March 29, 2011 in Sports

Baylor, Texas A&M square off for fourth time

 

If Baylor is going to get to the NCAA Final Four for the second year in a row, Brittney Griner and the top-seeded Lady Bears are going to have to figure out how to beat Texas A&M for the fourth time this season.

While Baylor (34-2) has won eight games in a row against its Big 12 rival, the three games this season have been by a combined 15 points.

So, Aggies coach Gary Blair, is it better to be the team trying to win for the fourth time or the one trying to break through for the first time when it matters the most?

“Shoot, what would some of the big-timers do with that question? I can just hear Bobby Knight. But I like my chances,” Blair said. “We didn’t struggle against Baylor; we had three damn good ball games.”

The much-anticipated matchup when the NCAA brackets came out three weeks ago is here. The Big 12’s top two teams play in the Dallas Regional championship tonight.

Baylor coach Kim Mulkey cringed when her Big 12 champion Lady Bears and Texas A&M were made the top two seeds in the same bracket.

“It was a shock to me that they would do that to us. It was a shock. And Gary knows it was a shock to him,” Mulkey said Monday. “When we shook hands at the Big 12 tournament, we were like we can get there, we’re telling each other we’ll see you in the Final Four. That’s basically the conversations that were taking place between me and him and the players.”

Except the familiar foes are now in each other’s way. Baylor is trying to get to its third Final Four in seven seasons, and the Aggies (30-5) are trying to get there for the first time.

Devils in Huskies’ way

Duke has tried to forget the thumping. The Blue Devils insist they’ve moved on from the season’s first game against Connecticut.

With good reason. The Huskies blew away an undefeated Duke team 87-51 on Jan. 31.

The Blue Devils will have to erase the embarrassment from their minds if they’ll have any chance in the rematch tonight at Philadelphia. The top-seeded Huskies (35-1) have to get past Duke to keep their bid alive for a third straight national championship.

The second-seeded Blue Devils (32-3) recovered from the loss to enter the game on a nine-game winning streak.

UConn would love to join its men’s team in the Final Four. The Huskies have accomplished the double in 2004 and 2009. Both teams won national championships in 2004.

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