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Women's Hoops

The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

March 19, 2009 at 12:12 PM

Who we’re following in the NCAA women’s tournament

Hoops.jpgCan’t really call this the ubiquitous “calm before the storm” since there’s so much going on in the college hoops world today. The Washington men are getting ready for a 1:55 p.m. tip-off and the NCAA tournament started this morning with No. 9 Texas A&M getting the first upset (I picked that).
But for the women, Friday is the big day with open practices across the country and first-round games on Saturday. WNBA players are checking in from across the globe with their picks. Former Stanford star Candice Wiggins (Minnesota) doesn’t think the No. 2 seed Cardinal will get past No. 1 seed Connecticut, should they meet. The league compiled brackets from other players like Connecticut guard Lindsay Whalen and former Storm guard Ashley Battle (New York).
Stanford is the lone bright spot for the Pac-10 this season, to me. No. 4 seed California has talent, but just hasn’t utilized it as expected. They could have trouble in the opening round against No. 13 Fresno State or against Virginia, should the No. 5 seed Cavilers advance. Cal’s Pac-10 exit may help add a spark, or they could dwell and hurt themselves. (Sorry, Golden Bears, a rule is a rule and it was clear the officials were right on this one based on replays)
No 6 seed Arizona State is hurting without guard Dymond Simon. Should Florida State advance along with the Sun Devils, the Seminoles will be a serious challenge. Coach Sue Semrau, ACC Coach of the Year and native Seattleite, has her team clicking at the right time. Yet, the Trenton regional features UConn and none of these teams appear to have the Cinderella slipper to tango with the undefeated Huskies.
Still, this blog is going to follow the three Pac-10 teams because in an earlier post, at least one of you said you were going to switch your tourney allegiance to them since Washington isn’t playing. We’re also going to follow No. 1 seeds Maryland and Oklahoma (my pick all season, Courtney Paris just added more intrigue), and the winner of the Seattle subregional. If all of these teams flop early, I’ll do another roll-call to see who you’re watching all the way to St. Louis.
In an interesting twist this season, several WNBA players, South Carolina coach Dawn Staley and myself have joined www.Twitter.com to deliver updates. You probably already know UConn legend Rebecca Lobo is tweeting regularly and some are hilarious — especially when she gets to talking about her children or offers insights on players.
In a sport that’s finding it hard to crack national tradition to get coverage, this “tweeting” phenomenon is perfect to add to the virtual conversation. It also gives those who report another way to deliver quick updates to you and pull together a community that’s too spread out at times.

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