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.
AMES, Iowa -- The first order of business for the top three seeds in the Stanford Regional will be to forget and refresh. South Carolina, Stanford and Penn State were each unceremoniously bounced from their conference tournaments, and if allowed to do so, those defeats could easily affect their performances in the NCAA tournament.
LOS ANGELES -- You've seen it all before: Selection Monday. Teams, coaches, fans and family members gather in front of big screen TVs to await the announcement of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament bracket. Conference tournament winners sport championship hats, t-shirts and related paraphernalia, enjoying their chips and buffalo wings, at ease in the knowledge that they're in, and it all boils down to how they are seeded and where, and against whom, they'll be playing their first few games.
LOS ANGELES -- Stanford Tara VanDerveer has seen it all, from the highest of the game's highs to some of its all-too-real lows, in the course of her 35-year coaching career. In many ways, the 2013-14 season has been a microcosm of the extremes of that career for the four-time National Coach of the Year, who achieved her 900th career win in November, clinched her 14th PAC-12 regular-season championship in February, but last week saw her Cardinal fall in the semis, failing to reach the title game of the PAC-12 Tournament title for the first time in the history of the event.