GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A new species of being arrived in that basketball civilization known as the Atlantic Coast Conference this season and in its never-ending, predatory pursuit of perfection, saw something it wanted: The ACC Tournament championship. The will of the ACC's existing inhabitants was deemed irelevant. Resistance was futile.
SEATTLE — There will be a new conference tournament champion in PAC-12 for the first time in eight season.
Stanford's longstanding supremacy in PAC-12 women's basketball, as evidenced by its long string of both regular-season and conference-tournament championships, has become so entrenched that the tournament itself has come to be referred to unofficially as "the Stanford Invitational." The Cardinal have won the tournament championship, and with it the league's automatic bid the NCAA tournament, every season since 2005-06.
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- If the opening game of the ACC tournament semifinals was a tranquilizer, then the nightcap was a jolt of espresso. Game one between top-seeded Notre Dame and NC State was a blowout from the word go, with the only mystery left in the game being if the Wolfpack could score as many points in the whole game as Notre Dame did in the first half alone. The second game was another Duke-UNC classic in a game fraught with tension, emotions bubbling over and a pulse-pounding final five minutes of play that thrilled the 8000 fans in attendance.
SEATTLE -- There’s no shortage of intriguing storylines in the Pacific Northwest.
On “Quarterfinal Friday” in Seattle, the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament maintained order in the top half of the bracket, though the USC PAC-12's 5-seed pulled off a "mini-upset" and helped its case for an NCAA bid when it sent fourth-seeded Arizona to the showers in a 59-54 nailbiter.
You couldn't have asked for a more evenly balanced contest than the one that opened the 2014 Big 12 Women's Basketball Tournament Friday evening at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, as eight-seeded Kansas battled K-State, the ninth seed, to an 87-84 overtime win. The nightcap, however, was another affair, with seventh-seeded Texas Christian University separating itself early and coasting to a lopsided 75-59 victory over the No. 9 Red Raiders of Texas Tech.
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The first three rounds of the ACC tournament feel like they were scripted to the specifications of the powers-that-be. There were tight second-round games but no upsets. The quarterfinals were mostly blowouts (except for a classic final game), but it set up a semifinal Saturday featuring the three traditional Triangle powers (Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State) and the interlopers from Indiana, Notre Dame. The fact that departing ACC member Maryland got bounced in the quarterfinals certainly made few shed tears.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Sheer will….The mentality of a winner.
You can draw all the Xs and Os you want, but sometimes it just comes down to belief.
And to thinking like a winner.
On a day that featured one major upset and one minor one, it looked like No. 2-seed Michigan State was going to be another upset victim at the hands of seventh-seeded Michigan in Game Three of the second round of the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament. Instead, the Spartans put frustration aside and made just enough plays to come out a 61-58 winner.
INDIANAPOLIS --As the saying goes, "Sometimes 'Stuff' Happens."
And, boy, it sure did happen in the opening game of the second round of the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis Friday. The 8-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes (17-17) pulled the upset of the tournament -- and perhaps the surprise of all the conference tournaments currently underway across the country -- by beating top-seeded Penn State, 99-82 .
INDIANAPOLIS -- Balance is what fifth-seeded Iowa has been all about all season and that is what enabled them to overcome No. 4-seed Purdue, 87-80, in the second, albeit less dramatic, upset of Round Two of the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis Friday afternoon.
That, and turnovers.
Iowa had five players put up double-figure scores, but it was, even more so, the ability of the Hawkeyes to force turnovers at key times, including taking charges on layups, that turned the tide.