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.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

March Madness: Wild Wednesday or Guru's Southern Strategy Continues

By Mel Greenberg

GREENSBORO, N.C. _ So how is your NCAA women's bracket holding up?

First, a leftover line from Tuesday night after the North Carolina State game.

The calendar was about to change with the stroke of midnight and bring the arrival of a new season. It was at that precise moment, the Guru noticed former Wolfpack center Summer Erb in the hallway where the locker rooms were located.

So at that moment, the Guru noted to an NCAA type, ``Spring is here and there goes Summer.''

Now that I got your attention, if you're hanging around to get a little more info on a certain story that hit the print page under the Guru's byline and, hence, also appearing in Philly.com late Wednesday night, that's a hold awaiting further developments, if any.

Travel Madness

But to continue the joys of journalistic travel, you might remember a month ago, oh it was only last Friday, a little weather problem forced us to drive down here to cover Temple's NCAA path back in Raleigh.

So at sunrise 24 hours ago, a decision needed to be enacted -- make the long drive back North or make the short drive over to Greensboro and wait for everyone else to show up Thursday for the regional.

Specifically, in our case, the concentration would now be Rutgers as we remain in local focus.

Home base gave the go-ahead tgo stay and also requested that a story be filed for print this time on Gillian Goring, which will appear on Friday.

Knowing that, a phone call was flashed to Stacey at Rutgers to try to get into the Scarlet Knights' media configuration.

She emailed back the hotel contact here since the Guru would be arriving ahead of the crowd.

The hotel said they couldn't book the Guru directly, it had to be done through the NCAA system.

Meanwhile, Ms. Rogers of the ACC was tied up in hosting meetings and was unable to get back to us as we bore down on the next stop on the tour.

Not to worry, the Guru thought, we'll just go straight to ACC headquarters.

However, because the location did not exist in the massive data base of the Guru's GPS, he figured a quick call to an ACC member contact might produce an address.

So at this time, we offer the following riddle:

What do five ACC member schools have in common?

None of them know the exact address of their conference headquarters.

It could be because they must be blind folded so no one ever discovers the road to the lavish-looking plantation-style edifice that sits alongside the 15th Tee of Grandover Golf Club.

Incidentally, Mark Kimmel of N.C. State gets the prize for the best clue because he thought the office might be near the golf club and that was good enough to get us close.

As nice as the exterior of the ACC looks, apparently the place is in its 30th month of renovation based on a staffer's comment and the 30 or so workers trying to figure out how to position a light bulb.

Anyhow, the visit proved fruitful because someone got to someone to get to someone so the Guru could have a reservation waiting, which did occur several minutes later.

But what did not occur is a room that was actually ready.

So the Guru killed a little time at a nearby mall -- very nearby -- and phoned up North to give Rutgers media colleagues Aditi and Bridgette the good news that their social leader was in place.

A year ago, the Guru had a similar job at the Cleveland regional.

Finally, a room became ready and the Guru set up headquarters and was even told the location of a coin laundry on the complex since the extended road trip was beginning to cause some shortages.

Incidentally, those of you who will be here at the Sheraton Four Seasons, free wireless connection.

Having settled in, the Guru headed for the sushi bar inside the complex which is located next to a night club.

What a juxtaposition. A year ago we dined at Sushi Rock in Cleveland. Down here, we will have sushi and rock in proximity.

Are we having fun, yet?

Well, just as the first piece of California Roll was about to land on the palate, our cell phone went off and the caller had a question. A few minutes later, another call went off from a different part of the country with a similar question.

The Guru decided to drop the eel and consult with the team captain back in the home office.

Meanwhile, the cell phone pattern continued to repeat itself and as the saying goes, Where there's cell phone sounds, there's usually a lot of noise with it. And we thought Lion out today (Thursday) was going to have a different meaning.

Finally, after giving the office what they needed and getting some refinements, of which we were asked to follow up today, it was off to the coin laundry.

Then, we learned of an all-night Steak 'n Shake (Yeah, they all are, so?) and so we went off to see if anyone else was having similar coverage discussions while we tried a late-nite meal.

Then it was back here to once again pen this and prove it isn't always as glorious as it seems.

But, it's a living.

Oh yeah, it was noted to us by a friendly editior that Germantown Academy is in suburban Philadelphia, not the city proper.

-- Mel

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