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the final score said something different:

In a rockin’ OT, it was LA-Lafayette (3-17 Sun Belt) over North Texas (10-10 Sun Belt), 80-74.

‘ware the Billikens! Saint Louis (5-9 A-10) over Butler (8-6 A 10), 44-41.

Troy (3-17 Sun Belt) over South Alabama (10-10, Sun Belt), 62-49.

Radford (9-9 Big South) over Presbyterian (14-4, Big South), 41-38.

UNC Greensboro (4-16 Southern) over Furman (8-12, Southern), 73-68.

Longwood (8-10 Big South) over Winthrop (14-4 Big South), 79-67.

Sienna (8-10 MAAC) over Fairfield (11-7 MAAC), 52-48.

Temple (5-9, A 10) over Xavier (7-7, A 10), 52-45.

Niagara (9-9 MAAC) over Rider (10-8 MAAC), 59-54.

#18 Texas A&M over #17 South Carolina, 61-52.

The fight the record implied:

Tennessee Tech over Belmont (10-5 OVC), 61-57.

Campbell over Hight Point, 74-73, OT.

Not the fight the record implied (good and bad interpretation):

#23 Florida State over Miami, 70-58.

#9 Tennessee over Florida, 82-73. TAMU is next.

#6 Duke over NC State, 79-65.

Stetson over Mercer, 67-52.

#12 Georgia over #22 LSU, 71-53.

#15 North Carolina over Boston College, 62-57.

#10 Maryland over Wake Forest, 92-81, OT. Thomas gets a triple-double.

Michigan State over Michigan, 62-46.

One look at the record, and you understand the result:

Iona over Canisius, 76-58.

FGCU over North Florida, 73-44.

#21 Nebraska over Iowa, 76-61.

Marist over Manhattan, 72-50.

#8 Penn State over Ohio State, 76-66.

#18 Colorado over Washington, 70-59. #4 Stanford is up next.

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In the Sun Belt, for instance, the Owls got plucked by the Jaguars, 66-57.

Those Philly Owls pulled away in the second half for a 10-point win over the Hawks.

The Terriers topped the Catamounts, and moved to 9-0 in the America East.

Squeak! That was the Danes escaping the Retrievers by 2pts.

The Wildcats and the Hawks are now both 5-5 in conference play.

Bowlin’ is rollin’: 9-0 in the MAC.

Keeping pace, it’s EIU at 9-0 in the OVC and San Diego State at 7-0 in the MWC.

It was tight in the A-10 match-up between the Dukes and Bonnies, but St. Bonanventure prevailed and moved to 8-0 in the conference. (Worthy of a mention in Mechelle’s chat, today)

With their loss to Kansas State, Texas in now 13-8 (3-6). (Also earned them a mention in MV’s chat.)

Ooooo, a game Beth and Debbie would have enjoyed: SF Austin fell to Texas State, 95-87.

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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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Mel has some of the breakdowns.

You can also follow the various championships through the ESPN site. If you’re attending the games, feel free to email me articles and/or observations: NYwnbafan@yahoo.com

On a more somber note, MTSU deciding whether to play tourney. For more on the story:

Campus mourns loss of student
Stewart could light up a room

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(if you ignore the results of the last match up) between #9 UCLA and #3 Stanford. Says Michelle Smith at Left Coast Hoops:

The Bruins, who have the best record in school history through 23 games, have a chance to stake their claim to a share of the Pac-10 title with a win over Stanford. But this is one of the toughest finishes in the conference, with the Bay Area schools, followed on the road at the Arizonas and then hosting two of the hottest teams in the league. Since the loss at Stanford, UCLA has won six games, five by a margin of 10 points or less.

Full Court has their take on the Big Ten chaos (Yah, I’m a day late and a dollar short — but they DID get the winner of the PSU/Ohio State game right).

Bob Corwin also has a nice piece on Rick Insell and his Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders.

In Part IV of our series, we take a look at Middle Tennessee, a mid-major program with a long history of success. But when two-time All-American Alysha Clark (5-10, C) graduated from the Blue Raider fold at the end of last season, it was hard to believe that Middle Tennessee Head Coach Rick Insell would come up with a similar player in his very next freshman class. Most would have expected to undergo several years of rebuilding after Clark’s departure, but that was before Insell found Ebony Rowe (generously listed at 6-1, C) out of Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky. The Blue Raiders are currently 21-5 overall and clinched the Sun Belt title last weekend after dropping just one conference game to date (11-1). Of course, there’s more to the Blue Raider picture than just Rowe—outstanding coaching being a major part of that equation—but Rowe has done more than her part in contributing to the continued success at Middle Tennessee.

Speaking of “mid” Majors, Q’s got his eye on some hidden gems: 2011 WNBA Draft Prospects: Major, Mid-Major, Independent & NAIA Players To Watch

…at the beginning of the season, we posted a list of Top 13 WNBA draft prospects and five additional high-profile prospects in order to prepare for our own draft analysis. And as mentioned then, the list was by no means exhaustive and we’ve been keeping an eye out for additional players all season. With contributing writers from coast to coast, we’ve seen a number of strong prospects collectively and have come up with a list of 8 more players that have caught our eye including two lesser-known players who could end up in the WNBA Draft combine.

For now we’re neither ranking nor suggesting how high players might be drafted (or even whether they will be), instead just trying to take stock of the landscape of the talented players we’ve seen before doing a more extensive analysis later.

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From Adam Beasley at the Miami Herald: Too many victories to keep track of for FIU coach Cindy Russo

On Jan. 7, 1978, Cindy Russo was a winner at FIU for the first time.

The women’s basketball program was just a few years old then, and not particularly good. The Sunblazers, as FIU was known in those days, beat Brevard Community College 42-41 that night, one of the team’s eight wins that season.

The world knows this because FIU – like all schools – keeps tracks of this sort of thing.

And it’s a good thing. Because Russo certainly does not.

“I honestly don’t remember,’’ Russo said Monday, when asked to recall her first win as FIU’s coach. “It was a long time ago.’’

So, no surprise then, that when FIU slipped past Middle Tennessee 62-59 (Blue Raiders’ first conference loss) on Saturday for Russo’s astonishing 600th victory at the school, she was literally one of the last to know.

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