Monday, March 27, 2017

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The wild, wild road to the Final Four

What a game day! I'm exhausted. But exhilarated.......

Morgan William scored a career-high 41 points to lead Mississippi State past Baylor in overtime, 94-85.

William was in tears right after the win, because yesterday marked the third anniversary of the death of her father. She dedicated the win to him.

It's the first Final Four in program history for the Bulldogs. Congrats to them.

Earlier in the day, Stanford toppled No. 1 seed Notre Dame, 76-75, in a game that also went down to the wire. The Irish threw up a shot at the last second, but Erica McCall's block sent it to the sidelines. Brittany McPhee had 27 points for the winners.

It's the thirteenth Final Four trip for the Cardinal.

Tomorrow it's Oregon vs. Connecticut and South Carolina vs. Florida State for the last two spots.

Final Four:

Florida State gets another shot at South Carolina tomorrow in the Stockton regional.

Gamecock coach Dawn Staley isn't sleeping much as she and her team prepare for a physical match up.

It's a fun time to watch the Seminoles.

Oregon needs a monumental upset to reach the Final Four.

The Ducks, with three freshmen starters and a savvy coach show not fear.

Oregon doesn't figure to be intimidated by UConn.

Husky senior Saniya Chong's journey has been rewarding.

Kelly Graves and Geno Auriemma admire each other.

Half of the Samuelson sister Final Four is set.

Team news:

Regret clutters the Notre Dame locker room.

The script has flipped for Arizona State: now the must replace their posts.

Player news:

TeeTee Starks will transfer from Iowa State.

WNIT news:

The semifinals are set: Villanova vs. Michigan and Washington State vs. Georgia Tech.

Odds and ends to catch you up

Our Bridgeport regional recap from yesterday.

Basketball is anywhere from 50-99 percent mental, depending on your view. Sabrina Ionescu's comments about Oregon playing loose seems to attest to the higher margin. Maryland, on the other hand, said they were thinking too much. "Let the game come to you," is more than just a catch-phrase. To play effectively, it's best to be in the middle: exerting relaxed but focused effort that is focused in the moment, and not on ultimate outcomes.

Shifting gears, the LA Times woke up just in time to send a reporter to UCLA's first- and second-round NCAA Tournament games last weekend. The reporter also wrote a story about Jordin Canada last week which, though her quote structure at the end was screwed up, at least showed the newspaper is trying to care.

They sent the writer to Bridgeport, and she came up with this story. This was the most touching part:

“I don’t want it to end,” UCLA Coach Cori Close said after the game as her voice cracked and tears welled in her eyes. “I thought they fought their guts out.”

We know what you mean, Cori Close. Felt the same way. And appreciate you for being a caring coach.

NCAA Tournament team news:

South Carolina is bracing for Florida State.

Mississippi State strives to achieve the success of Baylor.

The Bulldogs' success is all about strength and conditioning.

The Bears will face a tower of power in the Bulldogs.

Baylor has plenty of options as they strive for the Final Four.

The Bears have depth.

NCAA Tournament player news:

Fifth-year back up Tiffany Davis is getting her moment in the Tournament for South Carolina.

Oregon State's seniors are leaving a lasting legacy.

NCAA Tournament coach news:

UConn coach Geno Auriemma isn't surprised by Oregon's Tournament success.

A confident coach Sue Semrau is leading a confident Florida State team.

How Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer built an Elite 8 team.

College team news:

Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale hopes to find a go-to player in the off-season.

Missouri took another step this season.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

And then there were eight

Today's Elite 8 competition began with an upset:

Oregon took down Maryland, 77-63. Only three double-digit seeds have reached that round in tournament history, and Duck coach Kelly Graves coached two of them.

Then:

Connecticut struggled to a win against UCLA, 86-71. The Huskies have won 110 straight.

South Carolina ended Quinnipiac's magical run with a 100-58 rout.

Florida State staged a comeback to beat Oregon State, 66-53.

Tomorrow's schedule sees Stanford vs. Notre Dame and Baylor vs. Mississippi State.

Elite 8 previews and story lines:

Finding the perfect mix of players will be key for Mississippi State and Baylor.

Notre Dame and Stanford will meet again, with a Final Four trip on the line.

The Irish are set for a chess game with the Cardinal.

Upset-minded Oregon now sets their sights on UConn.

NCAA Tournament team news:

The glass is half full for Notre Dame.

What's next for Washington - reset or reload?

Photos from last night's Washington-Mississippi State game.

Quinnipiac's run helped boost the school.

The Lady Vols have a lot to think about before next season.

NCAA Tournament player news:

After delivering the joyride of a season, the Washington seniors won't be forgotten.

UCLA's Jordin Canada is the archetype for UConn's Crystal Dangerfield.

The Samuelson sisters keep in touch through their games.

Napheesa Collier and Katie Lou Samuelson are at the forefront of UConn's quest for another title.

Can Erin Boley deliver big for Notre Dame again?

Will Kelsey Mitchell leave Ohio State early for the WNBA draft, or will she stay?

She hasn't made a decision, but Tennessee's Mercedes Russell has, and she's staying.

College player news:

Precious Hall ends her career at James Madison as a legend.

Emily Thomas is leaving UNCW.

Recruiting news:

Oregon State's got a 6-9 signee.

WNIT:

Results and schedule for tomorrow.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Elite

Half of the Elite 8 has been decided:

Notre Dame trounced Ohio State, 99-76.

Mississippi State defeated Washington, 75-64.

Stanford prevailed over Texas, 77-66.

Louisville pounded Baylor, 97-63.

Tomorrow's schedule.

Another grip of news

NCAA Tournament team news:

UCLA is ready for UConn in the Sweet 16.

UConn's success recipe is run, run, and run more.

Maryland is riding the rails to the regional.

The Terps are fueled by regret as they head into tomorrow's game.

Oregon State has been winning with grit and experience.

South Carolina stands in the way for Quinnipiac.

Unspoiled by success, the Gamecocks keep striving.

Texas makes their first trip to Lexington since 1986.

NCAA Tournament player news:

It all starts with point guard Jordin Canada for UCLA.

How Washington's Kelsey Plum took over college basketball.

Plum and Chantel Osahor: how we do it in the Pacific Northwest.

How Plum and Oregon State's Sydney Wiese transformed their programs.

Baylor's Lauren Cox has juggled type I diabetes in her first year at Baylor.

UConn's Natalie Butler is looking to make her mark during the Tournament.

Allisha Gray's injury stressed South Carolina fans, but not her.

The NCAA will honor last year's Team USA gold medalists during the Final Four.

NCAA Tournament coach news:

UCLA coach Cori Close spent time learning from UConn.

John Wooden and Geno Auriemma are Close's mentors.

College team news:

What's next for Middle Tennessee's 10 returnees?

After a championship season, Gonzaga looks for more next year.

There's a culture change happening at Virginia Tech.

Cal's ride ended in the NCAA Tournament.

College player news:

Incoming freshman Anastasia Hayes is ready to make an impact at Tennessee.

The curtain has closed on the career of Middle Tennessee's Ty Petty.

Sophomore forward Brenna Wise is leaving Pitt.

New Mexico's Hannah Sjerven is transferring to South Dakota.

College coach news:

Sources say Florida has offered Becky Hammon the head coach job.

Iowa State has extended coach Bill Fennelly's contract through 2022.

The game:

Fourteen women's hoops fans share why they love the game.

Women are stealing the show during March Madness, but the NCAA continues to neglect them.

UConn's dynasty reveals the sexism in March Madness.

An SI writer has seen the light about the beauty of women's basketball.

International news:

Turkish women's hoops has made a mark despite their proximity to war.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

T'was the night before the Sweet 16

LET'S GET THIS GOING AGAIN, ALREADY!!

General Tournament news:

Those witty NCAA WBB tweets? Ball State students.

NCAA Tournament team news:

Florida State is focused on the here and now.

Louisville is again looking for an upset against Baylor.

The Cardinals are shaking off the underdog label.

Washington braces for a stiff defensive test against Mississippi State.

Notre Dame looks to move on without injured forward Brianna Turner.

Are the Irish still ready for Tournament success?

Three freshman starters have helped Oregon to the Sweet 16.

Moments that defined the Ducks' season.

Oregon is going places, to the Sweet 16 and beyond.

The Ducks feel like they're playing with house money.

Oregon's rebuilt team prepares to play the Terps.

Maryland arrives in Bridgeport with plenty of motivation.

The Terps consider an ailing seven-year-old "like a little sister."

Oregon State's seniors leave a legacy at home, but a bigger treasure awaits.

Beaver Breanna Brown is focused on the present.

The Ducks and Beavers would love an all-Oregon NCAA Championship.

The Gamecocks are wary of "Cinderella" Quinnipiac.

The Bobcats are enjoying a memorable climb.

How 12-seed Quinnipiac became a mispronounced Cinderella.

The Bobcats' Tournament run will have a lasting impact.

Is UConn peaking at the right time?

NCAA Tournament player news:

Victoria Vivians: How we do it in Mississippi.

Washington's high-scoring Kelsey Plum leaves opponents befuddled.

Texas' Joyner Holmes and Stanford's Alanna Smith are ready to make impact in Sweet 16.

The development of Holmes coincides with a rematch with Stanford.

Ohio State's Stephanie Mavunga is progressing, but coach Kevin McGuff is noncommittal about her return.

Leticia Romero broke out of her slump at right time for Florida State.

Mississippi State's dad-daughter combination works - just ask mom Holly Schaefer.

NCAA Tournament coach news:

Geno Auriemma is the 2017 United States Marine Corps/WBCA National NCAA Division I Coach of the Year.

Karen Aston will coach against an icon when Texas meets Stanford.

Muffet McGraw and Kevin McGuff must put their friendship aside tomorrow.

Texas A&M coach Gary Blair has a unique perspective on the Mississippi State-Washington match up.

Washington coach Mike Neighbors faces a friendly foe in Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer.

WNIT news:

Today's results and recaps.

College team news:

Five players - all international - will transfer from Maine.

College player news:

Jackie Benitez will transfer from Siena.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A balanced meal of news

Regionals news:

Injury might change the landscape at Lexington.

Four of the nation's top teams are headed to Rupp Arena.

Stockton is preparing to host.

NCAA Tournament team news:

The Pac-12 is making a statement with five teams in the Sweet 16.

The NCAA Tournament has boosted support for women's hoops in Seattle.

Sue Semrau and Florida State are focused on Oregon State.

Notre Dame shifts gears for Ohio State after losing Brianna Turner.

Baylor heads to Oklahoma City - the site of both cheers and tears.

Travel challenges are just part of the NCAA Tournament for Stanford.

Texas seeks revenge in their rematch with the Cardinal.

Quinnpiac: tough to say, hard to beat.

Teh Bobcats seeks another upset against top seed South Carolina.

Baylor and Louisville will cross paths again.

Oregon is waiting for another chance to play road warriors.

Maryland isn't looking past the surprising Ducks.

Washington gave fans a party Monday, and now they're ready to keep dancing.

Washington is confident about a return trip to the Final Four.

Ohio State is in a better place in their return to the Sweet 16.

Oregon State will see familiar teams in Stockton.

Steady growth led to a storybook ending for the Beavers.

UConn is winning by playing unselfishly.

NCAA Tournament player news:

Allisha Gray will be able to play in the Sweet 16, South Carolina says.

Gamecock freshman Tyasha Harris plays beyond her years.

Destiny Slocum means a lot to Maryland.

Lindsay Allen has driven Notre Dame into the Sweet 16.

Oregon alums say the Ducks' Tournament run has brought them together.

WNIT news:

Games resume tomorrow.....bracket and schedule.

Kim Barnes Arico will face her former team as St. John's visits Michigan.

College program news:

Riverside's Athletic Director, Tamica Smith Jones, joins the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Sport Committee.

College team news:

For Miami's seniors, Monday was a heartbreaking finish to their great careers.

College player news:

Up next for Syracuse's Brittney Sykes and Alexis Peterson: playing for pay.

College coach news:

Illinois is set to hire Nancy Fahey as their new coach.

Florida's pursuit of Becky Hammon is a big swing.

Holly Warlick could be coaching for her job next season.

Bryan Whitten's contract will not be renewed at Mount St. Mary's.

WNBA news:

Sweet 16 watch.

Walt Hopkins is Minnesota's new assistant coach.

High school news:

Don’t be that recruit: Five crazy stories told by college coaches.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Upsets, broken records, oh my!

If the rest of the NCAA Tournament is as heart-stopping as these first two rounds have been, I will need a couple more defibrillators......

Major upsets, bro:

Oregon upended Duke, 74-65, to reach their first Sweet 16.

Quinnipiac outlasted Miami, 85-78, to reach their first round of 16.

Another broken record for Kelsey Plum:

In Washington's 108-82 rout of Oklahoma, Kelsey Plum set an NCAA single-season scoring record. She now has 1,080 points.

More results:

Connecticut 94, Syracuse 64.

Baylor 86, Cal 46.

Stanford 69, Kansas State 48.

Louisville 75, Tennessee 64.

UCLA 75, Texas A&M 43.

Washington 108, Oklahoma 82 (Our reporter's game story).

Madness. Just Madness.