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even though we’re pretty certain the Queens of the 12s will be Baylor and Stanford, it’s interesting to see who else is trying to make some noise.

Thanks to senior guard Tameka McKelton, the Rattlers slithered by MD-ES, 50-48 to move into the semis of the MEAC tourney.

Watch out! Central Michigan (19-14, 8-8 MAC) is on a roll: they take down Miami (OH) (21-9, 11-5), 78-64, and earn a place in the semis. You can watch them take on Bowling Green today.

In a battle of the Arizonas, the Wildcats couldn’t build on their upset of UCLA, and fell to Arizona State, 68-53.

Washington State had no problem pulling the upset and popping USC’s NCAA bubble: the Cougars take down the Trojans, 69-55. It’s the first time WSU has made it to the Championship semis. They’ll face Cal (who beat them by 5 last time).

In the battle of the Montanas, it’s the Bobcats who move into the semis of the Big Sky tourney, 68-59.

Keep your eye on Sacramento State (13-17, 7-9 Big Sky) next year — they’ve stunk in the past, but they’re improving. AND, they upset Eastern Washington (16-14, 10-6), 71-61, and are in the semis.

You know? I’m thinking I’ve not given Utah State the attention a 20-8 regular season deserved (of course, I may have just given them the kiss of death, but, hey, dem’s da breaks.).

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for the WNIT Pre-Season Bracket!

Top 10 teams Baylor, Notre Dame, and UCLA headline the field that features nine teams that played in the postseason last year. The Preseason WNIT field includes Akron, Chattanooga, Detroit, Drexel, ETSU, Hartford, Howard, Indiana State, Long Island, Manhattan, McNeese State, Tennessee Tech, and UAB.

Click here for the first-round schedule.

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Yup, Michelle, you have been busy.

What Tara Really meant was….on espnW

Stanford-St. John’s Game Story for espnW

Stanford-St. John’s Game story for Pac-10.org

Toni Kokenis feature for Pac-10.org

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of basketball. Tonight’s crew is going to have to pull out the stop to match’em. Mechelle sizes up the games.

Every team except Green Bay that will be playing in the second round of the women’s NCAA tournament Tuesday night has previously been to the Sweet 16. Even though for some of them, it has been a long time.

That includes No. 3 seed Miami, which faces sixth-seeded Oklahoma on Tuesday for a trip to the Dayton Regional semifinals.

About last night:

The Stomp:

#1 Stanford was pushed in the first, but pulled away in the second behind their sister act to take down the #9 Red Storm, 75-49. Writes Michelle Smith:

Connecticut. Tennessee. Duke. Texas. DePaul. Gonzaga. UCLA. Xavier. Rutgers.

All have been to Maples Pavilion in the last four years. None of them have won.

Now add St. John’s to that list.

The Stanford seniors bade farewell to their beloved home court Monday night in impressive style, as the top-seeded Cardinal overcame an early eight-point deficit to blow past ninth-seeded Red Storm, 75-49.

So it’s time for the final tally: 63-0. Kayla Pedersen and Jeanette Pohlen walked off the floor for the last time in their careers never having experienced the disappointment of a home-court loss.

The Semi-Stomp:

#2 Notre Dame took a lead into the half and maintained it through the second half to defeat the #10 Owls, 77-64.

Notre Dame had the impressive NCAA tourney resume.With a dominating inside game Monday night, the Fighting Irish just padded it some more.Their 77-64 victory over Temple advanced the Irish to the regional semifinals for the ninth time, and second in a row.It wasn’t exactly easy as Temple refused to quit, pulling within five points early in the second half and within nine late thanks to a defense that forced 19 turnovers. But when they needed a play, the Irish got it.

Almost a stumble:

It’s not as if #1 Tennessee was totally out of sorts as much as it was that #8 Marquette simply would not stop. Writes Mechelle:

…for a while, it looked like the Golden Eagles just might be able to pull what would have been one of the bigger upsets ever in the women’s NCAA tournament. Not because Marquette isn’t a strong team; the Golden Eagles proved they were. But because Tennessee has been impossible to beat at home in Thompson-Boling Arena in NCAA tournament games.

That record remained intact, but not until after the Orange Nation probably needed to munch on a Tums or two.

It was a tale of halves: the first one went to #6 Penn State, the second to #3 DePaul, as the Blue Demons survived, 75-73. PA native Keisha Hampton’s free throws were the difference. Writes Graham:

The NCAA tournament isn’t sentimental. It’s thrilling precisely because it’s ruthless, an unfeeling entity that exists not to reward the valiant or the deserving but simply the team that scores more points.

If you want a happy ending, you have to go out and write it yourself. And DePaul junior Keisha Hampton wrote one for her seniors Monday night.

#2 Duke was down, then up, then survived as Marist gave’em all they could handle, even after losing their best player to an ankle injury. From DWHoops.com:

Incredibly, Marist’s resolve hardened even further when their star guard Erica Allenspach when down with an injury and did not return. The Red Foxes pushed the lead to 11 on a couple of occasions and still led by 6 late in the game, but Chelsea “The Closer” Gray led the late charge, along with key baskets from Jasmine & Krystal Thomas. The mantra from the players after the game was simply “Survive and advance”. Duke played poorly for much of the game but their experience, toughness and resolve allowed them to ultimately prevail.

#5 Georgia Tech had a slim halftime lead over #4 Ohio State, but Lavender said, “Nope.” (Um, AP editor? How do you let someone get away with a sentence like this: “MaChelle Joseph said when Lavender got untracked, the game shifted.”

“She is the best post player in the country, and one of the top three players,” Joseph said. “She was aggressive in the second half. In the first half, she was a little passive, setting picks outside away from the basket. But then they started getting the ball to her on the block.”

The Trip Ups

#5 North Carolina was up on #4 Kentucky by 10 at the half and won by 12. I don’t know that I’m surprise the Wildcats fell, but I’m slightly surprised it was the Tar Heels who took’em down.

“We just haven’t had a game like that that our team just wouldn’t go to the boards,” Mitchell said. “We just got caught standing in the middle. So we wouldn’t go rebound, jogging back, it was a real uncharacteristic game for us. That’s why I’m so disappointed I could not get the team motivated to play North Carolina.”I thought it was a very pathetic performance in transition. When you let North Carolina get out and go 3-on-1 and you’re just jogging back; lights out, you’re done. It was one of the most disappointing performances I’ve ever seen from our team here at Kentucky.”

The Bruins were up by three over the Bulldogs, but Standish and Vandersloot put down the hammer and pushed #11 Gonzaga to a 89-75 win over #3 UCLA. (Vandersloot became the first player in Division I history — men or women — to record 2,000 points and 1,000 assists in her career.) Write Mechelle:

…no one can argue that Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves has built a terrific program in Spokane, and Vandersloot has been the centerpiece. The senior guard was sensational Monday: 29 points, 17 assists, 7 rebounds, 5 steals. During the game, she scored the 2,000th point of her career. Are you watching, WNBA scouts?

And it’s not too often that a player could score 30 points and be overshadowed by her teammate, but Gonzaga’s Kayla Standish was. Not that she minded.

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From Golden Nuggets: Joanne Boyle Wants Her Team to Toughen Up

After her team lost to UCLA in the Pac-10 tournament semifinals, Joanne Boyle continually brought up an issue that has plagued the team all season: lack of toughness.

From Jim Massie at the the Columbus Dispatch: Growth of Hill is paying off – Sophomore guard filling several key roles for Buckeyes

As the Buckeyes (22-9) prepare for their ninth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament this week, the sophomore Hill has blossomed into perhaps the most versatile player on a versatile team.

From DWHoops: Devils In Detail – This March edition examines the season-to-date accomplishments and postseason roles of Duke’s 11 active players.

From Cheryl Coward at HoopFeed: For Kim Mulkey, Destiny Williams was the key in Baylor’s Big 12 tournament success

How can you explain Destiny Williams is not on the All-Tournament team?,” said Mulkey. “She plays three games and she goes 21 points and eight rebounds, 18 points and seven rebounds, and she has 11 big rebounds today and you’re the champion and you only get the same number that A&M did, the same number of All-Tournament people?”

From the Spokesman Review: Gonzaga and Courtney Vandersloot: Perfect match

One word that mesmerized fans and vanquished foes wouldn’t expect to be associated with Gonzaga’s record-breaking point guard is “shy.”

But when GU coach Kelly Graves suggested Courtney Vandersloot call up the greatest point guard in school history and ask him for help, “It took me a couple of weeks to build up,” she said. “I’m shy.”

Her need to win and her desire to get better finally prevailed.

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Or might have been, if Ariana Morer didn’t hit a buzzer-beater to avoid a FIFTH overtime. It was Virginia over NC State, 94-92.

Sometimes the numbers lie: #11 Maryland shot over 50% and won the battle of the boards, but Miami’s Shenise Johnson couldn’t care less. She went off for 30pts and the #21 Hurricanes came away with the upset. The DC BasketCases called it a “Tale of two Halves.”

I know it’s all the rage to wonder what’s up with Ohio State, but I kinda have the same question about #18 Kentucky, especially after the Wildcats lost to the suddenly surging South Carolina.

The UW women got their first sweep of Cal since ’04-’05.

LSU free throwed…threw… used free throws to squeak by Auburn.

It’s Tigers v Lions in a key Ivy match-up tonight.

The Ducks, says Rob Moseley of the Register-Guard, reached a new low in their loss to UCLA.

That makes 10 in a row for the Northern Iowa women.

Not to be out done, that’s 49 Pac-10 wins in a row for the Cardinal.

We’ve heard this before: “Sloppy” and “Tennessee.” We’ve also seen the result: Lady Vol victory.

In a battle of the States, Michigan took it to Penn and Anthony Odoradi thinks Merchant should be a household name.

North Carolina enjoys playing Clemson.

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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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From Ben Bolch at the LA Times: UCLA plays host to USC in women’s basketball
Both the Nikki Caldwell-coached Bruins and Michael Cooper-coached Trojans come into the Pac-10 regular-season game having had their best season start in years.

From Curt Rallo at the South Bend Tribune: Mental approach key for Irish

From the Des Moines Register: ISU, Iowa women hit the big stage Saturday

Nine hundred miles apart, Iowa and Iowa State will share the national stage in women’s basketball today.

Both teams will be part of Top 25 battles that will be nationally televised.

From Tommy Piatchek, Jr at the Missourian: Yvonne Anderson returns to Columbia as starter for Texas women’s basketball

Missouri basketball fans normally view Mike Anderson as a coach. It’s easy to forget that the leader of the men’s team is a father off the court.

Saturday the Missouri women’s basketball team will host Mike Anderson’s daughter Yvonne Anderson and the No. 22 Texas Longhorns in the Tigers’ first game of Big 12 Conference play. Mike Anderson says he supports his daughter’s decision to play for Texas.

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Duquesne rallies and takes down #12 Ohio State, 71-67. Writes Jim Massie: Buckeyes’ slump deepens – Collapse in final five minutes leads to third loss in past four

There are different ways to be lost, ranging from a simple wrong turn to the sudden realization that the path in the pristine forest has led to an ocean of brambles with no exit in sight.

The Ohio State women’s basketball team felt like it had wandered into the deepest, darkest set of woods imaginable last night after blowing an eight-point lead in the final 5:04 of the game and dropping a 71-67 decision to Duquesne in Value City Arena.

#8 Stanford easily parries the #4 Musketeers and rolled to the win, 89-52.

Stanford had just trampled the nation’s No. 4 women’s basketball team in a blizzard of quick passes and three-point shots. It was altogether impressive, the way the Cardinal crushed Xavier on Tuesday.

Great. But what about UConn?

That was the prevailing sentiment in the wake of No. 9 Stanford’s 89-52 joyride at Maples Pavilion.

C & R was there:

R leans to me to be heard above the din and says, “This is a totally different team. This one is good.”

At the time, C and R were sitting with 4,493 fans who braved the misty rain (East coast readers are quoting the “We are a nation of wimps” mantra, but we almost went hydroplaning when we made that U-turn at Embarcadero and got our tennies wet walking back to our car, light rain is no laughing matter in Northern California, but I digress.) Anyhoo, C and R were sitting with all the Stanford fans that interrupted their Christmas vacation and played hooky from work to come out to a rare 1:00 PM game against Xavier, the game that C and R are billing as the revenge-of-the-double-missed-lay-up game from last year’s NCAA regional finals.

I wonder if the WHB curse was in effect: LSU upset #9 UCLA, 55-53.

“I think with this team, we pick and choose when we want to bring our intensity,” Caldwell said. “There are times when our full-court pressure looks good and is disruptive, because all five people are in sync. But there were many possessions in the second half when we didn’t have all five people in sync.”

The rest of the ranked teams held form. As a fan report shows, “The Streak” is bad for women’s basketball:

The U of P folks obviously went all out for this event, their first-ever Women’s basketball sellout. They gave out thousands of free t Shirts, had giveaways from In and Out Burgers and McDonald”s and some pizza place. Local radio celeb types, some dude who plays for the Raiders who grew up in Stockton, TWO mascots, the U of P Tiger and a lion mascot that I finally figured out was the Sacramento Kings mascot, Sac is about a half hour up I-5 from here. Anyhow they put on a pretty good show here for the occassion!

Other coverage:

Top-ranked lady (ack!) University of Connecticut Huskies roll past Pacific in front of sellout crowd

“It is great. We went to the mall the other day and people were excited. They said ‘You guys are playing Pacific right?’ They knew about it and knew what was going on,” Moore said. “It made me feel so happy that people are getting as excited about the game as we are. It is a beautiful thing, even all the way out here in California.”

Pacific vs UConn: UOP Gets Crushed In Front Of Sell-Out Crowd To #1 UConn Women’s Team

Despite lopsided score, visit by powerhouse UConn was great event

UOP vs. UConn women’s basketball game draws hundreds of fans

High school girls watched the nation’s number one team UConn Huskies, got a close look at Maya Moore — the best female basketball player in the United States — and were able to study the talented moves of college level athletes with their own teammates.

“You get to learn from them and see stuff you should work on as a team and as a player,” said Candisse Griffin, a Western Ranch High School JV basketball player.

“It means a lot to us to be here, because we haven’t seen a college game yet,” said Lindsey Booth, attending the game with her teammates from Tokay High School.

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Closing the year in California

Over the Christmas weekend, I wrote a long, long entry reflecting more on the whole UConn streak/UCLA streak topic  … but realized (after writing it) that I’m very weary of that particular “debate” right now, and that you might be, too.

So I put that entry on the shelf. I may decide to post it later, or maybe it’s one of those blog entries that just never sees the light of day. (It would hardly be the first.) For now, let’s just move on completely from the Bruins and their record streak for men’s basketball, and instead talk about the next few days and where the spotlight will be for women’s hoops.

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From Leo Bottary at Vistage: Leadership, Teamwork, UCONN Women’s Basketball

Rather than diminish UCONN’s current 89 game win-streak by making irrelevant comparisons to the UCLA men’s record, we should marvel at the accomplishment through the eyes of Jim Collins, Patrick Lencioni, and Dave Logan.

The leadership and teamwork lessons abound.  To use Collins’ metaphor, they have the right people on the bus and the right people in the right seats.  Contrary to what some people argue, Connecticut doesn’t have ALL the best players.  Other teams are just as loaded with high school all-Americans.  The difference is that Connecticut has the right players in the proper roles for its particular organization and brand of basketball.

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from NPR: Host Scott Simon talks with Dwight Clay, the former guard for Notre Dame’s basketball team who scored the shot to end UCLA’s record-breaking winning streak.

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because, 1) I have, in the past, tweak Ryan’s inability to use the male/female qualifier and he got miffed at me and 2) It deserves a read,

Oh man, can’t we all salute these women?

Sometimes it’s very embarrassing to be a male.

The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team is in the midst of an extraordinary run that should be celebrated in song and story, with no qualifiers whatsoever. Yet we have been sidetracked into a male-generated debate, the purpose of which is to diminish the accomplishment.

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in the form of the fine writer Bill Reynolds at the Journal: UConn women’s 89-win streak deserves highest praise

Women’s sports have always floated around on the periphery of American sport. There are exceptions, of course, mostly in the traditional women’s sports of tennis, golf and figure skating. There was the phenomenon of the U.S. women’s soccer team a few years back, the team that found its sliver of fame.

But by all the traditional standards of measure — games on television, newspaper stories, talk around the water cooler, the sports that grab the American sports fan by the throat — we all know what counts and what doesn’t in the public’s perception. Just as we all know what records are sacred in the sports shrine. Like UCLA winning 88 straight college basketball games, back when the Bruins were the game’s gold standard.

Then along come the UConn women.

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Mykael Wright: UConn’s Record vs. UCLA’s Record: It’s About Much More Than Just Gender

Sexism? Homophobia? Chauvinism?  These are a few taboo subjects that are at play when comparing Auriemma’s UConn teams and Wooden’s UCLA teams.  Soon the storm will blow over and we’ll be back arguing over more manly things like why TCU’s undefeated season isn’t good enough to play for the national championship.

For the sake of women’s sports we need to keep talking about it.  For the sake of society as a whole we need to keep talking about it.

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Mike Pesca at NPR.

“There was a subtle but telling choice made after the game as the team posed at center court.

“A fan tossed the players a UCLA jersey. The name on the back (was) Wooden (and)  the number 88 was crossed out. The jersey wasn’t held up to the cameras. In fact, it was quickly tucked away by an assistant coach so no one could see it.

“UConn didn’t beat UCLA and they didn’t win a title.

“As the team posed for the horde of cameras, they weren’t holding on to a trophy, they were holding on to each other.”

Mechelle and some mouthy broad on WNYC’s The Takeaway.

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but Wooden’s grandson says, “John Wooden would’ve loved UConn.

Greg Wooden flew in from California to watch top-ranked Connecticut attempt to win a record 89th consecutive game on Tuesday night.

“I kind of thought that somebody should come here from the family and show support,” the 47-year-old Wooden said. “Certain players have said they’re not really supportive of the streak, and I know my grandfather would have loved to have been here to see this.”

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(as opposed to those who are writing about it) UCLA players prepare for UConn’s 89th

“I don’t know if I’ll be watching the [Connecticut] game because of the emotions involved in it,” said Marques Johnson, who was a freshman when the streak ended in 1974. “But on a certain level, if they do happen to win it and break the record or tie the record or whatever they end up doing, I have a lot of respect for the accomplishment. I’m really impressed with the job Coach Auriemma has done and how his players have responded to the challenges placed before them.

“There are some differences, but the fact they’ve won as many games as they’ve won, to win 88 games in a row at any level is a remarkable achievement. To be able to fight off fatigue and general malaise and things that can happen to a basketball team, to be able to win night in and night out, that’s a testament to just how good of a team they are and I’m happy for them.”

From Steve Litel at SlamOnline: UConn’s Winning Streak: Another Perspective – It’s not a men’s record. It’s not a women’s record. It’s a NCAA Division I record.

From my perspective: Of COURSE it’s a Division I record. But, when they talk about the men’s records, they never seem to say, “He holds the record for most points scored in Division I basketball, both men AND women’s.” While, they *almost* always say, “Pat Summitt is the winningest coach in both men’s and women’s basketball.”

Heck, remember when … Pitino? took his third team to the Final Four? So many reporters called him the first to do so, when we all know it was CViv.

If we can get reporters and fans to stop presuming, I’ll be happy. Hell, if we can get reporters to use MEN’S basketball as often as they use WOMEN’S basketball, I’ll be happy. Ish.

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and no, I’m not talking about the huge Duke/Xavier match up. But I am giving HuskyNan a shout out for her news gathering.

Record-breaking 89th straight awaits UConn, Post
It’s record time for UConn, Post
UConn women’s game day: UConn vs Florida State, Post
Auriemma honored by USA Basketball, Post

Geno Auriemma expects – and gets – perfection, Courant
Governor’s office orders blue and white, Courant
Geno’s former players follow the streak closely, Courant
Florida State at UConn, Courant

Seminoles in line to be victim 89, Register
It’s record time for UConn, Day
88 down, one to go for UConn, Day
Geno’s comments were apparently controversial, Day

Tough rivals await Huskies, Bulletin
Huskies can take winning to new heights tonight, Bulletin
Moore at heart of Huskies’ winning streak, Bulletin
Huskies victims of sexism, Bulletin

As Huskies shoot for record, gender debate stirs, Republican
UConn women go for all-time win record tonight, Mansfield-Storrs Patch

FSU women eager for historic battle, Tallahassee Democrat
FSU focused on stopping history, making a little of their own, WCTV

UConn ‘presence’ plays its part, Mechelle Voepel, ESPN
Auriemma speaks the truth about lack of respect, ESPN
In ignorance and basketball, SLAM Online
Geno Auriemma: Leader of UConn, defender of women, Larry Brown Sports
UConn Huskies shined while on Broadway, Swish Appeal
UConn streak is telling, and not in a good way, CBSSports

Lives in Vermont, works in NY, roots for UConn, Burlington Free Press
UConn women prepared to take their shot at history, Boston Globe
A magical team and its win streak, Wall Street Journal, Jason Gay

This is the stealth sports accomplishment of a young century. The UConn women’s program has been so good for so long, its dominance is more expected than celebrated. Wins accumulate and challengers are vanquished with such regularity that the public reacts with little more than a passive nod. The UConn women are amazing. Tell us something we don’t know.

Tuesday is a night for the sports world to snap out of that casual respect and pay tribute. If you’ve ever complained about the decline of modern athletics and yearned for teams that played like teams, here you go, crankypants. The UConn women are an indivisible team that plays like a clenched fist—whether running away or narrowly escaping, like in that 65-64 win over Baylor not long ago.

UConn women’s basketball on verge of making history, WNYC
Geno Auriemma fires back at critics, NY Post
ESPN, marketers eye UConn win, NYSportsJournalism

Jim Boeheim says UConn women’s team is great basketball story, Syracuse.com
Philly women coaches laud UConn’s achievement, Philly Daily News (Tonya quoted)
UConn women close in on history, Philly Inquirer
UConn women aim for record, Northern Virginia Daily
UConn streak is simply remarkable, News & Observer (NC)
Holiday Invitational players weigh in on UConn women’s feat, Myrtle Beach Sun

UCLA, UConn streaks are equally impressive, Dayton Daily News
Connecticut women on a run for the ages, Detroit Free Press
UConn streak on par with Wooden’s Bruins, Norman (OK) Transcript
UConn streak opens debate, Tulsa World
UConn’s winning streak: Gant, Romar agree, 88 wins is 88 wins, SB Nation Seattle
Just enjoy UConn’s streak, Spokesman Review (WA)

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why do they care if somebody says so?

Responding to UConn’s Geno Auriemma

Jim Caple: Attention grab

I’m sorry, Geno. Has your team done something noteworthy? I’ve been too busy filling out my bowl bracket to notice.

I apologize for being flip, but I just can’t take your obvious attention grab seriously. The room was filled precisely because the media considers your winning streak to be a significant achievement. But no miserable bastards (i.e., straw men) are having a heart attack because no one considers this breaking UCLA’s record. UConn holds the women’s record and UCLA holds the men’s record. Just as UConn won the women’s NCAA tournament last year and Duke won the men’s.

Clearly Caple hasn’t been paying attention to the misogynist bullshit, the dismissive demeaning comments, and the uniformed opininionating. I mean, if the media considered the women’s streak “a significant achievement,” where was frenzy when UConn broke 70. Or Washington’s 81? Wait, wasn’t that the point?

Graham Hays: Dictating the fight

Too many people are doing the language harm by throwing around the word “rant” with respect to Geno Auriemma’s comments. He looked out over a room filled with many media outlets too uninterested to cover the 87 wins that preceded Sunday’s rout and had to know what was coming. He had to know because people have been asking him for weeks about UCLA and whether any women’s basketball team is worthy of sharing a sentence with the Bruins, let alone surpassing their record. So Auriemma did what he always does, and what his teams do to such effect on the court — he dictated the terms of the fight. That he did it sarcastically, wittily and less than diplomatically just proves he knows his strengths.

The only thing at stake in all of this is the statistical bookkeeping of which team won more basketball games in a row at the Division I level. And when that becomes the chum in the feeding frenzy of a controversy-hungry news cycle and people looking for some excuse to point out how much better they were at basketball during their high school glory days than is any current Connecticut player, diplomacy was always going to fall on deaf ears.

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The Red Foxes knocked off #21 Big Red. I’m guessin’ they’re hoping what happens in Vegas DOESN’T stay in Vegas.

And how about’em undefeateds:

Arkansas (11-0) knocked off #12 Oklahoma.

Boston College (11-0) over NC-Willmington.

North Carolina (11-0) over South Carolina.

UCLA (9-0) over Hawai’i.

Xavier’s undefeated, going into a big game v. undefeated Duke, Tuesday, 7pm. (The contest will be aired live on http://www.GoDuke.com via GoDuke Inside Access.)

Oh, and Florida Gulf is 8-0.

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someone else does all the hard work. With a h/t to HuskyNan:

UConn women make it a record 88 straight, Post
UConn women’s report card, Post
Huskies do it as a team, Chris Elsberry, Post

There stood his guest for the game, Gail Goodrich. The same Gail Goodrich who played for legendary UCLA coach John Wooden in the mid-1960s. The same Gail Goodrich who led the Bruins to their first two NCAA titles, including a perfect 30-0 record in 1963-64. The same Gail Goodrich who was part of the Los Angeles Lakers‘ NBA-record 33-game winning streak in 1971-72.

As he too offered congratulations, what struck Auriemma was the look in Goodrich’s eyes.

“He had this look and the only words that came out of his mouth were, `It was my pleasure. You guys are a real team,’ ” Auriemma said about the moment. “Those people that played on those (record-setting UCLA) teams, even though he (Goodrich) didn’t play on that particular one, they understand, we’re a team. We do what teams do. We go out and we play hard and we play together and we accomplish what we set out to do.”

Notebook: Inside job, Post

UConn beats Ohio State, tie UCLA for all time winning streak, Courant
Dolson neutralizes Ohio State All-American, Courant
Extras from the UConn women’s game, Courant
Auriemma, Huskies never at a loss, Jeff Jacobs, Courant

“When you lose it’s easy motivation,” Moore said. “I think what we’re doing is harder. You have to build that motivation from somewhere else. In practice, Coach puts us in tough situations all the time. He puts almost double the guys out there to play against. We lose sometimes. You have to take those failures and come back against the [male] practice players. So it’s not like we never experience that feeling of failure.”

Notebook: Calhoun praises streak, Courant

Photos: UConn vs Ohio State, Courant
Photos: UConn’s win streak, Courant
Huskies match UCLA’s winning streak, Register
Dolson delivers on the boards, Register
UConn, UCLA now share magic number, Dave Solomon, Register

“It’s two different times, but kind of similar times as far as where both teams are in the course of college basketball history, respective to male and female,” said Moore after a typically exceptional performance that helped UConn to an 81-50 rout of 10th-ranked Ohio State.

“Both teams share the level of competitiveness and expectation that is above everyone else. And the way they show that is by competing and winning every night. We would just like people to remember how much we respect and love the game, and hopefully they can see that when we play.”

UConn women dominate Ohio State, 81-50, Day
88 down, one to go for UConn, Day
Next game will be a big one for UConn women, Day
Rebounding spotlight at the Garden shined on Dolson, Day
To dismiss UConn accomplishment because of gender is ridiculous, Mike DiMauro, Day

No doubting Huskies as they streak on, Republican
Moore her usual steady self in win, Republican
Broadway show, Daily Campus
Dolson welcomes impressive entourage to the Garden, Times Record
A case of sniffles can’t slow Stefanie, Times Record
An event that lives up to its name, Times Record

Buckeyes become No. 88, Columbus Dispatch

The Buckeyes (8-2) had hoped for better but didn’t have the guns to match All-American Maya Moore, Tiffany Hayes and the rest of the Huskies (10-0). They also didn’t have the edge.

“They played a lot harder than we did,” Ohio State coach Jim Foster said. “We’ve got to run harder. We’ve got to get down the floor and have a sense of urgency.”

Huskies romp for 88th in a row, Philly Inquirer
UConn reaches 88 straight, Boston Globe
UConn’s women’s basketball team wins 88th consecutive game, tying UCLA record, NY Post

PSU volleyball a better comparison, Mechelle Voepel, ESPN

A fellow with a sarcastic wit, a strategic mind, and a knack for making good players into great ones and making great players into legends had a victory cigar this weekend.

OK, cigars are gross (don’t try this at home, kids), but we all have our vices. And when you’ve been this successful at your profession, you can indulge every once in a while.

Think we’re talking about Geno Auriemma? Well, we could be. But in this case, we’re referencing Russ Rose, whose Penn State’s women’s volleyball program won its fourth consecutive NCAA title Saturday night.

Celebrate UConn and UCLA, don’t compare, Graham Hayes, ESPN

“I know there would not be this many people in this [press] room if we were chasing a women’s record,” Auriemma said after the game. “The reason why everyone is having a heart attack the last four or five days is a bunch of women are threatening to break a men’s record, and everyone is up in arms about it. All the women are happy as hell and can’t wait to come in and ask questions. All the men who love women’s basketball are excited, and all the miserable bastards who follow men’s basketball and don’t want us to break the record are all here because they are pissed. So that’s the way it is.

“If we were breaking a women’s record, everybody would go: ‘Aren’t those girls nice.’ Just give them two paragraphs in USA Today or give them one line on the bottom of ESPN, and let’s send them back where they belong in the kitchen.”

UConn effortlessly makes history, Wall Street Journal

UConn women’s basketball wins 88 straight, CBS News
UConn women match UCLA, share history, Time
UConn women tie all-time basketball win streak, NBCPhiladelphia
UConn women’s basketball team makes history, NPR
UConn’s game streak should have no relation, Aiken Standard

Even men’s coaches are talking about UConn women, Carolyn Peck, espnW

There’s dominant — then there’s the UConn women, Beyond the Arc, NBC Sports

ESPN going all out for UConn’s record run to 89, Sports Newser
Geno Auriemma: UConn streak* victim of gender bias, Fan House
UConn’s 88th Consecutive Win: A Well-Rounded Effort On Both Ends In Historic Victory, Swish Appeal

From the Inside: Witnessing UConn Women Make Basketball History, Because I Played Sports blog

So here’s my argument – the Huskies were not cheated at all today. They got their well-deserved recognition. We were on our feet. The volume of support in Madison Square Garden was top-notch. Counting down from 25 seconds, everyone rose and started chanting, “Eighty-Eight! Eighty-Eight!” (see video below)  The level of  enthusiasm was comparable to any other professional sports game that I’ve experienced in my lifetime. And it came from the inside, from the core women’s basketball community.

We don’t need mainstream support to acknowledge achievement. All we need to do is come together and get a little louder. And we don’t always need a history-breaking record as an excuse to do it. It can start with a simple conversation, an email, a comment, or a tweet. We just need to start talking.

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there was a ton written leading up to the UConn/Ohio St. match up:

UConn’s Moore, Dixon remember bitter taste of losing, Post
Game day: Ohio State vs UConn, Post
UCLA’s run of 88 once believed to be untouchable, Post
A closer look at UCLA men’s 88 game streak, Post
UConn, UCLA: Tale of 2 dynasties, Courant

Forget comparisons; each streak is a thing of beauty, Jeff Jacobs, Courant
UConn women, UCLA men will stand together, no matter the fruit, Courant
History is Buin for Huskies, Register
Streak by the numbers, Register
Bulldogs upset No. 15 Florida State, Register

Huskies are on the cusp of history, Day
It’s the week of the streak for UConn women, Day
In the final stretch toward the record, Day
Geno deadpans his way to history, Day

UConn Huskies heading for history, Bulletin
Most viewers won’t be able to see record-tying UConn game, Bulletin
On the biggest stage, UConn women shoot for 88 straight, Republican
UConn, UCLA streaks are similar in several ways, Republican
UConn poised to make history, NBCConnecticut
Dolson makes strides at No. 1 UConn, Times Record

OSU women don’t want to be victim No. 88, Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State women’s basketball team faces huge test against powerful Connecticut, Cleveland Plain Dealer
UConn’s streak a Wooden delight, Long Beach Press Telegram
Connecticut goes for UCLA’s basketball milestone, LA Times
UConn’s Geno Auriemma: From Philly to basketball immortality, Philly Inquirer

Foster’s Buckeyes challenge Auriemma’s Huskies, Mel Greenberg, Philly Inquirer
UConn women deserve same respect as UCLA men, Fan House
Just win, baby! UConn cast changes, results don’t, SI
UConn do it, Geno – stay where you are
, NY Post
No smoke and mirrors needed for UConn women’s streak, Jackson (MS) Sun

UConn takes aim at long-held UCLA streak, St. Louis Dispatch
UConn streaks stirs emotions on both sides, Bradenton Herald
Before UConn, there was Wayland, NY Times
When Baptists were queens of…basketball, Baptists Today
Connecticut women are 1 win shy of matching UCLA, Fox News

UConn streak doesn’t suffer by comparison, Fox News
If this were men…, Swish Appeal
UConn women’s streak stands on its own, Daily Press

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Norm Chad of the Sun-Times writes: UConn women rolling toward record streak

The Connecticut women’s basketball team — arguably the most successful 21st-century enterprise in America not propped up by Oprah Winfrey or municipal bonds — goes for its 88th consecutive victory today, which would tie the 1971-74 mark of UCLA’s legendary men’s basketball team.

Meanwhile, Connecticut’s Rich Elliot blogs: Lavender Looking To End The Streak Sunday

“I do want to stand in the way of the 88-game winning streak,’’ Lavender said. “(Assistant coach Ed Baldwin) had a really good point. You don’t want to be a trivia question; be on the bad end of a trivia question. We have to come out extremely hard. I’m excited. We want to win. We have what it takes to be a great team. We just have to show it. This is our time.’’

In the NCAA.com article, UConn poised to set streak standard, the have some nice “streaks of note” lists.

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but they will if you’re Christine Brennan and you call’em out about it. (No, I’m not surprised.)

MEDIA: UConn’s winning streak is netting little interest, LA Daily Times

UConn Women Not Rivaling UCLA’s Streak, Real Clear Sports

You can’t UConn me, Bob Lutz, Wichita Eagle

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From the APs Nancy Armour: UConn cast changes, results don’t

Worth considering, however: UConn has beaten 16 top-10 teams during its streak, four more than UCLA did during its run; UConn is 281-3 against unranked opponents dating back to 1999. That means the Huskies win games they’re supposed to win, rarely getting tripped up by overconfidence, fatigue or other factors.

“How he can keep his team at the level he does is almost unreal. I respect him way more for that than his championships,” Michigan State men’s coach Tom Izzo said. “He doesn’t have letdowns. If he’s supposed to beat a team by 20, he beats them by 30. There are few programs that can do that. We’re not one of them. I don’t know many that are, but he sure has done that, and that I have total respect for.”

Speaking of UCLA, Mechelle writes: Coaches are kindred spirts – Geno Auriemma, John Wooden emphasize unselfish, disciplined mindset in hoops, life

Because Wooden, who passed away this summer at age 99, became deified during his lifetime, it’s not particularly fair for anyone to be measured against that standard. And it’s certainly not something Auriemma would ever ask for, let alone expect. To the contrary, he actually relishes telling the tale of how Wooden forgot they had once met, describing it as a reminder to not ever get too full of yourself.

Auriemma is a prideful person who is also — his critics might not believe this, but it’s true — disdainful of self-absorption and conceit. If people are looking for similar threads in the stories of Wooden’s and Auriemma’s successes, that’s a good place to start.

Because underpinning the idea of playing team-oriented, unselfish, disciplined basketball — defining characteristics of both coaches’ teams — is the belief that those principles have to guide one’s life, not just sports.

ESPN’s put together a streak breakdown and from ESPN Magazine, Maya on perfection.

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Streaks Put UConn and U.C.L.A. in Same Conversation

Pamela Grundy, a co-author of “Shattering the Glass: The Remarkable History of Women’s Basketball” (New Press, 2005), said the UConn and U.C.L.A. powerhouses should be appreciated as if they were boxers fighting in different weight classes.

“Sugar Ray Robinson did not beat the heavyweights, but that doesn’t mean people didn’t think he was great,” Grundy said in a telephone interview. “You achieve within your own sphere.”

Wooden told The Wall Street Journal before he died in June at age 99 that UConn’s streak was “good for the game,” adding, “There’s some incentive for others to come up to Connecticut’s level.”

***

Pete Trgovich, a guard on U.C.L.A.’s title teams of 1973 and 1975, said, “I want to congratulate them.” Then he laughed and added, “Just think, someday they may compare us to those great Connecticut women’s teams.”

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Giorgis gets 200th win as Marist defeats Boston U.

Out in LA, Bill Plaschke is noticing the Bruins: Nikki Caldwell heats up UCLA women’s basketball (and I’m finding it hard to miss the double entendres)

I am scanning the office shelves of the hottest college basketball coach in Los Angeles.

Nikki Caldwell’s UCLA women are off to their best start in 30 years, and I tell her I’m trying to find things that are indicative of her personality.

I am check out the autographed basketballs, the team photos, the inspirational books, then she notices me staring for the longest time at an unusual pair of shoes.

“So I guess you think those leopard pumps are pretty indicative, huh?” she says with a laugh.

From the Daily Herald: Orender moves on with great memories of WNBA

Speaking of which, Clay chimes in on her exit: WNBA CEO Resigns, Leaving Future in Doubt – The WNBA took another hit this week, raising serious concerns

Yes, Donna Orender had her critics, but she was the model of a professional sports executive. Was she annoyingly upbeat all the time? Of course, but if she wasn’t in all-positive mode, who would be? Did she make the WNBA decision-making process as secret and  impenetrable as China under Mao Ze Dong? Regrettably, yes, but she clearly controlled the message.

But now she’s leaving — or already gone, really — and left behind is a vacuum of unanswered questions and troubling speculation.

Another milestone: 350 high school victories.

“We got a lot of young girls transferring over from high school, [where] you don’t have to defend some of the top players in the nation,” said center Lynetta Kizer, who has emerged as the team’s vocal leader, especially on the defensive end. “We want to be able to beat ACC-caliber teams; that’s why most of our focus today in practice was on defense.”

 

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a beautiful Saturday with a head cold.

Just as WHB gave a shout out to Georgetown, the work of Nikki Caldwell at UCLA and Sylvia Crawley at BC is making us stand up and cheer.

On the East Coast, there’s the Eagles. With the (odd) departure of Kathy I, the knock on’em was that the team has flourished only because of her drive, not because the Athletic Department had any real interest in anything that didn’t involve football and money (hence the awkward shift to the ACC). But, after some readjustment time, their with a win over Hartford, may mean Dunkin’ Syl is finding her groove. That being said, the schedule is pretty sugar-laden (Vermont isn’t what it was last year). But, I’ll admit, I’d like to see a player like (and named) Swords advance in the Tourney.

Out on the West Coast, the knock on UCLA was that they had some great talent, but coach Kathy O couldn’t coach’em up. The fabulous battle between the Bruins and the Irish showed the impact of Caldwell’s work. Young players making key shots (and yes, of course, omigodwhattheheckwereyouthinking choices), but they pulled out a double OT win against the perennially strong Irish. At South Bend. In front of 6000 screaming fans.

Watch out Tara. You might not be feelin’ so giddy in a couple of years.

Speaking of the Cardinal, there was no N.O., but Stanford still managed to quiet the Utes (hi, coach Elliot! Enjoy the season off!). Tara is five wins away from 800.

Andy Landers coached his 1000th… 1000th!!!! game, and the Bulldogs made it a victory.

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From Kris at Houston Roundball Review

What are your thoughts on the Pac-10 overall?
Kara: Stanford’s clearly been the class of the Pac-10 for a lot of years now. I think this is an exciting year to watch them as they have experience. I think they’ve improved their athleticism with the addition of (freshman forward Chiney) Ogwumike. I just think that they’re in a great position with (Jeannette) Pohlen in the backcourt being a senior. (Kayla) Pedersen in the frontcourt being a senior. They’ve had great chances to win the championship the last few years; but, this might be their best chance.

UCLA is an up-and-coming program. We’re going to see them be a mainstay in the NCAA Tournament the next few years.

As far as the rest of the Pac-10, honestly, this is a conference that, I think, needs to do a better job of scheduling in out of conference and winning games when they do play teams out of conference just because the resumes as a whole, when you look outside of Stanford and UCLA, are not strong in that area.

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