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.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Guru Musings: Why They Call It Madness

By Mel Greenberg

PHILADELPHIA - The Guru took a quick timeout Tuesday night to attend meting of the local chapter of the National Sports Marketing Network at the Hyatt on Penn's Landing off the Delaware River.

The panel spoke on the business of college sports. The speakers are listed in this next paragraph.

Bill Bradshaw, Director of Athletics, Temple University
Linda Bruno, Commissioner, Atlantic 10 Conference
Burke Magnus, Vice President & General Manager, ESPNU
Kit Morris, Director of College Sports Marketing
Vince Nicastro, Athletic Director, Villanova University
Greg Shaheen, Senior Vice President for Basketball and Business Strategies, NCAA

So at one point during the Q. and A. your Guru asked opinions on the the effects off a proposal to move the calendar of the women's tournament a week or later to get out from under the shadow of the men's tournament.

Bruno, a former chair of the NCAA women's selection committee: ``I think it's ridiculous. The tournament does fine where it is with sellouts (the focus was the regional, Final Four end), media and television coverage.''

Bradshaw commented that he thought being away from home courts and the continuing evolvment was a good thing.

Locally Notable

In sending the Atlantic Ten Awards involving players from local schools to our desk for print in Wednesday's paper in the briefs' section, we inadvertently omitted that Temple freshman LaKeisha Eaddy was named to the all-rookie team.

That's what happens when your Guru grabs an individual school re-spin of the actual conference release.

And anyone making last-minute arrangements to be in Cincinnati for the A-10 tournament at the Cintas Center on Xavier's campus, such as your Guru did Tuesday night, don't let the $1,300 cost or so of a flight deter you.

The Guru found Southwest Airlines out of Philly to Columbus was only $212, and our good friend Jim Foster, the coach of Ohio State, informed it's a short ride from Buckeye land to Cincy.

So, the bottom line, is the way to the Atlantic Ten title game is through Ohio State, which actually will be elsewhere in the Big Ten tournament.

Speaking of Big Ten, Penn State's Amanda Brown, a graduate of Unionville High near here, was named to the All-Big Ten first team.

And in another A-10 note, the times of Sunday's semifinals have been changed from 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to allow both games to be televised on CSTV.


Networking

Jonathan forgot to mention that not only has he met Erin, BUT -------- his work station is only a few short feet away from Guru headquarters through a door to the Philly.com operations.

Big East Tourney

We'll be back in time for the title game Tuesday night in Hartford.

Now that the bracket has been determined, we add more in depth analysis to our overall view for the first week of Madness that posted on Monday.

West Virginia goes to absolute lock status with a second-round win, but may already be in the safety zone. South Florida needs to beat Seton Hall and then can enhance itself with a win over West Virginia.

Best opening game might be Notre Dame vs. DePaul. The Irish are probably in the field of 64. The Blue Demons need some wins to cancel the injury-effect. Either way, a quarterfinal game between either of those teams and Rutgers might be the best of the round.

Marquette, with a bye, is probably in the field of 64, but Pittsburgh can probably move close to lock status with wins over Cincinnati and Marquette. An opening round loss to Cincinnati might make things a little perilous.

Wednesday game slate

In non-tournament action, the Big 12 regular season wrapup with Texas A&M going for a title against Texas, while Oklahoma meets Baylor is the best of the night.

Oklahoma and Baylor are trying to improve their NCAA seed situation. Texas needs a bunch of wins, quickly.

Nothing compelling in tournament action with Southern Conference quarterfinals -- two games -- and Sun Belt opening round the only events being played.
In the Sun Belt, Denver is making a big push over its first-ever hosting an event in the post season.
Once a market of the old American Basketball League, perhaps the WNBA bunch, with an eye to future cities, will be watching to see if the game against Florida Atlantic can serve as some indicator of women's hoops interest.

Your Guru, who has an early flight Thursday, will be making a stop tonight at local Division II power Holy Family, the tenth-ranked team in the WBCA poll, which will open Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference action against Post.

And speaking of Post, we've now posted enough to make your increasing visits to Guru-land worthwhile.

Great job by Jonathan below this post on the Penn story, and great job by Acacia, who made international history at the Guru site on Monday with a direct post of her Molto Monday column from Italia.

-- Mel

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