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and still generating surprises.

The entire C-USA tourney has been a surprise (or hot mess, depending on your view): The championship game will feature the #6 seed (Tulsa) v. the #8 seed (UCF). UCF, straight of their upset of top-seed SMU, continued their hot play by taking down UTEP, 89-77. Tulsa used a stubborn defense to hold off #2 seed East Carolina, 72-59.

The MAC finals will feature a surprise team: Central Michigan earned a (fair) shot at the title by holding off top-seed Toledo. Tough for fans of Naama who’d hoped she’d get a chance at the Dance. The Chippewas will go up against Akron’s Zips, who defeated Ball State.

The Southland finals will feature top-seed Oral Roberts against #2-seed Sam Houston (who seem to have survived their brief bout with the WHB curse.)

No surprise, Hampton has rolled into the MEAC finals. No surprise, their opponent will be Howard.

Big Sky Finals: Montana v. Northern Colorado.

In the Big West, Cal State Fullerton couldn’t overcome top-seed Pacific (though it took a last-second three to do it). In the finals, the Tigers will go against Cal Poly (another team that seems to have survived the WHB curse).

The Vandals ruined my WAC brack(et). The finals feature Idaho and Seattle U.

D’em Penguins didn’t make it into the Horizon finals. Instead, it will be Loyola (IL) taking on Green Bay.

Revenge of the former team? #4 Prairie View upset Coop’s new team, Texas Southern, 58-62. That mean’s they’re in the SWAC finals against Mississippi Valley State.

San Diego State rolled over New Mexico, which means they’ll face Fresno State, which just escaped Wyoming, in the MWC finals.

It’s Delaware v. Hofstra and Drexel v. James Madison in today’s CAA semis.

The MVC has held serve through their semis: #1 Wichita State v. #4 Northern Iowa and #2 Creighton v. #3 Illinois State.

When Holy Cross takes on Navy, the Middies will be looking to three-peat as Patriot League champs

The biggest surprise of the day would probably be up Albany, if somehow Hartford could take down conference big dog, the Great Danes.

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No, I’m not talking about Baylor’s 17pt win over Oklahoma (or BG setting the all-time block record), or Notre Dame’s 45pt win over Providence (or Diggins’ 2000th point, joining Morgan, Gaither and Riley), or UConn’s 36 pt win over Cincinnati, or Oklahoma State’s 13pt win over Kansas, or Iowa State’s four point win over… well, actually, that was fun, in that they came back from 9 down in the first to beat West Virginia.

No, I’m talking about Stetson walking in to Naples and getting stomped by FGCU, 74-55. Yah, there’s bad blood between the programs, but don’t stir the pot if you can’t bring the needed ingredients, I say.

“It’s obviously a very big win for us,” said FGCU coach Karl Smesko, acknowledging Stetson as a top rival despite FGCU’s sizable advantage in the series. “Stetson’s not going to lose very many games in conference, so you’ve got to win your games at home against them.”

The Hatters will get a chance to even the score on February 23rd.

American squeezed by Army. They’re  joined by Navy atop the Patriot League, making the conference name seem quite appropriate.

It was all Enemkpali, as Texas got its first Big 12 win.

Ball State moved to 5-1 in the MAC, but at 6-0, Central Michigan may be the class of the league. We’ll see how they handle Bowling Green on the 3rd. Their rematch against Toledo (which they won, AT Toledo) is on the 24th. The Rockets had to do everything they could to escape MAC-winless NIU, 44-42.

In the Southern, Davidson powered past Elon in the second half, to move to 8-1 in conference play — .5 behind the Mocs, who defeated Appalachian State, 59-55. That rematch, the Wildcats lost at home the first game, will happen on Feb. 25th AT Chattanooga.

Green Bay dismissed Valpo, moving to 5-0 in the Horizon.

Quinnipiac held Fairleigh Dickinson to 13 in the second half, on their way to a 66-39 win. The Bobcats are now 7-0 in the NEC, and have their best start in program history.

After opening the season with three losses, and suffering their first conference loss, Seattle U recovered against Texas State and moved to 8-1 in the WAC. Utah State (7-2 in the Conference) is up next.

Nebraska-Omaha gave the Wabbits a wun for the munny, but South Dakota State held on for the 10pt win and the 7-1 Summit record.

St. Joe’s keeps up with Dayton, Duquesne and Fordham, and now  sits at 4-0 in the A-10.

‘Ware the Bengals: Idaho State took down conference top dog Montana State, 63-55. That made Montana, relieved 61-53 winners over winless Weber State, quite happy.

Albany is proving they’re the American East’s Big Dog.

Nice, nice win for San Francisco and coach Azzi: 65-56 over BYU, avenging their 80-58 loss in the WAC opener.

Coop’s Texas Southern keeps winning. This time, it was Alabama A&M on the losing end.

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but it’s okay ’cause I haven’t checked the scores.

How’d we do?

Next round:

Saturday, March 24
Syracuse at Toledo, 2 p.m. ET
Sunday, March 25
Colorado at Oklahoma State, 1:30 p.m. ET
Virginia at JMU, 2 p.m. ET
San Diego at Washington, 3 p.m. ET

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and their fans — not so much for their opponents: Shafir to return to court for fifth season

Michelle Smith checks in with sabbaticaling Charli.

The AP’s Beth Rucker talk a little Glory: Johnson develops into Lady Vols’ most solid player

The Little Engine That Could: USC’s Jacki Gemelos won’t give up on basketball despite injuries

As Graham promised: Every possession counts for Bonnie – ‘Moneyball’-like approach puts St. Bonaventure on right path

The Bonnies don’t play fast, but they aren’t nearly as slow as the outside world has been to acknowledge their success.

“We’re a different place,” Crowley said. “We love the place that we’re at. We think that from the university to the people to the kids in our program, it’s all overlooked. We realize what great kids we have and what a great place this is, but outsiders don’t, so we’ve got to be unique.”

Like Bowling Green, Gonzaga, Green Bay, Marist, Middle Tennessee and other mid-majors with staying power before it, St. Bonaventure has discovered a formula for success that works for its particular surroundings. One of the stars of a Sweet 16 run at Bowling Green in 2007, Kate Achter is in her second season as one of Crowley’s assistant coaches. What she found in the solitude of New York’s Southern Tier was foreign in method but entirely familiar in effect.

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You stay put

Grateful UT extends contract with women’s basketball coach Cullop – 1,000 fans celebrating WNIT win cheer move

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since Houston lost and McNesse State won, the WHB curse was neutralized. (Yes, I’m using my escape goat.)

It’s the Cowgirls first trip to the NCAAs, and there’s a great story behind it:

Twin sisters Ashlyn and Caitlyn Baggett led McNeese State to the Southland Conference tournament championship and its first NCAA tournament berth on Friday night.

As they celebrated the 71-50 victory over Central Arkansas, the pair reflected on a time not too long ago when it looked as though they might never suit up for the Cowgirls again. After both had successful freshman seasons in 2009, they decided to leave the team and soon began dealing with health problems that threatened their athletic careers.

A year away from the court got them healthy and happy, and they combined for 38 points in the championship game.

Meanwhile, Houston ran into a Green Wave that has recently seemed to regain its footing. Their 70-60 upset of the #22 Cougars puts Tulane in the finals against UCF, who are riding a 10-game win streak.

No surprise, it’s UCLA v. Stanford in the Pac-10 finals, and Baylor v. Texas A&M in the Big 12.

Green Bay continues their run, and Graham continues his coverage.

Bowling Green moved past Central Michigan, 80-72, to move into the MAC finals. #1 seed Toledo got surprised by Eastern Michigan, and so it’s the Eagles, not the Rockets who’ll face the Falcons.

Prairie View A&M has recovered from their coach’s move last season, and are in the SWAC finals. Their former coach has taken her new team, UNC- Wilmington, into the CAA semis.

LaTech’s 1000th program win moves Spoon’s team into the WAC finals. Writes Mechelle: Life is grand for Lady Techsters

When sleeved jerseys were still the norm, box scores were run off on mimeograph machines and most “big” universities cared little for their women’s basketball programs, Louisiana Tech was winning games.

The sleeves are gone (even holdout Tech finally abandoned them), Twitter sends messages worldwide in a blink and there is significantly more money/effort now put into supporting the sport by most Division I schools.

And Louisiana Tech … is still winning games.

Friday, in fact, the Lady Techsters claimed their 1,000th victory, a milestone only Tennessee has reached among Division I programs.

“It means a lot to me because of them,” Tech coach Teresa Weatherspoon, one of the school’s playing legends, said of the current players. “I’m proud of where they’ve come from.”

Check out the finals on ESPNU today at 1pmPT.

Yup, I was right – you DON’T want to meet Delaware in the CAA tourney. The Fighting Blue Hens took down ODU, 72-55. EDD: 31pts, 10rebs, 4 blocks.

Okay, did my flashback make the Sycamore cranky? Indiana State (8/10 in the MVC) upset Stephanie Glance’s Illinois State Redbirds (12-6) 80-51 in the quarters.

Whoops! The Utes (7-9/MWC) used an exciting buzzer-beating shot to upset BYU, 50-49, so the Mountain West finals will feature Utah and soon to be Big East member, TCU.

It will be Portland State and Montana in the Big Sky finals.

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