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.
Los Angeles — The final ballot for the Women's John R. Wooden Award was announced today by The Los Angeles Athletic Club. Selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, the ballot is made up of 15 student-athletes who are eligible for college basketball’s most prestigious honor. All balloted players have proven to their universities that they are making progress toward graduation and are maintaining at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA. The men’s ballot will be released Saturday.
STORRS, Conn. -- Those women's basketball fans who tuned into Monday night's nationally televised opening weekend match-up between No. 1 Connecticut and No. 3 Stanford, already weary of the mismatched skirmishes that have too often come to characterize the sport's early weeks and looking for a real dogfight between the two powerhouses, had to have been sorely disappointed by the 76-57 rout that ensued.
LOS ANGELES — Stanford forward Chiney Ogwumike and Baylor point guard Odyssey Sims, both of whom were named to last year's Wooden All-American team, highlight the list of 30 college athletes named to the watch list for this year's John R. Wooden Award and All-American team. The 2014 John R. Wooden Award Women's Preseason Top 30, popularly known as the preseason Wooden watch, was announced today by the Los Angeles Athletic Club.
The Pac-12 Tournament is in a brand new city this year, and for the first time in many seasons, there could be a new champion too.
Seattle, with its large women's basketball fan base, will play host to the 12-year-old tournament March 7-10, and though Stanford has won nine of the previous 11 titles, unlike years past, the Cardinal are not necessarily the favorite this time.
The final week of the NCAA regular season is kind of like the final episode of a reality show -- a lot of drama is unfolding. Three major conferences (the Southeast, Big East and Pac-12) have yet to crown a regular season champion, which means the pressure will be on all through these final days.
West Coast fans have long complained that the Pac-12 Conference gets no respect.
They are right for the most part, as gamecasts don’t often swing to the Left Coast unless an opponent from another big conference is involved. But to be fair, there traditionally hasn’t been much in the Pac-12 aside from Stanford worth a national broadcast.
It was 55-47 with 2:44 to go, and Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer had to call a timeout with seven seconds on the shot clock. So, as one would expect, the ball found its way to Chiney Ogwumike, the Cardinal all-American. She turned through traffic, going away from the basket, and tossed in a line-drive hook shot to extend the lead to ten.