View Full Version : NCAA - Spokane Regional

03-25-2008, 03:49 PM
With wins last night, Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt and Stanford with their star Candice Wiggins have all advanced to the Spokane Regional. Maryland plays Nebraska tonight with the winner advancing to Spokane.

For all those who are attending the upcoming Regional, which teams, players and match ups are you looking forward to seeing?

If Maryland wins tonight, you will get to see Kristi Toliver the Lady Terps leading scorer and assist leader. If she isn't turning the ball over, Kristi is an exciting point guard. The Lady Terps also have Laura Harper, Marissa Coleman and Crystal Langhorne, all double digit scorers, to help her out.

After her 44 point performance last night against UTEP, Candice Wiggins should be the most anticipated player to watch in the regional. What do you think?

03-25-2008, 05:46 PM
I'll be there and I agree that Wiggins will be the best player in the arena. I expect the Regional Final to be Stanford-Maryland, and since Stanford was PO'd about not getting a 1 seed, I think their motivation could win it for them. The snub factor.

I bet I know who you're for. :D

03-25-2008, 11:28 PM
...since Stanford was PO'd about not getting a 1 seed, I think their motivation could win it for them. The snub factor.

BZ, I think you are right that Stanford will be properly motivated for whoever they play but especially if it is Maryland. The Stanford team looked stunned when it was announced on the Women's Selection Show that the Lady Terps got the #1 seed and that Stanford was #2.

BZ, I hope you are right that it is Stanford vs. Maryland in the Regional Finals. But Maryland has stumbled and lack energy for the entire game the last third of the season. They lack depth and it looks like the long season has worn them down.

The Lady Commodores of Vanderbilt appear to have more depth but they are a very young team with 6 sophmores and 4 freshman on their team. Their last three loses this season have all been to Tennessee. They could find themselves in the Finals against Stanford and that would be a good game too.

I found this recent comment by Vanderbilt's freshman point guard Jence Rhoads,

"I'm so excited, this is a dream come true, I've never been to Washington, so I think that it will be fun to go there."

03-26-2008, 09:08 AM
I'll be there! We have four great teams with the Final-Four up for grabs. I am looking forward to three great match-ups. Which team wants it bad enough? I believe,........Stanford will prevail and move on.

Strange !!! I have a "Lady Vol" friend of mine that told me that he would rush me a can of special "team" aerosol deodorant for the Vanderbilt game. What is that all about???....says I should spray it as close to the Vandy bench as possible during the warm-ups. I guess I don't understand and he won't share the reason with me......he just laughs. No, I don't really expect to see a can in the mail.:confused:

03-26-2008, 09:41 AM
I'll be there, but I have to admit, I was really hoping to see Baylor over Pitt. I'm happy, though, for Pitt that they're as far as they've ever been. But growing up, Baylor's coach Kim Mulkey was a player I idolized when she was a Lady Techster at Lousiana Tech.

I hope we see some great games!

Section 116
03-26-2008, 03:41 PM
None of these vistors will want to return if our weather doesn't improve! LOL

03-28-2008, 05:08 PM
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Updated: March 27, 5:14 PM ET
Pitt will have hands full against Stanford

By Charlie Creme
Special to ESPN.com

A look at how Saturday's regional semifinals in Spokane stack up:

No. 4 Vanderbilt vs. No. 1 Maryland (ESPN, 9 p.m. ET)

Either Maryland is the least-dominant dominant team in the country or the Terrapins just like playing with fire. On too many occasions this season, they have allowed inferior teams to stay in games (both the first and second round would qualify here), but only three times did Maryland fail to deliver when it mattered most. Vanderbilt, on the other hand, was the classic third fiddle in the SEC all season -- clearly not on the level of LSU and Tennessee, but just as clearly better than everyone else.

Strengths: Maryland has the most game-tested starting five in the tournament. And that's even with freshman Marah Strickland in the lineup. Laura Harper (94), Crystal Langhorne (133), Marissa Coleman (96) and Kristi Toliver (91) have combined to start 414 games. Plus, six of those games for each of them led to a national championship two seasons ago.

Down the stretch, and certainly in the NCAA tournament so far, the Commodores have let their defense do most of the talking. Two pretty good offensive teams in Montana and West Virginia managed just 47 and 46 points, respectively, against Vandy. The Mountaineers were held to six points in the final 10 minutes.

Key matchup: The focus here falls on Kristi Toliver vs. the Vanderbilt defense. The best way to defeat a good defense, especially a good zone, is to beat it down the floor. Toliver makes the Terps go with her speed and smarts. If she can jump-start the Maryland break frequently and beat Vandy down court, the Terrapins should play in front most of the night. Toliver's shooting and ability to move the ball also will be a key to beating the Commodores' zone.

Backcourt/frontcourt edge: Christina Wirth is a great shooter and a good scorer. Liz Sherwood has good size and is solid in both the high and low post. However, Maryland has two All-American-caliber players in Langhorne and Coleman in its frontcourt. That's tough to beat.

The rotation of Jennifer Risper, Jessica Mooney and Merideth Marsh has grown, but they still turn over the ball a bit too much and aren't consistent deep threats (that's mainly Wirth's job). Toliver alone probably gives Maryland the advantage in the backcourt. Throw in Strickland's shooting eye and that advantage has the potential to be a big one.

X factor: Vanderbilt isn't explosive on offense and Maryland can really score. Watch the pace. This game needs to stay in the 60s or low 70s at most for the Commodores to have a chance. They can't score with Maryland in an up-tempo situation, but they might be able to frustrate the Terps in a half-court game with their zone.

No. 6 Pittsburgh vs. No. 2 Stanford (ESPN2, 11:30 p.m. ET Saturday)

Pittsburgh was not supposed to be one of the five Big East teams still alive, but the Panthers absolutely earned their first trip to the Sweet 16. In beating Wyoming in a virtual road game and then upsetting Baylor, the Panthers were the better second-half club in each instance. Stanford, meanwhile, has been the better club for every second of its victories over Cleveland State and UTEP, winning by an average margin of 36 points.

Strengths: Stanford is all about balance -- threats inside and outside; youth and experience; fundamentals and flash; exuberance and professionalism. The Cardinal don't always win in the same way, and one single strategy rarely will beat them. When JJ Hones and Candice Wiggins make jumpers, no strategy works anyway.

But when Agnus Berenato has her team dedicated to physical, in-your-face defense (as the Panthers have played in the first two rounds), it's no fun to play, either. In its past three wins, Pittsburgh has held the opponent to fewer than 60 points.

Key matchup: That has to be Wiggins vs. Shavonte Zellous. Wiggins' 44-point, 10-rebound and eight-assist performance in the second round was the kind of Maples Pavilion send-off usually reserved for a dream sequence. Yet, it also illustrated just how many ways one of the best guards the game has seen in recent years can beat an opponent.

Meanwhile, Zellous simply has been one of the tournament's most important players through two rounds. The junior has grabbed tough rebounds, made clutch free throws and taken Pittsburgh's biggest shots. She's easily the Panthers' most fluid, athletic player.

Backcourt/frontcourt edge: Stanford has the better team and is better on nearly every area of the floor. Kayla Pedersen, Jayne Appel and Jillian Harmon are a versatile and productive trio up front. Pitt's Marcedes Walker can be brilliant, but can also disappear for periods. Xenia Stewart and Sophronia Sallard are not consistent help.

Wiggins single-handedly makes Stanford's backcourt better than almost anyone's, but Hones' shooting and Rosalyn Gold-Onwude's ability to direct can't be forgotten. Pitt's Mallorie Winn is capable of taking and making big shots just like running mate Zellous, but is not particularly explosive.

X factor: Watch the whistles. Pittsburgh is already up against it on the inside trying to deal with Appel and Pedersen, so not only does Walker have to stay out of foul trouble, but also she has to excel. If she doesn't, the Cardinal will dominate the paint -- and likely the game.

Pittsburgh doesn't have much depth or the overall talent of Stanford, so it certainly can't afford to also lose the free-throw battle. The Panthers will have to impose their defensive will, be the more aggressive club and stay out of foul trouble to beat a Cardinal club that is really clicking.


03-30-2008, 05:31 PM
Stanford looks really good. Maryland looks good but just going with the Eye Test I give the nod to Stanford.

It'll be a great regional final!

And yes, I think Stanford isn't forgetting that #2 seed "snub". They will try to send the committee a mesage, I'm sure.

03-30-2008, 09:33 PM
Stanford looks really good. Maryland looks good but just going with the Eye Test I give the nod to Stanford.

It'll be a great regional final!...

BZ, this isn't the much discussed Jay Bilas' "Eye Test", is it?

If it is the much heralded and reliable BZ "Eye Test", I'll just have to say "We're Doomed!!!".

I just hope it is a competitive and exciting game. May the best team move on to the Final Four.

Hope all those that can go will have a great time.

03-31-2008, 08:27 AM
I'm hoping for an epic struggle! Twelve ties, eighteen lead changes, and the team wins by one in double overtime.....but who? Neither team played their "A" game Saturday night. Perhaps they were both thinking ahead for tonight. This should be a knock-down, drag-out, with everything left on the floor! One team goes home after the game, one goes to Tampa. Two great teams with many excellent players. Good Luck to both teams. Make NO excuses for tonights play.:D

Play smart! Play Safe! Play to win!:clap: :clap:

03-31-2008, 10:08 AM
I'm really looking forward to tonight's game! I hope it's a barnburner. Definitely the 2 best teams won. But Pitt played their heart out. I was also happy to be able to expose my 2 boys to women's bball and they actually enjoyed it! ;) At this level, it's good bball. No, it's not the men's game. But the women put out a good product and Spokane should come out to support it.

My 10 year old said within the first 2 minutes of the Pitt game that Pitt's #1, Shavonte Zellous, "plays like Allen Iverson!" He was dead on. Zellous was amazing.

03-31-2008, 01:42 PM
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Updated: March 31, 11:37 AM ET

Whether the slights are real, Terps, Cardinal have plenty to prove

By Ted Miller

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Forget a trip to the Final Four. That's secondary. This is a good old-fashioned grudge match, which is admittedly peculiar considering that these two teams have almost no history of knocking heads. Between Maryland and Stanford, it's difficult to figure out which is flaunting a bigger boulder on its shoulder.

It's East Coast (they play basketball out West?) vs. West Coast (that darned, biased East Coast media!).

It's the team that many thought deserved a No. 1 seed (the Cardinal) and the one that got it (the Terrapins).

It's Stanford going all hoity-toity and stealing a recruit from Maryland by bragging about its fancy-pants academic reputation (the nerve!).

Heck, it's even dueling B-list celebrities, with Stanford showcasing its close encounter with Cuba Gooding Jr. ("Show me the money!") and Maryland countering with The Fonz ("Aaay!"), sometimes known as Henry Winkler.

While the weather outside is frightful (three days of slushy snow), the basketball figures to be red-hot inside Spokane Arena as two programs that feel -- wait for it -- disrespected seek validation.

Media exaggeration? Well, just ask any player from either team if she is playing with a chip on her shoulder because of perceived slights. The responses will range from "yes" to "absolutely."

Of course, they don't agree whose chip should be bigger.

"It's kind of hard for me to see ," Stanford's sophomore center Jayne Appel began with a strained look, choosing her words carefully. "Well, I can see how Maryland has a chip on their shoulder, but I think our team really got hit hard when we didn't get that No. 1 seed. It was just 'Wow!' "

Stanford's case for a No. 1 seed? It was the Pac-10 regular-season and tournament champion and finished the season ranked No. 4 in both major polls. On its way to a 30-3 record, it rolled up a 12-1 mark against tournament teams, including victories over Tennessee, Rutgers (which beat Maryland) and Baylor. The lone defeat came against No. 1 Connecticut.

Maryland, however, was given credit for producing an impressive 13-1 record in the rugged ACC and adding nonconference wins over LSU, Oklahoma and Notre Dame.

"Stanford was talking in the press conference like they deserved the No. 1 seed," Maryland forward Marissa Coleman said. "We actually were shocked [when Maryland got a No. 1 seed]. I'm not going to even say we felt like we deserved it."

Regardless of the seeding debate, which should be settled Monday, both teams feel they have something to prove to a nation that ranks both programs a notch below the super elite.

No Pac-10 team -- or any team west of Austin, Texas, for that matter -- has reached the Final Four since Stanford last went in 1997. Cardinal coach Tara VanDerveer has won two national titles, but the last decade has been filled with as much disappointment as success.

"When you have [a national championship], then you don't see it as being impossible," VanDerveer said. "It kind of looks like this really steep mountain to get to the top, and when you get up there you're like, 'Oh, the climb wasn't that hard.'

"But then when you start over again, you're like, 'Whoa, this is hard again.' "

Maryland can identify, though in a much more recent framework. It shocked many when it won the program's first national championship in 2006 with a group made up almost entirely of freshmen and sophomores. The future looked brilliant, but a second-round elimination last year caused some pundits to call the Terps' title a fluke.

Four starters who experienced the extreme elation and overwhelming disappointment of those disparate outcomes will lead the charge against Stanford. The final tally might determine which season was the real fluke.

"We talk about that all the time," Coleman said. "This is going to be the year that defines this program."

If it sometimes seems that the Terps are a team hungry for slights, there's a reason for that. Coach Brenda Frese aggressively cultivates that taste. She's not loath to post an offending article or quote in the locker room or to insert a bit of unfavorable television analysis into game film.

"It's not us reading stuff," guard Kristi Toliver said. "But coach has to find something to motivate us so we can play with a chip on our shoulder. We listen to what she has to say and that gets people fired up."

Then it's possible that Frese will highlight this tidbit.

She spent four years recruiting guard Rosalyn Gold-Onwude only to see Gold-Onwude fall for a last-minute sales pitch from VanDerveer.

"You just can't say no to a Stanford education," Gold-Onwude explained.

Oh, and the game part of the game? Both coaches suggested that rebounding and defense will determine who prevails.

Both teams score in bunches. Both teams have options inside and out. Both are dominant on the boards.

One difference is turnovers. When Maryland loses, it's often due to sloppiness. It committed at least 19 turnovers in its three losses this season (Rutgers, North Carolina and Duke). Stanford, on the other hand, was among the national leaders in assist-to-turnover ratio.

Yet Maryland protected the ball well against Vanderbilt, while the Cardinal actually finished with more turnovers than assists against Pittsburgh. So go figure. Maybe all the gamesmanship and motivational angles and shoulders well-chipped are just a bunch of hooey, and these two talented teams are just going to have to fight it out.

Said Frese, "Once you tip up the ball, all that goes out and we're just going to play."


04-01-2008, 05:04 PM
Message sent by the Cardinal.

04-01-2008, 10:23 PM
Congratulations to the Stanford Cardinal! Great win and now on to Tampa for Stanford.

As usual BZ's "eye test" is correct. BZ >>>>> Jay Bilas.

Candice Wiggins, JJ Hones and Kayla Pederson were too much from the 3 point line. I think 14 of the Cardinal's 32 buckets were from beyond the arc. Maryland did not have an answer for them on defense.

The Cardinal also took both Crystal Langhorne and Laura Harper out of the game on the inside. They had a great game plan.

Maryland's SpokaneMania blog indicated that the players, coaches, cheerleaders, band and team supporters had a great time in Spokane and enjoyed the hospitality.

04-02-2008, 10:54 AM
It's too bad the weather was so unusually sucky. It was real nice last March for the men's subregional.

Terps had a great team, they hung right with a hot-shooting Stanford. Wiggins was just ridiculous, though. 41 points. Last time I saw that it was Jackie Stiles for 41 vs Alana Beard and Duke.

Not sure if Stanford can beat UConn. We'll see.