Women’s Final Four

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Women’s Final Four: a look back with Lindsay Whalen

Lindsay Whalen


The semifinals are set for Sunday, and the championship game next Tuesday — in between the Division II and III title games will also be played on Monday. I hit the road, a 700-plus mile trek to this year’s Women’s Final Four in Indianapolis for the first time in a dozen years. It was 2004, a was a magical, unforgettable time for both the longest tenured beat reporter and the Gophers women’s team on their first trek to that year’s Final Four in New Orleans. But actually it began a season earlier in Stanford, California. It was our first time on the West Coast campus and I witnessed first-hand a Herman’s Hermits hush all over Maples Pavilion when Minnesota smashed the third-seeded, favored host Cardinal in a NCAA second round game. Some called it an upset, but an 8-0 run in the game’s final five minutes sealed the victory, and the Gophers advanced to the school’s first Sweet 16 appearance. Continue Reading →

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New college women’s basketball rules adopted



Not even a week after Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman unveiled her lengthy recommendations on improving women’s college basketball (see MSR’s July 17 “Another View”), the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee moved quickly to implement several changes. Beginning in 2015, the Women’s Final Four will shift from Sunday-Tuesday to Friday-Sunday; initiating possible first- and second-round byes for the top-32 seeds so that lower-seeded teams will play each other first; and combining all three divisions championships at one site as early as 2016. Indianapolis is expected to host the Division I Final Four in 2016. Additionally, effective this upcoming season, the 10-second backcourt rule returns to women’s college ball. Absent since 1981-82, the 10-second count begins as soon as the offensive player touches the ball inbounds, and the 30-second clock will be used to determine if the offensive team crossed the midcourt line within 10 seconds. Continue Reading →

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Final 4 memories




As this year’s NCAA tournaments crown new men’s and women’s national champions, this reporter took a stroll down my own memory lanes. I didn’t begin watching college hoops until the mid-to-late 1960s – I sneaked downstairs and watched the UCLA-Houston game played in the Astrodome on television – it was past my bedtime.  As a result, I watched Lew Alcindor (UCLA 1967-69) but not Bobby Joe Hill of Texas Western (1966), the first national champion with five Black starters. The UCLA great — now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, guards Earvin Johnson (Michigan State 1978-79) and Mateen Cleaves (Michigan State 1998-2000); and forwards Keith Wilkes (UCLA 1972-74) and David Thompson (North Carolina State 1974) are my personal five-player, all-time great tournament team. Georgetown (1983-84) always will be my all-time championship team simply because the Hoyas were the first men’s national champs coached by a Black man.  The UCLA squads (1966-69; 1971-73), N.C. State (1973-74), Indiana (1975-76), Michigan State (1978-79) and UNLV (1989-91) ranks just right behind them. If I had to choose the most memorable historic moment, although I didn’t witness it, it would naturally be Texas Western’s 1966 title win. Continue Reading →

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Finally, parity in men’s college hoops




Can we say with all surety that parity was finally achieved this year in men’s college basketball? KFAN’s Henry Lake (HL) and Robert Littal (RL) of BlackSportsOnline recently shared their thoughts on this and this year’s cliché-filled NCAA tournament already in progress. (Please note: Lake and Littal’s comments were made prior to Sunday’s tournament selections.)

View: Was there indeed parity this season? HL: There always will be premier schools, but what I think is different this year is that some of those teams that we always penciled in as top seeds in the tournament essentially have taken a step back, [and] other teams have taken a step forward. I am not surprised that there is parity. Continue Reading →

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Sports odds and ends: Hill’s college career earns her high praise as ‘a special talent’


Despite playing sick, Tayler Hill poured in 24 points last week in her last collegiate visit to her hometown. In the process, the Ohio State senior guard and former Minneapolis

South standout surpassed 1,700 career points — to do so, she needed only three points coming into last Thursday’s contest against Minnesota. “I actually didn’t know about it,” admitted Hill afterwards of the career mark. The 5-10 guard has the Big Ten’s longest active double-figure scoring streak. Hill reached the 50-game mark against the Gophers and leads the conference in scoring just over 21 points a game (11th nationally), and also leads the league in minutes played (32 minutes a contest). Continue Reading →

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2012 NCAA changes for women’s and men’s basketball


By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer
Among the items to be discussed at the NCAA Convention in January is a proposal to help grow women’s college basketball. The Division I Women’s Basketball Committee has been gathering information from conferences and others as to whether to move the Women’s Final Four a week after the men’s. The women once played on Fridays and Sundays in virtually obscurity, as the men’s championship semifinals and finals that are played on Saturday and Monday routinely overshadow their female counterparts. And although the Women’s Final Four has been played on a Sunday-Tuesday format since 2003, it still doesn’t get maximum nonstop coverage as the men’s does. Not only is moving the semis and finals being examined, but also how it would impact dates and locations of future conference tournaments and regular season games, as well as practice dates and recruiting, wrote Greg Johnson in an NCAA.org story. Continue Reading →

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