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the Final Four only twice in 31 (now 32) tournaments

  • 1989 Auburn, Louisiana Tech, Maryland, Tennessee
  • 2012 Baylor, Connecticut, Notre Dame, Stanford

So why did Rachel Whittaker of the Times-Picayune say this on March 29th?

“In other words, a high probability exists that Baylor, Notre Dame, Stanford and Connecticut could repeat as Final Four participants in New Orleans next month.”

And yes, it’s Easter Sunday-afternooning quarterbacking, but in the same article …. “oops!”

“Those four would have to actually fall on their face,” said Lieberman, a two-time national championship winner at Old Dominion and the only woman to play in a men’s professional sports league (United States Basketball League). “Now there’s parity beneath them, but those four would have to absolutely mail it in and have a horrible tournament, and I can’t see it happening.”

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Yes, #4 Stanford defeated the formerly undefeated #20 Buffaloes, and yes, it was by 17. But, Colorado played the Cardinal even in the second half, and the final score was no ode to offense.

Utah’s post-Elliot era has begun – and they gave #7 Cal a lot to chew on in the second half before falling, 55-50.

The headline suggests #16 UCLA “cruised” to a win over Oregon – but the second half surge by the Duck might give the Bruins some pause.

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80 degrees and clear, bright skies.

Took a walk to get my bearings. Saw a big blue bear, some interesting architecture, someone I’d struck up a conversation with during the Atlanta Final Four, and a strip club across from the courthouse. Hmmm…..

Some reading to keep you occupied before today’s games: From Mike DiMauro at The Day: Embrace heard round the world

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walked into this one. This was Saturday afternoon at the Pepsi Center, site of a moment nobody saw coming that suddenly necessitated someone hit the cosmic pause button. So we could stop and appreciate, stop and think.

It was on a nondescript piece of real estate just off the court that Pat Summitt and Geno Auriemma shared a long, meaningful embrace. Fans watching practice day in the arena applauded. Cameras clicked. Folks scrambled for their phones to capture it.

It was a moment that provided us all … a moment. Two of the game’s Gatsbys, perpetual adversaries, making the past a duller ache with a touch of humanity.

By the way, yes, name the Final Four trophy in honor of Coach Summitt.

Nate’s got his 2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four Preview: Baylor Vs. Stanford and his 2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Four Preview: Connecticut Vs. Notre Dame

Swish Appeal was also busy looking at Generation Next: WBCA All-Star Game Showcases A Few Future NCAA Stars Who Might Have An Immediate Impact

All-Star Games usually make a mockery out of legitimate basketball turning the game more into a sideshow pick-up game, but the last-second execution at the end of the first half showed the true abilities of the players in the WBCA All-Star Game.

By the way, yes, if I had won the multi-million lottery thingy, I would have become the official sponsor of the senior game — and the DII and DIII Players of the Year would be invited.

From Dan Fleser: Shelley Sexton Collier helps motivate Lady Vols

From Curt Rallo: Harbor’s Williams big for Bears

From Brent Shirley at the Star Telegram: Just making Final Four not enough for Baylor women

From Jon Henderson at the Denver Post: Stanford women’s basketball team wearing target on its back – After years as underdog, Stanford finds itself with target on its back

From Lindsay H. Jones at the Denver Post: UConn’s aura dims a bit without Maya Moore

Chris Elsberry at the CT Post has: UConn lives by its overwhelming defense

Lobo does some Notre Dame-UConn break down in On the Floor.

espnW is Sizing up Perfection: Baylor vs. perfect teams of the past

From the NYTimes’ Quad Blog: Familiar Rivals in Final Four and 40-0 in Sight, Baylor Turns Focus to Stanford and  Hayden and Madden Will Be in the Spotlight for Baylor

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Long day of travel, but I’m now safely ensconced in the Mile High City.

A little catchup before tomorrow’s games:

From Richard Deitsch: Women’s Final Four coaches talk teams’ strengths, biggest concerns

Elliot Almond at the Mercury News: Baylor’s Brittney Griner presents an imposing obstacle to Stanford women’s NCAA title hopes

From the Dallas News: Baylor’s Brittney Griner ready to fulfill large promise

From Mechelle: Baylor feeling perfectly relaxed – Perfection aside, 38-0 Lady Bears just focused on winning national championship and Despite illness, Mulkey keeps it light – Baylor’s coach has visible symptoms, but takes comical approach Saturday

Elliot also has: Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike’s Stanford University sisterhood coming to an end

Tom FitzGerald at the San Francisco Chronicle: Ogwumikes put Cardinal front and center in Final Four

Michelle writes: For Ogwumike, it’s now or never – Nneka makes her fourth trip to Final Four, craves first title

Summer McKesson at the NCAA: UConn relishes role of underdog: Without superstar or loaded roster, Huskies still in title hunt

Graham has: You again?! Irish-Huskies, Round 4 and Dolson’s play peaking at right time

Fagan has: Big stage awaits Skylar Diggins

Nate at Swish Appeal has: Notre Dame’s Rebounding Balance Key Against UConn In NCAA Women’s Final Four

From Al Lesar at the SBT: Only one way to silence Geno

From Curt at the SBT: Pride fuels defense

From HoopFeed: Pink Room Webcast: Final Four Preview with Ros Gold-Onwude & Kevin Danna

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*I will not get a John Denver song stuck in my head. I will not get a John Denver song stuck in my head. I will… DABNABBIT!*

From Mechelle: The upside to predictability – Four 1-seeds are fun to watch offensively and play very strong defense

From Michelle: Stanford ready for challenge – Cardinal look forward to playing Griner, Baylor in semifinal

CHAT ALERT: Mechelle’s looking for questions for tomorrow’s 2pm EST gig.

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From Michelle: Dawn Staley ready for mentor – Stanford’s VanDerveer taught South Carolina coach on Team USA

Coaches are sometimes reluctant to be completely honest with star players. That, however, was never an issue between Tara VanDerveer and Dawn Staley.

“I was hard on Dawn,” VanDerveer, the Stanford coach, said Friday. “I’ve always said, sometimes a lot of the great players get the worst coaches, because no one wants to tell them anything. But I was always very direct with Dawn and I think she appreciated it.”

Yes, if appreciation can be gleaned out of the intense desire to prove somebody wrong. Intense desire. How better to sum up Staley?

Mechelle: Goodrich leads way for Jayhawks

Way too many athletes have torn an ACL more than once. Sometimes it’s in the same knee; sometimes it hits both. The second time around is worse than the first for a lot of them, because they know exactly how difficult rehab is going to be and the dread factor sets in right away.

But it was the opposite for Kansas point guard Angel Goodrich. Her first was worst. When she did it the second time, she already knew she could get through it.

And look how far past all that she has come. Now a redshirt junior, Goodrich has found her voice as a leader for a KU team that has made the most out of the NCAA selection committee’s decision to give the Jayhawks a berth into the tournament.

And Michelle: Da’Shena Stevens leads St. John’s

Da’Shena Stevens went into surgery last Aug. 10, a simple little meniscus cleanup that was supposed to keep her out a month or so, back in time for the start of practice.

But when she came out of surgery, the news was a little different. The procedure was more extensive and Stevens, St. John’s senior leader and tone-setter, would be out for four months.

Stevens and Red Storm coach Kim Barnes Arico both cried that day.

“The only thing to do was cry,” Stevens said. “I was sorry and depressed and then the only thing to do was wait until December.”

“It just turned everything different going into the season,” Barnes Arico said.

And Mechelle: WSC Radio Show: March 23, 2012: Brenda and Mechelle preview the Sweet 16

From the Bellingham Herald: Kansas’ Goodrich having a breakthrough in first NCAA women’s tournament

From the AP’s Janie McCauley: VanDerveer and Staley have long history
From the AP’s Jeffrey Collins: Fans suddenly flock to successful South Carolina
From the Centre Daily: PSU rising to standard

Although the tournament selection committee relies heavily on numbers like RPI and strength of schedule, year after year those numbers prove to fall short in actually measuring quality of play leading up to the tournament.

While there is not really any statistical Holy Grail to predict how March Madness will unfold, in looking at potential upsets prior to the 2012 NCAA women’s basketball tournament we took a look at potential upsets bracket by bracket by looking at performance rather than outcomes. Of course, saying there’s potential for an upset is different than saying it will happen are two different things – not many upsets actually occurred although a number of those games ended up close and one could certainly argue that home court advantage foiled a few of those potential upsets.

Anyway, those initial previews were based upon a set of Four Factors stats that I alluded to but didn’t post initially. The following is just a brief look back at those numbers before making some Sweet 16 predictions.

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I enjoy really crispy bacon, from C&R over at Swish Appeal:

Well, now that the dust has cleared and the letter written about disrespect has been read (Hampton), they actually played the games starting Saturday. And Stanford, as befitting a number 1 seed, beat Hampton University 73-51.

Ya know, it’s tough for a #16 seed. Here you go and win your conference, scrape and scrap and suffer and sweat all season long, and your reward is to play a bigger, better team and lose and go home, which was about 10 miles from the gym in this case. So unfair to Stanford if you want to talk about disrespect, Hampton!

Looking forward:

From the South Bend Tribune: Notre Dame women’s basketball: Carol Owens’ ‘project’ [with Peters] a huge success and ND plans to bring heat

From the SBT some non-ND: Iowa/Cal: A contrast in styles

From the Naples News: NCAA tournament wait ends Sunday for FGCU

From the Fresno Bee: Fifth time a charm for Fresno State women?

From the Canton Rep: GlenOak grad gets up close look at Baylor’s Brittany Griner (no, the grad is not a player)

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her 700th game, does anyone notice?

VanDerveer quietly chalks up milestone

Tara VanDerveer barely had time to soak up her 700th career victory at Stanford before the longtime Cardinal coach was asked whether she’d be sticking around to make a run at 800.”That’s only three years if you can get 30 a year,” VanDerveer said.

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The rematch between St. Mary’s (7-2 in the WCC) and #20 Gonzaga (5pmEST) and the game between #4 Stanford, who’s been quietly running their record to 17-1 (8-0), and feisty Cal (5pmEST).

C&R get busy on the Cardinal/Bears tussle over at Swish Appeal.

And now, in honor of the Big Game, C and R present the 158th annual Q & A with Nick from SB Nation’s California Golden Blogs.

He asks the Q’s, C and R answer them. (Secretly, we think he just wants our Stanford blog to mention his Cal blog, hoping for bad karma or ju-ju or what have you, but I digress). Our questions to him are at the bottom, and we will publish tomorrow or whenever we get around to it.

One note, usually his questions are funny and silly, so that’s how we wrote ours. Then he writes these scholarly and insightful questions, like he’s been studying basketball or something. Ours look stupid by comparison. Oh well, when have we ever let that stop us! Enjoy.

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I mean, really 42 and 17?

Nneka outscored about nine teams who played last night. And there were a handful of others that just barely beat her. Yikes!

Writes Michelle Smith: Player of year? Ogwumike could be good fit

If Baylor’s Brittney Griner is the household name, Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins is the queen of Twitter and Connecticut’s Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis is the hot, new, young thing, where does Nneka Ogwumike fit in?

She might be the best player in the country.

Yes, there was a game (Stanford won, by the way), but there was another plot line: From Ann Killion at Sports Illustrated: Stanford pays tribute to Summitt on this uncharted farewell tour

When Summitt strode out on the floor a few minutes before tipoff she was greeted by the sold-out Maples Pavilion crowd with a prolonged loving standing ovation. It was a far cry from the wary, boo-tinged “Evil Empire”-type introductions she used to receive. Stanford fans waved red “We Back Pat” towels. A taped message of support from VanDerveer — who had to take five emotional tries to get it right — aired on the scoreboard. The Stanford coaches came to the Volunteers bench for an affectionate greeting and photo opportunity.

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on Tuesday, and The Pink Room is on it: Season 1, Episode 4: Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer’s message to Pat Summitt

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then check out ESPN.com’s top five at each position.

Someone I know thinks Kevi Luper (a 5-10 Junior at Oral Roberts) should be on the 2 guard list.

Mechelle says, Nneka Ogwumike embraces her talent – Senior acknowledging her strengths will help Cardinal teammates around her

espnW has Not so surprisingly, Miami picked to win and in the no-longer-Pac-10, There’s still Stanford, but much else is new

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From USA BBall:

Opening with a 21-0 scoring spree, the  2011 USA Basketball Women’s World University Games Team (4-0) finished off Finland (2-2) 96-30 on Thursday night in Shenzhen, China. The medal quarterfinal win advances the U.S. squad to the 2011 World University Games semifinals, where it will face a strong and also unbeaten Australian (4-0) side on Aug. 19 (8:30 a.m. EDT).

All 11 available players (Simms was resting her knee) scored as Elena Delle Donne (Delaware/Wilmington, Del.) and Devereaux Peters (Notre Dame/Chicago, Ill.) led five USA players in double figures with 17 points apiece. Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Stanford/Cypress, Texas) chipped in 12 points; Jacki Gemelos (USC/Stockton, Calif.) and Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford/Cypress, Texas) chipped in 10 points apiece; while Glory Johnson (Tennessee/Knoxville, Tenn.) scored eight points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds; and Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame/South Bend, Ind.) dished out seven of the USA’s 23 assists.

Additional Quotes:

Nneka Ogwumike (Stanford University) On the USA’s hot start:
We came out with a lot of fire. I think today was the first game we really focused on the scouting report. We knew their tendencies and what each player did, and I think we just came out with a relentless attitude. We wanted to execute and defend well, and that’s what contributed to our fast start, and also making shots.

On her 8-0 run to start the second:
Coach is always talking about how we need to pass  the ball to the open person, and I think we did a really good job of finding each other tonight. They were leaving people open as we rotated the ball, and we took advantage of those looks.

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From Kevin Haskin in Topeka, the story of 92-year-old Ruth Fairbank

Fairbank excelled in just about any sport she tried. Well enough that in basketball she was named an All-American in 1935 for a women’s traveling team, two years before graduating from High.

One night the squad, which was sponsored by Topeka businessman Phil Sewell, played in the Topeka High gym. Nominal admission was charged as the club took on a team from Arkansas.

“The next morning, my gym teacher asked, ‘Do your parents approve of you doing what you’re doing, playing basketball? You know the men just come out so they can see women wearing shorts,’’’ Fairbank recalled.

“I think she tried to kick me out of school.”

From Steve Mann in Winston-Salem, the story of the fabulous Hanes Hosiery teams: Women for all seasons: Friends won reams of awards on 1950s Hanes Hosiery sports teams

Futch and Jordan, the first two Hanes players from outside the Winston-Salem area, were known as “Big E” and “Little E.” Even now, the message on Jordan’s answering machine says, “This is the home of Little E. Please leave a message.”

Together, they helped lead Hanes Hosiery to three straight AAU national championships in the middle of a then-record 102-game winning streak. Jordan was named an All-American five times, Futch three.

The two also helped lead the Pan American women’s basketball team to a gold medal in 1955, the first year women were allowed to compete.

Also from Mann: Yow coached championship teams with practice, practice, practice (yes, of THOSE Yows)

The story goes like this:

In 1944, Coach Virgil Yow of High Point College (now High Point University) was facing a manpower shortage on campus because of World War II.

He recruited Nancy Isenhour from the women’s team to become the first woman to play on a men’s college basketball team, according to a story in The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., in 1952.

Making a link, Scott Ostler writes: Tara VanDerveer helped elevate women’s basketball

Dunbar VanDerveer had no basketball experience (he played hockey at Dartmouth), but he believed Stanford’s high entrance requirements would doom his daughter to failure as a coach. He told Tara she was crazy to leave her head coaching job at Ohio State. Told her she’d be unemployed in three months, and don’t bother coming home.

Sometimes father knows best.

“I had a mini breakdown in the grocery store, realizing how hard it was going to be,” VanDerveer said by phone from her vacation home late last week. “When I left Ohio State, we’d had a game in ’85 that 22,000 people came to. When I came to Stanford, I could count on my fingers and toes how many people would be at a game. I said, ‘I’m in a nightmare. Just let me wake up and be back in Columbus.’ “

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Texas A&M, Notre Dame crash NCAA women’s final

“Everything is happening for a reason,” Texas A&M Coach Gary Blair said. “It’s because we don’t quit. While you all were writing, I guarantee you a lot of you already had your stories three-quarters of the way done, and now you’re having to change it.”

From Indiana U’s Student News Bureau: Notre Dame drawing on experience from last title team

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw doesn’t want to call it destiny, but it is hard not to think that something special is happening for Notre Dame women’s basketball.

“We certainly didn’t have anything handed to us,” McGraw said. “So I would say not as much fate as hard work.”

Over at Swish Appeal, James Bowman has Notre Dame vs. Texas A&M : The Simulated Version

It’s NCAA championship game time again, and I’m returning to a post I wrote in July of 2010, where I attempted to model the NCAA championship game played between Connecticut and Stanford that same year.  The title of that post was “Connecticut vs. Stanford – Again and Again and Again….” and you couldn’t blame anyone for thinking that this title could be recycled for the 2011 championship.

No such luck.  Not only was Stanford upset by gritty Texas A&M, but the fourth time proved to be the charm for Notre Dame as they bounced Connecticut out of a threepeat.  If the Fighting Irish win it will be their second championship.  If Texas A&M wins it will not only be their first championship but will also serve as the disproof of the Prodigy Theory of Coaching in NCAA women’s basketball.

From Mechelle: Pieces falling into place for McGraw

“She’s been a puzzle-solver her whole life,” Matt said. “She does jigsaw puzzles, and those number puzzles. And I’ve always thought the success that her teams have had are because she never looks and says, ‘Who’s the best player out there?’ She says, ‘Who fits in the puzzle?’

“If we get together with her family, they will bring boxes and boxes of puzzles. And she has what I don’t — the incredible patience, the focus to get the damn thing together. She wants to fit more pieces in than anybody else.”

The pieces on this squad took a little while to integrate, as Notre Dame lost three of its first eight games. In the Big East season, the Irish fell those three times to UConn and also lost to DePaul. Yet the whole time, McGraw was solving the puzzle.

From Graham: Colson, Carter look to contain Diggins

There are times when it seems no two humans on the planet communicate quite so close to telepathically as Texas A&M’s Sydney Colson and Sydney Carter. Certainly no two people who share a backcourt.

Carter and Colson don’t need words to orchestrate the kind of defensive effort that has frustrated a long list of the best guards in college basketball and helped land Texas A&M in its first national championship game. That is not, however, to suggest the duo is completely immune to the power of verbal communication.

Also from Graham: Mallory, Novosel put fight in Irish

There’s also some Charlie:Rapid Reaction: Texas A&M-Stanford and some group analysis: Defense leads Aggies to title game

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so I say, why not take both!?!

Tara VanDerveer and Teresa Edwards A Finalist For Naismith Hall of Fame

The fact that these two women part of the 1996 gold medal team (and have a certain relationship) allows me to remind you to READ THESE FABULOUS BOOKS (hey, it’s a long weekend!):

Shooting from the Outside, by coach VanDerveer and Joan Ryan

Venus to the Hoop, A Gold Medal Year in Women’s Basketball, by Sara Corbett

 

 

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during a blowout, by Michelle Smith: Thursday night Fashion Report

After absorbing the grunts and groans of my male colleagues in the press room last night, I feel compelled to put my head even further into the proverbial lion’s mouth.

Considering that last night’s Stanford-UCLA game was not close, I think it’s appropriate for a diversion.

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Well, you’ve got to believe that this was Georgia Tech’s biggest win in the Joseph era: nipping #8 (and no longer undefeated) UNC 71-70. The Tar Heels has a 7-point lead with 1:40 left. Oops. That’s three straight at home for the Yellow Jackets, and just third victory in the last 17 meetings vs. UNC.

#10 Kentucky didn’t have much time to recover from their loss at Duke — and Arkansas may have given some “pushover no more” notice — as the Razorbacks knocked off the Wildcats.

Duke was in a Terp-fight with Maryland, but (as they seem to do in close games) clamped down and pulled away in the end for the 71-64 victory.

Michigan St. took care of business against Wisconsin, while the WHB Jinx did its work on Michigan v. Purdue. Virginia Tech was no match for Florida State, and Green Bay dispatched a stubborn Youngstown State.

I think it would be an act of kindness not to discuss the masacree that was the Tennessee/Alabama game, or the 30pt-answer Stanford gave to Tom’s question in the Mechelle chat.

tom: Pac 10 questions. What do you think of Niya Butts and the Arizona program? They seem to be winning solidly. As things stand, could they be the fifth Pac 10 team (behind Stanford, UCLA, USC and ASU) to get in? Cal is a bit of a question mark at this point, correct?

Mechelle Voepel: The Wildcats lost to Texas A&M in November but kept the game pretty close, which was a good sign. Another sign will be how they fare against Stanford tonight – not whether they win, which is unlikely, but how well they play. As for Cal, the vast majority of teams are still NCAA tournament “question marks” now, so they have plenty of time to make their case for a tournament bid. Will need to show more determination and fight than they did against Stanford over the weekend, which I’m sure Coach Boyle has been talking to the Bears about this week.

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the Wall Street Journal’s water with… I dunno, “coverwomen’sbasketball-ade”?

From Sophia Hollander: Is There Life After The Streak? No Longer No. 1, This Humbled UConn Team Must Create a Legacy All Its Own

It didn’t sink in for Kelly Faris until the flurry of desperation fouls in the final seconds of UConn’s 71-59 loss to Stanford last week. Every game of her college career, the Huskies had somehow managed to find a way to win. But all of a sudden it became clear: This time they wouldn’t.

“Then it was kind of like, ‘Well, this is really unfortunate because we just threw it away, completely,'” said Ms. Faris, who scored a career-high 19 points.

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behind posting online articles a couple of days after they’re paper-published, but it means we miss good stuff like this from Scott Ostler at the San Francisco Chronicle: Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer’s UConn obsession

August is the vacation month for Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer, but not last August.

Instead of kicking back, traveling and spending quality time with her piano, VanDerveer turned August into the UConn Film Festival.

She studied coach Geno Auriemma‘s Connecticut Huskies. Analyzed and dissected them. Put their games on her iPad and broke them down to the molecular level. Hey, you can do that at Stanford.

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Stanford’s Ogwumike sisters a powerful combination

When an AAU club in suburban Houston invited 11-year-old Nneka Ogwumike to play basketball, the coach told her mother some of the games would be out of town.

“Why do we have to go to Dallas?” Ify Ogwumike asked the coach, Albert Coleman. “Why can’t we just play in somebody’s driveway?”

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NY Times sports editor Tom Jolly, but I hope it sticks.

Jere’ Longman writes: Stanford Poses A Challenge To UConn And Its Streak

There is reason for Stanford to feel buoyant about halting UConn’s 90-game winning streak. For starters, the Cardinal was the last team to defeat the Huskies, by 82-73 in the N.C.A.A. semifinals on April 6, 2008. Twice last season Stanford held a halftime lead over UConn, including in the national championship game. It is a bigger team, deeper, more balanced, healthier at the moment, playing at home, where it has won 51 in a row, fully understanding that UConn’s resolve persists for 40 minutes, not just for 20.

Michelle Smith at LeftCoastHoops weighs in with 5 things that need to change for Stanford vs. UConn

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Stanford University Trying To Find Themselves: Are They Ready For Xavier?

It’s possible that with forwards Nneka Ogwumike and Kayla Pedersen returning this season, people underestimated how much Appel and Gold-Onwude meant to the team last year, not to mention JJ Hones. While Gold-Onwude’s graduation has left a void on the defensive end, Appel’s role in facilitating offense from the high post was magnified by the Cardinal’s rocky start to the game during which USF played them even.

I’m intrigued to how Xavier responds to their loss at Duke.

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Stanford University Coach Tara VanDerveer Finally Gets #800: A Special Moment At USF

…that USF also actively facilitated a post-game celebration befitting of the moment after being so thoroughly outplayed by a far superior Cardinal team was confirmation that that there was probably no better situation in which VanDerveer could have reached the milestone. Not only was it that she won it with former players Jennifer Azzi and Katy Steding in attendance as USF’s coaches, but the response from the mixed crowd of Stanford and USF fans in addition to the support of an opposing program speaks volumes about what VanDerveer means to women’s basketball.

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Maybe, JUST maybe, you called the Georgetown over TN game. But the Hoyas were pretty highly ranked.

But there is no way, NO WAY you called this one: DePaul over Stanford. By 20.

I wonder if Doug read the RU board and said, “Not THIS time, you don’t!”

And honestly, I think the Blue Demons ran out of real Quigleys several years ago and just throw a jersey on some kid to continue the legacy.

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CViv: 850.

Tara: This close to 800.

In every place she has been, she said, “I’ve just gravitated to the gym and there’s a great coach in there and I learn from them. I’m a copier.”

She’s too humble to say it, but many coaches – some of them her former players – have long been copying her, or trying to do so. In her 32nd season of college coaching, and 25th at Stanford, the Hall of Famer is as enthusiastic as ever.

And, stolen from the Rutgers fan board, this oddity:

Pat Summitt – win #800 vs. DePaul

C. Vivian Stringer – win #800 vs. DePaul

Tara Vanderveer – enters Thursday night’s game vs. DePaul with 799 wins

Noted a UConn fan: “Knowing Doug if he is aware of that he will probably make some comment about Geno trying to schedule number 800 for next year.”

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I love the “Quotable” sections.

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and Michelle Smith: Tara VanDerveer Set to Win 800th Game

In the women’s basketball cult of personality, Connecticut‘s Geno Auriemma is the yeller, stalking the sidelines. Tennessee‘s Pat Summitt comes with the icy glare of disapproval and expectation.

Stanford‘s Tara VanDerveer is the professor. Studious and detailed, reserved and competitive, VanDerveer has carved out one of the most impressive resumes in the game.

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Milton Kent: FanHouse Women’s Basketball Terrific 12

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the FanHouse Terrific 12!

Each Tuesday, FanHouse’s Michelle Smith and Milton Kent will walk you through the best of the week gone by in women’s college basketball, identifying the dozen best teams and performances, not just from the power leagues, but also from the mid-majors.

I want to know why their stuff rarely comes through my news alerts..,.. (hint, hint)

We’ll also give you a quick preview of the big games on the docket for the coming week, with an eye toward the most meaningful inter-league and non-conference contests between teams that are bound to make a splash come tournament time.

Speakin’ of Michelle, from her Left Coast Hoops blog: Candice Wiggins talks about World AIDS Day

I’ve known Candice Wiggins since she was a 17-year-old at Stanford. She has always been remarkably dignified and open about her family story and her father’s death from AIDS.

Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day and Candice talked to me yesterday with her usual honesty and passion.

She is participating in a Public Service Announcement with the NBA and the organization Greater Than AIDS. This is worth passing along.


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Stanford’s 63-50 victory over Rutgers:

One: Six? RU only played SIX players? I got tired just reading that.

Two: Headlines shouting “Sister Act!” Expect to see that often. Their line:
N.O.: 40 minutes, 2opts, 9 rbs.
C.O.: 21 minutes, 9pts, 12 rbs.

Check C&R at Swish Appeal for more.

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