Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Guru's College Report: Saint Joseph's and Rutgers Advance While La Salle Falls

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

After looking like a vintage Saint Joseph’s team dispatching 10th-seeded George Mason 71-43 Thursday afternoon, the seventh-seeded Hawks will head into Friday’s quarterfinals at 4:30 p.m. in the Atlantic 10 tournament at the Richmond Coliseum in Virginia against a second-seeded Dayton team (23-5) with which the two are familiar foes in this postseason event.

Two years ago in the comfort of home at Hagan Arena Saint Joseph’s upset the tourney favorite in the semifinals and a week later traveled up to Brooklyn and edged local upstart Fordham to end an NCAA drought that existed more than a decade.

The Hawks were two of three of the Guru’s local Division I PhilahoopsW group that played Thursday and survived.

The other survivor was No. 23 Rutgers, the fifth seed which for the second time within a week conquered 12th-seeded Indiana, this time 63-52, to move to Friday’s Big Ten quarterfinals against 24th-ranked Northwestern, the fourth-seed which the Scarlet Knights lost to eight days ago in suburban Chicago as the end of the regular season approached.

Meanwhile Saint Joseph’s sister Big Five team La Salle fell short to sixth seeded Rhode Island 65-6t0 and with a losing 15-16 record the 11th-seeded Explorers are precluded from any discussion about being examined by the WNIT folks.

Saint Joseph’s (13-16), with plenty of WNIT participation in the past, can’t get there either since it is too late to get to .500 without winning the A-10 tourney so the Hawks are about to launch a short or long all-or-nothing string in which another A-10 title Sunday will lead to daylight or a setback will cause many Hawks’ next appearances to be back in the Philly summer league in which all of them excelled.

One exception to this fate might be senior Natasha Cloud, who has been observed by several WNBA coaches during her final collegiate season.

The Hawks had total control Thursday over the Patriots, whom were held to their lowest output of the season. Saint Joseph’s also dominated the inside 36-14 and got 16 points out of forcing 15 George Mason turnovers.

Cloud and Ciara Andrews each scored 14 points for the Hawks and Cloud also dealt seven assists.

In a rare start freshman Chelsea Woods had a game-high 12 rebounds to go with her 12 points for a double double.

Saint Joseph’s managed to keep the Patriots (13-17) and A-10 scoring leader Taylor Brown well below her 21.8 points per game average at 11 points.

It’s the second straight season the Hawks ejected George Mason, who moved over from the Colonial Athletics Association last winter.

In the La Salle game, Micahya Owens had another big night for the Explorers with 19 points and six rebounds. Jasmine Alston scored 11 points and tied a game-high with eight rebounds. Siobhan Beslow also scored in double figures with 10 points.

Charise Wilson, the A-10 rookie of the year and key reason for Rhode Island’s revival, had a game-high 23 points as the Rams move to a quarterfinal Friday against third-seeded Duquesne (20-9), which along with top-seeded George Washington (26-3), Dayton, and fourth-seeded Fordham (19-10) all had double byes into the quarterfinals.

The Explorers were ahead 58-57 with 47 seconds left in regulation when Tayra Melendex’s three-pointer gave the advantage back to the Rams, who then hit 5-of-6 free throws to emerge triumphantly.

Rhode Island (17-12), which split Duquesne during the season, had a first-round bye and the win was the Rams’ first in the tourney in six years since they upset GW in the opening round of the 2009 tourney.

Because of the snow the A-10 announced a promotion Friday offering free admission to the games.

In other Thursday action in the tournament, fifth-seeded Richmond (18-12), playing in its home city, edged 13th-seeded Massachusetts 67-63 to meet Fordham at 2 p.m. Friday. The Minutewomen finished their season at 12-18).

Lauren Tolson had 22 points for the Spiders, who also got 18 from Janelle Hubbard and 12 from South Jersey’s Genevieve Okoro, who also grabbed nine rebounds.

In the other Thursday game, ninth-seeded Saint Louis (15-15), another team that has struggled in the league in the past, dispatched the city of Richmond’s other local team VCU 65-58 to advance against GW. VCU, the eighth seed, finished 16-15.

Rutgers Handles Hoosiers Again

Kahleah Copper scored 16 points, Tyler Scaife scored 14, and it was double double time again for senior Betnijah Laney, No. 19 for the senior star with 12 points and 15 rebounds, as the Scarlet Knights (22-8) now wade into deeper waters trying to improve their NCAA positioning when the tournament field and draw is announced a week from Monday on ESPN-TV.

A year ago, getting into the Big Dance was the problem, but Rutgers made the best of its omission by winning the WNIT, the other major postseason tourney that the Scarlet Knights spurned in the past.

This time they have the profile for selection but to gain one of the coveted top 16 seeds with the perk of as many as two early home games, they must reverse their last outcome to Northwestern and then assuming top-seeded Maryland will be waiting they will need to shock the Terps to get to the conference title game at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., to heighten their NCAA placement prospects.

Meanwhile, on the floor against the Hoosiers (15-16), who got as game-high 19 points from Tyra Butts, Rutgers was in control most of the day.

Elsewhere in Friday’s round in the Big 10 tourney, seventh-seeded Nebraska (21-9)topped 10th-seeded Illinois 86-71 as the winning Cornhuskers’ freshman Natalie Romeo tied a school record with seven three pointers on the way to a career-high 26 points.

The Illini finished at 15-16 on the season.

Nebraska will meet 14th-ranked and second-seeded Iowa in Friday’s quarterfinal round.

Meanwhile sixth-seeded Minnesota escaped an upset from Purdue, the bottom seed at 14, by emerging with an 82-78 win.

The Gophers (23-8) rode the hot hand of Shae Kelly’s 26 points to victory over the Boilermakers (11-20), which gives Minnesota its most wins since the 2004-05 season.

Next up in the quarterfinals for the second straight season, is a match with third-seeded Ohio State.

Meanwhile, in the battle of state teams, ninth-seeded Michigan State topped 8th-seeded Michigan 69-49 and heads to the other quarterfinal, facing fourth-ranked Maryland, which went unbeaten in its first year in the conference.

Rutgers is also in its first year in the league.

Maryland is looking to claim the title and thus perhaps land one of the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament for the effort a year after coming through as an under seed and getting to the national finals in Nashville.

Ariel Powers set a tournament record for the Spartans with 15 rebounds to go with her 16 points.

The Gophers have never lost to the Wolverines in five meetings in the tourney between the state schools. Both teams are at 16-14.

Conference Tourney Scores

Here is the daily rundown from the AP of all conferences with pairings set and games to come along with results of tourneys that have gotten under way.


Conferences at a Glance

All Times Eastern

America East Conference
At The Events Center
Binghamton, N.Y.
First Round
Saturday, March 7
Maine vs. Binghamton, Noon
New Hampshire vs. Hartford, 2:30 p.m.
Albany vs. Vermont, 6 p.m.
Stony Brook vs. UMBC, 8:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Sunday, March 8
Maine-Binghamton winner vs. New Hampshire-Hartford winner, 2 p.m.
Albany-Vermont winner vs. Stony Brook-UMBC winner, 4:30 p.m.
Championship
At Higher-Seeded Team
Friday, March 13
Semifinal winners, 4:30 p.m.

American Athletic Conference
At Mohegan Sun Arena
Uncasville, Conn.
First Round
Friday, March 6
UCF vs. Cincinnati, 4 p.m.
Memphis vs. SMU, 6 p.m.
Tulane vs. Houston, 8 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Saturday, March 7
Temple vs. East Carolina, Noon
UConn vs. UCF-Cincinnati winner, 2 p.m.
South Florida vs. Memphis-SMU winner, 6 p.m.
Tulsa vs. Tulane-Houston winner, 8 p.m.
Semifinals
Sunday, March 8
Temple-East Carolina winner vs. UConn_UCF-Cincinnati winner, 5:30 p.m.
South Florida_Memphis-SMU winner vs. Tulsa_Tulane-Houston winner, 7:30 p.m.
Championship
Monday, March 9
Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

Atlantic Coast Conference
At Greensboro Coliseum
Greensboro, N.C.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Wake Forest 69, Boston College 53
Virginia Tech 58, N.C. State 56
Georgia Tech 80, Clemson 53
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
Wake Forest 85, Syracuse 79
Miami 62, Virginia 52
Virginia Tech 51, Pittsburgh 45
North Carolina 84, Georgia Tech 64
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Duke vs. Wake Forest, 11 a.m.
Notre Dame vs. Miami, 2 p.m.
Florida State vs. Virginia Tech, 6 p.m.
Louisville vs. North Carolina, 8:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Duke-Wake Forest winner vs. Notre Dame-Miami winner, Noon
Florida State-Virginia Tech winner vs. Louisville-North Carolina winner, 2:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Atlantic Sun Conference
At Higher-Seeded Teams
First Round
Friday, March 6
North Florida at Florida Gulf Coast, 7 p.m.
Lipscomb at Stetson, 7 p.m.
South Carolina-Upstate at Northern Kentucky, 7 p.m.
Kennesaw State at Jacksonville, 7 p.m.
Semifinals
Wednesday, March 11
Florida Gulf Coast-North Florida winner vs. Kennesaw State-Jacksonville winner, 7 p.m.
Stetson-Lipscomb winner vs. South Carolina-Upstate-Northern Kentucky winner, 7 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 15
Semifinal winners, 2:30 p.m.

Atlantic 10 Conference
At Richmond Coliseum
Richmond, Va.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
UMass 55, St. Bonaventure 49
La Salle 74, Davidson 63
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
Saint Louis 65, VCU 58
Richmond 67, UMass 63
Saint Joseph's 71, George Mason 43
Rhode Island 65, La Salle 60
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
George Washington vs. Saint Louis, 11 a.m.
Fordham vs. Richmond, 2 p.m.
Dayton vs. Saint Joseph's, 4:30 p.m.
Duquesne vs. Rhode Island, 7 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
George Washington-Saint Louis winner vs. Fordham-Richmond winner, 11 a.m.
Dayton-Saint Joseph's winner vs. Duquesne-Rhode Island winner, 1:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Big East Conference
At Allstate Arena
Rosemont, Ill.
First Round
Saturday, March 7
Marquette vs. Providence, 3 p.m.
Xavier vs. Georgetown, 5:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Sunday, March 8
Seton Hall vs. Marquette-Providence winner, 1 p.m.
St. John's vs. Creighton, 3:30 p.m.
DePaul vs. Xavier-Georgetown winner, 7 p.m.
Villanova vs. Butler, 9:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
Seton Hall_Marquette-Providence winner vs. St. John's-Creighton wnner, 6:30 p.m.
DePaul_Xavier-Georgetown winner vs. Villanova-Butler winner, 9 p.m.
Championship
Tuesday, March 10
Semifinal winners, 8 p.m.

Big South Conference
At The HTC Center
Conway, S.C.
First Round
Tuesday, March 3
Gardner-Webb 63, Longwood 55
Presbyterian 47, Charleston Southern 39
UNC Asheville 68, Coastal Carolina 54
Quarterfinals
Thursday, March 5
Liberty 59, UNC Asheville 51
Campbell 65, Winthrop 52
Gardner-Webb 70, Radford 56
High Point 75, Presbyterian 62
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Liberty vs. Campbell, 6 p.m.
Gardner-Webb vs. High Point, 8:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 5 p.m.

Big Ten Conference
At Sears Centre Arena
Hoffman Estates, Ill.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Indiana 68, Penn State 63
Purdue 58, Wisconsin 56
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
Michigan State 69, Michigan 49
Rutgers 63, Indiana 52
Nebraska 86, Illinois 71
Minnesota 82, Purdue 78
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Maryland vs. Michigan State, 12:30 p.m.
Northwestern vs. Rutgers, 2:55 p.m.
Iowa vs. Nebraska, 7 p.m.
Ohio State vs. Minnesota, 9:25 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Maryland-Michigan State winner vs. Northwestern-Rutgers winner, 7 p.m.
Iowa-Nebraska winner vs. Ohio State-Minnesota winner, 9:25 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

Big 12 Conference
At American Airlines Center
Dallas
First Round
Friday, March 6
Kansas State vs. Kansas, 7 p.m.
West Virginia vs. Texas Tech, 9:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Saturday, March 7
Oklahoma State vs. Iowa State, Noon
Baylor vs. Kansas State-Kansas winner, 2:30 p.m.
Oklahoma vs. West Virginia-Texas Tech winner, 7 p.m.
TCU vs. Texas, 9:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Sunday, March 8
Oklahoma State-Iowa State winner vs. Baylor_Kansas State-Kansas winner, 2:30 p.m.
Oklahoma_West Virginia-Texas Tech winner vs. TCU-Texas winner, 5 p.m.
Championship
Monday, March 9
Semifinal winners, 9 p.m.

Colonial Athletic Association
At The Show Place Arena
Upper Marlboro, Md.
First Round
Thursday, March 12
Towson vs. College of Charleston, Noon
Delaware vs. Northeastern, 2:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 13
James Madison vs. Towson-College of Charleston winner, Noon
Elon vs. UNC Wilmington, 2:30 p.m.
Drexel vs. Delaware-Northeastern winner, 5 p.m.
Hofstra vs. William & Mary, 7:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 14
James Madison_Towson-College of Charleston winner vs. Elon-UNC Wilmington winner, 1 p.m.
Drexel_Delaware-Northeastern winner vs. Hofstra-William & Mary winner, 3:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 15
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
At Times Union Center
Albany, N.Y.
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Monmouth 68, Canisius 56
Saint Peter's 62, Rider 54
Niagara 57, Manhattan 51
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Quinnipiac vs. Monmouth, Noon
Iona vs. Siena, 2:30 p.m.
Marist vs. Saint Peter's, 7 p.m.
Fairfield vs. Niagara, 9:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Sunday, March 8
Quinnipiac-Monmouth winner vs. Iona-Siena winner, 11 a.m.
Marist-Saint Peter's winner vs. Fairfield-Niagara winner, 1:30 p.m.
Championship
Monday, March 9
Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

Northeast Conference
First Round
Sunday, March 8
LIU Brooklyn at CCSU, 2 p.m.
Mount St. Mary's at Bryant, 1 p.m.
Fairleigh Dickinson at Robert Morris, 1 p.m.
St. Francis (N.Y.) at Sacred Heart, 1 p.m.
Semifinals
Wednesday, March 11
Lowest-remaining seed at highest-remaining seed, 7 p.m.
Third-remaining seed at second-remaining seed, 7 p.m.<
Championship
Sunday, March 15
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Ohio Valley Conference
At Municipal Auditorium
Nashville, Tenn.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
UT Martin 68, Eastern Illinois 35
SIU Edwardsville 72, Austin Peay 69
Thursday, March 5
Belmont 55, Jacksonville State 45
Tennessee State 81, Morehead State 66
Semifinals
Friday, March 6
UT Martin vs. Belmont, 1 p.m.
SIU Edwardsville vs. Tennessee State, 3:30 p.m.
Championship
Saturday, March 7
Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

Pacific-12 Conference
At KeyArena
Seattle
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Washington State 66, Oregon 64
UCLA 80, Arizona 62
Colorado 75, Southern Cal 63
Washington 75, Utah 64
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Arizona State vs. Washington State, 2:30 p.m.
Stanford vs. UCLA, 5 p.m.
Oregon State vs. Colorado, 9 p.m.
California vs. Washington, 11:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Arizona State-Washington State winner vs. Stanford-UCLA winner, 9 p.m.
Oregon State-Colorado winner vs. California-Washington winner, 11:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 9 p.m.

Patriot League
At Higher-Seeded Teams
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Lafayette 58, Loyola (Md.) 46
Colgate 58, Boston University 48
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Lehigh at Holy Cross, 6 p.m.
Lafayette at American, 7 p.m.
Colgate at Army, 7 p.m.
Navy at Bucknell, 7 p.m.
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
American_Lafayette winner vs. Bucknell-Navy winner, TBA
Army_Colgate winner vs. Holy Cross-Lehigh winner, TBA
Championship
Saturday, March 14
Semifinal winners, 6 p.m.

Southeastern Conference
At Verizon Arena
Little Rock, Ark.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Auburn 71, Florida 49
Vanderbilt 66, Alabama 56
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
Arkansas 72, Mississippi 61
Texas A&M 57, Auburn 47
Georgia 75, Missouri 64
Kentucky 67, Vanderbilt 61
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
South Carolina vs. Arkansas, 1 p.m.
LSU vs. Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m.
Tennessee vs. Georgia, 7 p.m.
Mississippi State vs. Kentucky, 9:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
South Carolina-Arkansas winner vs. LSU-Texas A&M winner, 5 p.m.
Tennessee-Georgia winner vs. Mississippi State-Kentucky winner, 7:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 3:30 p.m.

Southern Conference
At Kimmel Arena
Asheville, N.C.
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Chattanooga 78, UNC Greensboro 44
Furman 65, Samford 54
ETSU 73, Western Carolina 53
Mercer 75, Wofford 54
At U.S. Cellular Center
Asheville, N.C.
Semifinals
Friday, March 6
Chattanooga vs. Furman, 11 a.m.
ETSU vs. Mercer, 1:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Summit League
At Denny Sanford PREMIER Center
Sioux Falls, S.D.
First Round
Saturday, March 7
South Dakota vs. IPFW, 1 p.m.
South Dakota State vs. Denver, 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 8
Western Illinois vs. IUPUI, 1 p.m.
Oral Roberts vs. North Dakota State, 3:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
South Dakota-IPFW winner vs. Western Illinois-IUPUI, 1 p.m.
South Dakota State-Denver winner vs. Oral Roberts-North Dakota State winner, 3:30 p.m.
Championship
Tuesday, March 10
Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

West Coast Conference
At Orleans Arena
Las Vegas
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Loyola Marymount 68, Pepperdine 67
Santa Clara 66, Portland 58
Quarterfinals
Thursday, March 5
San Francisco 74, Pacific 64
BYU 65, Saint Mary's 64
Friday, March 6
Gonzaga vs. Loyola Marymount, 3 p.m.
San Diego vs. Santa Clara, 5:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
Gonzaga-Loyola Marymount winner vs. BYU, 3 p.m.
San Diego-Santa Clara winner vs. San Francisco, 5:30 p.m.
Championship
Tuesday, March 10
Semifinal winners, 4 p.m.








- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Rob Knox's D-3 Report: Ex-Philadelphia U Star Creates March Magic Coaching PSU-Abington

By Rob Knox @knoxrob1

Penn State-Abington head coach Stephanie Carideo is a winner.

In addition to winning everywhere she’s been, Carideo has also left an indelible mark.

A 1,000-point scorer at Lower Cape May High School in southern New Jersey and at Philadelphia University, Carideo is now making a name for herself in the coaching ranks.

Her latest masterpiece is turning around the Penn State-Abington women’s basketball program in her second year in charge of the Nittany Lions.

PSU-Abington is enjoying a historic season under Carideo’s leadership.

The Nittany Lions have won a school record 22 games, captured their first North East Athletic Conference (NEAC) championship and earned an unfathomable postseason trip to powerhouse George Fox University in Newburg, Oregon, which is 25 miles south of Portland.

It will be the NCAA Division III Tournament debut for Penn State-Abington, who flew into Portland Wednesday afternoon. Anybody with the slightest knowledge of the NCAA knows it’s stingy with flying Division III teams to postseason locations.

The Nittany Lions will tip-off Friday night at 10 p.m. Eastern Time against the heavily favored Bruins, who are hosting a weekend pod.

Should PSU-Abington win, it would meet the winner of the Claremont-Mudd Scripps (Calif.)-Puget Sound (Wa.) game Saturday night for the a spot in the Sweet 16.

“I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I also had the energy for the position,” Carideo said earlier this week. “I have a winning tradition in my bloodstream and I wanted to bring that here to a program that wasn’t used to winning. I started coaching in high school and I knew I wanted to coach college basketball.”

Penn State-Abington is one of three teams in the womhoopsguru coverage area competing in the Division III tournament this weekend.

Eastern will meet perennial power and 2011 national champion Amherst at New York University. Cabrini battles Muhlenberg in a game being played at Geneso State. With the amount of Trenton athletes on its roster FDU-Florham is hosting a weekend pod and will play Johnson & Wales. All first round games are on Friday night.

However, Penn State-Abington’s participation in the NCAA Division III tournament is special. In the four years prior to this season, the Nittany Lions, a program in their third year as a Division III member, won a total of 21 games.

No matter what happens Friday night, Carideo’s influence and winning ways has rubbed off on PSU-Abington as she has changed the culture of the program that wasn’t used to experiencing success.

Winning runs in the Carideo household.

Her husband Chris is the head men's basketball coach at Widener and a Philadelphia Small College Basketball Hall of Famer. He was the only Widener coach in any sport to lead his program to the NCAA Tournament in his first three years.

Carideo has been able to lay a solid base at PSU-Abington because she had a strong foundation at Philadelphia University.

Playing four years under legendary Philadelphia University head coach Tom Shirley, Carideo, who was also recently inducted into the Lower Cape May Athletic Hall of Fame, helped the Rams experience a few firsts during her career.

She helped them win 75 games and was an instrumental part of the 2008-09 team that won the school's first Central Athletic Collegiate Conference (CACC) championship.

That squad also made its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2001.

A two-time CACC all-conference selection, Carideo concluded her career as a Ram with 1,078 points and 405 rebounds. She also departed the school ranked seventh all-time in assists (339) and fourth all-time in steals (226).

“Coach (Tom) Shirley is one of the toughest guys I played for,” Carideo said. “He had a zero tolerance policy and I knew that was something I was going to have to do when I started here. I learned a lot from him especially from an X-and-O standpoint. But I also have a lot of other things in my wheelhouse as well that I picked up along the way.”

She also picked up former Holy Family star Carolyne Heston from a tradition of triumphs for her staff to help her.

Of course to turn a program around, a coach needs players, something that was in short supply when she took over the team. Player participation was so low at one point that PSU-Abington had to recruit softball athletes to fill out a starting five, let alone an entire roster.

“We had to bring in players,” Carideo said. “We hit the recruiting trail hard and had to find the right fit for Abington. There wasn’t much success prior to my arrival, which made it tough to sell. I found the right kids and got very lucky.”

One of the student-athletes who was here when Carideo arrived was senior Jessica Schmidt, one of three Abington High graduates on the roster. Schmidt remembered the hard times and was excited to embrace change.

“Every game was a struggle and they were used to losing,” Schmidt said of her first year as a member of the PSU-Abington program. “I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Last year wasn’t the best year. We had softball players on our team and at one point we had six girls on our team. I thought our program was going to fold.”

Even though the Nittany Lions won five games in Carideo’s first year, progress was evident as players on the team had a basketball foundation and they brought into her system.

“We brought into her system,” Schmidt said. “I know that we worked our butts off this year. We didn’t take any days off and we knew we were getting better as a program.

"Having a coach who believes in you, can take you far and give you that extra edge. As a team, we’ve built a tight bond. She built a friendship and bond with me. Coach was serious about changing PSU-Abington basketball. At the start of the season, we didn’t think this would be possible and now it is.”

PSU-Abington knows it’s facing a formidable opponent and one that many pundits believe can advance to the Final Four in Grand Rapids (Michigan) in its NCAA opener.

However, with it being March, upsets can happen like 16th-seeded Harvard beating top-seeded Stanford in 1997, and 12th seeded Ball State beating Tennessee in 2009.

George Fox finished the regular season as Northwest Conference Champions, and went on to win the NWC Tournament Championship, receiving the automatic bid into the tournament.

The Bruins are currently ranked No. 3 in the D3hoops.com Top 25 poll. The Bruins will be making their 11th NCAA Tournament appearance in the 15 seasons of NCAA eligibility.

Schmidt is one of three players averaging double figures for the Nittany Lions. She was also one of three players named to the All-NEAC postseason team.

Senior guard Stephanie Keyes (Archbishop Wood) was named first team All-NEAC. She was fifth in the NEAC in points, averaging 17.6 points per game.

Keyes also finished second in the conference from three with 40.0 shooting percentage. She has been known to light up the scoreboard and has scored 20 or more points 10 times this season, including a season-high 32 points against Keuka College.

Schmidt and junior guard Janaiah Elum (Northeast High) earned Third Team All NEAC honors.

Schmidt leaves Penn State Abington, with numerous single season records and is third all-time in scoring, with over 1,000 points. Schmidt is the Nittany Lions’ leading rebounder at 7.6 points per game. She also averages 10.8 points per outing.

Elum finished the season 11th overall in points per game, averaging 16.0 and fourth overall in three-point percentage, shooting 38.2% behind the arc.

Keyes, Elum and Kyra Lunsford (Vineland) have accounted for 84 percent of the Nittany Lions’ 219 3-point field goals this season and Keyes is fourth nationally in 3-pointers made per game (3.19).

PSU-Abington has made double-digit three-pointers in a game nine times this season, including 13 in the NEAC title game against Morrisville State.

Other key contributors for the Nittany Lions this season have been Breanna Lineman (Girls High) and Elizabeth Jones (St. Hubert).

“Any team can beat anybody at this time of the year,” Carideo said. “Our mindset is going to be the biggest part. It’s cool that we’re flying and in the NCAA Tournament, but we’re not here to say we flew on a plane.

"We’re excited about the opportunity we have and we’re going to go in there and fight. It’s been a special journey this year for us. We’re going to go out there and make the East Coast proud.”

Division II crossovers:

USciences-Holy Family Set for Round Three

The University of the Sciences and Holy Family will meet for the third time this season Friday afternoon at 12:00 p.m. Philadelphia will host Caldwell at 2:00 p.m. Both games will be played at Philadelphia University’s Gallagher Center. The two winners will play Saturday for the championship.

Brianne Traub led all players with her tenth double-double of the season, scoring 27 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in an 86-49 quarterfinal win over Post. Jessica Sylvester added 15 points. Isabella Ross grabbed eight rebounds and chipped in six points and Sarah Abbonizio came off the bench to score nine points.

Holy Family will be making its 11th trip in the last 12 years to the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference semifinals after defeating the reigning conference champion Bloomfield College, 60-46, in the quarterfinals.

Junior Erin Fenningham led a trio of Tigers that scored in double-figures with a game-high 13 points. Sophomore Jill Conroy totaled 12 points and recorded a game-high six assists to go along with two steals on defense. Junior Kasey Woetzel finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.

Najah Jacobs scored 21 of her 29 points in the second half to lead Philadelphia to an 82-63 quarterfinal victory over Dominican. Mary Newell scored 15 points of her 17-points in the opening half. She also had eight rebounds. Guard Bria Young added 13 points.

In the latest Division II Regional Rankings, Philadelphia and USciences were seventh and eighth, respectively in the East Region.

The Lincoln University falls in CIAA championship game

The Lincoln University also made a little history last week by advancing to its first Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) title game since its return to Division II. The Lady Lions dropped a 73-49 decision to Virginia State in the title game. Senior Zephrah Pam and junior Amani Clark were named to the all-tournament team. Lincoln also set a program record with 21 victories.

The Lady Lions will wait to see if they are selected to the ECAC Division II postseason tournament. Selections and pairings will be announced Monday. They weren’t ranked in the final public Atlantic Regional rankings.

West Chester headed to PSAC semifinals

Serifat Junaid posted 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds while Dallas Ely added 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead West Chester to a 77-70 victory over visiting Shippensburg in a PSAC Tournament quarterfinal Tuesday evening.

West Chester (23-4) advances to the PSAC semifinals for the second straight year and fifth time in the last seven. Head coach Kiera Wooden picked up her first postseason win of her career.

Her squad will travel to Bloomsburg this weekend to play Indiana, Pa., in the semifinals on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.

Bloomsburg, with Villanova graduate Bill Cleary as head coach, meets California at 3:00 p.m.

Bloomsburg and West Chester are ranked third and sixth, respectively in the recent NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional rankings.

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad

Guru's College Report: Drexel Keeps Rolling While La Salle Takes A-10 Opener

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

The regular season came to a happy ending for Drexel Wednesday night and included another tough loss for Delaware in the Colonial Athletic Association.

The postseason lasted just one game for Penn State, whose rally fell short in the opening of the Big Ten tournament at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Ill., to conclude the most miserable season in the eight years coach Coquese Washington has had to guide the Lady Lions.

Finally, in terms of the four Guru’s local Division I squads that saw action, La Salle made the best of being relegated to opening day play in the Atlantic 10 tournament at the Richmond Coliseum in Virginia and had several Explorers set career highs in the quick dispatch of new member Davidson.

Let’s begin on the highest of notes up in Boston where a 10-hour bus trip to get to Northeastern on Tuesday did not hamper Drexel 24 hours later as the Dragons continued on momentum with a sixth straight victory 58-42 heading into next week’s CAA tournament at the Showplace Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md.,

Sarah Curran was the tops on offensive side of things in another defensive showing by scoring 17 points for the Dragons (20-9, 14-4 CAA), who reached the 20 win total for the fifth time since becoming Division I competitors and also posted their second best CAA win total since joining the conference.

Alexis Smith scored 16 points against the 10th and last place Huskies (4-24, 1-17), whom Drexel as the second seed could see again next Friday night in the tournament quarterfinals if Northeastern upsets seventh-seeded Delaware in one of two Thursday openers a week from now.

Alexis Smith also scored in double digits for the Dragons with 16 points while all of Jamila Thompson’s eight points were collected at the foul line.

Meanwhile, Delaware, two years removed from owning the conference with the second of two perfect records, suffered another narrow setback, this time losing at CAA newcomer Elon 77-76 in overtime to fall to the seventh seed and play an opening conference tournasment day game against Northeastern.

Joy Caracciolo had her third straight 20-point outing with 21 for the Blue Hens (13-16, 8-10), who will not be WNIT eligible because to be .500 or over they would need to get to the title game for the fifth straight season and win it, which would send them joyously on to the NCAAs on the path they also succeeded in 2012 and 2013.

A loss at that point would drop them to 16-17.

Courtni Green had 17 points and a layup with 12 seconds left to force overtime when Elon (18-11, 11-7), who will be the fourth seed, couldn’t counter and then Erika Brown, who scored 16 points, missed at a chance to win as regulation expired.

The Blue Hens also got 12 points from Hannah Jardine. They missed two shots at the close of overtime to yield the game to Elon.

It’s the fourth straight game Delaware held a halftime lead it couldn’t mine into a victory. Overall, the Blue Hens have dropped five straight, the longest losing streak since 2009, the year before current WNBA superstar Elena Delle Donne decided to return to basketball and play for them.

“I’m definitely disappointed,” Delaware coach Tina Martin said. “Disappointed for the kids, disappointed for everybody.

“We played our butts off tonight. It’s frustrating when you have a chance to build a lead and go up and you’re unable to. The bottom line is we missed too many free throws and gave up too many offensive rebounds.

“We’re playing harder than we have all year long and I’m proud of them from that standpoint.”

At the top of the bracket, James Madison, the defending CAA champs who recently enjoyed a brief return for one week to the Associated Press women’s poll, finished out at home in Harrisonburg, Va., with a 107-58 rout of Charleston to tie a program recored for most points in a game by the Dukes (26-3, 17-1)..

Charleston dropped to 5-24 overall and 3-15 in the league.

Hofstra ( 18-11, 11-7), who had already clinched the third seed, the Pride’s highest since 2004), was edged on the road 76-75, at UNCW (14-15, 10-8).

With the third seed, like JMU, Drexel, and Elon, the Pride have a bye into Friday’s quarterfinals facing sixth-seeded William & Mary (15-14, 9-9).

The other opening round play-in game besides the Delaware-Northeastern matchup Thursday has eighth-seeded Towson (10-20, 6-12) facing ninth-seeded Charleston. The winner meets James Madison Friday.

The other Friday quarterfinal has Elon as the fourth seed meeting fifth-seeded UNCW.

Penn State Drops Big Ten Opener to Indiana

Tied for last with bottom-seeded Purdue a year after being the top seed in the conference, 13th-seeded Penn State chased Indiana most of the day in a Big Ten play-in round game before losing to the 12th-seeded Hoosiers 68-63 to finish the season 6-24 overall and 3-15 in the recently completed conference competition.

Penn State had some hope when Peyton Whitted scored with 1:01 left in regulation to bring the Lady :ions within a field goal but Indiana (15-15, 4-14) got a three-point play and three foul shots to advance to Thursday’s first round against fifth-seeded and 23rd-ranked Rutgers (221-8, 12-6), which just beat the Hoosiers 71-60 at home in Sunday’s regular season finale..

Sierra Moore scored 18 points for the Lady Lions in the Penn State game while Kaliyah Mitchell jad 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Candice Agee scored 14.

Amanda Cahill had a career-high 20 points for Indiana.

Purdue, the 14th seed, snapped an 10-game losing streak to beat 11th-seeded Wisconsin 58-56 closing the game with a 10-3 run over the Badgers (9-20, 5-14).

The Boilermakers, who will meet sixth-seeded Minnesota in the next round Thursday, became the first 14th seed to advance in the tournament.

Whitney Bays had 16 points for Purdue (11-19, 4-15) while Dakota Whyte had 16 for Wisconsin.

La Salle Grabs A-10 Opener

Micahya Owens, one of several Explorers to set a career mark, scored 24 points as 11th-seeded La Salle took a 74-63 win over 14th-seeded Davidson (5-25), who got 23 points from Hannah Early.

The Explorers will meet sixth-seeded Rhode Island, a vastly improved squad, in Thursday’s overall first round in Richmond, Va., at the Coliseum.

Rookie Ashanti Freeland set personal marks for points with nine and rebounds with 10. Alicia Cropper added 11 points to the Explorers’ attack.

Siobhan Beslow added to the career theme with 13 rebounds to go with her 14 points for a double double.

Meanwhile 7th-seeded Saint Joseph’s opens Thursday against 10th-seeded George Mason and the winner meets No. 2 Dayton, one of four teams with a double bye, on Friday in the quarterfinals.

Top-seeded George Washington gets either 8th-seeded VCU or 9th-seeded Saint Louis on Friday while third-seeded Duquesne gets the winner of the La Salle-Rhode Island game.

Fourth-seeded Fordham, the defending tournament champions, will meet either fifth-seeded Richmond, which on Thursday meets 13th-seeded Massachusetts, which advanced Wednesday beating 12th-seeded St. Bonaventure, 54-49.

Kim Pierre-Louis had 22 points for UMass while Katie Healy had 15 points for the Bonnies (15-15, 5-11)..

Lafayette Takes Patriot Opener

The Leopards at home in their Kirby Sports Center in Easton, Pa., got a career high 14 points and 12 rebounds from Ashley Lutz to give Lafayette a 58-46 win over Loyola of Maryland.

Jamie O’Hare scored 16 points while Linnel Macklin scored 12.

The Greyhounds’ Colleen Marshall scored 17 points.

Lafayette moves to top-seeded American Friday night in the nation’s capital.

Conference Scoreboard

Here’s the AP’s complete conference schedule/scoreboard with match-ups set or tournaments under way.

Women's Conference Tournament Glances
The Associated Press



All Times Eastern
America East Conference
At The Events Center
Binghamton, N.Y.
First Round
Saturday, March 7
Maine vs. Binghamton, Noon
New Hampshire vs. Hartford, 2:30 p.m.
Albany vs. Vermont, 6 p.m.
Stony Brook vs. UMBC, 8:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Sunday, March8
Maine-Binghamton winner vs. New Hampshire-Hartford winner, 2 p.m.
Albany-Vermont winner vs. Stony Brook-UMBC winner, 4:30 p.m.
Championship
At Higher-Seeded Team
Friday, March 13
Semifinal winners, 4:30 p.m.

American Athletic Conference
At Mohegan Sun Arena
Uncasville, Conn.
First Round
Friday, March 6
UCF vs. Cincinnati, 4 p.m.
Memphis vs. SMU, 6 p.m.
Tulane vs. Houston, 8 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Saturday, March 7
Temple vs. East Carolina, Noon
UConn vs. UCF-Cincinnati winner, 2 p.m.
South Florida vs. Memphis-SMU winner, 6 p.m.
Tulsa vs. Tulane-Houston winner, 8 p.m.
Semifinals
Sunday, March 8
Temple-East Carolina winner vs. UConn_UCF-Cincinnati winner, 5:30 p.m.
South Florida_Memphis-SMU winner vs. Tulsa_Tulane-Houston winner, 7:30 p.m.
Championship
Monday, March 9
Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

Atlantic Coast Conference
At Greensboro Coliseum
Greensboro, N.C.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Wake Forest 69, Boston College 53
Virginia Tech 58, N.C. State 56
Georgia Tech 80, Clemson 53
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
Syracuse vs. Wake Forest, 11 a.m.
Miami vs. Virginia, 2 p.m.
Pittsburgh vs. Virginia Tech, 6 p.m.
North Carolina vs. Georgia Tech, 8:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Duke vs. Syracuse-Wake Forest winner, 11 a.m.
Notre Dame vs. Miami-Virginia winner, 2 p.m.
Florida State vs. Pittsburgh-Virginia Tech winner, 6 p.m.
Louisville vs. North Carolina_Georgia Tech winner, 8:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Duke_Syracuse_Boston College-Wake Forest winner vs. Notre Dame_Miami-Virginia winner, Noon
Florida State_Pittsburgh-Virginia Tech winner vs. Louisville vs. North Carolina_Georgia Tech winner, 2:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Atlantic Sun Conference
At Higher-Seeded Teams
First Round
Friday, March 6
North Florida at Florida Gulf Coast, 7 p.m.
Lipscomb at Stetson, 7 p.m.
South Carolina-Upstate at Northern Kentucky, 7 p.m.
Kennesaw State at Jacksonville, 7 p.m.
Semifinals
Wednesday, March 11
Florida Gulf Coast-North Florida winner vs. Kennesaw State-Jacksonville winner, 7 p.m.
Stetson-Lipscomb winner vs. South Carolina-Upstate-Northern Kentucky winner, 7 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 15
Semifinal winners, 2:30 p.m.

Atlantic 10 Conference
At Richmond Coliseum
Richmond, Va.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
UMass 55, St. Bonaventure 49
La Salle 74, Davidson 63
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
VCU vs. Saint Louis, 11:30 a.m.
Richmond vs. UMass, 2 p.m.
Saint Joseph's vs. George Mason, 4:30 p.m.
Rhode Island vs. La Salle, 7 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
George Washington vs. VCU-Saint Louis winner, 11 a.m.
Fordham vs. Richmond-UMass winner, 2 p.m.
Dayton vs. Saint Joseph's-George Mason winner, 4:30 p.m.
Duquesne vs. Rhode Island_La Salle winner, 7 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
George Washington_VCU-Saint Louis winner vs. Fordham_Richmond_St. Bonaventure-UMass winner, 11 a.m.
Dayton_Saint Joseph's-George Mason winner vs. Duquesne_Rhode Island vs. La Salle-Davidson winner, 1:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Big East Conference
At Allstate Arena
Rosemont, Ill.
First Round
Saturday, March 7
Marquette vs. Providence, 3 p.m.
Xavier vs. Georgetown, 5:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Sunday, March 8
Seton Hall vs. Marquette-Providence winner, 1 p.m.
St. John's vs. Creighton, 3:30 p.m.
DePaul vs. Xavier-Georgetown winner, 7 p.m.
Villanova vs. Butler, 9:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
Seton Hall_Marquette-Providence winner vs. St. John's-Creighton wnner, 6:30 p.m.
DePaul_Xavier-Georgetown winner vs. Villanova-Butler winner, 9 p.m.
Championship
Tuesday, March 10
Semifinal winners, 8 p.m.

Big South Conference
At The HTC Center
Conway, S.C.
First Round
Tuesday, March 3
Gardner-Webb 63, Longwood 55
Presbyterian 47, Charleston Southern 39
UNC Asheville 68, Coastal Carolina 54
Quarterfinals
Thursday, March 5
Liberty vs. UNC Asheville, Noon
Winthrop vs. Campbell, 2:30 p.m.
Radford vs. Gardner-Webb, 6 p.m.
High Point vs. Presbyterian, 8:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Liberty-UNC Asheville winner vs. Winthrop-Campbell winner, 6 p.m.
Radford-Gardner-Webb winner vs. High Point-Presbyterian winner, 8:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 5 p.m.

Big Ten Conference
At Sears Centre Arena
Hoffman Estates, Ill.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Indiana 68, Penn State 63
Purdue 58, Wisconsin 56
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
Michigan vs. Michigan State, 12:30 p.m.
Rutgers vs. Indiana, 2:55 p.m.
Nebraska vs. Illinois, 7 p.m.
Minnesota vs. Purdue, 9:25 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Maryland vs. Michigan-Michigan State winner, 12:30 p.m.
Northwestern vs. Rutgers-Indiana winner, 2:55 p.m.
Iowa vs. Nebraska-Illinois winner, 7 p.m.
Ohio State vs. Minnesota-Purdue winner, 9:25 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Maryland_Michigan-Michigan State winner vs. Northwestern_Rutgers-Indiana winner, 7 p.m.
Iowa_Nebraska-Illinois winner vs. Ohio State_Minnesota-Purdue winner, 9:25 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

Big 12 Conference
At American Airlines Center
Dallas
First Round
Friday, March 6
Kansas State vs. Kansas, 7 p.m.
West Virginia vs. Texas Tech, 9:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Saturday, March 7
Oklahoma State vs. Iowa State, Noon
Baylor vs. Kansas State-Kansas winner, 2:30 p.m.
Oklahoma vs. West Virginia-Texas Tech winner, 7 p.m.
TCU vs. Texas, 9:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Sunday, March 8
Oklahoma State-Iowa State winner vs. Baylor_Kansas State-Kansas winner, 2:30 p.m.
Oklahoma_West Virginia-Texas Tech winner vs. TCU-Texas winner, 5 p.m.
Championship
Monday, March 9
Semifinal winners, 9 p.m.

Colonial Athletic Association
At The Show Place Arena
Upper Marlboro, Md.
First Round
Thursday, March 12
Towson vs. College of Charleston, Noon
Delaware vs. Northeastern, 2:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 13
James Madison vs. Towson-College of Charleston winner, Noon
Elon vs. UNC Wilmington, 2:30 p.m.
Drexel vs. Delaware-Northeastern winner, 5 p.m.
Hofstra vs. William & Mary, 7:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 14
James Madison_Towson-College of Charleston winner vs. Elon-UNC Wilmington winner, 1 p.m.
Drexel_Delaware-Northeastern winner vs. Hofstra-William & Mary winner, 3:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 15
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
At Times Union Center
Albany, N.Y.
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Canisius vs. Monmouth, 9:30 a.m.
Rider vs. Saint Peter's, Noon
Niagara vs. Manhattan, 2:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Quinnipiac vs. Canisius-Monmouth winner, Noon
Iona vs. Siena, 2:30 p.m.
Marist vs. Rider-Saint Peter's winner, 7 p.m.
Fairfield vs. Niagara-Manhattan winner, 9:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Sunday, March 8
Quinnipiac_Canisius-Monmouth winner vs. Iona-Siena winner, 11 a.m.
Marist_Rider-Saint Peter's winner vs. Fairfield_Niagara-Manhattan winner, 1:30 p.m.
Championship
Monday, March 9
Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

Northeast Conference
First Round
Sunday, March 8
LIU Brooklyn at CCSU, 2 p.m.
Mount St. Mary's at Bryant, 1 p.m.
Fairleigh Dickinson at Robert Morris, 1 p.m.
St. Francis (N.Y.) at Sacred Heart, 1 p.m.
Semifinals
Wednesday, March 11
Lowest-remaining seed at highest-remaining seed, 7 p.m.
Third-remaining seed at second-remaining seed, 7 p.m.<
Championship
Sunday, March 15
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Ohio Valley Conference
At Municipal Auditorium
Nashville, Tenn.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
UT Martin 68, Eastern Illinois 35
SIU Edwardsville 72, Austin Peay 69
Thursday, March 5
Belmont vs. Jacksonville State, 1 p.m.
Tennessee State vs. Morehead State, 3:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Friday, March 6
UT Martin vs. Belmont-Jacksonville State winner, 1 p.m.
SIU Edwardsville vs. Tennessee State-Morehead State winner, 3:30 p.m.
Championship
Saturday, March 7
Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

Pacific-12 Conference
At KeyArena
Seattle
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Washington State vs. Oregon, 2:30 p.m.
UCLA vs. Arizona, 5 p.m.
Southern Cal vs. Colorado, 9 p.m.
Washington vs. Utah, 11:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Arizona State vs. Washington State-Oregon winner, 2:30 p.m.
Stanford vs. UCLA-Arizona winner, 5 p.m.
Oregon State vs. Southern Cal-Colorado winner, 9 p.m.
California vs. Washington-Utah winner, 11:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Arizona State_Washington State-Oregon winner vs. Stanford_UCLA-Arizona winner, 9 p.m.
Oregon State_Southern Cal-Colorado winner vs. California_Washington-Utah winner, 11:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 9 p.m.

Patriot League
At Higher-Seeded Teams
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Lafayette 58, Loyola (Md.) 46
Colgate 58, Boston University 48
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Lehigh at Holy Cross, 6 p.m.
Lafayette at American, 7 p.m.
Colgate at Army, 7 p.m.
Navy at Bucknell, 7 p.m.
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
American_Lafayette winner vs. Bucknell-Navy winner, TBA
Army_Colgate winner vs. Holy Cross-Lehigh winner, TBA
Championship
Saturday, March 14
Semifinal winners, 6 p.m.

Southeastern Conference
At Verizon Arena
Little Rock, Ark.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Auburn 71, Florida 49
Vanderbilt 66, Alabama 56
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
Mississippi vs. Arkansas, 1 p.m.
Texas A&M vs. Auburn, 3:30 p.m.
Missouri vs. Georgia, 6 p.m.
Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt, 8:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
South Carolina vs. Mississippi-Arkansas winner, 1 p.m.
LSU vs. Texas A&M-Auburn winner, 3:30 p.m.
Tennessee vs. Missouri-Georgia winner, 7 p.m.
Mississippi State vs. Kentucky-Vanderbilt winner, 9:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
South Carolina_Mississippi-Arkansas winner vs. LSU_Texas A&M-Auburn winner, 5 p.m.
Tennessee_Missouri-Georgia winner vs. Mississippi State_Kentucky_Vanderbilt winner, 7:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 3:30 p.m.

Southern Conference
At Kimmel Arena
Asheville, N.C.
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Chattanooga vs. UNC Greensboro, Noon
Samford vs. Furman, 2:15 p.m.
ETSU vs. Western Carolina, 4:30 p.m.
Mercer vs. Wofford, 6:45 p.m.
At U.S. Cellular Center
Asheville, N.C.
Semifinals
Friday, March 6
Chattanooga-UNC Greensboro winner vs. Samford-Furman winner, 11 a.m.
ETSU-Western Carolina winner vs. Mercer-Wofford winner, 1:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Summit League
At Denny Sanford PREMIER Center
Sioux Falls, S.D.
First Round
Saturday, March 7
South Dakota vs. IPFW, 1 p.m.
South Dakota State vs. Denver, 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 8
Western Illinois vs. IUPUI, 1 p.m.
Oral Roberts vs. North Dakota State, 3:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
South Dakota-IPFW winner vs. Western Illinois-IUPUI, 1 p.m.
South Dakota State-Denver winner vs. Oral Roberts-North Dakota State winner, 3:30 p.m.
Championship
Tuesday, March 10
Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

West Coast Conference
At Orleans Arena
Las Vegas
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Loyola Marymount vs. Pepperdine, 3 p.m.
Santa Clara vs. Portland, 5:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Thursday, March 5
Pacific vs. San Francisco, 9 p.m.
Saint Mary's vs. BYU, 11:30 p.m.
Friday, March 6
Gonzaga vs. Loyola Marymount-Pepperdine winner, 3 p.m.
San Diego vs. Santa Clara-Portland winner, 5:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
Gonzaga_Loyola Marymount-Pepperdine winner vs. Saint Mary's-BYU winner, 3 p.m.
San Diego_Santa Clara-Portland winner vs. Pacific-San Francisco winner, 5:30 p.m.
Championship
Tuesday, March 10
Semifinal winners, 4 p.m.
















- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad

Mike Siroky's SEC Report: Openers Offer Quite the Warmup in Icy Venue

By Mike Siroky

The Super Sorority that is the Southeastern conference of women’s basketball opened its post-season tournament with barely a fanfare as a warm up to the real games which start Friday.

The four worst teams played of course.

Dealing with company business first the league announced its post-season honors. As feared, it went with the path of least resistance for votes by the 14 coaches or their emissaries’ easy votes, instead of judging the body of work for the season.

The coach of the year share is part going by the numbers South Carolina’s Dawn Staley; and the real coach of the season, Vic Schaefer of Mississippi State.

Why no love for UT’s Holly Warlick?

Of course, we are the only site to have picked UT to win another regular-season conference title, but she did win it, in only her second season in charge.

Also by the numbers is freshman of the year.

That is, A’ja Wilson, the player every team in America wanted, won rookie of the year despite not starting and the comparison with Mississippi State’s Victoria Vivians, a starter in the surprise team of the decade.

Starter vs. reserve; when you say it that way it should not be a contest. Vivians has a better scoring average, by the way.

South Carolina’s Tiffany Mitchell repeats as Player of the Year. It’s as good a choice as any among the top performers and an award which usually goes to a member of the regular-season champion team as explanation of that.

SC fumbled the finish and tied with Tennessee as the statistical co-champions, with SC’s win the tiebreaker for purposes of seeding the tournament.

The interesting conundrum is she may not even be the best player on her own team. So will she will she win three, including next season? Lets be the first to just say no.

Texas A&M’s Jordan Jones also repeats, as Defensive Player of the Year, while Kentucky’s Jennifer O’Neill also repeats as Sixth Player of the Year.

O’Neill’s win is almost fabricated as she is the team’s leading scorer and more of a starter, but there is no way to rewrite the rules for such a bypassing of reality.

Jones is among the players done for the year, with a torn ACL.

South Carolina’s Aleighsa Welch was named Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Onto the games and Thursday’s matchups . . .

The neutral site is Little Rock, Arkansas, which shows the league draw is such they can afford to use a non-affiliated site, Next year, Jacksonville, Fla., takes over.

The games were scheduled a few hours early due to a wintry blast hitting the area,

Any fans not able to make the games will have their tickets honored today, but no refunds for all-tournament buyers if you missed the opening round.

The ganes Thursday have all been moved up, the first tipoff at noon, the icy weather causing power outages areawide.

In a guard-oriented league, sophomore Brandy Montgomery of Auburn said, “What about me?”

She had hit 3-of-3 3s and had 11 of Auburn’s 19-7 lead in the first 11 minutes.

Auburn was playing with more pride that was Florida. It was 38-25 at the half and Florida could just get a head start on spring break.

Where does a team from Florida go for spring break anyway?

Auburn started the second half on a 15-5 run.

The Tigers are one of those teams with nowhere else to go so they will make the most of where they are; even an unlikely run to the title of this conference would make them only .500. But they have won four in a row.

The Gators had taken the second game of the league season in January by 13.

Things have obviously changed. With one senior on the roster, Auburn is making the most of extra playing time.

They maintained; it was 61-44 with two minutes left.

Auburn earned a rematch with Texas A&M in the 71-49 win.

Montgomery had 22 points and Tra’Cee Tanner 19.

Each had started every game and averaged about 11, so that’s a good thing,

Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy, in her third season, has yet to hit 20 wins there.

Doing the math, next year will be all her own players, so another NIT trip is valued.

"I thought our players came out and started the game exactly how we wanted them to start, and that's playing defense," Williams-Flournoy said.

"That's been key for us the last couple of games - them not only playing defense, but converting some of those turnovers into points for us as well."

Montgomery’s 22 points gives her 52 over the past two games and making her seventh time this year to top the 20-point plateau.

She did so on 7-of-15 shooting - she hit her first three 3-point attempts of the night - and was 5-for-5 at the free-throw line.

"It helps us a lot when Brandy is making shots," Williams-Flournoy said. "Once she's in rhythm, you're not going to stop her."

A&M was rated most of the season. The Aggies stumbled across the finish line with two losses, but did waste Auburn at Aggieland by 33.

Next up was Alabama and Vanderbilt.

Neither has a shot at a .500 season, though the alleged guru of bracketology on a sports website had Vanderbilt is his mix a few weeks ago.

Vanderbilt easily erased Alabama, 66-56, winning both halves and earning a match with Kentucky.

So the first two ranked teams start Thursday night’s festivities.

In all likelihood, the favored teams are already in the NCAAs as 20-game winners and maybe even at home for the first two games but on the end of that list.

The Tide was rolled when Commodore guards Rebekah Dahlman and Paris Kea each scored 16 with four rebounds,

Also, Dahlman 3-of-4 on 3s.

Vanderbilt needs another win to stay ahead of .500 and a chance to get in the WNIT.

The Commodores only had a two-point halftime edge.

And only by five with eight minutes left. But Key hit six points in the close and kept the momentum for another game.

No. 12 Kentucky defeated Vanderbilt 82-68 in their only meeting this season at Nashville.

Also today Arkansas plays Ole Miss and Georgia gets Missouri. These are also teams playing for NIT positioning.

Due to the severe weather conditions, there was not post-game access to coaches for the second game as the arena was cleared.

MORE HONORS:
The list of SEC 2015 honorees

First Team All-SEC

Makayla Epps, Kentucky; Danielle Ballard, LSU; Tia Faleru, Ole Miss; Tiffany Mitchell, South Carolina; Aleighsa Welch, South Carolina; A’ja Wilson, South Carolina; Cierra Burdick, Tennessee; Isabelle Harrison, Tennessee; Courtney Walker, Texas A&M

Second Team All-SEC

Jessica Jackson, Arkansas; Jennifer O’Neill, Kentucky; Jordan Frericks, Missouri; Martha Alwal, Mississippi State; Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State; Alaina Coates, South Carolina; Jordan Jones, Texas A&M; Courtney Williams, Texas A&M

All-Freshman

Haley Lorenzen, Florida; Mackenzie Engram, Georgia; Alexis Jennings, Kentucky; A’Queen Hayes, Ole Miss; Victoria Vivians, Mississippi State; Morgan Williams, Mississippi State; A’ja Wilson, South Carolina; Rebekah Dahlman, Vanderbilt

All-Defensive

Linnae Harper, Kentucky; Danielle Ballard, LSU; Martha Alwal, Mississippi State; Alaina Coates, South Carolina; Jordan Jones, Texas A&M.

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Mike Siroky's SEC Notebook: Booming Finish With Two Tourneys On Tap

By Mike Siroky

The thing about women’s basketball always has been there are elite teams, sometimes only one (UConn recently) and there is everyone else.

In the women’s SEC, for a long time that one team was always Tennessee. They remain close, and the tie for the regular-season league title just underlines the condition of the top two teams in the conference.

Kentucky awoke just in time to cause this, bashing the confidence of SC at home in Lexington, 67-56.

SC and UT seemed destined to be the No. 3 and No 4 of the NCAA No. 1s, with No. 1 UConn and No. 2 Notre Dane leading that exclusive club.

An interesting possibility is the Lady Vols and the Gamecocks could try to untie the conference tie on Sunday, in the tournament closer.

LSU continued the scrambling on the final day of the season, knocking off visiting Texas A&M,


The Ben-Gals, with 16 overall wins, is fourth in conference.

Will the NCAA make this the fifth SEC team, even unranked?

It will start the argument of a 16-win team getting in over one with more. No SEC team has ever advanced into the NCAAs without 20 wins (and some otherwise undeserving teams have made it with 20 wins because of the league).

LSU was included last season by gaining a 20th win in the league tournament, but those were the days when pre-determined sub-Regionals included Baton Rouge.

•In the first big game of the week, when the nationally ranked No. 3 Lady Gamecocks entertained the No. 11 team nationally, Mississippi State, the expected happened, which is to say a blowout.

Still, State did not move in the rankings, which is how it should be.

It was State’s misfortune to visit on Senior Night, though everyone knows SC will get two home games in the NCAA start.

Still, these things usually play to the advantage of the departing players. Aleighsa Welch and Elem Ebian are the SC seniors getting the most playing time.

The games are allegedly set by computers (or their programmers) but it was projected nonetheless as a measuring stick between the latest league team to arrive in the national stage vs. the after and since that.

It started 21-16, home team, with seven minutes left in the half.

The league player of the year, last and this, Tiffany Mitchell, scoring seven. Mighty Martha Alwal had 10 in an attempt to keep State close.

But it was over at half, 39-26. Mitchell’s 14 led SC then. A’ja Wilson was her usual self off the bench, with eight.

The lead only increased by four but it did increase.

Lakaris Salter, off the bench, matched Alwal with 14, but the latter was all but shutout after intermission fot the Bulldogs.

SC was led by Mitchell’s 16 and Wilson’s 13.

Coach Dawn Staley remained focused on work yet to come.

“I think for where our program is trying to go, it would take a step in the wrong direction if we didn’t perform on the road against Kentucky,” coach Staley said of the immediate next game, In an amazingly accurate projection of how the season would end.

Beyond that, “I make sure that our players understand the big picture and where we’re trying to go,” Staley said, “but also understand the history of this program and where it’s come from, to keep that hunger.”

“I was disappointed in how we played tonight,” State coach Vic Schaefer said. “You have to tip your hat to South Carolina and what Dawn has done with this program. What a great atmosphere. She has a great team. They are physical. That is my kind of team.

“I wish we could have given them a little more of a fight. It was our worst game of the year. We let it get away from us at the end of the first half.”

Victoria Vivians and LaKaris Salter led the Bulldogs with 14 points apiece. Martha Alwal was also in double figures with 12 points and a team-high six rebounds.

Vivians and Wilson are undoubtedly the best rookies in the league and maybe in America. Vivians starts. Maybe that is the tiebreaker.

Staley has built a national program. Schaefer has just now arrived on the national scene. Who is the better coach. If league coach of the year literally means that, then it is Schaefer.

The new co-champs are the Lady Vols of Tennessee, a payoff for grinding through the always-tough pre-conference and not losing focus when they lost their senior leader, the top scorer and rebounder.

So for the No 3 & 4 seeds in this week’s conference tournament: Mississippi State is No, 3 because it beat both LSU and Texas A&M. LSU beat A&M to close the season and thus is No 4.

If you are keeping track and the seeds play out, it will be SC vs. LSU and State vs. Tennessee in the other semifinal. The Kats also finishes 10-6. But UK lost to both LSU and A&M.

The first-round setup is at the close of this report.

Against South Carolina, No, 12 Kentucky bravely took a 27-22 halftime lead on its Senior Night.

UK center Azia Bishop, with 10, was the only player on the court in double figures.

Reserve freshman guard A’ja Wilson had nine for SC. Shooting was awful. SC hit 29 percent from the field and UK 28 percent.

UK needed this one more. Perhaps that is best way to look at this.

Yes, the Kats remain not in the two-day break of the top four finishers, but this keeps them nationally responsible and perhaps one of the last teams to qualify for two home games to stat the NCAAs.

SC was led by Wilson’s 16. She may be good enough to start soon.

Kentucky got 15 points from senior Jennifer O’Neill, 14 from Makalya Epps and 11 from bishop. If the Kats do not edge into the first round of the NCAAs at home, this was a fine finish anyway.

“Sometimes life doesn't work out where people get what they deserve,” said UK coach Matthew Mitchell.

“That was going to be a hard game to win. I wasn't really worried about the outcome. I was so proud of them for what they have done but it sure is icing on the cake to get the victory and their memory of "Senior Day" is going to be something special and they deserve to feel good today. I am really proud of our team as a whole and especially proud of our seniors."

SC coach Dawn Staley said, "We always give ourselves a chance to win. We just have to make shots. We got ourselves back into the game and then we felt trapped by missing point-blank range layups with no defense around. We were fighting to get back in and missing those types of layups, it deflates you. It makes it hard for you to get energized.

" We wake up tomorrow and we try to get back at it. We have a lot left in the season and you do need to reflect on winning 27 out of 29 games."

•. No. 5 Tennessee moved into a tie for the regular season league title, their 18th, by bashing Vanderbilt, 79-49.

SC has the tiebreaker, of course, but Tennessee puts down more and more markers as a No. 1 seed in the national tournament by gaining the regular season title.

In a serendipitous corollary, the only two undefeated at home teams in conference won the championship.

The Lady Vols are pretty good at these Senior Night things. The best one is done, of course. Izzy Harrison may have earned all-conference before she blew an ACL, but she is all-crutches from here on out.

Her classmates filled in. Ariel Massengale scored 17 and Cierra Burdick, the other senior starter, scored 10 in a 15-point advantage in the first half, Massengale was 6-of-8 from the field and Burdick 5-of-8.

Vanderbilt, one of those teams stuck on the down elevator, had been rated as an NCAA team by one of the Internet "experts." A 14-15 overall may actually engender an admission of idiocy. Don't wait for it.

Tennessee completes an undefeated home season. It has defeated every team not based in South Carolina for 10 straight games. Like SC, it did not lose on the road in conference.

Irregardless of what happens in the SEC tournament, tradition will be served by the only team to make every NCAA tournament once again at home for two more walkovers.

They are either the last No. 1 or the first No. 2 seed nationally.

It ended as a blowout, 79-49. With 25 wins, they fall right in line behind SC (27) And Mississippi State (26), the three top teams in the top conference.

Massengale finished with 26, an impressive 8-of-11 on 3s. She and Bashaara Graves each had six rebounds as UT won the backboards by 10.

"I wish every night was Senior Night,” UT coach Holly Warlick said.

“I think we did some great things. It was a great team effort. We played hard. We were tough down the stretch. The first half we turned the ball over too much. We made adjustments and got that straightened up. I'm really proud of our effort and the whole team."

No stranger to properly honoring players, she called a time out to get Harrison on the home court one last time and in control of the basketball for a final possession, with not even one minute played.

"I just thought it would nice for Izzy to hear the crowd one last time for her at home,” Warlick said. “That's the only way we could do it. I got nervous Just giving Izzy some great respect that I think she well deserves. She's been a vital part of this program and this team.

“ Izzy came in and wasn't a McDonalds All-American, wasn't highly recruited, and she had to play behind Glory Johnson and Vicki Baugh, so she earned her stripes. She's really worked hard to get where she is.

"I think Izzy is the best post in the country. I hear coaches talk about her, I see her work, I see what she does when she gets the ball. It's been a real joy and pleasure to watch that kid grow up and see her become the player she is."

So they are co-champions.

"Our goal is obviously to have a great season and to win the SEC championship, but we talk a lot about post-season, and what we want to do, and that our goal is to go to the Final Four,” Warlick said.

“You can say it but do you believe it? I think those young ladies believe it because they put in the time and the work. I think you have to build trust, and when you build trust, you do it in practice and Ariel and our seniors work hard in practice, are great leaders in practice, and they have bought into everything we have asked them to do.

" I think they believe it because they know they have earned everything they have gotten this year with hard work and total dedication and has earned a lot of trust with our team and coaching staff.

"Hey it's awesome! These players deserve it and it's all about the credit to them and how hard they've worked and really proud of them. They've worked hard this season and they've worked hard since Izzy got hurt. That's awesome and I'm really excited for them. I'm excited for our staff and I'm not going to lie, I'm excited too.”

Georgia, which has obviously lost the will to continue, had a dismal Senior Night with Tennessee visiting. Yes, Georgia is still in the conference.

The Lady Vols had 12 from Cierra Burdick at the break, with a 39-27 lead. Sprinting from a 20-19 edge in the final nine minutes of the half. AS SC had done to State, so did Tennessee rip the fight out off Georga, 70-59.

If they are headed to the NIT, as would be justified, the ‘Dawgs will have another home game. Othewise , they are done this season in many ways and Coach Andy Landers needs to start playing his underclassmen almost exclusively.

"Tennessee really did shoot it well," Landers said. "Massengale made big shots, both open 3s and off of the bounce. They shot the ball well, but we defended reasonably well, too. They shot a few of those shots in spite of being defended well. So, you give them credit for shooting the ball well. I think defensively, we did a pretty good job. They were just red hot."

Freshman Mackenzie Engram, who got her fourth start of the season, led the Georgia with 16 points, six rebounds and three assists. Classmate Haley Clark scored nine, with four rebounds, five assists and two steals.

"We're playing younger players more than we've played all year and they continue to get better," Landers said. "I thought (Halle) Washington again was very, very good. I thought Clark was very, very good and Mackenzie was very good.

"The younger players are playing well. The fouls that our post players experienced early in the game were a problem for us. It was a problem then and it was a problem for the rest of the game. But I think we are making progress."

Tennessee is on the national stage, of course. In the opposite spectrum, their seniors are playing well.

Coach Holly Warlick woke up senior Ariel Massengale. She had been shut out in a dismal no-show performance at South Carolina. She scored 17. Fellow-senior Cierra Burdick scored 18.

With only the one loss in conference and solidly second to South Carolina, Warlick said, "It's a great win for us. I thought we did some good things. I thought in the first half, we took good shots, so that's why you see the 66 percent (at the line).

“Our defense was, especially in the second half, not very solid. We weren't attacking the ball, we fouled too much and gave up too many 3s. You can't give up eight 3s.

"Once they hit a couple, you have to understand they can shoot the basketball. They battled and we knew they were going to. Sixteen turnovers, you can't do that. You have to protect the basketball. But it was a big win for us."

•It was not only Georgia with a lousy senior sendoff. No. 18 Texas A&M saw Missouri reserve Maddie Stock ruin the Aggies’ Senior Night with a 3 with one second left.

Missouri had its upset win of the season, 70-69. Last time these two met, Stock had led a near-upset. This time, she cemented one.

It was a double whammy for the Aggies as game manager Jordan Jones tore an ACL to finish her season. That scrambles everything for the league as well as the A&M immediate’s future this season.

Now A&M is outside that golden ticket group who will open the NCAAs at home. They need a good showing in the conference tournament to even be considered.

Jones was in the national rankings in assists (11th) in coach Gary Blair’s carefully crafted offense, she was the key.

Jordan Frericks scored 25 to keep the Tigers in it until Stock’s big shot.

Which does not explain how she got that open. Sierra Michaelis went the length of the court and drove into traffic before kicking out to Stock who was open on the right corner. You might have figured she’d be the best-guarded player, but not so
Missouri had sent Curtyce Knox to the free-throw line where she gave the Aggies a two-point lead with 7.7 seconds left.

Khaalia Hillsman had her first career double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds for Texas A&M. Courtney Williams added 16 points including a turnaround 12-footer that tied the game 67-all with 41 seconds left.

Of course, like Tennessee, South Carolina and probably Mississippi State, A&M has earned first-round home games in the NCAA eliminations.

But that does not erase the stink of losing to a team with only 16 wins, six in conference while trying to earn the two-day pass at the start of the league party.

Missouri coach Robin Pingeton is appreciative of the accomplishment, given the opponent and the site.

“Obviously this is an awfully tough place to play,” she said.

“ I am really happy for our players and really proud of them. It has been a challenging year with all of our injuries. I feel like we continue to stay the course, we have been playing some really good basketball right now.

"Hats off to coach Blair and this program, its just an incredible program. We have so much respect for them and we do not take this win lightly. I think senior night can bring a lot of emotion sometimes it works for you sometimes against you.

As for the game-winning shot: “Yeah we have been in that situation before against Alabama. We watched a lot of tape after that Alabama game. We ran the exact same play we did against Alabama.

“We knew we wanted something going to the rim, but we didn’t need to force that.

Against Alabama we had that trail in bounder was wide open. I said to Cierra if you have something going to the rim be aggressive with it and know that Maddy is going to be open on the fill behind. I thought for as big of a shot it was, it was just a big of delivery. They executed very well.”

Texas A&M’s Blair took the blame for lack of preparedess. His team is not Alabama. He should have been very aware of the Tiger plan on the closer.

“You allow a team to shoot 61 percent in the second half and make five 3-pointers on you, good things are usually not going to follow,” he said.

“We played OK offensively we had some good looks, we got the ball inside like we wanted to, we got to the foul line like we wanted to a lot better than we did in Missouri. I want to give Missouri a lot of credit for execution.

“On the last play we were supposed to be in a soft man, and just keep our man in front of us, and we had to switch.

"That last shot, was the only 3-pointer Stock had made the whole game, but she has been making them the whole month. When she gets a wide open 3, you’re supposed to lose a game in that situation. I give them a lot of credit, they have won four out of five now and we had everything on the table sitting there for us, with LSU getting beat at Ole Miss.

“I was proud how our kids came back. I hate it for my seniors. We had a chance to go undefeated at home this year for only our second time since I have been here. Every time I thought we had the game in hand, they would make a play or we would get beat on our shots. I give them credit.”

So with only a road test at mercurial LSU left, Blair had to try and refocus with a key player and suddenly a one-game chance at redemption.

“We are playing for fourth place,” he said. “We are still playing for the double-bye. If we win it we are in fourth place. We have to stop worrying about people helping us we have to help ourselves. This was a good ball game. The atmosphere was great, the crowd was great, I want to thank the Corps for showing up. It was just a good basketball game. Sometimes it just doesn’t go your way. We lost a heart-breaker here, but when you’re at home, you are supposed to find a way and we have got to be more disciplined on end of game situations, and end of clock situations.”

Texas A&M Forward Achiri Ade said, of the end, “We were supposed to be in a soft one. We weren’t supposed to let that drive come through and I think they had to switch men on the press. They got back and I think someone didn’t get back on the shooter. And Courtney Williams took away the drive she did good defense on that. We let Stock get her open shot.

“So we just regroup and do what we’ve been doing. Going to practice working on our weaknesses, working on what we could have done better, and executing better. You know, the little things.”

At still-unranked LSU, A&M’s Courtney Williams did her part at halftime, with 14 points, but had not much help.

Ben-gals superstar Raigyne Moncrief was scoreless, but teammates Deshawn Harden (5-of-7 from the field 3-of-3 from the line) had 22 and Danielle Ballard (6-of-6 from the line) had 10.

A&M trailed by 14.

Eight minutes in the closing half at home, LSU still was ahead by 16 and this thing was headed the wrong way for the visitors. It was still –14 with three minutes left. The wow! Factor is how uncompetitive A&M looked. It ended 80-63. The Courtneys, Williams and walker, scored 19 and 12 for the losers.

LSU was led by Harden with A career-best 28, the five 3s also a career high. Ballard scored 20 and Moncrief woke up with 10 in the second half. Each side is 10-6 in the league, though LSU obviously has the tiebreaker.

This gives Blair a chance to recoup the legend, even though the Aggies fell the out of the double-bye in the league tournament.

He also said LSU, having beaten his team, obviously belongs in the NCAA show. As for the game itself: “This had nothing to do with the injury to Jordan Jones.

“This had to do with LSU perhaps playing with the most energy that I’ve seen them play with in a long time. They were outstanding, and everything that they did was good.

"We haven’t had much trouble with presses all year, but we turned the ball over 15 times in the first half and 12 of those were by my three best players, so no excuse there.

"All of us have injuries particularly in the SEC this year. We’ve lost a lot of great players. I’ve been lucky. For two years, we haven’t had a player miss a ball game because of an injury.

“Yes, Jones would’ve helped on the press, but Jones couldn’t have stopped the energy LSU had and knowing they were playing for their NCAA lives. We were playing for a Top 4 national seed (he may the only one who believes that) , which we don’t deserve based on how we finished our last four games.

“Hopefully, this win will put LSU in there which they need to be. (DaShawn) Harden played like what a senior should play like on a Senior Day. She has taken the back seat to (Raigyne) Moncrief and (Danielle) Ballard for too long. That kid can play; she’s a threat.

“. LSU deserved it. I think we got down 26 or something and fought to get it back to a reasonable deficit. We fought to get it to 10, but then the turnovers started again.

“Turnovers are the whole game. I’ve never had a game where I shot almost 60 percent, 50 percent from the 3 and 81 percent from the line and lost. But turnovers will do that.”

LSU had lost to unranked teams Ole Miss and 15-18 overall and Arkansas in the previous two games. Georgia, also unranked, has two more overall wins and Ole Miss has won more, plus the head-to-head.

Coach Nikki Caldwell knows it is time to address the national naysayers so she had her spin prepared.

“This was a very emotional game for a lot of different reasons,” she said.

“ We’ve got unbelievable seniors. What they’ve meant to this program, it was very special to be able to send them out on a good note as far as our regular season is concerned. It was also great to have a bunch of our alumnae back who have paved the way and who have been such an example for these young ladies.

“I know the stories they were telling (at dinner) last night really came into play. I saw a team that really took that to heart and really wanted to win, not just for themselves but for the alums and for the fans that were here.

"We had a special group that joined us. We had an opportunity to spend some time with them. The orange t-shirts that you saw in the stands – orange is the color for Disability Awareness Month. We partnered with them (the Arc of Baton Rouge) to bring awareness and also to bring a little joy to those who have family members with disabilities. We talked about that in our pregame talk and wanted to make sure that we didn’t take for granted the support that we have here. That’s what this game was about today.

“(This game) obviously strengthens us from an RPI standpoint. It also allows our team to have another win over a Top 15 team. When you look at our last 12 games, which the committee looks at, we’re 8-4 with the four losses coming on the road, so that’s a strong statement.

“ I truly believe that we have a very fun group of young ladies to watch. Our guard play is pretty strong. I think you all can agree that. A lot of the coaches in our conference can agree that Danielle Ballard is one of the best guards, not only in our conference, but in the country. You don’t have players like (Riagyne) Moncrief who can also go off on you at any time. Obviously when you look at what (DaShawn) Harden did tonight, that’s another player who’s explosive. We’ve got the personnel to match that resume that you want to take into the NCAA tournament.”

Last year, LSU won its 20th in the league tournament, opened the NCAA with a bidded home guarantee and won those, admittedly upsetting better seed Georgia Tech by 20 to open it, then was blown out in the Sweet 16 (-26) by Louisville.

The previous season, they also won two at home, having again bought their way in, and again upsetting a higher seed but then lost in double-digits off campus.

In 2012, they lost the second game at home by double digits to a better seed. In 2012, they lost the second game at Duke to Duke. And in 2011, they had purchased the first two home games and did not leave campus, losing the second game.

Sense a trend? You get to say you were in the NCAAs because of the school’s largesse, but you don't need to remind anyone you did nothing with the opportunity.

•Winning at Arkansas, which has proven its devaluation of the women’s game with the employment of its coach of the moment, is not a big deal.

But for once-proud Kentucky, trying to gets its swagger back, a road win is still a win and this one set up the next and the two-game win streak to close the season.

So gaining a 20th win for a progran-record six straight seasons (the fourth 20-win group in conference this season) and guaranteeing a non-losing conference mark is good enough. They could not avoid playing in the second night of the conference tournament.

Alexis Jennings hit a layup, and blocked a shot with 60 seconds left. Kentucky's Linnae Harper then missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but Bria Goss forced a turnover and ran the length of the court for a layup to end it, 56-51, stalling a three-loss tumble and setting up a 5-5 final 10.

The damaging loss this season was at beatable LSU. Without that, the Kats could have had a guaranteed two-game NCAA home start and been the solid No. 3 or 4 team in conference, with an extra strategy day to start the SEC tournament.

•Mississippi State celebrated its best season in decades by winning at home on Senior Night. It was all that was needed to clinch two days off to start the SEC tournament and it was against state rival Old Miss.

It may even grant State two home games in the NCAAs.

By far, the place to party on the final day of the season was Starkville.
State capped a wonderful season – with more to come – by dropping state rival Ole Miss, 55-47.

Even with the loss, Ole Miss has one more win than LSU and State has the third-best league mark at 11-6.

Super senior Martha Alwal will get some all-conference votes. She finished with 13 rebounds, nine defensive and nine points. Even this many decades into the women’s game, there are still legacies to be made at schools that have had great success in the past. She has 240 points this season and 943 total career rebounds.

One of those just under way is Victoria Vivians, the undisputed league freshman performer this year, finishing with 17 points and six rebounds, four defensive. She hit 8-of-11 from the line. She has 464 points this year.

State has 26 wins and was 17-1 at home, also in line for a home opener in the NCAAs. The celebratory crowd was 7,326, a state record for women’s basketball. The season home attendance record is now 67,958.

Vic Schaefer should be league coach of the year.

“It was a tremendous day for us and for women’s basketball,” he said. “I am so proud of the seniors. To be able to send them out with a win before the largest crowd in school history is special. To win 26 games in a regular season is an achievement. It takes a special team.

“Ole Miss came in here playing really well. You knew they would keep punching. They played with no fear. We knew it would be a dogfight and a battle. We settled in and were able to deal with them defensively after the start.”

Jerica James, Kendra Grant and Savannah Carter all started with classmate Awal.

“We literally started at the bottom,” Alwal said. “There were games where they were a couple of hundred people here. You had to get yourself going. The crowds have grown and been really huge. They have been supportive and they have really helped us win.”

Emotions got the better of the home team to start. Ole Miss scored the first seven points. State was not to be denied and had the lead at 11 four minutes in, to make this technically a come-from-behind event.

“I’m awfully proud of these kids,” Schaefer said. “I know how hard we have had to work to be in this position. South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi State (as the top three) is special. Still, we haven’t played our best basketball yet. We finished third in the biggest, baddest conference.”

THE CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT

Florida will open the tournament against Alabama and Auburn plays Vanderbilt on Wednesday. None of them are likely to go any further in games that matter. On Thursday, Arkansas plays a Georgia team fighting to get off NCAA life support; Ole Miss ditto vs. Missouri.

LSU and circumspect Kentucky play the first two winners the second night.

The real teams start Friday. We’ll be back nightly with game reports.

The usual honors will be announced. We’d like to see Mississippi State’s Vic Schaefer get coach of the year, though Holly Warlick has done a stupendous job steering her Lady Vols to success after losing their leading scorer and rebounder, Izzy Harrison, who still should make the first team All-SEC.

Tiffany Mitchell is as good as anyone else to be player of the year, a repeat. The real contention should come in rookie of the year, which Victoria Vivians has earned as a starter and leader at State; but A’ja Willson will get votes for being the best sixth man on the title team. Starter vs. reserve; when you say it that way it should not be a contest.


- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad

Monday, March 02, 2015

Coach of the Year Watch List

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

Here are 11 good candidates in a preliminary list subject to growth or shrinkage after conference tournaments for various national coach of the year awards.

The list is ranked alphabetically and it is self-explanatory why each may be there. Some will probably emerge with conference coach of the year honors.

People who were listed last week as Maggie Dixon rookie candidates do not appear here nor do people who were predicted to do well and are doing well unless they even exceeded that forecast.

That said here we go

1. Courtney Banghart -- Princeton
2. Rich Barron -- Maine
3. Tony Bozzella -- Seton Hall
4. Brenda Frese -- Maryland
5. Suzie McConnell-Serio -- Pittsburgh
6. Joe McKeown -- Northwestern
7. Scott Rueck -- Oregon State
8. Sue Semrau -- Florida State
9. Vic Schaefer -- Mississippi State
10. Michael Shafer -- Richmond
11. Jonathan Tsipis -- George Washington

-- Mel


- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad

An Updated RPI Look

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

Since the RPIratings.com weekly public rankings are a match with today's daily NCAA rankings, here is a selected list with the website's SOS numbers.

PhilahoopsW teams will have a PH in front

RPI Team SOS

1. Notre Dame 3
2. Tennessee 1
3. Baylor 11
4. South Carolina 23
5. Connecticut 40
6. Maryland 38
7. Iowa 13
8. Louisville 18
9. Kentucky 2
10. Florida State 55
11. Oregon State 52
12. North Carolina 10
13 Duke 5
14. Dayton 5
15 FGCU 63
PH-16. Princeton 138
17. Arizona State 42
1.8 Geo. Wash. 51
19. Chattanooga 58
20. Stanford 17
21. Oklahoma 8
22. Green Bay 76
23. Texas 15
24. California 21
25. James Madison 116
26. Mississippi St. 97
27. USF 89
28. Texas A&M 43
29. Syracuse 26
30. Washington 44
31. Quinnipiac 135
32. W. Kentucky 127
33. Pittsburgh 14
34. Northwestern 70
35. Ohio State 32
36. Nebraska 37
38. Gonzaga 80
39. Minnesota 88
40. Seton Hall 200
PH-42. Rutgers 96
43. Iowa State 28
44. Wichita State 45
49. DePaul 117
50. Tulane 53
PH-55. Penn 81
PH-61. Drexel 82
65. Georgia 61
PH-77. Villanova 72
78. Miami 78
83. Maine 225
88. St. John's 152
PH-91. Saint Joseph's 6
93. Richmond 102
PH-131. Temple 118
139. Louisiana Tech 122
148. Old Dominion 231
PH-176 La Salle 174
PH-196. Delaware 153
PH. 219 Penn State 19

-- Mel


- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad

Conference Tournament Glance

Here from the AP file is a glance at the conferences already set.

The Guru will refine this in next several days to indicate seed number, record and where relevant AP women's ranking for the week.

Women's Conference Tournament Glances
The Associated Press

All Times Eastern
America East Conference
At The Events Center
Binghamton, N.Y.
First Round
Saturday, March 7
Maine vs. Binghamton, Noon
New Hampshire vs. Hartford, 2:30 p.m.
Albany vs. Vermont, 6 p.m.
Stony Brook vs. UMBC, 8:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Sunday, March 8
Maine-Binghamton winner vs. New Hampshire-Hartford winner, 2 p.m.
Albany-Vermont winner vs. Stony Brook-UMBC winner, 4:30 p.m.
Championship
At Higher-Seeded Team
Friday, March 13
Semifinal winners, 4:30 p.m.

Atlantic Coast Conference
At Greensboro Coliseum
Greensboro, N.C.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Boston College vs. Wake Forest, 1 p.m.
N.C. State vs. Virginia Tech, 3:30 p.m.
Georgia Tech vs. Clemson, 6:30 p.m.
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
Syracuse vs. Boston College-Wake Forest winner, 11 a.m.
Miami vs. Virginia, 2 p.m.
Pittsburgh vs. N.C. State-Virginia Tech winner, 6 p.m.
North Carolina vs. Georgia Tech-Clemson winner, 8:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Duke vs. Syracuse_Boston College-Wake Forest winner, 11 a.m.
Notre Dame vs. Miami-Virginia winner, 2 p.m.
Florida State vs. Pittsburgh_N.C. State-Virginia Tech winner, 6 p.m.
Louisville vs. North Carolina_Georgia Tech-Clemson winner, 8:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Duke_Syracuse_Boston College-Wake Forest winner vs. Notre Dame_Miami-Virginia winner, Noon
Florida State_Pittsburgh_N.C. State-Virginia Tech winner vs. Louisville vs. North Carolina_Georgia Tech-Clemson winner, 2:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Atlantic Sun Conference
At Higher-Seeded Teams
First Round
Friday, March 6
North Florida at Florida Gulf Coast, 7 p.m.
Lipscomb at Stetson, 7 p.m.
South Carolina-Upstate at Northern Kentucky, 7 p.m.
Kennesaw State at Jacksonville, 7 p.m.
Semifinals
Wednesday, March 11
Florida Gulf Coast-North Florida winner vs. Kennesaw State-Jacksonville winner, 7 p.m.
Stetson-Lipscomb winner vs. South Carolina-Upstate-Northern Kentucky winner, 7 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 15
Semifinal winners, 2:30 p.m.

Atlantic 10 Conference
At Richmond Coliseum
Richmond, Va.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
St. Bonaventure vs. UMass, 4:30 p.m.
La Salle vs. Davidson, 7 p.m.
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
VCU vs. Saint Louis, 11:30 a.m.
Richmond vs. St. Bonaventure-UMass winner, 2 p.m.
Saint Joseph's vs. George Mason, 4:30 p.m.
Rhode Island vs. La Salle-Davidson winner, 7 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
George Washington vs. VCU-Saint Louis winner, 11 a.m.
Fordham vs. Richmond_St. Bonaventure-UMass winner, 2 p.m.
Dayton vs. Saint Joseph's-George Mason winner, 4:30 p.m.
Duquesne vs. Rhode Island vs. La Salle-Davidson winner, 7 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
George Washington_VCU-Saint Louis winner vs. Fordham_Richmond_St. Bonaventure-UMass winner, 11 a.m.
Dayton_Saint Joseph's-George Mason winner vs. Duquesne_Rhode Island vs. La Salle-Davidson winner, 1:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Big East Conference
At Allstate Arena
Rosemont, Ill.
First Round
Saturday, March 7
Marquette vs. Providence, 3 p.m.
Xavier vs. Georgetown, 5:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Sunday, March 8
Seton Hall vs. Marquette-Providence winner, 1 p.m.
St. John's vs. Creighton, 3:30 p.m.
DePaul vs. Xavier-Georgetown winner, 7 p.m.
Villanova vs. Butler, 9:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
Seton Hall_Marquette-Providence winner vs. St. John's-Creighton wnner, 6:30 p.m.
DePaul_Xavier-Georgetown winner vs. Villanova-Butler winner, 9 p.m.
Championship
Tuesday, March 10
Semifinal winners, 8 p.m.

Big South Conference
At The HTC Center
Conway, S.C.
First Round
Tuesday, March 3
Gardner-Webb vs. Longwood, Noon
Presbyterian vs. Charleston Southern, 2:30 p.m.
UNC Asheville vs. Coastal Carolina, 6 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Thursday, March 5
Liberty vs. UNC Asheville-Coastal Carolina winner, Noon
Winthrop vs. Campbell, 2:30 p.m.
Radford vs. Gardner-Webb-Longwood winner, 6 p.m.
High Point vs. Presbyterian-Charleston Southern winner, 8:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Liberty_UNC Asheville-Coastal Carolina winner vs. Winthrop-Campbell winner, 6 p.m.
Radford_Gardner-Webb-Longwood winner vs. High Point_Presbyterian-Charleston Southern winner, 8:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 5 p.m.

Big Ten Conference
At Sears Centre Arena
Hoffman Estates, Ill.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Indiana vs. Penn State, 6 p.m.
Wisconsin vs. Purdue, 8:25 p.m.
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
Michigan vs. Michigan State, 12:30 p.m.
Rutgers vs. Indiana-Penn State winner, 2:55 p.m.
Nebraska vs. Illinois, 7 p.m.
Minnesota vs. Wisconsin-Purdue winner, 9:25 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Maryland vs. Michigan-Michigan State winner, 12:30 p.m.
Northwestern vs. Rutgers_Indiana-Penn State winner, 2:55 p.m.
Iowa vs. Nebraska-Illinois winner, 7 p.m.
Ohio State vs. Minnesota_Wisconsin-Purdue winner, 9:25 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Maryland_Michigan-Michigan State winner vs. Northwestern_Rutgers_12-13 winner, 7 p.m.
Iowa_Nebraska-Illinois winner vs. Ohio State_Minnesota_Wisconsin-Purdue winner, 9:25 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
At MassMutual Center
Springfield, Mass.
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Canisius vs. Monmouth, 9:30 a.m.
Rider vs. Saint Peter's, Noon
Niagara vs. Manhattan, 2:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Quinnipiac vs. Canisius-Monmouth winner, Noon
Iona vs. Siena, 2:30 p.m.
Marist vs. Rider-Saint Peter's winner, 7 p.m.
Fairfield vs. Niagara-Manhattan winner, 9:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Sunday, March 8
Quinnipiac_Canisius-Monmouth winner vs. Iona-Siena winner, 11 a.m.
Marist_Rider-Saint Peter's winner vs. Fairfield_Niagara-Manhattan winner, 1:30 p.m.
Championship
Monday, March 9
Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

Ohio Valley Conference
At Municipal Auditorium
Nashville, Tenn.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
UT Martin vs. Eastern Illinois, 1 p.m.
SIU Edwardsville vs. Austin Peay, 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 5
Belmont vs. Jacksonville State, 1 p.m.
Tennessee State vs. Morehead State, 3:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Friday, March 6
UT Martin-Eastern Illinois winner vs. Belmont-Jacksonville State winner, 1 p.m.
SIU Edwardsville-Austin Peay winner vs. Tennessee State-Morehead State winner, 3:30 p.m.
Championship
Saturday, March 7
Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

Pacific-12 Conference
At KeyArena
Seattle
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Washington State vs. Oregon, 2:30 p.m.
UCLA vs. Arizona, 5 p.m.
Southern Cal vs. Colorado, 9 p.m.
Washington vs. Utah, 11:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Arizona State vs. Washington State-Oregon winner, 2:30 p.m.
Stanford vs. UCLA-Arizona winner, 5 p.m.
Oregon State vs. Southern Cal-Colorado winner, 9 p.m.
California vs. Washington-Utah winner, 11:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Arizona State_Washington State-Oregon winner vs. Stanford_UCLA-Arizona winner, 9 p.m.
Oregon State_Southern Cal-Colorado winner vs. California_Washington-Utah winner, 11:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 9 p.m.

Patriot League
At Higher-Seeded Teams
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Loyola (Md.) at Lafayette, 7 p.m.
Boston University at Colgate, TBA
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Lafayette-Loyola (Md.) winner at American, 7 p.m.
Colgate-Boston University at Army, 7 p.m.
Lehigh at Holy Cross, TBA
Navy at Bucknell, TBA
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
American_Lafayette-Loyola (Md.) winner vs. Bucknell-Navy winner, TBA
Army_Colgate-Boston University winner vs. Holy Cross-Lehigh winner, TBA
Championship
Saturday, March 14
Semifinal winners, 6 p.m.

Southeastern Conference
At Verizon Arena
Little Rock, Ark.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Florida vs. Auburn, 7 p.m.
Vanderbilt vs. Alabama, 9:30 p.m.
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
Mississippi vs. Arkansas, 1 p.m.
Texas A&M vs. Florida-Auburn winner, 3:30 p.m.
Missouri vs. Georgia, 7 p.m.
Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt-Alabama winner, 9:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
South Carolina vs. Mississippi-Arkansas winner, 1 p.m.
LSU vs. Texas A&M_Florida-Auburn winner, 3:30 p.m.
Tennessee vs. Missouri-Georgia winner, 7 p.m.
Mississippi State vs. Kentucky_Vanderbilt-Alabama winner, 9:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
South Carolina_Mississippi-Arkansas winner vs. LSU_Texas A&M_Florida-Auburn winner, 5 p.m.
Tennessee_Missouri-Georgia winner vs. Mississippi State_Kentucky_Vanderbilt-Alabama winner, 7:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 3:30 p.m.

Southern Conference
At Kimmel Arena
Asheville, N.C.
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Chattanooga vs. UNC Greensboro, Noon
Samford vs. Furman, 2:15 p.m.
ETSU vs. Western Carolina, 4:30 p.m.
Mercer vs. Wofford, 6:45 p.m.
At U.S. Cellular Arena
Asheville, N.C.
Semifinals
Friday, March 6
Chattanooga-UNC Greensboro winner vs. Samford-Furman winner, 11 a.m.
ETSU-Western Carolina winner vs. Mercer-Wofford winner, 1:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Summit League
At Denny Sanford PREMIER Center
Sioux Falls, S.D.
First Round
Saturday, March 7
South Dakota vs. IPFW, 1 p.m.
South Dakota State vs. Denver, 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 8
Western Illinois vs. IUPUI, 1 p.m.
Oral Roberts vs. North Dakota State, 3:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
South Dakota-IPFW winner vs. Western Illinois-IUPUI, 1 p.m.
South Dakota State-Denver winner vs. Oral Roberts-North Dakota State winner, 3:30 p.m.
Championship
Tuesday, March 10
Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

West Coast Conference
At Orleans Arena
Las Vegas
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Loyola Marymount vs. Pepperdine, 3 p.m.
Santa Clara vs. Portland, 5:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Thursday, March 5
Pacific vs. San Francisco, 9 p.m.
Saint Mary's vs. BYU, 11:30 p.m.
Friday, March 6
Gonzaga vs. Loyola Marymount-Pepperdine winner, 3 p.m.
San Diego vs. Santa Clara-Portland winner, 5:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
Gonzaga_Loyola Marymount-Pepperdine winner vs. Saint Mary's-BYU winner, 3 p.m.
San Diego_Santa Clara-Portland winner vs. Pacific-San Francisco winner, 5:30 p.m.
Championship
Tuesday, March 10
Semifinal winners, 4 p.m.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


America East Conference
At The Events Center
Binghamton, N.Y.
First Round
Saturday, March 7
Maine vs. Binghamton, Noon
New Hampshire vs. Hartford, 2:30 p.m.
Albany vs. Vermont, 6 p.m.
Stony Brook vs. UMBC, 8:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Sunday, March 8
Maine-Binghamton winner vs. New Hampshire-Hartford winner, 2 p.m.
Albany-Vermont winner vs. Stony Brook-UMBC winner, 4:30 p.m.
Championship
At Higher-Seeded Team
Friday, March 13
Semifinal winners, 4:30 p.m.

Atlantic Coast Conference
At Greensboro Coliseum
Greensboro, N.C.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Boston College vs. Wake Forest, 1 p.m.
N.C. State vs. Virginia Tech, 3:30 p.m.
Georgia Tech vs. Clemson, 6:30 p.m.
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
Syracuse vs. Boston College-Wake Forest winner, 11 a.m.
Miami vs. Virginia, 2 p.m.
Pittsburgh vs. N.C. State-Virginia Tech winner, 6 p.m.
North Carolina vs. Georgia Tech-Clemson winner, 8:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Duke vs. Syracuse_Boston College-Wake Forest winner, 11 a.m.
Notre Dame vs. Miami-Virginia winner, 2 p.m.
Florida State vs. Pittsburgh_N.C. State-Virginia Tech winner, 6 p.m.
Louisville vs. North Carolina_Georgia Tech-Clemson winner, 8:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Duke_Syracuse_Boston College-Wake Forest winner vs. Notre Dame_Miami-Virginia winner, Noon
Florida State_Pittsburgh_N.C. State-Virginia Tech winner vs. Louisville vs. North Carolina_Georgia Tech-Clemson winner, 2:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Atlantic Sun Conference
At Higher-Seeded Teams
First Round
Friday, March 6
North Florida at Florida Gulf Coast, 7 p.m.
Lipscomb at Stetson, 7 p.m.
South Carolina-Upstate at Northern Kentucky, 7 p.m.
Kennesaw State at Jacksonville, 7 p.m.
Semifinals
Wednesday, March 11
Florida Gulf Coast-North Florida winner vs. Kennesaw State-Jacksonville winner, 7 p.m.
Stetson-Lipscomb winner vs. South Carolina-Upstate-Northern Kentucky winner, 7 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 15
Semifinal winners, 2:30 p.m.

Atlantic 10 Conference
At Richmond Coliseum
Richmond, Va.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
St. Bonaventure vs. UMass, 4:30 p.m.
La Salle vs. Davidson, 7 p.m.
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
VCU vs. Saint Louis, 11:30 a.m.
Richmond vs. St. Bonaventure-UMass winner, 2 p.m.
Saint Joseph's vs. George Mason, 4:30 p.m.
Rhode Island vs. La Salle-Davidson winner, 7 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
George Washington vs. VCU-Saint Louis winner, 11 a.m.
Fordham vs. Richmond_St. Bonaventure-UMass winner, 2 p.m.
Dayton vs. Saint Joseph's-George Mason winner, 4:30 p.m.
Duquesne vs. Rhode Island vs. La Salle-Davidson winner, 7 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
George Washington_VCU-Saint Louis winner vs. Fordham_Richmond_St. Bonaventure-UMass winner, 11 a.m.
Dayton_Saint Joseph's-George Mason winner vs. Duquesne_Rhode Island vs. La Salle-Davidson winner, 1:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Big East Conference
At Allstate Arena
Rosemont, Ill.
First Round
Saturday, March 7
Marquette vs. Providence, 3 p.m.
Xavier vs. Georgetown, 5:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Sunday, March 8
Seton Hall vs. Marquette-Providence winner, 1 p.m.
St. John's vs. Creighton, 3:30 p.m.
DePaul vs. Xavier-Georgetown winner, 7 p.m.
Villanova vs. Butler, 9:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
Seton Hall_Marquette-Providence winner vs. St. John's-Creighton wnner, 6:30 p.m.
DePaul_Xavier-Georgetown winner vs. Villanova-Butler winner, 9 p.m.
Championship
Tuesday, March 10
Semifinal winners, 8 p.m.

Big South Conference
At The HTC Center
Conway, S.C.
First Round
Tuesday, March 3
Gardner-Webb vs. Longwood, Noon
Presbyterian vs. Charleston Southern, 2:30 p.m.
UNC Asheville vs. Coastal Carolina, 6 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Thursday, March 5
Liberty vs. UNC Asheville-Coastal Carolina winner, Noon
Winthrop vs. Campbell, 2:30 p.m.
Radford vs. Gardner-Webb-Longwood winner, 6 p.m.
High Point vs. Presbyterian-Charleston Southern winner, 8:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Liberty_UNC Asheville-Coastal Carolina winner vs. Winthrop-Campbell winner, 6 p.m.
Radford_Gardner-Webb-Longwood winner vs. High Point_Presbyterian-Charleston Southern winner, 8:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 5 p.m.

Big Ten Conference
At Sears Centre Arena
Hoffman Estates, Ill.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Indiana vs. Penn State, 6 p.m.
Wisconsin vs. Purdue, 8:25 p.m.
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
Michigan vs. Michigan State, 12:30 p.m.
Rutgers vs. Indiana-Penn State winner, 2:55 p.m.
Nebraska vs. Illinois, 7 p.m.
Minnesota vs. Wisconsin-Purdue winner, 9:25 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Maryland vs. Michigan-Michigan State winner, 12:30 p.m.
Northwestern vs. Rutgers_Indiana-Penn State winner, 2:55 p.m.
Iowa vs. Nebraska-Illinois winner, 7 p.m.
Ohio State vs. Minnesota_Wisconsin-Purdue winner, 9:25 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Maryland_Michigan-Michigan State winner vs. Northwestern_Rutgers_12-13 winner, 7 p.m.
Iowa_Nebraska-Illinois winner vs. Ohio State_Minnesota_Wisconsin-Purdue winner, 9:25 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
At MassMutual Center
Springfield, Mass.
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Canisius vs. Monmouth, 9:30 a.m.
Rider vs. Saint Peter's, Noon
Niagara vs. Manhattan, 2:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Quinnipiac vs. Canisius-Monmouth winner, Noon
Iona vs. Siena, 2:30 p.m.
Marist vs. Rider-Saint Peter's winner, 7 p.m.
Fairfield vs. Niagara-Manhattan winner, 9:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Sunday, March 8
Quinnipiac_Canisius-Monmouth winner vs. Iona-Siena winner, 11 a.m.
Marist_Rider-Saint Peter's winner vs. Fairfield_Niagara-Manhattan winner, 1:30 p.m.
Championship
Monday, March 9
Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

Ohio Valley Conference
At Municipal Auditorium
Nashville, Tenn.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
UT Martin vs. Eastern Illinois, 1 p.m.
SIU Edwardsville vs. Austin Peay, 3:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 5
Belmont vs. Jacksonville State, 1 p.m.
Tennessee State vs. Morehead State, 3:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Friday, March 6
UT Martin-Eastern Illinois winner vs. Belmont-Jacksonville State winner, 1 p.m.
SIU Edwardsville-Austin Peay winner vs. Tennessee State-Morehead State winner, 3:30 p.m.
Championship
Saturday, March 7
Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

Pacific-12 Conference
At KeyArena
Seattle
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Washington State vs. Oregon, 2:30 p.m.
UCLA vs. Arizona, 5 p.m.
Southern Cal vs. Colorado, 9 p.m.
Washington vs. Utah, 11:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Arizona State vs. Washington State-Oregon winner, 2:30 p.m.
Stanford vs. UCLA-Arizona winner, 5 p.m.
Oregon State vs. Southern Cal-Colorado winner, 9 p.m.
California vs. Washington-Utah winner, 11:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Arizona State_Washington State-Oregon winner vs. Stanford_UCLA-Arizona winner, 9 p.m.
Oregon State_Southern Cal-Colorado winner vs. California_Washington-Utah winner, 11:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 9 p.m.

Patriot League
At Higher-Seeded Teams
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Loyola (Md.) at Lafayette, 7 p.m.
Boston University at Colgate, TBA
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Lafayette-Loyola (Md.) winner at American, 7 p.m.
Colgate-Boston University at Army, 7 p.m.
Lehigh at Holy Cross, TBA
Navy at Bucknell, TBA
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
American_Lafayette-Loyola (Md.) winner vs. Bucknell-Navy winner, TBA
Army_Colgate-Boston University winner vs. Holy Cross-Lehigh winner, TBA
Championship
Saturday, March 14
Semifinal winners, 6 p.m.

Southeastern Conference
At Verizon Arena
Little Rock, Ark.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Florida vs. Auburn, 7 p.m.
Vanderbilt vs. Alabama, 9:30 p.m.
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
Mississippi vs. Arkansas, 1 p.m.
Texas A&M vs. Florida-Auburn winner, 3:30 p.m.
Missouri vs. Georgia, 7 p.m.
Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt-Alabama winner, 9:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
South Carolina vs. Mississippi-Arkansas winner, 1 p.m.
LSU vs. Texas A&M_Florida-Auburn winner, 3:30 p.m.
Tennessee vs. Missouri-Georgia winner, 7 p.m.
Mississippi State vs. Kentucky_Vanderbilt-Alabama winner, 9:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
South Carolina_Mississippi-Arkansas winner vs. LSU_Texas A&M_Florida-Auburn winner, 5 p.m.
Tennessee_Missouri-Georgia winner vs. Mississippi State_Kentucky_Vanderbilt-Alabama winner, 7:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 3:30 p.m.

Southern Conference
At Kimmel Arena
Asheville, N.C.
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Chattanooga vs. UNC Greensboro, Noon
Samford vs. Furman, 2:15 p.m.
ETSU vs. Western Carolina, 4:30 p.m.
Mercer vs. Wofford, 6:45 p.m.
At U.S. Cellular Arena
Asheville, N.C.
Semifinals
Friday, March 6
Chattanooga-UNC Greensboro winner vs. Samford-Furman winner, 11 a.m.
ETSU-Western Carolina winner vs. Mercer-Wofford winner, 1:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Summit League
At Denny Sanford PREMIER Center
Sioux Falls, S.D.
First Round
Saturday, March 7
South Dakota vs. IPFW, 1 p.m.
South Dakota State vs. Denver, 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 8
Western Illinois vs. IUPUI, 1 p.m.
Oral Roberts vs. North Dakota State, 3:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
South Dakota-IPFW winner vs. Western Illinois-IUPUI, 1 p.m.
South Dakota State-Denver winner vs. Oral Roberts-North Dakota State winner, 3:30 p.m.
Championship
Tuesday, March 10
Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

West Coast Conference
At Orleans Arena
Las Vegas
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Loyola Marymount vs. Pepperdine, 3 p.m.
Santa Clara vs. Portland, 5:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Thursday, March 5
Pacific vs. San Francisco, 9 p.m.
Saint Mary's vs. BYU, 11:30 p.m.
Friday, March 6
Gonzaga vs. Loyola Marymount-Pepperdine winner, 3 p.m.
San Diego vs. Santa Clara-Portland winner, 5:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
Gonzaga_Loyola Marymount-Pepperdine winner vs. Saint Mary's-BYU winner, 3 p.m.
San Diego_Santa Clara-Portland winner vs. Pacific-San Francisco winner, 5:30 p.m.
Championship
Tuesday, March 10
Semifinal winners, 4 p.m.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.




- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad