Sunday, March 31, 2013

The upset that no one saw coming

If you're like me, you're still absorbing Louisville's stunning upset of top-ranked Baylor in tonight's round three match up.

Sixteen three-point shots for the Cardinals. Smothering Brittney Griner with defense, and keeping her from scoring until 15:20 in the second half. Louisville mounting a 17-point lead, only to see Baylor whittle it down to nothing in the closing minutes. A final score of 82-81. All of it is just hard to believe.

Some serious write ups, videos and highlights so far, so let's dive in:

Griner reacts.

Highlights and comments from Coach Kim Mulkey.

Analysis by ESPN.

Shocking end for the Bears.

Louisville was just better.

The Cardinals created the perfect storm.

Baylor upset in the Sweet Sixteen.

Louisville's Monique Reid showed no fear.

Griner's final Baylor game was crazy.

Baylor isn't the only squad stunned by the upset.

Griner's most memorable college moments.

The five biggest tournament upsets so far, according to ESPN. I agree with the list, but not necessarily in that order.

Today's other games:

Notre Dame thrashed Kansas, 93-63. Skylar Diggins lead the Irish with 27 points, which made her Notre Dame's all-time leading scorer.

Irish-Jayhawks analysis.

Diggins was just following orders.

The crowd enjoyed the specialties of Jewell Loyd.

Kansas saw their tournament run come to an end.

Duke put away Nebraska, 53-45. Lindsey Moore's Husker career came to an end.

Duke analysis.

ESPN analysis.

Tennessee beat Oklahoma decisively, 74-59.

The Lady Vols felt at home.

Oklahoma totaled the fewest points of the season. Sooner Joanna McFarland finished a chapter in life.

And then there were Eight:

Five things to ponder for the Elite Eight.

Georgia Coach Andy Landers is passionate about anything he does.

Cal isn't intimidated by the big stage.

A'Dia Mathies and Kentucky are focusing on "what we need to do."

The Georgia and Cal seniors are still being tested.

Kentucky is ready for the UConn rematch.

Kentucky's Samarie Walker is living and learning.

It's been a tough road for UConn.

Tomorrow's schedule:

Kentucky vs. Connecticut at 4:30/7:30

Georgia vs. California at 6:30/9:30


Dawn Staley has removed her name from consideration at Ohio State.

Your primer for the day

Skylar Diggins' bid for her school's scoring record is just a subplot.

The fates of Notre Dame and Kansas rest on two players.

There's one small obstacle today for Louisville: Mount Griner. (Check out the facial expression)

Elite point guards fill the Norfolk region.

Maryland Coach Brenda Frese said UConn makes good teams uncomfortable.

Oklahoma wants to begin a tradition of its own.

Lady Vol diaries.

Stanford's Mikaela Ruef will have to pay her own way next year.

The party ended abruptly for the Cardinal last night.

With last night's win, Cal advances to their first Elite Eight appearance in school history.

Last night in Spokane, toughness prevailed.

Regionals are extending Norfolk's rich women's hoops tradition.

Win or lose, it has all worked out.

You've got a lot of nerve department:

Geno Auriemma was the top target for Ohio State in their coaching search. I also heard the Buckeyes were looking at a couple other tip-top names.....not sure who they think they are.

Canadian hoops:

Lisa Thomaidis is guiding Canadian basketball to new heights.

For NAIA champions Westmont College, coach's sorrow fueled them on the court

Get out some tissues for this inspiring story, about Coach Kirsten Moore and her NAIA Championship-winning team.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spokane, Bridgeport regionals

The big news of the night is that Georgia upset #1 seed Stanford, 61-59.

They'll face Cal, who put away LSU, 73-63, to reach the Elite Eight.

In Bridgeport, Elena Delle Donne tried her best to lead Delaware over Kentucky. But even her 33 points didn't stave off the Wildcats, who prevailed 69-62.

Monday they take on Connecticut, who thrashed Maryland 76-50.

Some items between the BIG games


Dawn Staley is being considered for the Ohio State coaching job.

Holly Warlick has adapted to life as Tennessee's coach.

Hands-off Coach Kim Mulkey is keeping Baylor rolling.


Irish guard Kayla McBride simplifies the game and soars.

Skylar Diggins and Angel Goodrich are in the spotlight at the Norfolk regional.

Oklahoma basketball is a love story. How Coach Sherri Coale kept them on track.

The Huskers have taken schemes from the Ivy League. They're not afraid of Duke.

Women's Basketball Invitational:

Detroit beat McNeese State for the crown.


The WNIT's Final Four are: Kansas State, Drexel, Utah and Florida.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Lots of ink

Tomorrow's schedule.

Sunday's schedule.

In the meantime, there's a lot of ink.......

Cal ink:

Coach Lindsay Gottlieb has carved her own path to success.

Layshia Clarendon has lead the Bears to the Sweet Sixteen.

Cal perseveres through tragedies.

Nebraska ink:

Associate head coach Sunny Smallwood plays a big role for the Huskers.

Native Nebraskans are all over the Tournament.

UConn ink:

Stefanie Dolson will play tomorrow.

Players take turns impersonating Coach Geno Auriemma.

Elena Delle Donne ink:

Elena Delle Donne's story is like Larry Bird's.

The Delaware star blogs.

Delle Donne and Brittney Griner are likened to Jackie Stiles.

Delle Donne is back in Husky territory tomorrow.

Kentucky ink:

The Kentucky Wildcats are getting to the next level.

Kentucky's three-point prowess is no accident.

Maryland ink:

A DVD from former Terp Kristi Toliver has motivated Maryland.

There's something about Maryland.

Tianna Hawkins and the crew are ready for regionals.

More ink:

Remember the Alana Beard days? Yep, me too. Duke is eying their first Final Four since 2006.

Georgia Coach Andy Landers is excited to be back in the Sweet Sixteen.

LSU hopes for point guard Jeanne Kenney's return, but they're prepping without her.

Senior forward Joanna McFarland came to the rescue for Oklahoma.

Kansas is surging behind better defense.

Baylor is having fun chasing their second consecutive title.

Louisville Coach Jeff Walz is proud of his team for overcoming adversity to make the Sweet Sixteen.

Tennessee will have to deal with "the head of the snake" in facing Oklahoma tomorrow.

Florida junior center Vicky McIntyre has missed the last six games and isn't with the team at the WNIT.


Quarterfinals begin tomorrow.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tournament, new coaches, WNBA, WNIT, WBI

ESPN has got regional previews galore for this weekend.

Duke's Elizabeth Williams is taking her team home for this next round.

Sue Gunter would surely be proud of LSU, one columnist says.

At Nebraska, Rachel Theriot appears to be the heir apparent to Lindsey Moore.

If the Huskers advance, Coach Connie Yori will get a $75,000 bonus.

Coaching hires:

Matt Insell is the new head coach at Ole Miss. He's been assistant at Kentucky for the last five seasons.

Bob Boldon is Ohio's new coach.

Finalists for WBCA 2013 Spalding Maggie Dixon Division I Rookie Coach of the Year are:

Holly Warlick, University of Tennessee

Aaron Roussell, Bucknell University


The WNBA and ESPN have extended their broadcasting agreement through the 2022 season.

The league also has a new logo.


The Tournament is down to six in the Elite Eight, with two more games tonight to determine the final slots. Last night's results and recaps:

Wednesday, March 27
St. Mary's 59, BYU 55
JMU 77, Fordham 61
Florida 67, Charlotte 65
Auburn 72, Tulane 52

Women's Basketball Invitational:

Semifinal Round

March 27th, 2013

Detroit 71 vs. #2 Pennsylvania 68

March 28th, 2013

7 pm CST - #6 South Dakota vs. #8 McNeese State

Wade Trophy finalists

2013 State Farm Wade Trophy finalists are:

Layshia Clarendon, California
Elena Delle Donne, Delaware
Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame
Stafanie Dolson, Connecticut
Brittney Griner, Baylor
Maggie Lucas, Penn State
A'Dia Mathies, Kentucky
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Connecticut
Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford
Meighan Simmons, Tennessee
Odyssey Sims, Baylor
Alyssa Thomas, Maryland

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Longtime Lady Vol athletic trainer Jenny Moshak's book "Ice 'N' Go" a fascinating look at a collection of issues

Jenny Moshak has a book coming out soon, and I talked to her about it.

Finalists for 2013 Russell Athletic/WBCA NCAA Division I Coach of the Year

The list:

Region 1 - Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame

Region 2 - Brenda Frese, Maryland

Region 3 - Holly Warlick, Tennessee

Region 4 - Tricia Cullop, Toledo

Region 5 - Kim Mulkey, Baylor

Region 6 - Coquese Washington, Penn State

Region 7 - Beth Burns, San Diego State

Region 8 - Tara VanDerveer, Stanford

Say what?

Odds and ends

Cal started from the bottom, now they're here.

Kayla McBride blogs. (The latest in my compilations for

Brittney Griner tweeted at halftime last night, her three-dunk game.

UConn Coach Geno Auriemma has signed a $10.86 million contract to remain at the school through the 2018 season.

No regrets for Delaware's Elena Delle Donne.

Michigan senior Kate Thompson was able to net 1,000 career points in the Wolverine's loss last night.

There's no chance Whitney Hand will play for Oklahoma in the Tournament.

The Vols and the Sooners face off next.

Pat Summitt helped shape Sherri Coale and the Sooners, Coale says.

Washington state's remaining ties to March Madness.

Tournament attendance and streaming is increasing.

High school icky bonus:

A Missouri basketball team poured urine into their opponent's cooler prior to a game last month.

New details revealed in Kaela Davis' decision to leave her high school team


BUFORD, Ga. -- The midseason departure of one of the nation’s top prep players from her high school team took a new twist when Full Court received copies of a text message reportedly sent by Kaela Davis of Buford High School to her teammates indicating that she left the team due to a dispute with her coach.....

Nearly two weeks later, on Feb. 9, an Atlanta television station first reported that Davis left the team due to health issues, and on Feb. 10, Kaela and her mother, Kendra Davis, told Full Court staff writer Bob Corwin that worsening symptoms of Ménière's disease were the reason she left the team. Ménière's disease, a condition that can cause hearing loss and severe vertigo, was reported as the reason for her departure from the team by Full Court, as well as several other media outlets, in reliance on the representations of the Davises.

Last week, however, a Jan. 31 text message from Kaela Davis to her Buford teammates was obtained by Full Court, which suggests that Davis left the team because of a dispute with Buford head coach Gene Durden, not because of her health.

The text message read, in part:

“I had an issue with Durden and we had a meeting and I spoke up about it and after the meeting he made it clear that everything was okay and we were good. The next day he told me I couldn’t play and at this point I just can’t trust him and I’m not comfortable with the situation anymore. With that said, I’m not playing anymore for the rest of the season.“

This confirms what I heard.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pac-12 All-Academic Teams

Pac-12 All-Academic Teams:

First Team

Chelsea Bridgewater, UTAH, Sr., 3.81, Psychology/Political Science
Kristi Kingma, WASH, Sr., 3.94, Communication
Rachel Messer, UTAH, Sr., 3.83, Management
Taryn Wicijowski, UTAH, Jr., 3.93, Biology/Psychology
Mariah Williams, UCLA, Sr., 3.89, Political Science

Second Team

Layshia Clarendon, CAL, Sr., 3.47, American Studies
Katie Grad, WSU, Sr., 3.80, Sport Management
Lexy Kresl, COLO, So., 3.52, Integrative Physiology
Eliza Normen, ASU, Fr., 3.57, Biomedical Engineering
Carly Noyes, WSU, Sr., 3.49, Elementary Education

More upsets, and some huge performances

What a night.

Upset University:

Elena Delle Donne lead Delaware to the 78-69 upset over North Carolina with 33 points. It's the first Sweet 16 appearance in school history.

Louisville upset Purdue, 76-63. The Cardinals are happy.

LSU stunned Penn State, 71-66. The Tigers only suited up seven players.

Almost upset:

Duke came back from a 13-point halftime deficit to put away Oklahoma State, 68-59.

Overcoming adversity:

The Kentucky Wildcats were stricken by a flu bug, but they held on to defeat Dayton, 84-70. A'Dia Mathies lead the way for the Wildcats with 34 points.

Huge performance:

Baylor blew out Florida State, 85-47, but the big story goes to Brittney Griner. She had 33 points, 22 rebounds and three dunks on the night to close out her last game on her home court.

More decisive wins:

Stanford 73, Michigan 40

Notre Dame 74, Iowa 57. Kayla McBride had a career-high 28 points for the Irish - 26 of which came in the first half.

Other tourney team news:

The Huskers are hitting their stride at the right time. Assistant Coach Shimmy Gray-Miller keeps them loose on the bench.

Even after limiting Creighton, the Lady Vols want more on defense.

For Notre Dame, sustaining success is a challenge.

Colorado wants to host the tournament again.

For Michigan State, there are no clear answers to Klarissa Bell's struggles.

Coach contract extensions:

University of Washington Coach Kevin McGuff has been extended through 2020.

Southeast Missouri State has extended Ty Margenthaler to 2016.

Kellie Harper out at NC State

Kellie Harper is out as North Carolina State coach after four seasons.


Seton Hall's new coach is Tony Bozzella.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

First round, second day

Today's results:

Kentucky 61, Navy 41

Duke 67, Hampton 51

Purdue 77, Liberty 43

Delaware 66, West Virginia 53

Oklahoma State 73, DePaul 56

Dayton 96, St. John's 90 (two overtimes....ouch)

Louisville 74, Middle Tennessee 49

North Carolina 59, Albany 54

Notre Dame 97, UT-Martin 64

Florida State 60, Princeton 64

Penn State 85, Cal Poly 55

Stanford 72, Tulsa 56

Baylor 82, Prairie View A&M 40

Michigan 60, Villanova 52

LSU 75, Green Bay 71

And the day's lone upset: Iowa 69, Miami 53

The bracket, after round one.

Which will be the most intense/riveting match up of round two?

South Florida vs. California?

Delaware vs. North Carolina?

Louisville vs. Purdue?

Iowa State vs. Georgia?

LSU vs. Penn State?

Other NCAA news:

Vanderbilt Coach Melanie Balcomb entertains the crowd.

Cell phone silence is golden for Purdue.

Michigan State Coach Suzy Merchant has made her great uncle proud.

Michigan hopes to continue raising the bar.

To Kentucky's Jennifer O'Neill, renowned trainer Jerry Powell is just dad.

Duke's goal is to bring Elizabeth Williams home.

In the second round, it'll be just like old times for Nebraska and Texas A&M.

Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins is calm as she readies for one last shot at the title.

The Tourney is bringing traffic to the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Texas Tech Coach Kristy Curry discusses the future of the program.

Colorado's stumbling is part of the road to success. Dynamic guard Chucky Jeffery's college career came to a close. :(

Updated WNIT bracket.

UMMC Ekaterinburg crowned Euroleague champs

UMMC Ekaterinburg beat Fenerbahce for the Euroleague crown today. Candace Parker was named Final Eight MVP.

Check out her Facebook photos, including one of daughter Lailaa mugging with the trophy.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Trinity Valley repeats as Juco national champions

The story from Salina, Kansas: Trinity Valley Community College won their second NJCAA title tonight by beating Central Arizona College, 83-71.

Box score.

Tournament bracket.

NCAA Division II: down to the Elite Eight.

Other tournaments:

WNIT bracket update.

Women's Basketball Invitational:

2nd Round Action

March 23, 2013

#8 McNeese State 66 vs #4 Elon 58
#2 Penn 49, #3 Fairfield 48

March 24, 2014

2 pm EST #1 Detroit vs. #5 College of Charleston
3 pm CST #2 Lamar vs. #6 South Dakota

California high school:

Remember back in January when Windward rallied to beat Long Beach Poly in overtime, by the skin of their teeth? Well as so often happens in our sport, the tables turned in tonight's state championship games.

Long Beach Poly locked down Berkeley for the Division I Championship.

Bishop O'Dowd bested Windward for the Open Division Championship.

Some upsets in the first round so far

Upset department:

Creighton 61, Syracuse 56

Kansas 67, Colorado 52

South Florida 71, Texas Tech 70

Close ones:

Oklahoma 78, Central Michigan 73

Vanderbilt 60, Saint Joseph's 54

Michigan State 55, Marist 47

Big wins:

Maryland 72, Quinnipiac 52

Tennessee 83, Oral Roberts 62

UCLA 66, Stetson 49

Cal 90, Fresno State 76

Texas A&M 71, Wichita State 45

South Carolina 74, South Dakota State 52

Iowa State 72, Gonzaga 60

Nebraska 73, Chattanooga 59

Georgia 70, Montana 50

Super blowout:

Connecticut 105, Idaho 37

Tomorrow's schedule.

Other Tournament-related news:

Dayton point guard Sam MacKay has moved past growing pains.

Notre Dame assistant coach Carol Owens gets the most out of the Irish posts. The entire team thrives on challenges.

West Virginia is hoping not to have a long bus ride home.

Purdue would like some help on the glass.

Kentucky forward Samantha Drake has been suspended indefinitely for "a number of things."

Cal Poly Coach Faith Mimnaugh says Kay Yow guided her early career.

Penn State is glad to be back in Baton Rouge.

Theresa Plaisance's physical and mental transformation has sparked her rise at LSU.

Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike is a force on and off the court.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Naismith POY finalists named

Finalist nominees for the Naismith Player of the Year are:

Elena Delle Donne
Skylar Diggins
Brittney Griner
Chiney Ogwumike


I really love the fact that we have a basketball-loving President, and one who makes brackets every year. He's picked Baylor, Notre Dame, California and Connecticut to reach the Final Four this year, with Baylor winning the championship again.

President Obama's bracket.

Video of the President explaining his picks.

Barack-etology behind-the-scenes.

Other Tournament news:

Thanks to the Pres, Cal has some Final Four expectations.

Penn State's Nikki Greene begins the final touch on her career masterpiece.

What you need to know about Texas Tech as they open play in Lubbock.

Fresno State is not your typical #15 seed.

Green Bay's seniors are no strangers to the Dance.

Vanderbilt's Gabby Smith reveals her favorite little things about the Tournament.

South Carolina Coach Dawn Staley is looking forward to the first round.

Stanford's Sara James has the heart of a competitor.

Tennessee got in their final practice before the Tournament today.

Syracuse also had an NCAA Media Day.

Kayla McBride shines in her new role for Notre Dame.

Chucky Jeffery isn't worried about Colorado's record against Kansas.

North Carolina is excited to make a Tournament run.

Oklahoma State's Lindsey Keller is out for the season with multiple concussions.

Idaho knows what's in Storrs for them.

Sue Guevara has turned around Central Michigan.

South Dakota State bring a history of success to the NCAA's.

Jade Geif's Tournament diary for Navy. Alis Membreno does it all for the women in blue.

Florida players just want to have fun.

Non-Tournament news:

Jeri Porter has resigned at George Mason.

Ripon's Julie Johnson has stepped down, but will remain athletic director.

Women's Basketball Invitational results so far:

1st Round Action

March 20, 2013

#4 Northern Kentucky 70, #5 College of Charleston 72
*East Region
#4 Elon 68, #5 Eastern Kentucky 61
*West Region
#2 Lamar 70, #7 Presbyterian 48
*West Region

March 21, 2013

#1 Detroit 71 vs. #8 Belmont 68
*East Region
#2 Penn 65 vs. #7 Howard 60
*East Region
#3 Fairfield 71 vs. #6 St. Francis 51(PA)
*East Region
#1 Mercer 70 vs. #8 McNeese State 82
*West Region
#3 Utah State 69 vs. South Dakota 77
*West Region


2nd Round Action

March 23, 2013

2 pm EST #4 Elon vs. #8 McNeese State
7 pm EST #2 Pennsylvania vs. Fairfield

March 24, 2014

2 pm EST #1 Detroit vs. #5 College of Charleston
3 pm CST #2 Lamar vs. #6 South Dakota

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Former Liberty players return to team as coaches

This was a whammy today: former Liberty players Barbara Farris and Taj McWilliams-Franklin will come back this year as assistant coaches, and Teresa Weatherspoon and Tamika Whitmore will be associate coaches to consult with the team during training camp and during the season. Bill Laimbeer sounds pretty serious now.

Of course this means that McWilliams-Franklin is retiring. She's played for the Lynx for the last two seasons and helped them win a championship in 2011.

More tournament news:

Tonight's WNIT results.

NJCAA quarterfinal results from today. Semifinals are tomorrow.

Mad Madness everywhere

ESPN has regional previews:



Oklahoma City


Miscellaneous tournament stuff:

Chiney Ogwumike is more than Nneka's lil sis now.

The Lady Vols aim to clean up foul play.

Michigan State Coach Suzy Merchant has proven to be a natural leader.

Marist is set for their match up against the Spartans.

Delaware seniors have overcome pain to go dancing this year.

West Virginia and Delaware play each other Sunday, and both teams thrive on the road.

Kentucky Coach Matthew Mitchell builds relationships on and off the court.

Georgia wants to return to the Sweet 16.

Princeton is counting on its youngsters to come up big in the tournament.

Texas A&M is in a good spot heading into the dance.

Brittney Griner can do more than dunk.

Gonzaga can count on Haiden Palmer.

It's now or never for UConn.

Can these five teams make the Final Four?

Maggie Lucas blogs.

Elena Delle Donne blogs.

Stability creates success for mid-majors. Are you listening, ADs? (And that goes for big schools too)

Non-tourney items:

Cheryl Burnett has turned down an offer to return to Missouri State as coach.

The Tinkles of Montana are a fab five basketball family.

Conference news:

Butler, Xavier and Creighton have been added to the Big East.

Naismith Coach of the Year finalists named

Naismith Coach of the Year finalists are:

Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame; Kim Mulkey, Baylor; Lindsay Gottlieb, California; and Jim Jabir, Dayton.

I've got this new player blog project on - check it out:

Kayla McBride says the Irish have grown a lot this year.

Tianna Hawkins is ready to let the games begin.

More college news:

Life is good "up in the club" for Michigan.

The Robersons are ready for a traveling weekend with the Colorado Buffs.


First two games were last night, with more tonight.

In one of those games, Elon's Ali Ford reached 2,000 points.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

NCAA news bag

I don't know about you, but all I'm doing this weekend is sitting my butt in front of a TV or computer and watching some basketball.

Coverage maps.

Beth Mowins and Debbie Antonelli break down the NCAA bracket on their podcast.

Items about Tournament teams:

Colorado Coach Linda Lappe can relate to her team.

La'Shay Taft of Syracuse has a trick shot video.

Central Michigan used the power of 1.5 seconds to motivate them into the bracket this season.

Saint Joseph's Ashley Prim's career has come full circle.

Praising Brittney Griner is far easier than stopping her. Dopest picture of the last two weeks with that story.

Idaho: progress, persistence, pay dirt.

Dayton is still looking for a conference.

Division II:

24-0 Clayton State is gearing up for a title run.

Former Gannon players show mad support for the current team.


Tamika Catchings has a new fan.

The league's preseason schedule is out.

Pat Summitt:

Pat Summitt is the Naismith Outstanding Contributor.

It's back to the drawing board for new NCAA recruiting rule

That new rule eliminating electronic communication restrictions between coaches and recruits? It's been overthrown and it's back to the drawing board:

Another piece of controversial recruiting legislation passed by the NCAA this year is headed back to the drawing board.

The collegiate governing body received the necessary 75 override votes from Division I membership on proposal 13-3 by the Wednesday deadline, mandating a review by the Division I board of directors at its May 2 meeting.

The rule, approved in January at the NCAA convention for implementation Aug. 1, would eliminate restrictions on private electronic communication, including phone calls and text messages, from college coaches to recruits.

The proposal was met with widespread criticism at the college and high school levels as concerns escalated that recruiting communications would overwhelm prospects and consume the schedules of coaches.

Mercedes Russell is Gatorade National Player of the Year

Class of 2013 top recruit Mercedes Russell is the Gatorade National Player of the Year. She was presented the award by none other than Maya Moore:

The Tennessee-bound Russell received the award during a surprise ceremony at the school Wednesday morning. She is the second Oregon player to win Gatorade’s basketball award, following Kevin Love in 2006-07......

“It means a lot,” Russell said. “I was just talking with someone who was telling me about all the players who are in this category, and it’s just shocking. I was surprised that I won.”

Springfield coach Bill Wagner said the award is a “big deal.”

“It shows what a special player and a special person that she is,” Wagner said. “The award obviously is based on her talent, but it speaks about character. She’s definitely earned it, just the time and effort she’s put in to reach this point.”

Russell will attend Tennessee.

Congrats, youngin.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Westmont wins NAIA Championship

Viva California, as Westmont College claimed the NAIA title today:

FRANKFORT, Ky. - (Box Score | Bracket | Postgame Comments-Video) Westmont captured the program's first-ever national championship tonight with a 71-65 win over Lee (Tenn.) in the championship final of the 2013 NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship at the Frankfort Convention Center.

Westmont, who finishes the season with a 30-4 overall record, sealed the institution's eighth national crown when tournament Most Valuable Player Tugce Canitez connected on a runner in the lane to give the Warriors a 71-65 lead with nine seconds left. Lee (34-3) had its last two opportunities blocked as the final seconds ran off the clock.

Canitez and fellow forward Kelsie Sampson paced Westmont with 25 points each, while guard Esther Lee scored 12 points on a 4-of-5 effort from beyond the arc. Canitez, who added a game-high 20 rebounds to earn her 17th double-double of the season, ended her senior season four points shy of tying the Westmont career scoring record.

More coaching changes

Jim Foster is out at Ohio State.

Eric Simpson has resigned at Loyola Chicago.

Debbie Taylor's contract at William and Mary won't be renewed.

Other news:

Helen collected major reading material for us.

ESPN analyzes why some fans still aren't comfortable with Brittney Griner.

Elena Delle Donne blogs.

A healthy Richa Jackson is ready to step up for Duke. The center piece of the team is Elizabeth Williams.

San Diego State feels dissed, and rightfully so.

UCLA is happy with their seeding.

Rutgers Coach Vivian Stringer is planning for a crucial off-season.

UTEP Coach Keitha Adams is proud of her team's effort this season.

Ticha Penicheiro visited alma mater Old Dominion today.

Villanova Coach Harry Paretta sees the payoff in the long road back to the Dance.

Predictably, women in the NCAA tournament outscore men in the classroom.

An ex-Central Michigan player lost her appeal in federal appeals court. She claimed she lost her scholarship because she's heterosexual. I've now officially heard everything.

Cal corner:

Heart of gold: Gennifer Brandon.

Taller than life: the ascent of Cal's Eliza Pierre.

Layshia Clarendon is unselfish.

Bad news for Colorado:

Rachel Hargis tore her MCL in practice.

High school news:

Brea Olinda coach Kim Cram-Torres resigned last week, after two years at the post. She had replaced 17-year coaching legend Jeff Sink. No word yet on whether or not Sink, who now coaches the boy's team, will return.

Women's Basketball Invitational

Sixteen teams will participate in the four-year old Women's Basketball Invitational, which begins tomorrow:

1st Round Action

March 20, 2013

7 pm EST: #4 Northern Kentucky vs. #5 College of Charleston *East Region
7 pm EST: #4 Elon vs. #5 Eastern Kentucky *West Region
7 pm CST: #2 Lamar vs. #7 Presbyterian *West Region

March 21, 2013

7 pm EST: #1 Detroit vs. #8 Belmont *East Region
7 pm EST: #2 Penn vs. #7 Howard *East Region
7 pm EST: #3 Fairfield vs. #6 St. Francis (PA) *East Region
7 pm EST: #1 Mercer vs. #8 McNeese State *West Region
7 pm MST: #3 Utah State vs. South Dakota *West Region

All-Region nominees for WBCA 2013 Division I Coaches' All-America Team


Incredible list.

I'm looking forward to the WNBA draft the next few years.

USA Today poll

Top 25 this week:

1. Baylor
2. Notre Dame
3. Connecticut
4. Stanford
5. Duke
6. California
7. Kentucky
8. Penn State
9. Tennessee
10. Maryland
11. Texas A&M
12. UCLA
13. Georgia
14. South Carolina
15. Dayton
16. Delaware
17. Louisville
18. North Carolina
19. Colorado
20. Green Bay
21. Purdue
22. Syracuse
23. Iowa State
24. Florida State
25. Nebraska

Monday, March 18, 2013

WNIT field selected

WNIT field:

First round:

Wednesday, March 20

Utah at Long Beach State, TBA
UCSB at San Diego State, TBA
Idaho State at BYU, TBA
Eastern Illinois at Missouri, TBA
UAB at Auburn, TBA

Thursday, March 21

Hawaii at San Diego, TBA
Seattle at Saint Mary's CA, TBA
Northern Colorado at Wyoming, TBA
Texas Southern at Kansas State, TBA
IUPUI at Illinois State, TBA
Butler at Toledo, TBA
Indiana State at Youngstown State, TBA
Miami OH at Illinois, TBA
East Carolina at Western Kentucky, TBA
Memphis at Arkansas, TBA
Sam Houston State at Tulane, TBA
Iona at Drexel, TBA
Harvard at Hartford, TBA
SMU at Bowling Green State, TBA
Akron at Duquesne, TBA
Sacred Heart at Boston University, TBA
Army at Fordham, TBA
NCA&T at James Madison, TBA
Richmond at North Carolina State, TBA
Davidson at Old Dominion, TBA
Appalachian State at Charlotte, TBA
Florida at Florida International, TBA
Winthrop at Florida Gulf Coast, TBA

Bracket thoughts

The bracket.

I've been digesting for a few hours now, and am not through with the meal. But here are some random thoughts, in no particular order. Feel free to make your own comments:

- Why no San Diego State?
- Why no Tulane?
- How did Kansas get in?
- Why are Tennessee and Baylor in the same region for the second consecutive year?
- Why are Cal and Stanford in the same region?
- I would have put FGCU in.
- Should UConn have still got a #1 seed even after losing the Big East Tournament?
- Michigan State? Fifth seed?

Best first round games?

Maybe Gonzaga vs. Iowa State, or Oklahoma State vs. DePaul, or Florida State vs. Princeton, or Miami vs. Iowa.

Still thinkin'......

The field has been selected

The stories from ESPN have been coming fast and furious:

Five burning questions.

The bracket has that familiar feeling.

Geography is a big theme of the bracket.

Five other teams (besides the #1 seeds) could reach the Final Four.

It won't be an easy start for Colorado or Delaware.

Skylar Diggins interview.

Brittney Griner interview.

Elena Delle Donne interview.

Take a poll.


Montana is no stranger to the NCAA experience.

Kelsey Bone's inspiration: a lineage of defying the odds.

Black Monday

Cal State Fullerton Coach Marcia Foster, Missouri State Nyla Milleson and Texas Pan Am Denny Downing, all out.

Another big one is coming in the ACC very soon.

Final AP poll

The AP's final top 25 for the week:

1. Baylor
2. Notre Dame
3. Connecticut
4. Stanford
5. Duke
6. California
7. Kentucky
8. Penn State
9. Texas A&M
10. Tennessee
11. UCLA
12. Maryland
13. North Carolina
14. Georgia
15. Delaware
16. Louisville
17. South Carolina
18. Dayton
19. Colorado
20. Green Bay
21. Purdue
22. Syracuse
23. Iowa State
24. Nebraska
25. Florida State

Sunday, March 17, 2013

We're ready for Selection Monday

The final four conference tournament championships today:

Delaware are Colonial Athletic Association champs once again. They survived Drexel, 59-56, and are on a 25-game winning streak.

Green Bay won the Horizon League title by beating Loyola, 54-38. It's their fifth NCAA trip in a row.

Quinnipiac routed St. Francis, 72-33, to take the Northeast Conference crown.

Witchita State secured their first NCAA berth by claiming the Missouri Valley Conference 'ship. They slipped by Illinois State, 69-65.

Tournament rounds schedule.

More Tournament news:

Iowa - not Iowa State - is a bit antsy before Selection Monday.

Tulsa, with their Conference USA title, are the unlikeliest of dancers.

Maryland and Navy await tomorrow's seedings.

FGCU hopes for an at-large bid.

LSU is hoping for an NCAA bid.

Texas A&M is in a position to make an NCAA run.

In defeat, a triumphant season continues for Akron.


The WNIT is not a bad consolation for Toledo.

Army is turning their focus to the WNIT.

After an up-and-down season, Middle Tennessee State awaits a WNIT decision.


Colorado's Chucky Jeffery is closing out her storied career.

Purdue's Drey Mingo knows how to pay it forward.

Pro bonus:

Candace Parker is ready to deliver the goods for UMMC Ekaterinburg in the upcoming Euroleague championship.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A wee bit more

A military background has given Penn State's Mia Nickson a unique perspective.

Purdue's spring break this past week gave them much-needed down time.

Marist has begun preparations for the NCAA Tournament.

Conference realignment:

The new Big East will have only ten members for the 2013-1014 season.


Los Angeles Sparks guard Kristi Toliver lead Dynamo Moscow to a Euro Cup Title.

More tickets punched on championship Saturday

The surprises:

#3 Idaho bested #1 Seattle University for the Western Athletic Conference title, 67-64.

Fresno State shocked San Diego State, 76-70, to take the Mountain West Conference crown.

Saint Joseph's rallied to take down Fordham for the Atlantic-10 Championship, 47-46.

#5 Tulsa are C-USA champs with a 75-66 win over UCF.

NJIT upended Utah Valley for the Great West title, 52-42.


Cal Poly defeated Pacific, 63-49, for their first Big West crown and trip to the Dance.

Oral Roberts just joined the Southland Conference last summer, but they took the 'ship tonight by beating Sam Houston State, 72-66.


It took them four overtimes, but Prairie View A&M outlasted Mississippi Valley State for their third Southwestern Athletic Conference title. Final score: 100-87.

Montana put away Northern Colorado, 56-43, for the Big Sky Championship. It's the 20th trip in program history.

Navy ran away with the Patriot League crown for the third time with a 72-53 decision over Holy Cross.

Albany topped Hartford for their second straight Big East Championship, 61-52.

Hampton took their fourth consecutive Mid-Eastern Conference title with a 59-38 rout of Howard.

Long-time coming returnees:

Central Michigan beat Akron for their first Mid-American Conference crown in 29 years. Final score: 86-68.

Still to be crowned tomorrow:

Colonial Athletic Association, Horizon League, Missouri Valley and Northeast.

Then selection Monday!!

Division III:

DePauw are national champs after beating Wisconsin-Whitewater, 69-51. They went undefeated this year, 34-0.

#1 Pacific escapes upset bid by #8 Fullerton to reach Big West final

My write up of yesterday's Big West Conference semifinal game: Pacific 54, Cal State Fullerton 51.


Here's the narrative: Pacific is a tough team that was clearly stymied by Fullerton's relentless defensive effort yesterday. The Titans came with it, and they never let up. You can see how evenly they matched up, statistics-wise, in the box score.

Mya Oliver's three-shot with 16 seconds to go sent Fullerton fans into a (literally) gasping frenzy. And just as quickly, you could feel the wind leave the sails nine seconds later when Erica McKenzie answered for the Tigers.

In the post-game press conference, Pacific Coach Lynne Roberts was very complimentary of Titan Coach Marcia Foster, saying she didn't know if she would have handled what they went through this season with such class. Fullerton players Kathleen Iwuoha and Chante Miles said the team reached a point after last month's tragedy when they just pulled together and started playing again.

The most important thing to me was that the Titans are OK - really. They're alright with the loss, and they're OK in general.

That's all I needed to know.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Tomorrow's championship match ups

In the Mountain West, San Diego State and Fresno State will square off.

The Big West title will be decided by Cal Poly and Pacific.

Holy Cross and Navy will vouch for the Patriot League championship.

It's Hampton vs. Howard in the MEAC.

Seattle University and Idaho will go at it for the Western Athletic Conference title.

Prairie and Mississippi Valley face each other for the SWAC 'ship.

Just touching down

I've been at the Big West Tournament today, where the semifinals took place. More on that later this evening. In the meantime, college news:

South Alabama coach Rick Pietri has been relieved of his duties after 13 years.

Nebraska is playing the waiting game.

Nikol Allison has battled to become a key member of the Cal Poly squad. (It's clearly paid off, as the Mustangs won in the Big West Tournament quarterfinals today.....more later).

A week off is helping Tennessee to heal up.

San Diego State point guard Chelsea Hopkins is no passing fancy.

Parity has brought excitement to the NAIA Tournament.

WBCA Awards:

Finalists for Division III player of the year.

Finalists for Division III coach of the year.


Mystics Coach Mike Thibault has brought son Eric aboard as assistant coach.

Storm point guard Sue Bird talks about her upcoming knee surgery.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Some news droppings

Total access Tennessee: Coach Holly Warlick adjusts to life as a head coach.

Kentucky senior guard A'Dia Mathies talks about the NCAA Tournament, and Wildcat basketball (put together by yours truly).

Three to see: EDD, Diggy and Griner.

UConn's Brianna Banks had successful ACL surgery today.

Duke's Chelsea Gray also had ACL surgery today.

Tennessee's Taber Spani talks about homeschooling and recruiting.

Seattle University Coach Joan Bonvicini is leading her team to new heights.

Delaware's other comeback story belongs to point guard Kayla Miller.

Old Dominion is trying to stay busy during the NCAA Tournament selection waiting game.

Arkansas State Coach Brian Boyer has received a two-year contract extension.

Northern Iowa senior Jacqui Kalin is the Jackie Stiles Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year.

High school:

Up-and-coming Virginia star Anna Wilson comes from athletic lineage.

Ohio star Alex Harris already finds Penn State a perfect fit.

Chamique Holdsclaw:

Former collegiate and WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw has pleaded not guilty to allegedly attacking former girlfriend Jennifer Lacy in November.

Today's tournament results:

A couple of upsets in the Conference USA Tournament quarterfinals......UCF over SMU, and Tulsa beat Tulane.

Today's scoreboard.

Conference championship details.

Wooden Award list narrowed down

Finalists for the John R. Wooden Award:

Kelsey Bone
Elena Delle Donne
Skylar Diggins
Stefanie Dolson
Chelsea Gray
Brittney Griner
Tianna Hawkins
Maggie Lucas
A'Dia Mathies
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis
Chiney Ogwumike
Meighan Simmons
Odyssey Simmons
Alyssa Thomas
Elizabeth Williams

Gatorade High School basketball players of the year

By state, and this list includes my two favorites: Erica McCall of California and Mercedes Russell of Oregon. Congratulations to all.

Diani Akigbogun F Regis Jesuit HS Aurora CO

Lindsay Allen PG St. John's College HS Washington, DC DC

Ariel Atkins G/F Duncanville HS Duncanville TX

Lakota Beatty PG Anadarko HS Anadarko OK

Lexie Brown PG North Gwinnett HS Suwanee GA

Taylor Buckley C Exeter-West Greenwich HS West Greenwich RI

Saniya Chong G Ossining HS Ossining NY

Allie Clement PG Catherine McAuley HS Portland ME

Alaina Coates C Dutch Fork HS Irmo SC

Napheesa Collier F/G Incarnate Word Academy St. Louis MO

Sarita Jo Condie G Pershing County HS Lovelock NV

Rebekah Dahlman G Braham Area HS Braham MN

Nina Davis G/F Central HS Memphis TN

Alysha Devine G Wasilla HS Wasilla AK

Ally Disterhoft G Iowa City West HS Iowa City IA

Courtney Ekmark G Saint Mary's Catholic HS Phoenix AZ

Makayla Epps G Marion County HS Lebanon KY

Dani Failor F Post Falls HS Post Falls ID

Amanda Fioravanti F Our Lady of Good Counsel HS Olney MD

Taylor Goligoski G Hamilton HS Hamilton MT

Adrianna Hahn G Ursuline Academy Wilmington DE

Olivia Healy G Reading Memorial HS Reading MA

Tori Jankoska G Freeland HS Freeland MI

Mychal Johnson G St. Joseph Central Catholic HS Huntington WV

Kaylee Johnson F Natrona County HS Casper WY

Jackie Kemph PG Rolling Meadows HS Rolling Meadows IL

Emily Kinneston G Champlain Valley Union HS Hinesburg VT

Hannah Larson F Century HS Bismarck ND

Katelyn Loecker F McPherson HS McPherson KS

Breyana Mason G Forest Park HS Woodbridge VA

Stephanie Mavunga F Brownsburg HS Brownsburg IN

Erica McCall F Ridgeview HS Bakersfield CA

Brittany McPhee G/F Mount Rainier HS Des Moines WA

Malia Nawahine F/G Springville HS Springville UT

Arike Ogunbowale G/F Divine Savior Holy Angels HS Milwaukee WI

Aliyah Pana G/F Hilo HS Hilo HI

Kaitlyn Pratt F/C McDonogh 35 College Preparatory HS New Orleans LA

Bianca Quisenberry PG Tecumseh HS New Carlisle OH

Christa Reed G/F Bay HS Bay St. Louis MS

Taylor Rooks G Gill St. Bernard's School Gladstone NJ

Mercedes Russell C Springfield HS Springfield OR

Tyler Scaife G Hall HS Little Rock AR

Jessica Shepard G/F Lincoln Southeast HS Lincoln NE

Jamie Sherburne G Bishop Guertin HS Nashua NH

Ieshia Small G Florida State University School Tallahassee FL

Sarah Veilleux G RHAM HS Hebron CT

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough G Hopewell HS Aliquippa PA

Marqu'es Webb F/C Hoover HS Hoover AL

Jatarie White F Providence Day School Charlotte NC

Danni Williams G Clovis HS Clovis NM

Kerri Young G/F Mitchell HS Mitchell SD

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cal State Fullerton advances to Big West semifinals by upsetting Hawaii

In the Big West Tournament tonight, #8 Cal State Fullerton just upset #3 Hawaii, 66-51.

Titans Coach Marcia Foster said in the post-game press conference that "there was no better way to honor Monica than to play our best basketball." Assistant Coach Monica Quan was murdered last month.

Forward Mya Oliver said, "We keep playing hard for her, knowing her passion for the game is what keeps us going."

All results.

More college news:

In last night's Big East Championship, UConn failed to make a three-point shot for the first time since 2002.

The Lady Vols will watch Monday's selection show in a new location for the first time.

Duke freshman Alexis Jones has grown up in a hurry.

Georgia Tech's Tyaunna Marshall has been named the Georgia player of the year.

FGCU is hoping for an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.

Columbia coach Paul Nixon has been let go.

Coach Kim Barnes Arico is leading Michigan into the Tournament.

Wisconsin's season is better than their record reveals.

Tulsa's Taleya Mayberry has forged a legacy.

Syracuse is preparing for life in the ACC.

WBCA Junior/Community College Coaches' All-America Team:

Adut Bulgak, Trinity Valley
Janelle Cannon, Southwestern Illinois College
Sinclair Cunningham, Kishwaukee College
Brea Edwards, Central Arizona College
Olivia Gaines, Louisburg College
DaShawn Harden, Johnson County Community College
Tamara Jones, Garden City Community College
Karin Robinson, Monroe Community College
Jahira Smith, Community College of Rhode Island
Tamara Taylor, Gulf Coast State College

Michael Cooper resigns as USC coach

Michael Cooper has resigned as USC coach, after four seasons:

USC athletic director Pat Haden announced Wednesday that USC women’s basketball coach Michael Cooper has resigned from his position. This comes after Cooper led the Women of Troy to an 11-20 overall record this season, and a 7-11 mark in Pac-12 play, good enough for seventh place in the conference. The team did not qualify for postseason play in 2013.

“This program has to move forward, and it should have moved forward under my leadership. The best thing is for me to step down,” Cooper said to “I really want to thank the administration here at USC. Pat Haden and Donna Heinel and everyone have been very supportive. Coaching these young women at USC has been a wonderful experience for me. I wish nothing but the best for USC and the women’s basketball program.”

So with a 72-57 record, Cooper goes.

WHY are Oregon's Paul Westhead and Arizona's Niya Butts allowed to stay after comparable time at the helm? I get more pissed the more I think about it.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Notre Dame sweeps, claims Big East Championship

Notre Dame: Big East Champs. It was a steal by Skylar Diggins and Natalie Achonwa layup with 1.8 seconds to do that sealed the deal for the Irish.

Notre Dame swept the series with UConn this year, and for the first time in 20 years, the Huskies did not take home the trophy.


South Dakota State beat South Dakota for the Summit League title.

In Irvine, Calif. it's the first day of the Big West Conference Tournament, and Cal State Fullerton just upset Long Beach State, 54-48.

Today's scoreboard.


Chris Wilegus has resigned as Dartmouth's head coach after 28 seasons.

WBCA Coaches' NAIA All-America Team


First team:

Tugce Canitez, Westmont College

Brittney Carter, Faulkner University

Kendra De Jong, Northwestern College

Hollie German, Lee University

Lauren Gober, Oklahoma City University

Nicole Hampton, Lubbock Christian University

Natalie Shumpert, Freed-Hardeman University

Morgan Smith, College of the Ozarks

Morgan Stuut, Saint Xavier University

Nicole Yazzie, Westminster College

The big news keeps falling

So who will the Seattle Storm be this year? Because now, not only is Lauren Jackson out for the 2013 season, so is Sue Bird, who will have knee surgery soon. Storm fans are probably hurting, as those two have been the marquee players for the franchise for over a decade.

USA Basketball:

The World University Games Team coaches this summer will be Sherri Coale, with assistants Coquese Washington and Brian Giorgis. USA Basketball seems to always make great coaching selections for their teams.