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.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Road to the NCAAs: Tonight's the Day

By Mel Greenberg

Random thoughts and notes on the eve of Selection Monday.

First to all SIDs and media types who have been checking in here:

Despite the men's bracket geographically terminology reverting to the old Midwest, South, etc., format, the women's bracket will remain the same as in recent years. Hence, it's still the Greensboro and Dayton Regionals and so on.

Campaigning for DePaul

No, not me, the Guru must remain neutral.

But a follower of the Blue Demons sent the following email stating their case, since they are healthy again but sit precariously on the bubble.

--DePaul played its entire season down three good players. Happens toEveryone. That's life!

--DePaul played 19 games ONLY down three good players: Record 15-4.

--15-4 record when down only three includes wins over Rutgers, NotreDame (twice), South Florida, Seton Hall, @Wisconsin-Green Bay.

--DePaul played 12 games from Dec. 21 through Feb. 3, down an additionaltwo players; down a total of five good players and playing with onlyseven healthy players, six of whom were guards. Record 4-8.

--4-8 record when down five good players and playing with only seven healthy players includes good losses TCU (neutral by 1), Marquette (by3), West Virginia(by 11), @UConn(by 8), and @Louisville(by 18)

--4-8 record when down five good players and playing with only seven healthy players includes bad losses @UNLV(by 18), @Cincinnati(by 18), @ST. John's(by 17). Bad is Bad!

--three bad losses while down five good players is what has shot the team's RPIto hell.

--the two injured players that dropped the roster to only seven healthyplayers, and our RPI even further, have returned and will be available in the tournament, giving us the same roster that recorded the abovementioned 15-4 record that included wins over Rutgers, Notre Dame(twice, once neutral in Big East tournament), South Florida, Seton Hall, @Wisconsin-Green Bay.

--have played its last 8 games of season again healthy and have recorded 5-3

--5-3 record in last 8 games includes wins over Notre Dame (twice, once neutral),South Florida, Seton Hall and Syracuse.

--5-3 record in last 8 games includes defeats @Notre Dame (before the two wins over Notre Dame), @Pitt, and Rutgers (neutral).

--Played only 12 home games. 19 road or neutral games.

--19-12 Record achieved with total of 113 total women games missed because of injury.

--if ever there were a team that epitomized the NCAA Memo from Committee Chairs Judy Southard and Gary Walters stating that "RPI is not everything", DePaul is that team!

And now back to more musings!

Things we'd like to see but won't when the bracket is announced.

Robert Morris vs. James Madison with the winner having the strongest constitution.

Temple vs. New Mexico so Fatima Maddox, who transferred from the Lobos two years ago, can have a double senior farewell.

All the teams with dog mascots placed in the same pod such as UMBC, Drake, Georgia, etc.

Territorial wars between Maryland and UMBC, while Delaware plays Delaware State, and Idaho State meets Boise State. And let's not forget Wisconsin-Green Bay against Marquette.

How about Washington against George Washington?

Harvard against Stanford to recall famous 1-16 matchup of yesteryear, even if it can't work out that way by seed this time.

Does anybody think Oral Roberts has a prayer?

Vanderbilt against Ohio State which would be a Philly coaching-area connection in disguise.

Prairie View against Temple to matchup two former WNBA all-stars on the sidelines in Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, and Dawn Staley.

How about Xavier against Notre Dame so Musketeers coach Kevin McGuff can face his former boss. Likewise for Georgia Tech, if they get in, place them against Purdue.

Better yet, Georgia Tech against Delaware State matches the Yellow Jackets against the Hornets.

Create the Tennessee pod group with the Vols, Belmont, Vanderbilt, Middle Tennessee, and Chattanooga.

Did anybody notice how many conference games went down to the final minute?

If Oklahoma is not a No. 2 seed, will the Sooners, a preseason projection for a No. 1, be the most dangerous No. 3?

When Rutgers is announced, which scenario will have the Scarlet Knights message board screaming conspiracy? Answer: Any of them.

Did anybody notice that in the CAA they took the tournament out of Virginia but couldn't get Virginia schools eliminated from the tournament? Old Dominion, making it 16 straight, beat James Madison in the title game.

The other night at the CAA dinner, your Guru suggested to the emcee to make the following announcement: Despite the fact that Drexel and Northeastern are here tonight, we promise that the dinner won't go into overtime and become the longest conference awards banquet ever held.

You know things are changing in the Western part of the Keystone State when Pittsburgh is in the tournament and Penn State is not.

You know things are changing when all four projected No. 1 seeds will make everyone in their respective regionals swallow hard when they hear their name called.

On that note, it's time to beat the sunrise out of here. We'll be back later today.

-- Mel


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