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Defending national champion Notre Dame and Stanford have Hall of Fame coaches in Muffet McGraw and Tara VanDerveer and successful traditions that include two NCAA titles for each program. Even though they followed similar paths, they went years without meeting. But lately, they keep bumping into each other.
Sabrina Ionescu had 27 points, nine rebounds and eight assists, and No. 3 Oregon used stellar defense to extend its NCAA-best winning streak to 16 games by running away from 11th-ranked Stanford 88-48 to snap a 29-game losing streak at Maples Pavilion.
Sure, Stanford celebrated Alanna Smith’s brilliance on the court Sunday in an 85-64 victory by the sixth-ranked Cardinal against Washington State that helped Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer reach her 900th win in 33 seasons at the school, yet the Cardinal also cheered and supported survivors of human trafficking after Smith organized an awareness day on the issue.
On Saturday, against a balanced Stanford, that means getting off to a solid start, or at least better than the 13-point hole they found themselves in after one quarter against Oklahoma in last year’s NCAA opener.
Expectations are a bit different at Stanford University.
In this game, there is no rearview mirror. But there is film. Gonzaga’s 68-63 nonconference win here 16 months ago has no more relevance than Stanford’s Elite Eight triumph seven years ago.
And unless Gonzaga do something about it, Brittany McPhee will be in her comfort zone on Saturday afternoon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, willing her Stanford teammates to another big win.
This is what a down year looks like at Stanford: Twenty-two wins against the fifth-toughest schedule in the nation, a 13 RPI, with a runner-up finish in the Pac-12 and home-court advantage for the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.
Victories make Tara VanDerveer mighty proud, even if she does not say so directly or blatantly. She would rather tell stories. She has many good ones. I ask if she recalls her first head coaching victory. She thinks. I remind her that it was Idaho 70, North Montana 68, in overtime.
Tara VanDerveer became just the second NCAA women’s coach to reach 1,000 career victories Friday night, when No. 8 Stanford beat USC 58-42 to give the Hall of Famer a major milestone to share with the home crowd at Maples Pavilion. VanDerveer joined the late Pat Summitt, a dear friend who died last summer from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease with 1,098 wins to her name, as the only other women’s coach in the elite club. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski is the only Division I men’s coach with 1,000.
Once heard, those beloved Tara-isms linger forever. Tara VanDerveer’s sayings are so uniquely her, they stay with all the women she has coached, even years later. Recited and revered, they provide lessons in real life that reach far beyond basketball.
Central Valley twins Lacie and Lexie Hull have dreamed of playing basketball for Stanford University. That dream will be fulfilled. The multitalented Hulls gave Stanford oral commitments during an unofficial weekend recruiting trip to Palo Alto, California. The 6-foot-1 junior wings announced their commitments Sunday evening on Twitter.
Washington coach Mike Neighbors says the possibility of a rematch with Stanford entered his mind as soon as he saw the NCAA tournament bracket.
STANFORD, Calif. – Tara VanDerveer took a quick scan of her roster suddenly devoid of a star Ogwumike sister and came to a realization: After Stanford’s latest Final Four run last spring, she would have to move away from the tried-and-true triangle offense the Cardinal ran for years. The shift didn’t come naturally for the Hall of Fame coach, who saw no choice with the departure of Pac-12 Player of the Year Chiney Ogwumike to the WNBA to join big sister and fellow former No. 1 pick, Nneka.
STANFORD, Calif. – Tara VanDerveer has never coached for the milestones or anything else that brings attention to her rather than the players she loves to lead. That’s why the Hall of Fame Stanford coach is thrilled her latest memorable moment will probably happen in Mexico this week with little fanfare, away from the sports-crazed Bay Area and her program’s loyal fan base at Maples Pavilion.
Two legendary women’s college basketball coaches took turns telling stories about each other and expressing their respect for one another’s programs during press conferences Friday at the Arena in preparation for tonight’s Sweet 16 NCAA tournament matchups. Georgia coach Andy Landers picked up his 900th career win this season. Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer is sitting at 894.
Two legendary women’s college basketball coaches took turns telling stories about each other and expressing their respect for one another’s programs during press conferences Friday at the Arena in preparation for tonight’s Sweet 16 NCAA tournament matchups.
STANFORD, Calif. – Stanford women’s basketball coach Tara VanDerveer plans to sit down with athletic director Bernard Muir at the end of the season to begin talks about a contract extension. VanDerveer is signed for two more years through the 2014-15 season, but she said Monday she is ready to think about her job on The Farm beyond that time frame and to plan her future at the university where she has become one of the top coaches in the country.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee coach Pat Summitt had plenty of strong messages for her players in practice this week following an embarrassing loss at Baylor. After the Lady Vols had squandered away their lead against Stanford, she called a timeout to give them one more. “She just said, ‘We’re not going to lose this game,’ ” Meighan Simmons recalled. “I just think that everybody thought about what they needed to do to help the team win, and we just brought all of that together.”