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.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Quite a Mix for Starters

By Mel Greenberg

It's two down and two to go to set the survivors' field for this season's Women's Final Four at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis.

Baylor is quite a story with former Louisiana Tech star Kim Mulkey-Robertson coaching the once-dormant Bears program over North Carolina and into the finals of the Women's NCAA tournament.

She becomes the first woman to coach and play in a Final Four, having been part of the inaugural NCAA champions in 1982. Her alma mater also won the last full Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) title in 1981 before the transitional season in which some teams such as Rutgers remained with the AIAW and others such as Tech immediately moved to the NCAA.

Ironically, Rutgers won the last AIAW title right here in Philadelphia in 1982 at the Palestra by beating Texas. Tonight the Scarlet Knights are back in town trying to get past the powerful Tennessee program at Temple's Liacouras Center in what will be the last contested spot for this year's finals.

LSU, which had been No. 1 most of the year, also advanced last night by beating Duke after Baylor had beaten North Carolina.

Thus, the top two teams in the so-called No. 1 conference for this year _ the Atlantic Coast _ were sent to the sidelines for the rest of the way.

This could be quite a weekend for the Tigers, whose former coach Sue Gunter might be announced as an inductee to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday.

Gunter took ill toward the end of last season and could not be with LSU when the Tigers roared into nearby New Orleans for the finals. She retired afterward and Pokey Chatman was promoted as Gunter's successor.

Their second finals in the NCAA gives the Tigers a chance to reverse last year's showing when a chance to force overtime against SEC rival Tennessee was ruined on a turnover and a score in the final seconds of one of the semifinals.

The early game tonight features Michigan State and Stanford as another young coach Joanne Palombo McCallie tries to lead the Spartans over Women's Basketball Hall of Fame coach Tara Vanderveer into the finals.

That's all until later tonight and welcome to those of you who found the link to here.

-- Mel

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Rutgers remained with the AIAW and others such as Tech immediately moved to the NCAA.

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A mix of starters is seriously a different mix.This is incredible I must say.Baylor is quite a story with former Louisiana Tech.

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