OKLAHOMA CITY --For the second time in the past three years, Stanford, once a perennial fixture, will be missing from the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament's Final Four after falling to Notre Dame, 81-60, on Friday night in the Sweet Sixteen of the Oklahoma City Regional.
Reigning national champion Connecticut may be the team to be in this year's edition of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament, but there are plenty of top-caliber challengers waiting along the way with one of the toughest paths to the Final Four passing through the Oklahoma City Regional. Notre Dame, the region's No. 1 seed, will host the first two rounds before heading south to Oklahoma, where the Irish will likely have to get past a cast of familiar characters, including second-seeded Baylor and either Stanford, the four-seed, or Oklahoma, the five-seed, to earn a trip to Tampa Bay.
With conference tournaments now all in the record books, there's nothing left for this year's NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament aspirants to do but wait and hope. Many of those teams identified in this series as locks or "on the bubble" over the past few weeks removed any remaining uncertainty by winning their tournaments and nailing down the automatic bid for their respective conferences. Indeed, the overwhelming majority of deserving teams from the mid-major conferences won out and can breathe easy as they watch tonight's Selection Show.
It's that time of year again. With the regular season winding down and March Madness on the horizon, we're pleased to bring you what has become a favorite of Full Court readers over the years: Jim Carson's "Bubble Wrap," an annual attempt to divine which teams have their tickets to the Big Dance punched already and which are still "on the bubble" with some serious work ahead of them.
With the college basketball season now behind us, Monday's WNBA Draft marks the arrival of a new group of players who might lend help to some of the league's faltering franchises, while helping to boost interest in the WNBA in general. Still, it's a lot to ask of a rookie to turn a team around.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- For 12-and-a-half minutes Sunday evening, hope rose in the hearts of those outside the Storrs, Conn. orbit of influence. For 12-and-a-half minutes, it looked like someone might actually give the Huskies a game.
The match-ups for the 2014 Final Four are now set and while there may be clear favorites, there are no true underdogs in this pack. UConn is entering its seventh consecutive Final Four, having won three of the last six. Stanford is in its sixth out of seven. Notre Dame is in its fourth in a row. Maryland hasn’t been here since its surprising National Championship in 2006. UConn has eight National Championships, Stanford two, Notre Dame and Maryland one each.
Full Court congratulates our National Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year for the 2013-2014 women’s college basketball season, as well as all the talented athletes named to our NCAA Division I All-American and Freshman All-American teams.
The Stanford Regional may not be anyone’s pick to produce this year's national champion, but it maintains intrigue because all four teams are fully capable of winning twice and advancing to the next week’s Final Four in Nashville.
The hottest player? Probably North Carolina’s Diamond DeShields, who showed Michigan State her well-rounded game in the Tar Heels' 62-53 victory in the Round of 32. DeShields had 24 points and 12 rebounds as UNC built a 26-point lead early in the second half before cruising the rest of the way.