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A Saturday of…

Ugly

#1 Tennessee over #16 Northwestern State, 70-46

Urus Iff-iffish

#2 Baylor over #15 Western Kentucky, 87-74

Upset

#9 Arizona State over #8 Vanderbilt, 69-61

#10 Florida State over #7 Iowa State, 55-44.

Unsurprising Upset

#12 BYU over #NC State, 72-57.

Unbelievable!

#7 DePaul over #10 Oklahoma, 104-100.

#8 St. John’s over #9 USC

Under the Gun

#7 California over #10 Fordham, 64-63.

#5 Oklahoma State over #12 FGCU, 61-60 OT

Uno, but Upsetting

#6 Syracuse over #11 Chattanooga, 59-53.

Unconcerned

#4 Purdue over #13 Akron, 84-55

#4 Nebraska over #13 Fresno State, 74-36.

#2 Duke over #14 Winthrop, 87-45.

#2 Stanford over #15 South Dakota, 81-62.

#3 Kentucky over #14 Wright State, 106-60.

#1 Notre Dame over #16 Robert Morris, 93-42.

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News out of Indianapolis

Indianapolis (AF) – The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee has announced changes to its bracketing procedures for national championship tournaments, which will take effect in 2012. According to committee chair Marilyn McNeil, athletic director at Monmouth University, the revised procedures “will refocus the tournament on women’s basketball’s roots.”

Under the new procedures, the tournament seeding process will be based closely on geographical considerations. To ensure this focus, teams selected for the tournament will be placed in regions based on their distances from regional sites and then will be ranked from 1 to 16 within each region. In most cases, this will mean that teams will be assigned to the closest regional sites, and to the subregionals based on their distance from the subregional sites.

For instance, according to Dr. McNeil, if the rules had applied to this year’s tournament, Texas Tech, Texas, Oklahoma, Stetson and Utah would have been moved to the Dallas region, while Green Bay, Michigan State, Rutgers, West Virginia and Northern Iowa would have been moved out. This year’s subregional in Cincinnati would have included Bowling Green, Louisville, Notre Dame and Xavier.

“We’re always looking at ways to increase attendance at regional sites,” said Dr. McNeil.

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From the NCAA: Division I women’s basketball tournament expansion an issue for discussion

“We need to do the right thing for the right reasons.”

– Sue Donohoe, NCAA vice president of Division I women’s basketball

While that statement could apply to a number of issues in women’s basketball, the 11-year chief executive of the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship is talking about the possibility of expanding the 29-year-old tournament bracket.

And while there may be any number of issues in the game that are at least as important, perhaps none evokes more opinions about what is “right for the right reasons” than tinkering with the tournament.

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Come tourney time, everyone seems to have an opinion about why this site should or shouldn’t be hosting and why that site is a far better option for the growth and/or image of women’s basketball.

Well, now’s the time to talk to your nearby AD and convince them to make the leap and put in a bid!

“We encourage all Division I member institutions and conferences to take advantage of this opportunity to serve as host for the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship in 2012,” said Jane Meyer, chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee and senior associate director of athletics at Iowa. “Whether you have had a past history or are a potential first-time host, the committee is looking for basketball communities that will support the championship and enable it to maintain a strong position.”

The Division I Women’s Basketball Committee began the bid process by e-mailing each Division I institution and conference earlier this month describing the process and corresponding deadlines.

Interested parties must submit a Declaration of Intent to Bid form by July 23. The form is not a “commitment” to bid but an indication that the institution or conference may have an interest in bidding.

Someone who has followed the history of the selection process can confirm this (WNBAfan @ yahoo.com) but I believe the NCAA has shortened the “lead time” in the decision making process — meaning, programs are only trying to project two years into the future, not, say, five. That’s got to make the prospect of making a bid more enticing.

Wanna know more about what it means to host? Ask those who have.

By the way, for all the dire predictions and lack of host teams being in the tournament, I believe attendance was UP.

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