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Gonzaga and UCLA have contrasting styles but exactly what the Bruins will throw at the Bulldogs is a guess, our preview of tonight's NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament second-round game at McCarthey Athletic Center. The game is at 6:30 on ESPN2 and if it's not, don't leave me any nasty messages or emails, that's what I've been told and I was just as bummed out as anyone when I recorded ESPN2 Saturday and didn't get to watch the game. Don't forget, there's a radio station with the game and you could have bought a ticket.
The Los Angeles Times looks at the environment and matchups the Bruins face. There is also the angle from The Associated Press. Freelancer Howie Stalwick has another story on Courtney Vandersloot and how she is the key to handling UCLA's press.
(And detour to North Idaho College's national title).
Our preview on the second round matchup in the NCAA women's basketball tournament at Gonzaga focuses on the contrasting styles of the 11th-seeded Bulldogs, coached by Kelly Graves (above) and third-seeded UCLA. Monday's newspaper will also have a notebook, with a little more information on the Bruins' press and keys to the game.
There is more, so read on, but I would also like to take a minute to direct you to a great piece of writing from a former colleague, Dave Boling.
Back with all of our S-R coverage from Gonzaga's 89-67 loss to BYU on Saturday.
Good night from Denver.
It was quite a Saturday of NCAA Basketball Tournament - women's style - at McCarthey Athletic Center.
Of course the highlight was Gonzaga's high-octane upset of Iowa that had the sellout crowd in a frenzy.
The on the opposite end of the spectrum UCLA held off Montana's upset bid in a defensive struggle.
We have a notebook and outstanding slide shows to go with both stories … including 33 of Gonzaga (Kayla Standish pictured here) … from Chris Anderson and Jesse Tinsley. Take a look and guess which one is going to be the big picture in your Sunday paper.
We interrupt this NCAA report to announce the North Idaho women won the Junior College national championship. Congratulations to Chris (and Cary) Carlson and the Cardinals.
Stanford had no problem with UC Davis but Heidi Heintz (Central Valley) had 11 points in her only NCAA Tournament appearance.
We have more, read on.
Gonzaga-BYU tip time will be at 5:55 (4:55 Pacific).
In-game updates at Twitter.com/SRjimm.
Were your eyes open enough to see the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament get off with a bang … Angie Bjorklund (U-Hi) hitting her first three 3's, to be 19 of 21 over five games, as Tennessee beat somebody … and an early upset, Marist over Iowa State, which I picked.
Anyway, now we focus on McCarthey Athletic Center, where Gonzaga faces Iowa at 1, followed by Montana and UCLA.
For all we can find in the time we have … read on.
Good evening from Denver. A quick post of the GU-related material that will run in Saturday's S-R.
You can find the Salt Lake Tribune's BYU coverage here.
No. 11-seeded Gonzaga took command early with a 12-0 run, built an 11-point halftime lead and cruised to an 86-71 victory over No. 6 St. John’s on Thursday in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Denver. Gonzaga (25-9) will face No. 3 BYU (31-4), which will join the WCC next season, on Saturday. The winner advances to the Sweet 16. BYU eliminated Wofford 74-66. Marquise Carter scored 24 points, Steven Gray hit four 3-pointers and added 16 points, and Elias Harris had 15 for the Bulldogs, who shot over 60 percent from the field for most of the game before dropping into the 50s late. Dwight Hardy led SJU (21-12) with 24 points/Jim Meehan, SR. Gonzaga-St. John's ESPN boxscore here (SR photos: Dan Pelle)
Back in the old days - or is that the young days - today would be the start of my personal two-day vacation. After the deadline stress of state basketball, two days of recliner basketball recharged the batteries. (I think I'm starting to sound like our Cougar writer).
Gonzaga has changed all of that - in a good way. So what do we have about women's basketball as the NCAA Tournament bears down?
Well, so far I haven't found anything on Courtney Vandersloot winning another award (though I have the all-District team that was announced Wednesday) - but it's still early.
Central Washington has released its long time women's coach and given former Mead star Stacy Clinesmith the option to stay in an interim basis and apply for the head job.
Read on for my other discoveries.
OK .. we're ready to take on the world, or at least our world of women's basketball.
As you all know by now, Gonzaga is sacrificing the hoopla of heading off to an exotic site for the NCAA Tournament to sleep at home. There are other things to check out as well, including some unhappiness in Iowa City. Read on.
As long as Gonzaga can stay in the NCAA Women's Tournament they don't have to leave home until it's time to head to the Final Four.
Of course, they would probably have to pull off four upsets as well, but their chances have to be better at home. They're obviously happy about the opportunity, judging by Colin Mulvany's photo.
Here's our story about the draw. We're working on a few other things. Hopefully we'll get back to you later, if not, I'll dedicate my afternoon to providing information (the morning is committed to high school track).
Idaho got in a tournament as well.
Greg Gumbel, the Bert Parks of Selection Sunday, hadn’t even taken his first breath when the yowling began drifting in from Bracket Nation. UAB? Clemson? If the NCAA committee was going to put anyone in, why not Northwestern, which has had its nose against the glass for 73 years? The overall No. 1 seed, Ohio State, in a region with North Carolina, Syracuse and Kentucky – while Pitt gets valet parking to the Final Four? More teams – 68 – are in the NCAA basketball tournament than ever before and still the complaints and conspiracy theories topped all previous records, except at Gonzaga University, where both opportunity and perspective have been hard-won. “This is one year,” coach Mark Few said, “I would have crawled on broken glass to Cleveland to play”/John Blanchette, SR. More here.
Question: Who will win opening round game between Gonzaga & Saint John's?
Time will drag for most of the day, awaiting the Selection Show for the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at 4 p.m. on ESPN.
There are two items of local interest because Spokane is the first city the NCAA ever award first weekend games (at McCarthey Athletic Center Saturday-Monday) and a regional (at the Arena the next Saturday-Monday).
I'll tweet the information as fast as my hands can type at twitter.com/SRtrim.
Gonzaga is in the field and at home, but who is filling out the pod? Gonzaga being in the field doesn't mean being slotted into the Spokane Regional, so how does it shape up?
We have some thoughts, read on.
Gonzaga, seeded No. 11, will face No. 6 St. John's on Thursday in the second round (that's what the NCAA is calling it with the expanded field/four Dayton games) in the Southeast Region in Denver. The GU-St. John's winner will take on the winner of No. 3 BYU-No. 14 Wofford.
This will be Gonzaga's 13th straight trip to the NCAAs. St. John's finished 21-11, falling to Syracuse in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals.
Saint Mary's, co-WCC champions, didn't make the NCAA field.
In the garden of Gonzaga basketball have grown any number of dubious truths. The Bulldogs are dragged down by a weak league, say. Their thoroughly spoiled devotees take the program’s prolonged dominance for granted. And the players – each recruiting class more highly regarded than the last – are increasingly nonchalant about the whole Zag thing. It doesn’t mean as much to them. Some of these can be weeds, mistaken for flowers. One undeniable truth: The Zags’ run of NCAA tournament appearances will end sometime. Maybe next year’s addition of Brigham Young to the West Coast Conference and another round of young recruits will be the tipping point. But whatever the fears of the fan base were in January, this is not that year/John Blanchette, SR. More here. (SR file photo: Christopher Anderson)
Question: What seed does Gonzaga deserve in NCAA Tournament?
The Gonzaga Bulldogs celebrated Monday night in a way they haven’t in at least a decade. They celebrated like it mattered, because it did. One more time, they turned back the challenge of Saint Mary’s, the Frazier to Gonzaga’s Ali here in the West Coast Conference, 75-63 in the championship game of the league tournament – and the NCAA Tournament pass that came with it, extending that residency to 13 consecutive years, was by no means incidental. But, really, this was about something else. “It was real,” Gray said. “It was … over.” Not the season, not by any means. But the climb/John Blanchette, SR. More here. (SR photo/Christopher Anderson: Marquise Carter of Gonzaga drives hard to the basket against the defense of Matthew Dellavedova of Saint Marys during their WCC Championship game on Monday. Carter was named the tournament’s MVP.)
Question: What do you think of this year's Gonzaga Bulldogs team now?
Time for the latest update of “Who Has To Come To Spokane” when the NCAA basketball tournament arrives at Gonzaga's McCarthey Athletic Center in mid-March.
That may sound like a bad thing, who has to come to Spokane and, well it is, sort of. Spokane isn't a bad destination by any stretch of the imagination, but McCarthey is. Read on.
Gonzaga is one of 16 sites the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee announced for the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
The Bulldogs are hosting the 2011 tournament in March and have already sold more than 2,100 all-session packages. Washington State is the host for the 2011 West Regional at the Arena the following weekend.
The 2012 regionals are at Des Moines, Iowa; Fresno, Calif.; Kingston, R.I., and Raleigh, N.C.
First round sites are below.
With a few minutes before it’s time to head to the airport, I’ll pass on as much information as possible from last night’s Not-so-Sweet 16 game. Xavier’s size eventually wore Gonzaga down, helped by outside shooting the Musketeers didn’t have when they met in the first round of the NCAA Tournament last year.
At least we got to write for the paper, the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Erardi had to put his story on the website and Jimmy Spencer’s sidebar on Amber Harris and the BIG matchup with Stanford, plus a gallary of photos from Joseph Fuqua II.
The Sacramento Bee “boxing” story and notebook, there is a local tie that’s not the Stanford coach, but it isn’t connected. Tara Vanderveer’s sister Heidi, coached at Eastern Washington. Finally, the Bee’s Ailene Voisin has a column that’s a nice read on the good side of a rivalry.
Gonzaga’s magic basketball season came crashing down, as did Bulldogs point guard Courtney Vandersloot in the Colin Mulvany photo above, as Xavier dominated the second half for a 74-56 win in the Sweet 16 game Saturday night at Arco Arena.
The unedited game story is below. Not much time for anything else. We will return to links and more information, dependent on the travel situation.
While watchng Baylor and Tennessee to kick off a women’s Sweet 16 … ooo Lady Vols lose, should be interesting reading - the comments, more than the stories, on Sunday.
Onward with Gonzaga-Xavier, tonight at Arco Arena.
The Sacramento Bee capsules.
Vivian Frieson, who enjoyed a laugh at practice Friday in Arco Arena captured by Colin Mulvany, led the Gonzaga women’s basketball team to the Sweet 16 but don’t go crazy about it, she might think it was creepy. Besides, according to John Blanchette’s column, it’s not like she hasn’t faced challenges before and come through.
It may seem like deja vu with Gonzaga facing Xavier in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament for the second year in a row but it’s really not. At least that’s what the take we got today as the teams prepared for Saturday night’s Sweet 16 showdown. The story is below, the team is above, posing at Arco Arena and captured by Colin Mulvany.
Back with tomorrow’s story on the Gonzaga women’s basketball team. There’s a little inside joke, and no doubt someone out there is going to take this wrong, but it’s a story with the, awe, never mind, I’m too tired to take grief. Anway, Kelly Graves always talks about the Bulldog family. Well, it’s about to get bigger. Heck, it could be getting bigger between the time I write this and the time you read it. The story is posted below, Dan Pelle’s picture is above.
ESPN.com looks at the Sweet 16 matchups, with Gonzaga’s Kayla Standish in the spotlight; the three experts also pick … UConn, Duke, Stanford, Tennessee, Nebraska, … well, check it out. There’s also 16 questions, including on on Courtney Vandersloot. And there’s a little more love in this breakdown. Leftcoasthoops checks in with the Zags.
There’s also some links to pass on. San Francisco fires its coach; the CincinnatiEnquirer story on Xavier’s win over Vanderbilt on Tuesday. Been trying to catch up on some notes, but I’ll got by memory. Monday was junior Angie Bjorklund’s (U-Hi) 100th game with Tennesee. She also has 100 3’s, which I believe is 3 shy, maybe 5 of the school record for a season. Will keep an eye over the weekend. The lady Vols’ game with Baylor and Brittney Griner, who blocked like 14 shots, a tournament record, in a win over Georgetown, which may have been a little intimidated, shooting 17 percent, is at 9 a.m. on Saturday. They played in the season opener, with UT winning.
Thursday is the travel day for Gonzaga, headed to the Sweet 16 and a date with Xavier Saturday night at ARCO Arena in Sacramento.
We’re working on a feature story, but thought we would revisit some history - Gonzaga’s historic victory over Xavier in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. It’s posted below, above is a picture of Ta’Shia Phillips splitting Heather Bowman and Vivian Frieson on her way to 26 points and 18 boards.
Just kidding, but you might wonder why.
Kelly Graves was enjoying a little mid-day R&R when we found him.
One question had to be asked - and of course I asked more than one - but didn’t we leave you hanging with one big one after Gonzaga earned its first trip to the Women’s Sweet 16 last night? Aren’t we wondering how many messages a phone can hold after a team upends a two-seed 72-71 on national television?
Now we know. Keep reading.
And while you’re at it, here’s an ESPN.com piece on GU taking the next step; the College Station, Tex, newspaper story on the A&M loss (with all the reasons why, which we didn’t get to use because we were looking at all the reasons why the Zags won); San Antonio story; Seattle Times story and blog; Everett Herald story; and the Associated Press story.
The Gonzaga women’s basketball team is going whether no other has gone, the Sweet 16. The true talent of this team was on display in a 72-71 win over Texas A&M because they did it with the best player not at her best. S-R columnist John Blanchette’s column is below.
Will try to get to some links some time tomorrow but there’s a drive home, a hockey story to do and travel plans to make. I will get to it as soon as possible.
Vivian Frieson just couldn’t contain herself.
“How sweet it is,” she said, warning everyone before she said it that the cliche was about to come.
Why not, did a little bit of everything, including hitting the game winning shot, in a 72-71 decision over Texas A&M to send Gonzaga to its first Sweet 16.
The unedited game story is below and we’ll be back a little later with John Blanchette’s column.
A little morning surfing before the Gonzaga women face Texas A&M tonight in the second round of the NCAA women’s tournament. The game is n ESPN2 and 1510 AM radio. Tip-off is about 6:40, after the 4 p.m. games that includes Tennessee. Keep reading for stories we’ve found.
Gonzaga women basketball players get a chance to erase the memory of their lowest point of the season with what would be the high point of their athletic lives, not to mention the high point in program history.
The Bulldogs play Texas A&M in the second round of the NCAA Tournament - the unedited game story is below - along with a couple of notes.