While most of the nation's eyes have been glued to the major-league powerhouses of women's college basketball -- the Baylors, Notre Dames, Connecticuts, Stanfords and Tennessees -- some fiercely competitive games featuring some of the nation's top female athletes have been going on, mostly under the radar. Indeed, the talent pool in the non-BCS conferences runs so deep this year that it is hard to refer to some of these programs as "midmajors" anymore.
Last week, seven more teams -- three of them in the BIG East (West Virginia, Louisville and Rutgers), two from the Big Ten (Purdue and Nebraska), one from the PAC-12 (Califronia) and one from the West Coast Conference (Gonzaga) -- made the move from bubble teams to to locks for an at-large invitation to the NCAA tournament by taking care of business in the final weeks of their conference regular seasons.
As the ACC Women's Basketball tournament kicks off in Greensboro, Nor. Car., this Thursday, there's a lot at stake for all concerned. In a year where highly unbalanced schedules played a role in the final standings, No. 6/5 Maryland finished at 12-4 in ACC play (25-4 overall), in a dead heat with No. 15/18 Georgia Tech (22-7, 12-4) for third place in the regular-season conference race. The possibility of a different outcome come Sunday afternoon when the league's tournament championship is determined beckons both teams.
Duke took care of business and won their first outright ACC title since 2007, after sharing the title the past two seasons with Miami and Florida State. They harassed Miami into a poor shooting night by beating them in Durham and then followed that up with their first win in Chapel Hill in five year. In both games, Duke dominated points in the paint by a huge margin, helping to offset poor foul shooting a occasionally shaky ball-handling.
HARTFORD, Conn. – The clock struck midnight about an hour earlier than real time Monday night on the East Coast in lower New England for powerful Connecticut’s run of five regular-season Big East titles when No. 3 Notre Dame topped the host No. 4 Huskies, 72-59, in the XL Center, the site of next week’s conference tournament.
For the second time in the past five years -- and just the seventh time in conference history --Middle Tennessee completed its Sun Belt Conference season undefeated, after defeating Western Kentucky, 77-62, Sunday afternoon in the regular-season finale for both teams inside E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green, Ky.