the last time Idaho went to the tourney. (I know you’re wondering: Wham, “Careless Whisper.”) They’re going back by virtue of their win over Seattle U.

“Survive and advance has certainly been our motto in this tournament and we did it all the way till the end, and it’s a great feeling,” Idaho coach Jon Newlee said. “I’m so happy for my players and I’m so happy for my staff. I feel that I have the greatest staff in America and our players have just worked their tails off to get to this moment and it’s fantastic, it’s a great feeling.”

Montana grabbed a lead over Northern Colorado, and the Bears couldn’t recover. Grizz go Danzin. From Bill Speltz:

After 35 years of coaching the same team, you figure a guy is bound to develop some hard bark on his personality.

Not Montana women’s basketball skipper Robin Selvig. His heart was so filled with happiness Saturday he couldn’t help shedding a few tears after the Lady Griz beat Northern Colorado 56-43 for the Big Sky Conference tournament championship.

His emotional postgame news conference prompted the senior sitting to his left, UM standout forward Katie Baker, to get a little misty herself. Then the Lady Griz beat writer in the front row, who thinks the world of Selvig and doesn’t care who knows it, started getting a little teary-eyed.

Navy left no doubt about who rules the Patriot League: 72-53 winners over Holy Cross, the senior-free Midshipmen have won three consecutive conference championships. How long will Pemper stay in Annapolis?

I’ve been told I need to look at the end of this game to check out a game-changing technical. That aside, sounds like it was a rockin’ environment in upstate New York as Hartford refused to roll over for the Great Danes. A back-and-forth game, it was tied at 52, and then Albany reeled off 9-straight points to secure the win and an NCAA berth.

UCF’s magical run in the C-USA conference tournament ended at the hands of Tulsa, who was making a nice run of their own. 

Tulsa coach Matilda Mossman sounded as stunned as anyone when she let the realization dawn that a season that began 0-5 was going to culminate with the school’s second berth in the NCAA tournament.

“I’m just so excited, a chill went through my body when I said we’re going to the tournament,” said the second-year coach after Tulsa defeated Central Florida 75-66 in the championship game of the Conference USA tournament Saturday. “We’ve been talking about it, but now it’s real.”

Writes Joel Klein at the Tulsa World:

Tulsa’s Taleya Mayberry, one of the best players in school history, took over the tournament and is taking the Golden Hurricane to the NCAA Tournament.

“She was great for us and she had to be for us to win,” said Mossman.

Mayberry, fantastic for four days, was at her best in a 75-66 victory over UCF in the Conference USA Women’s Basketball Tournament final on Saturday night at the BOK Center.

Mayberry scored 25 points in the final and averaged 25 in the four games.

The Sooners tweet: OU Women’s Hoops ‏@Congrats to our friends @TUWBasketball on their C-USA title! For 1st time, all 4 D1 teams in Oklahoma playing in NCAA Tourney.

San Diego State was on a roll, but clearly Wiggins didn’t leave the Fresno State cupboard bare.

The Aztecs had their 17-game winning streak snapped as they fell behind by 22 points and couldn’t come all the way back in a 76-70 loss to Fresno State in the championship game of the Mountain West Conference tournament on Saturday.

“We picked a bad time to have a bad time,” San Diego State coach Beth Burns said. “I think Fresno State had an awful lot to do with that.

The result: Dawgs go Dawncin’.

Doug Feinberg didn’t get his wish granted by Quinnipiac (another game coming down to the final shot). Instead, the Bobcats blew away St. Francis (PA) to get their first invite to the NCAA Tournament.

‘‘We are kind of waking people up a little bit,’’ said forward Brittany McQuain, a junior from Independence, Mo., who acknowledges she had never heard of Quinnipiac before an assistant coach came to recruit her. ‘‘It’s good to be a part of this, and great that people are starting to recognize who we are.’’

The Blue Hens are doing their own version Chicken Dance, as Delaware escaped a stubborn Drexel, 59-56. Great for fans and the team that they’re hosting the first two rounds. Says Graham:

Elena Delle Donne scored the final points in her final Colonial Athletic Association game.

But the coach who ended up face down on the court doing water angels Sunday afternoon had a point of her own about Delaware.

Delaware is more than a one-woman team, as coach Tina Martin preached all weekend. It is more than the greatest player the program will ever have. And the one woman who proved it Sunday was Trumae Lucas, whose drive to the basket and two subsequent free throws in the final minute gave the Blue Hens their final lead in a 59-56 win against Drexel that nearly went the other way.

There really was no doubt, even with a stunningly ugly opening to the second half, Green Bay managed to rout Loyola (IL), 54-38 and earn their fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament.

Kevin Borseth’s goal when he returned to coach UWGB this season was to not screw up the success he helped build before he left for Michigan and continued when Matt Bollant roamed the sideline here for five years.

He didn’t.

Their regular season game went to overtime. Their rematch in the A-10 finals came down to the last possession: Fordham with the ball, a chance to shoot for the win, but an offensive foul ended the game. St. Joseph’s goes to their first NCAA tournament in 12 years.

One the game: Four thousand plus came to the game — primarily Fordham fans. Had a lovely pre-game chat with the mom of their point guard and, as always, enjoyed WFUV’s play-by-play folks. College kids who are serious about the product, their professionalism… and the future of their team. “Coach is very excited by her incoming class.”

It was wonderful having some women’s hoops happening in NYC during conference tournament time. Very much enjoyed my Barclay experience. Staff was helpful, friendly and on point. Lighting focused ON the court, not the arena (like The Rock does in NJ). Seems to me, if the gentlemen continue to use the Garden for the NIT, there’s no reason Brooklyn shouldn’t look to host the women’s Final Four.

About that waiting game:

From the Naples News: ‘Deserving’ FGCU hoping against hope for NCAA at-large bid

It’s a strange feeling for Karl Smesko, being unable to control his team’s destiny.

Smesko has orchestrated the Florida Gulf Coast University women’s basketball team’s rapid rise in Division I the past six seasons. He’s turned the Eagles into a dominant lower-major program, yet he’s done all he can do for his team this season.

From Louisiana, Lady Tigers eye NCAA berth

Around the LSU women’s basketball program, it’s become known as the Tim Tebow speech.

Her team reeling after back-to-back losses in early February dropped the Lady Tigers to 13-10 and out of any reasonable hope of making the NCAA tournament, Jeanne Kenney gathered the Lady Tigers around her in the locker room after their heartbreaking 64-62 loss to Tennessee and told them they couldn’t let seniors Bianca Lutley and Adrienne Webb go out on such a low note.

From the Washington Post: Maryland, Navy women’s basketball await NCAA tournament seedings

Meanwhile, the Army women are turning their focus to the WNIT

From Jerry Brewer: Seattle U women fall short of NCAA bid, but hope to refuel for WNIT

Sylvia Shephard walked to the Seattle University bench and bent over as her tears began. Her coach, Joan Bonvicini, patted her on the back, whispered that she was proud of her and tried to minimize the pain.

There was no relief, however.

In college basketball, nothing hurts like March.

She knows she’s going, but Purdue’s Mingo knows how to pay it forward

School? Yikes, we still have school? Marist begins preparation for NCAA tournament

After a week of midterms, Emma O’Connor and Kristina Danella walked through the doors at McCann Arena Friday morning ready to get back to work.

“We were like, ‘We feel like we haven’t been here forever,’ ” said Danella, a fifth-year senior forward on the Marist College women’s basketball team.

From Brian Howard at the Daily Camera: CU Buffs’ Chucky Jeffery closing out storied career

Chucky Jeffery looks at the waiter.

“Can I have the …”

“Teriyaki chicken, no vegetables,” the waiter said, smiling as he finishes the sentence.

“Yes, absolutely!” Jeffery replied with a laugh.

She’s clearly been here before.

While Jeffery’s dinner choice may lack originality, very little else about Colorado’s senior point guard is that predictable.

This is, after all, a girl who grew up preferring to participate in football and karate to basketball and dance classes. She’s a student who admits, “I’m not big on school,” yet has the desire to pursue a graduate degree. And, she’s a player who was once a challenge to coach, but looks forward to coaching in the future.

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Staff should have been more careful: Dual roles tough, but Mulkey needed to avoid any conceivable impermissible contact

Women’s basketball, just like any other sport, has its constantly churning rumor mill. And in regard to Baylor’s recruitment of center Brittney Griner, the fact that coach Kim Mulkey’s daughter, Makenzie Robertson, and Griner were on the same DFW Elite Basketball club team, along with other current Baylor players, was grist for the mill during that process.

Thus, the news broken by ESPN.com’s Jason King on Monday that national champion Baylor is facing possible NCAA sanctions — on top of already self-imposed penalties — for violations that include improper contact with Griner and her father during recruiting didn’t completely shock those who follow women’s hoops.

That said, the rumor mill is so active, it seems like out of every 25 or so rumors you hear, one might actually result in NCAA penalties as a consequence. Does that ratio sound bleak? I guess it does, but it’s partly because there really isn’t merit to all the rumors … and partly because the NCAA simply doesn’t have the investigative force to dig into every one of them.

Who knows how the dust will settle, but Richard Deitsch believes the Baylor Lady Bears lead preseason women’s basketball top 10

In more other coaching news: there were rumors of Cynthia Cooper moving to the west coast — she did didn’t get that far. Following on the news that Coach Wells-Broughton was leaving Texas Southern, comes word that Cooper-Dyke has resigned as UNCW women’s basketball coach, and now she’ll be the new women’s coach at Texas Southern. It’s a move that Dan Spears of the “Cheap Seat” wonders about:

It’ll be a return to familiar territory for Cooper-Dyke, who played professionally for the WNBA Houston Comets and got her first collegiate head coaching job at Prairie View A&M, just outside the city.

The biggest question at this point isn’t, “Why” … but “Why Texas Southern?” … The Southwestern Athletic Conference is a clear step below the CAA as far as level of play, facilities, etc.

In other coaching news, the Hustle Belt is Digging Deep Into Eastern Michigan’s NCAA Violations

As many of you well know, AnnMarie Gilbert — formerly the head women’s basketball coach at Eastern Michigan — resigned recently amid mention that an investigation of the NCAA violations that had been committed last season was still ongoing. Suss himself expressed surprise at this move, given a) the incredible success Gilbert has had as coach (.595 win pct.) and b) the seemingly tame nature of the violations — that the team had regularly gone over the NCAA rule of no more than four hours per day and 20 hours per week of basketball related activities (practice, film, games).

I was initially going to reference a recent espnW article titled “The Glass Wall” about how Title IX has been a boon for women’s athletics everywhere but in the coaching ranks, and how reading that article made me wonder if Gilbert might ever coach again now that she has temporarily stepped away.

I still have that same wonder, and I still strongly urge you to read the article, but my focus is no longer the same — I’m now wondering if Gilbert deserves to coach again.

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Conference play is about to start (or, in some cases, has started). As the season continues, make sure you take a gander at the D-I Standings.

American East – The Danes are on top, but ouch, how much does Vt. miss May, Courtney and their ex-coach Dawley?

A-10: Suzie and her Dukes are on top, and their win over Ohio State (ignoring their recent tumbles) is more impressive than Xavier’s record.

ACC: Sure Duke and UNC are undefeated. But Miami is 14-1 and beat Georgetown. The Tarheels? Well…

A-Sun: Looks to be Florida Gulf Coast in a rout.

Big 12: Lots of wins…is Baylor the class of the lot?

Big East: So really, can West Virginia, Notre Dame and St. John’s challenge UConn? Sure.

Big Sky: Only Idaho State has a winning record. Can Portland State top’em?

Big South: Gardner-Webb has been fodder for some “big names,” but they stil sit atop the standings. NC-Ashville is lurking one win behind’em.

Big 10: Michigan St. has won 11 straight. And Penn State (at 12-3) is right behind’em. We’ll see if the Buckeyes can recover their footing.

Big West: It’s a UC-athon with Irvine and Santa Barbara 1,2.

Colonial: Drexel and Hofstra are at 8-3, as is Cynthia Cooper’s NC-Wilmington team.

Conf-USA: Ought to be a great battle between McFerrin’s Memphis Tigers and Stockton’s Tulane Green Wave.

Independents: That would be Cal State Bakersfield above .500.

Great West: The Jackrabbits still rule, but they’re only 8-7.

Horizon: No surprise, Green Bay is number one. Nice to see Wright State at #2.

Ivy: Yale’s upsets aside, the Princeton Tigers rule. How long will Banghart stay?

MAAC: Red Foxes deja rule.

Mid-American: Bowling Green (East), Eastern Michigan (West) – with Central Michigan on their heels.

MEAC: Hampton and their band are #1.

Missouri Valley: That would be Missouri State atop the standings, thought Illinois State is 2-0 in conference play.

Mountain West: Not really surprising to see Wyoming up top.

Northeast: Things are all bunched up between Monmouth, Fairleigh Dickinson and Sacred Heart.

Ohio Valley: Not withstanding their… record-setting, Tennessee Tech is 3-0 in the conference.

PAC-10: It’s early, but UCLA is ranked #1 and Stanford #5.

Patriot League: American may be recovering from the loss of coach McFerrin.

SEC: Arkansas was at 12-0, but just lost to Florida. Next up will be Kentucky, and we’ll see how legit their record is.

Southern: UNC Greensboro is 6-5 and Samford 9-3. But UNC is 3-0 in Conference.

Southland: That would be Southeastern Louisiana (East) and Lamar (West).

SWAC: No team has a winning out-of-conference record.

Summitt: A similar situation to Southern: Oral Roberts is 7-7 and Southern Utah is 9-5, but O.R. is 4-0.

Sunbelt:In the East, that would be the High Toppers at 1-0 (and 4-8). Middle Tennessee is 9-4. The West features Denver in the top slot.

West Coast: Gonzaga rules.

WAC: Nevada enters conference play at 11-2.

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