NCAAW Bracketology 2012

Boy am I out of it this year (even more so than last year when March Madness meant the Great Tohoku Quake and Tsunami more than the annual college basketball craziness). Haven’t got any idea what’s going on in the baller world, be that the international scene (UMMC Ekaterinburg for Birdy and Ros Casares — or whatever — for LJ) or the Women’s NCAA (but enough to know that UConn’s not that invincible this year).

But anyway, better late than never, right? At least I checked in right before the Elite Eight. So without further ado — WAIT, the Zags are done for the season. Bummer. Read somewhere in Twitter that they might be missing Vandersloot more than they realized. Well, okay then, get it over and done with, move on with the show.

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PICKS
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Des Moines Region – Baylor vs Tennessee
Obvious pick is obvious, duh, Griner — BAYLOR

Raleigh Region – Notre Dame vs Maryland
Haven’t seen how Maryland plays but I’m just gonna go with the fact that ND was in the championship game last year and Skylar Diggins is still playing for the Irish. Pick — NOTRE DAME

Fresno Region – Stanford vs Duke
Ogwumike Sisters. ‘Nuff said. — STANFORD

Kingston Region – Connecticut vs Kentucky
Samarie Walker vs her former team. Whatever. KML, Bria Hartley, Kelly Frakking Farris, Tiff Hayes, Dolton, and DOTY! As if I’ll pick anyone over UConn. — CONNECTICUT

The Stage is Set

UCONN vs NOTRE DAME | STANFORD vs TEXAS A&M

Okay, let’s not discuss that I scored an astounding 1 out of 4 in my picks. That goes without saying that this year’s Elite Eight has nothing been short of entertaining and surprising, even if it lacks that quintessential Cinderella story.

So Vandersloot and the Zags fell to Stanford, right? And that Skylar Diggins and the Fighting Irish upset the Tennessee Lady Vols yesterday. This morning, Maya Moore scored her 3000th point in a 35-point rout of the Duke Blue Devils, and Texas A&M’s Sydney Carter pushed her team over Brittney Griner’s 1st-seeded Baylor Bears and that’s with Danielle Adams struggling.

Texas A&M Aggies : 1st Final Four in school history

Stanford Cardinal : 4th straight Final Four

Notre Dame Fighting Irish : 1st time since 2001

Connecticut Huskies : 12th Final Four

*   *   *

With that said, I’m pulling for a UCONN – STANFORD final.

*   *   *

The AP All-America Team was released.

FIRST TEAM

Maya Moore (Connecticut)

Brittney Griner (Baylor)

Jeannette Pohlen (Stanford)

Danielle Adams (Texas A&M)

Jantel Lavender (Ohio State)

SECOND TEAM

Danielle Robinson (Oklahoma)

Amber Harris (Xavier)

Courtney Vandersloot (Gonzaga)

Nnemkadi Ogwumike (Stanford)

Jasmine Thomas (Duke)

THIRD TEAM

Shekinna Stricklen (Tennessee)

Shenise Johnson (Miami)

Victoria Dunlap (Kentucky)

Ta’Shia Phillips (Xavier)

Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame)

Vandersloot and Half of Final Four

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp7h0iPhIrk

I blame my location and lack of coverage of Gonzaga games. Also work coz it devours time. And the frakking Tohoku Earthquake for throwing our lives in disarray when I could have focused on basketball. Okay, just for throwing our lives in disarray and wiping out cities and killing thousands and causing rolling blackouts and nuclear cores melting and radioactive isotopes escaping into every-fucking-where, never mind the fact that I couldn’t watch my basketball games. People have lost everything and some people are still risking their lives to solve the whole nuke thing and babies are seriously not allowed to drink Tokyo tap water because radioactive particles were found in the filtering plant and ugh, I know it’s been all said and done but when is this ever going to stop?

So anyway, to distract myself from the daily worries (it quaked again earlier, epicenter was at Fukushima, M6.4), I should have found out about Courtney Vandersloot earlier and probably have waxed poetic about her point guarding skills more than what’s necessary. You know, because my fave player on earth is still Sue ‘D!e B!tchez’ Bird and we all know that girl is in a league of her own when it came to being a point guard. Vandersloot’s draft stock had been upped since the Zags won the WCC Tourney and she set a record or something (2000 pts 1000 asts in all of NCAA Ball and most assists in a single season, I think). Will she be an early pick? I hope so. And I also hope that someone from the Western Conference drafts her — I gotta watch her play against the best of the best and, sorry you guys, coz I’m always wearing Storm goggles, that would be Birdy.

 

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Fortunately for me I didn’t create my bracket at the start of the tourney (because of everything else that was happening here in Japan). If I did, I would have been dazed the whole day coz I scored an amazing 0 for 2 today. LOL. I picked the Lady Vols in Dayton because, really, if Simmons got it together, there was a chance, right? But she choked, the poor kid. And Skylar Diggins and Notre Dame was on a freaking mission so bracket broken there. And then, of course, Stanford just had to be awesome, right? With Pohlen finding her shot and the Ogwumike sisters doing just about anything right, Courtney Vandersloot couldn’t beat the Cardinal without her teammates, and so the Zags lost. Bracket fail again.

Ugh. I hope I get the last two later. Or at least the Philly Region. Coz if my pick in the Philly Region loses, Imma boycott the rest of the Final Four LOL.

 

UConn to Elite Eight

March Madness \o/

Whew. Georgetown gave us quite a scare there. Of course practically all their shots had to fall, right? It also didn’t help that the Huskies looked like they were practically clueless on offense. Maya Moore’s shots weren’t falling early, Tiffany Hayes wasn’t dominant, Stefanie Dolson was being pushed around by the Georgetown “posts”, and Bria Hartley was going from left to right and looked really tentative most of the time.

And then, Lorin Dixon happened. The senior sparked the run that made the Huskies recover lost ground (down 7 or something), executed key defensive plays, and hit a baseline jumper. Credit must also go to Bria Hartley who looked like she gained confidence from whatever Dixon had made happen. Maya Moore was relatively quiet except towards the end where she did important plays to ensure the win. And of course, no one would be able to discount everything that Kelly Farris did to guard the Hoyas’ leading scorer Sugar Rodgers. Farris reminds me of Mel Thomas, a kind of a do-everything scrappy player that can guard almost anyone.

Bracketology

[Philadelphia Region]
Connecticut (35-1) vs Duke (32-3)
Pick: UConn. ‘Nuff said. Although they’d have to play harder and better than their game against Georgetown. Also, depth will be an issue but I’ll gamble on the fact that the Huskies have Maya Moore and everybody else doesn’t.

[Dayton Region]
Tennessee (34-2) vs Notre Dame (29-7)
Pick: Tennessee, just because it is going to be fun watching UConn meet the Vols in the Final Four, well, granted that the Huskies escape Duke.

[Dallas Region]
Baylor (34-2) vs Texas A&M (30-5)
Pick: Baylor. Griner, duh. Haha, kidding. I haven’t paid attention to this region except that Griner’s there and they grabbed the #1 rank from UConn during the regular season. It’ll be interesting how fast Stefanie Dolson would play against her if Baylor and UConn ever meets in the Finals.

[Spokane Region]
Stanford (32-2) vs Gonzaga (31-4)
Pick: Gonzaga. Just because I like Vandersloot and the fact that the Zags are the lowest ever seed (11th) to get into the Elite Eight. But aside from Vandersloot, I have no idea about the capabilities of the other Zags and how they would match up with the bigs of Stanford. Interesting to note here, also, is if Pohlen of Stanford finally wakes up from her shooting draught, I think Zags will find it very difficult to win.

[Final Four Picks]
UConn vs Tennessee → UConn
Baylor vs Gonzaga → Baylor

***

Thank goodness for March Madness. This certainly takes my mind off the aftershocks and the radiation scare.

March Madness!

UConn to Final Four!

Semifinals (Final Four):

UConn vs Baylor

Standford vs Oklahoma

//

Better late than never.

Tennessee is out.
Duke is out.
Baylor and Stanford are in.
UConn, Florida State, Kentucky, Oklahoma are fighting for a spot in the Final Four.

It’s March Madness \o/

Full Bracket in Flash at NCAA.com.

Image Source

Undisputed No. 1

image source: yahoo sports

No. 1 UConn totally decimated No. 2 North Carolina in a very lopsided game, the score being 88-58. Aside from the points, UConn also ruled the boards with 48, 19 of which are offensive. North Carolina, one of the better rebounding teams year after year after year, just got 28 boards (9 offensive).

Senior guard Renee Montgomery led the pack with 21 points on 8-17, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. All-American Maya Moore took the backseat with 19 points and 12 rebounds (6 offensive) after pouring 40 points on the Syracuse Orange during their previous game. Tina Charles scored 17 and 12 (6 offensive). Kalana Greene had 15 and 3. Sophomore Lorin Dixon, who moved into the starting lineup following Caroline Doty’s ACL injury, 14 (5 of 5) points, 6 assists, and 8 rebounds.

Italee Lucas scored 15 points to lead UNC, while Rashanda McCants added 13.

Story | Score

、E009 College」UConn v. OU

STORRS, Conn. (AP)—Renee Montgomery had a career-high 30 points and matched the Connecticut record with 13 assists to help the top-ranked Huskies rout No. 4 Oklahoma 106-78 on Sunday night.

Montgomery, who got the first double-double of her career, tied the assists record set by Laura Lishness in 1991 against Seton Hall.

Maya Moore added 27 points and 12 rebounds and Tina Charles had 18 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks for UConn (5-0). Freshman Caroline Doty scored a career-high 18 points, going 6-for-6 from behind the 3-point line.

Danielle Robinson had 19 points and Ashley Paris added 17 points and 13 rebounds for Oklahoma (4-2). Courtney Paris had 14 points and 14 rebounds for her 98th straight double-double, extending her NCAA record.

It was the first time Oklahoma gave up over 100 points since losing to Connecticut, 102-80, in the NCAA regionals in 2000.

– Doug Feinberg, AP

2009 UConn Season

…started with a win over Georgia Tech.

Super-Sophomore (and ESPN Pre-Season Player of the Year) Maya Moore tallied 20 points and 14 boards to help the Huskies pull away from the Yellow Jackets and emerge with a 82-71 season-opening win Sunday.

The game was tied at the half, and the Huskies led 65-62 with 6:55 to play. UConn closed the game on a 17-9 run.

Box Score

Connecticut
Name Min FG 3Pt FT Off Reb Ast TO Stl Blk PF Pts
M. Moore 39 7-17 0-4 6-8 5 14 6 5 2 2 3 20
T. Charles 28 7-9 0-0 1-2 4 8 1 3 2 3 3 15
C. Doty 31 3-10 1-6 6-6 1 3 0 0 1 1 1 13
R. Montgomery 40 5-14 2-8 3-4 0 2 5 6 4 0 2 15
K. Greene 26 5-5 0-0 1-2 2 3 6 1 3 0 2 11
T. Hayes 16 1-2 1-1 1-2 1 2 0 2 0 0 1 4
L. Dixon 11 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 2 0 0 2 2
K. McLaren 9 0-1 0-0 2-2 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 2
Totals 200 29-59 4-19 20-26 14 33 20 19 12 6 15 8
UP NEXT
San Diego State Aztecs Nov 20 San Diego St., 7:00 pm EST

Last Meeting:

Dec 21, 2007, W 85-53

FINAL FOUR!

I literally couldn’t breathe when I was listening to the game. The first half was just plain ugly. It sounded like a nightmare for the backcourt. And Maya Moore was nowhere. And Monty was bricking shots. And turnovers were piling up. And Swanier’s speed was working against her. And they were rushing shots.

But thank God for those FREE THROWS. And Charde Houston. And my favorite college backcourt (after Bird and Taurasi) for working so well during the 2nd half. And Maya Moore for that AWESOME THREE! Wooohooooo!

And now, Greensboro Regional Champs. Wahaha. And a date with Stanford in the Final Four.

Final Four Final Four Final Four

– Tennessee Lady Vols versus Louisiana State U Lady Tigers

– UConn Huskies versus Stanford Cardinals

I’m back in the game! Yehey!

Unstoppable Dawgs

1201503535.jpgThe No.1 ranked Huskies let No. 16 Notre Dame hang around the first few minutes of the game and make defensive gimmicks on Maya Moore before UConn’s other weapons were used. Moore scored the first 15 points — 4 for 4 beyond the arc with a 4-point play thrown in (ah, the abundance of my favorite number). The Fighting Irish adjusted their defense and Maya didn’t score after that.

Enter Tina Charles who showed she can dominate with 22 monster points and 8 boards. Later in the game, Renee Montgomery came alive until the 12-minute mark and scored the first of her 12 second-half (and game) points, including the dagger three that snuffed any hope for the Fighting Irish.

But Ketia Swanier trumped everyone else as she kept the offense going and she glued the Huskies together with 11 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals in 32 minutes of play.

UConn won the game 81-64 and is now 19-0 over-all (6-0 Big East).

Up next: South Florida, January 30, 7PM EST