Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Elite 8 is set

Last four Elite 8 spots taken:

Iowa downed NC State, 79-61, behind another monster Megan Gustafson performance. It is the first Elite 8 appearance for the Hawkeyes since 1993.

Baylor returned to the round of eight with a 93-68 romp over South Carolina.

Notre Dame held off Texas A&M, 87-80. Arike Ogunbowale had a career-high 34 points for the Irish and Chennedy Carter scored 35 for the Aggies in the battle.

Stanford ran away from Missouri State, 55-46.

Tomorrow's games:

Louisville vs. Connecticut at 9 a.m. PT

Oregon vs. Mississippi State at 11 a.m. PT

Tournament news:

Eight facts to know about the Elite 8 teams.

Team news:

For Oregon, execution by committee is paying dividends.

The Ducks are excited for their rematch with Mississippi State tomorrow.

Louisville is embracing their underdog status., and they were all smiles today.

Oregon State is motivated to improve and erase their Louisville memories.

Lubbock Christian won the DII Championship in a double overtime thriller.

Player news:

Sabrina Ionescu has "no idea" whether or not she'll enter the WNBA draft, but she's registered for spring classes at Oregon.

Mississippi State center Teaira McCowan passed up Sylvia Fowles' record last night to become the leading NCAA Tournament rebounder in history.

Tania Davis is savoring her final moments with Iowa after her injury-riddled career.

Pac-12 freshman of the year Dre'Una Edwards will transfer from Utah.

Coach news:

Geno Auriemma and Jeff Walz have a friendship founded in coaching.

Muffet McGraw is done hiring men.

Nikki Fargas will return as LSU's coach next season; there's been no contact from Tennessee.

Northern Kentucky players have penned a letter in support of coach Camryn Whitaker.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Sweet 16 primer

NCAA Tournament news:

Notre Dame tries to sneak in a repeat before parity takes over college basketball.

In this year's Sweet 16, no one is untouchable - not even UConn.

UCLA is a dangerous opponent for UConn.

The Bruins are ready to face the Huskies.

Three teams are eyeing the chance to be the first No. 4 seed in the Elite 8 in three years.

How Iowa became one of the most fun and loving teams ever.

Can the Portland crowd help get Oregon to the Final Four? They won't be far from home.

South Dakota State is in the Sweet 16 for the first time.

Oregon State is in a better position for its rematch with Louisville.

The Gamecocks know they'll be doubted against Baylor.

Texas A&M is in Chicago and preparing to play Notre Dame.

Mississippi State expects another grueling game against Arizona State.

The Sun Devils must play "championship-level offense" to pull off a Sweet 16 upset.

Breaking down Sweet 16 match ups and determining factors for the Pac-12 teams.

Maryland had success but came up short in March.

Idaho State looks to keep rebuilding after their NCAA loss.

Player news:

Asia Durr is Louisville's shooting star.

UConn's Napheesa Collier is relentless and unrattled.

It's Kalani Brown's final chance for a Final Four with Baylor.

How Teaira McCowan has Mississippi State poised for success.

Louisville's Sam Fuehring will see familiar faces in the crowd tomorrow.

Japreece Dean has UCLA playing in a unified way as they ready to face the Huskies.

Jasmine Franklin has a chance to be a Missouri great.

Jackrabbit senior Sydney Palmer's dad was going to miss her in the Sweet 16. Then his colleagues surprised him.

Oregon's Taylor Chavez will be a game-time decision tomorrow.

Cierra Walker will transfer from Vanderbilt.

How will Holly Warlick's firing affect Tennessee recruits like Jordan Horston?

College coach news:

Iowa State has extended Bill Fennelly's contact through June 30, 2025.

Hartford coach Kim McNeill has resigned to become the head coach at East Carolina.

Felisha Legette-Jack has interviewed at Penn State.

Holy Cross will not renew the contract of coach Bill Gibbons.

Radford has extended Mike McGuire's contract through 2025.

WNIT news:

Winners tonight include: Cincinnati, Ohio, TCU, Wyoming, Arizona and James Madison. And the Elite 8 is set.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Readying for what comes next

Team news:

Support from Megan Gustafson's teammates is crucial for the Hawkeyes.

A front court showdown will be pivotal as Iowa readies for North Carolina State.

Arizona State eyes its first-ever Final Four.

After a disappointing NCAA Tournament, the Terps enter the offseason with power in numbers.

Ohio is seizing their postseason WNIT moment.

DII bracket update, and what each team's Elite Eight victory says about their title hopes.

Thomas More completed a perfect season with a DIII national title.

Player news:

Notre Dame's starters are keeping fouls to a minimum.

Q&A with Mercer seniors KeKe Calloway and Amanda Thompson.

Shaylee Gonzales gives BYU a very bright future.

Coach news:

Holly Warlick epitomized grace in succeeding Pat Summitt.

A look at Missouri State coach Kellie Harper's career.

Virginia Tech coach Kenny Brooks is returning to JMU for the WNIT.

Wade Trophy finalists:

Asia Durr of Louisville, Megan Gustafson of Iowa, Sabrina Ionescu of Oregon and Teaira McCowan of Mississippi State.


Breanna Stewart calls out the NCAA for lack of respect for the women's game during March Madness.

High school news:

Tennessee recruit Jordan Hairston won game MVP.

A trio of future Gamecocks built chemistry in the game.

WNBA news:

The NBPA supports the WNBPA in their upcoming contract negotiations.

Former pro Ashley Battle talks life after basketball, and money management.

Tough coaching news

Holly Warlick:

Holly Warlick was fired as Tennessee's head coach.

Tennessee athletic director Phillip Fulmer said "it stung" to make the decision.

Speculation on whom the University will hire to replace Warlick has begun.

MaChelle Joseph:

Georgia Tech fired MaChelle Joseph as head coach.

Joseph's response.

More coaching news:

Longtime Louisville assistant coach Samantha Williams has been named Eastern Kentucky's new head coach.

Anita Howard is Georgia Southern's new head coach.

Western Carolina has fired coach Stephanie McCormick.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

On to the Sweet 16

Punch 'em:

Iowa blew past Missouri, 68-52, with Megan Gustafson's lead.

Louisville routed Michigan, 71-50, behind Asia Durr's big play.

South Carolina beat Florida State, 72-64.

Texas A&M survived Marquette, 78-76.

UConn held off Buffalo, 84-72.

Arizona State outlasted Miami, 57-55.

Oregon downed Indiana, 91-68. Sabrina Ionescu notched her 18th career triple-double in the process.

Teaira McCowan paced Mississippi State past Clemson, 85-61.

Second round, part II tomorrow.

Team news:

Maryland and UCLA will meet 41 years after they made women's basketball history.

Oregon is playing with their hearts on their wrists.

BYU's no Sunday play policy has them preparing for the Tournament in a unique way.

The Cougars' team chemistry has fueled their turnaround.

Towson is upbeat despite their first round exit.

Seedings don't always hold true in the Tournament.

Syracuse has wellness meetings for players.

Player news:

Baylor and Cal's centers will be of attention tomorrow.

Shannon Coffee's contributions for Stanford go beyond basketball.

Touted Maryland freshman Shakira Austin is living up to expectations.

Five players have left Indiana State.

Coach news:

Holly Warlick wants to keep coaching at Tennessee, but her future is uncertain.

One secret to Brenda Frese's recruiting success at Maryland is that the early bird gets the star.


Round two recaps.

WNBA news:

Candace Parker's transition to the broadcast booth has been a blur.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Madness continued

Round 1, day 2


Missouri State stunned DePaul, 89-78.

Michigan State took down Central Michigan, 88-87.


Oregon State survived Boise State in OT, 80-75.

Kentucky got past Princeton, 82-77.

UCLA held on to eject Tennessee, 89-77.

More results:

Baylor 95, Abilene Christian 38

Notre Dame 92, Bethune-Cookman 50

Stanford 79, UC Davis 54

Maryland 73, Radford 51

NC State 63, Maine 51

Syracuse 70, Fordham 49

Iowa State 97, New Mexico State 61

Gonzaga 68, Little Rock 51

South Dakota State 76, Quinnipiac 65

BYU 73, Auburn 64

California 92, North Carolina 72

Tomorrow's schedule and game times:

Right here.

What a slate:

No. 1 Louisville vs. No. 8 Michigan | Louisville, Ky. | 12 p.m. | ESPN2
No. 4 South Carolina vs. No. 4 Florida State | Charlotte, N.C. | 2 p.m. | ESPN2
No. 2 Iowa vs. No. 7 Missouri | Iowa City, Iowa | 2 p.m. | ESPN2
No. 4 Texas A&M vs. No. 5 Marquette | College Station, Texas | 2 p.m. | ESPN2
No. 4 Miami (FL) vs. No. 5 Arizona State | Coral Gables, Fla. | 7 p.m. | ESPN2
No. 2 UConn vs. No. 10 Buffalo | Storrs, Conn. | 7 p.m. | ESPN
No. 1 Mississippi State vs. No. 9 Clemson | Starkville, Miss. | 9 p.m. | ESPN
No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 10 Indiana | Eugene, Ore. | 9 p.m. | ESPN2

NCAA Tournament news:

What's next for Tennessee?

More on that.

Team news:

Louisville and Michigan expect closer second round games after first round blowouts.

Miami is on the brink of history, but Arizona State stands in the way.

Missouri stands between Iowa and the Sweet 16.

Nebraska's goal of repeating last year's magic fell short.

UC Davis lost to Stanford today, but they cherish the memories.

Player news:

Oregon State's Destiny Slocum has gone from survival mode to complete player.

Emily Engstler returned in a rush for Syracuse today.

Coach news:

Cal State Bernardino has let coach Susan Crebbin go.

WNBA news:

Katie Smith envisions a hopeful New York Liberty future under their new owners.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

One more sleep to go

The NCAA Tournament begins tomorrow!!!!

So many intriguing match ups, including:

No. 12 Rice vs. No. 5 Marquette

No. 9 Kansas State vs. No. 8 Michigan

No. 10 Drake vs. No. 7 Missouri

No. 10 Buffalo vs. No. 7 Rutgers

No. 12 UCF vs. No. 5 Arizona State

No. 10 Indiana vs. No. 7 Texas

Plus, plenty of WNIT action on deck.

Tournament news:

What to look for in the first round.

Portland regional preview.

Greensboro regional preview.

WNIT results from 21 games today:

On this page.

Naismith coach of the year finalists:

Finalists are: Lisa Bluder, Iowa; Wes Moore, North Carolina State; Kim Mulkey, Baylor; Vic Schaefer, Mississippi State.

WBCA regional finalists for All-America team:

An impressive group.

Team news:

Iowa "didn't come this far to only come this far."

The Hawkeyes are embracing the pressure and giving respect.

Mississippi State aims for a title after two close calls.

Culture carries UCLA into their fourth straight Dance.

Oregon opens the Tourney at home.

New year, different attitude for Drake entering the Tourney.

UCF's zone and press will challenge Arizona State.

Which team has the backcourt edge: Baylor or Mississippi State?

South Dakota and South Dakota State open the Tournament on different coasts.

South Carolina looks to ease their SEC disappointment in the NCAA Tourney.

Towson is preparing to play.

Iowa State will enjoy home court advantage in the first round.

FGCU looks to turn the tables on Miami.

It's NCAA Tournament eve for Texas.

The Hoosiers are excited to be dancing.

UConn is using their No. 2 seed as motivation.

Can a two-week break stop the Beaver's three-point shooting slide?

Villanova, Penn and Drexel are ready for their own postseason in the WNIT.

Player news:

Jackie Young is coming out of her shell at Notre Dame.

Coach news:

No. 1 Louisville begins minus coach Jeff Walz.

Diane Richardson was a bank executive, and now leads Towson into the Tournament.

Susie Gardner is building a legacy at Mercer.

Baylor is still among the nation's best under Kim Mulkey.

Missouri coach Robin Pingeton's child has Downs Syndrome, so her athletes surprised her today with mismatched socks.

MaChelle Joseph's attorney is expecting to hear from Georgia Tech soon.


For the love of the game.

Kobe Bryant is the wrong spokesperson for the NCAA Tournament.

WNBA news:

Lynx offseason podcast with Fever VP Tamika Catchings.

Q&A with Sue Bird.

NBA 2K20 could feature WNBA players.

Teresa Edwards continues to give back to the game.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

WNIT has begun

WNIT first-day results:

Morehead State 71, Ohio State 61

Pepperdine 91, Cal Baptist 79

NCAA Tournament news:

Tournament TV times, maps and channels.

Tourney to Tampa.

Chicago regional preview.

Albany regional preview.

An Illinois professor has created an NCAA Tournament simulator.

Team news:

Breaking down Mississippi State's road to their third straight Final Four.

No. 6 UCLA is ready for No. 11 Tennessee in the first round.

Oregon's NCAA opener is a chance for them to re-establish momentum.

Indiana looks to take down Texas Friday.

Towson is ready for their first NCAA Tourney.

Louisville wins more than Kentucky but spends much less to recruit.

Michigan's second straight bid shows progress.

Is this the best season for women's basketball ever in Iowa?

One fun fact for each of the DII Elite Eight teams.

Player news:

Rice standout Erica Ogwumike is eager to begin her Tourney experience.

Cierra Dillard's impact at Buffalo extends beyond the winnings.

Stanford's DiJonai Carrington is having a breakout season.

The Strautmane sisters of Quinnipiac and Syracuse are reunited at the Tournament.

Katie Lou Samuelson's road to recovery for UConn.

An injury hampered Kentucky's Maci Morris throughout the season. Is she good to go for the Tournament?

The handles of Chennedy Carter.

Hometown hero Sophie Cunningham's last hurrah.

Coach news:

Oregon has extended coach Kelly Graves' contract through 2025-2026.

Bob Boldon reacts to Ohio's Tournament snub.

Becky Martin will retire from McDaniel College to fight cancer.


Sue Bird is a legend on the court, and her influence is only growing.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

After the dust settles

Tournament news:

A wide-open field gives the NCAA Tourney a new look.

How one small-town Iowa factory is the engine behind March Madness.

Team news:

Stanford is ready to play.

Six things to know as UConn heads into the Tournament.

Last year's "crushing blow" fueled Kentucky, and now they're back in the Dance.

Central Michigan views their match up with Michigan State like any other opponent.

Oregon is rested and ready to make another Tourney run.

A trip and a title started Iowa State on a special season.

Louisville celebrates their top seed, but knows there's work to do.

Home success has Iowa confident.

After their SEC tourney upset, South Carolina plans to be a different team in NCAA play.

Indiana is on to bigger and better things.

BYU looks to keep it rolling against Auburn.

DePaul heads to NCAA Tournament for the 17th straight year.

Florida State has a tough Tourney road.

Oregon State is regrouping after a grueling end to the season.

Player news:

Teaira McCowan is the center of attention in the Tournament.

Arike Ogunbowale is looking for more March magic.

Maryland's Kaila Charles has found her niche on the basketball court.

Kristine Anigwe has remained dominant for Cal.

A trip to the Dance completes Towson senior Maia Lee's journey.

These 17 Wisconsin players are going to the Tourney.

Coach news:

Jeff Walz wants a good brunch spot to watch his team's March Madness opener.

Does Vic Schaefer believe in miracles? Yes.

Q&A with Quinnipiac coach Tricia Fabbri.

WNIT news:

Arizona will host a WNIT game for the first time in 18 years.

College team news:

Late-season wins fuel hope for Wisconsin.

College coach news:

Mike Morris will retire after 25 years at Samford.


Women's basketball continues to outpace men's academically.

If academics ruled the NCAA Tournament.

WNBA news:

The 2019 draft will be April 10.

Draft order.

The Sparks will be sponsored by a coalition of veterans groups and county and state mental health agencies.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

'Twas the night before the Selection Show.....

Final Dance tickets punched today:

Big upset in the MVC: Missouri State over Drake, 94-79.

The Ivy League Championship belongs to Princeton, after they downed Penn, 65-54.

FGCU routed Liberty, 72-49, for the ASUN title.

Radford overcame Liberty, 57-45, for their first Tourney appearance in 23 years for the Big South Conference.

Bucknell ran by American, 66-54, for the Patriot League 'Chip.

Abilene Christian held off Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, 69-68, for the Southland crown and their first trip to the Tournament.

Robert Morris defeated St. Francis, 65-54, for their first NEC Championship.

NCAA Tournament news:

The seven Tournament bubble teams are: Arkansas, Auburn, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, TCU and UCF.

Longest active Tournament appearances streaks.

Best Tournament performances.

Thomas More beat Bowdoin last night to claim the DIII Championship.

College team news:

Iowa is likely to get a two seed in the Tourney.

Will Louisville get a one seed?

Maryland is headed into the Dance motivated by one loss.

Big performance fluctuations make Michigan State a mid-seed in the Tournament.

Kansas State appears finally to be in the NCAA Tournament.

Will Ohio still make it to the bracket?

College player news:

No one rattles Asia Durr - not even her mom.

For UC Davis senior forward Morgan Bertsch, anything is possible.


Some of the game's greats reflect on Title IX author Birch Bayh.

Ohio State great Katie Smith is now calling the shots.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Grinding it out

Tickets punched:

Maine downed Hartford, 68-48, to take their second straight America East title.

Portland State edged Eastern Washington, 61-59, to take the Big Sky Championship.

More results:

Big South semifinals

Big West semifinals

Conference USA semifinals have Rice and MTSU headed to the final.

CAA semifinals sends Towson and Drexel to the title match up.

Buffalo and Ohio won their MAC semifinal games

MEAC semifinals

SWAC semifinals

Sun Belt semifinals

WAC semifinals

MVC quarterfinals

Southland second round

Tomorrow's action:

Buffalo and Ohio will face off for the MAC Championship.

NCAA Tournament news:

Selection show information.

The Selection Committee is convening today, throughout the weekend, and the bracket reveal is Monday.

The Hartford regional will be played at an old arena.

The Huskies will likely be a top seed again, with question marks.

DIII champs will be crowned in Salem, Virginia.

College team news:

UConn doesn't take their success for granted.

Princeton wants to punctuate their season with an Ivy League title.

Central Michigan, Michigan and Michigan State are all poised to win at-large bids.

Could lack of free throws sink Syracuse in the postseason?

North Carolina is a different team when Watts, Kea and Bailey all play.

Oregon State is waiting to see if they'll host rounds one and two.

College player news:

Princeton's Bella Alarie is the Ivy League's biggest star in a long time.

After a junior college journey, Sara Vujasic has settled in for Maryland.

EDPN's player of the year is Iowa's Megan Gustafson.

Lisa Leslie Award finalists.

College coach news:

The attorney for Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph says the school's "hypocrisy is stunning."


How Pat Summitt and Florence Griffith-Joyner ascended to cultural icon status.

Q&A with Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott on the state of women's basketball in the league.

WNBA news:

Sky coach and GM James Wade is adamant that the team isn't rebuilding.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Plenty of conference tourney action

Today's results:

NEC semifinals

Patriot League semifinals

Conference USA quarterfinals

Big South quarterfinals

CAA quarterfinals

MEAC quarterfinals

Sun Belt quarterfinals

MVC first round

Southland first round

Tomorrow's game schedule

College team news:

"This is why you play": confidence is bubbling for Drake as their March journey nears.

Eastern Washington is one win away from ending its 32-year NCAA Tournament drought.

The future is bright for Maryland.

How UConn has grown this season.

Is the Lady Vols' NCAA Tourney streak over? We will find out Monday night.

UCLA looks to rebound stronger after the Pac-12 Tournament.

Injuries to Laura Stockton and Jill Townsend have bracketologists split on Gonzaga's Tourney seeding.

The Cyclones aim to be a positive influence to youth.

The day after isn't what Northern Colorado had hoped for.

Three teams that could make some noise this weekend in conference tournaments.

College player news:

Louisville's Arica Carter and Sam Fuehring are on track to return to the NCAA Tournament.

Napheesa Collier is peaking when UConn needs it most.

Northern Iowa's Taylor Hagen is making the most of her new role.

Katrina McClain Award finalists.

Dawn Staley Award finalists: Sabrina Ionescu, Asia Durr, Arike Ogunbowale and Cierra Dillard.

ESPN's All-American teams.

College coach news:

Rutgers coach Vivian Stringer won't coach again this season, but plans to return.

Catching up with Miami coach Katie Meier.

Candice M. Jackson's contract won't be renewed by the College of Charleston.

High school news:

Top high school players will be given educational and athletic opportunities at the Final Four.

WNBA news:

Layshia Clarendon is one of the faces for Adidas' "She Breaks Barriers" campaign.

The Lynx have hired Plenette Pierson as an assistant coach.

Jonathan Kolb is the new general manager for the Liberty.


Former Indiana senator and Title IX author Birch Bayh has died at age 91.

He had no idea what impact the law would have.

NCAA WBB TV viewership is up slightly this year.

Sheryl Swoopes' son Jordan Jackson is balling out for UTRGV.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

It's March 13 again: celebrating 37 years of hoopaholism

Early in the 1981-1982 college basketball season, my father began taking me to Oregon women's basketball games. He was trying to find a way to encourage and inspire me.

A short time before that, one of my 14-year-old classmates had shot herself to death in a phone booth one night about a half mile from our school. To say that it rocked the student body, the city, and myself, is a grave understatement. I don't know how my dad got the idea to attend Duck games, but he knew me well, and he must have known on some level that this would be the remedy.

Women's basketball was still in its infancy, but in sport-crazy Eugene, it was already big time. The same kind of men's hoops crowds that earned the name "deranged idiots" from sportscasters in the 1970's showed up in the late 70's-early 80's to cheer on Bev Smith and Alison Lang - two Canadian ballers who came to the University and became superstars.

Lang was a tall, lanky center whose long arms would reach up and grab rebound after rebound. Smith was an electric forward who seemed to find endless ways to score. Both were a formidable duo for opponents, and in 1981-82, they set courts on fire.

Every home game in Mac Court that year was packed full of noisy fans, who had watched their team go 20-3 by the time the regular season ended. I hung on to every play, every post move by Lang and every slashing cut by Smith. In every game, they showed me what I'd always wanted to see: what a strong, athletic woman looked like. I was in ball player love.

Senior day for Smith was insane. Her teammates had all made banners with well wishes for her, which hung from the ceiling. Lang, a junior, signed hers "love, Big Al." The crowd's screams were at a fever pitch, and I remember looking around in wonder - and joy - at this spectacle. It was the first time I'd seen an arena go nuts for a woman.

The Ducks were selected as one of 32 teams to participate in the first NCAA Tournament for women that spring. Their first round game was at home, against Missouri, on Saturday, March 13, 1982.

The Tigers were seeded slightly higher, but everyone knew the game would be pretty even - and it was. Missouri barely pulled it out, 59-53. Smith was pictured in the paper the next morning on the bench, her head in her hands. And although I was sad the season was over, something had taken root within me.

That Sunday I went running. The same week, I started messing around with weights again, to get stronger. I watched the Tournament all the way to the end, and sat hypnotized during the Championship game as this woman with the long braid for Louisiana Tech led the charge in dismantling Cheyney State, 76-62.

And so, the hoopaholism began. (As did my own personal athleticism, which continues to this day). The basketball addiction has never stopped.

Before he passed, I was happy to tell my dad what a difference he made in my life, and thanked him for taking me to those games. I have thanked Bev Smith. And whenever I get a chance, I tell the parents of girls to take their daughter to a game. You never know the impact it might have.....or the writing careers it might create.

So here's to (at least) another 37 years of hoopaholism. Looking forward to seeing what the game will look like in 2056.

Alison Lang, left, and Bev Smith, run the offense