Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Postseason patter

Random thoughts as we gear up for the biggest postseason in NCAA women's basketball history:

- With 144 postseason spots to fill (64 NCAA, 64 WNIT and 16 WBI), clearly you don't have to be great, or even very good, to get an invitation somewhere. Basically, if you're in the top 130 of the RPI and have a .500 or better record - and in a couple of cases, even if you don't - you're still playing.

- Besides Virginia Tech, Southern California (RPI: 36) and Boston College (48) are on record as declining WNIT bids. BC senior and former American Idol contestant Ayla Brown used Twitter to voice her disagreement:

"coach declined our invitation to play in the wnit. As a sr it wouldve been nice to kno this earlier that it was my last game. I'm disgusted."

- Hey, Elena, the WNIT record for points in a game is 45 by ex-Memphis star - and cousin of my best friend in college -Tamika Whitmore. I'm just saying....

- Disappointing to see the WBI sacrifice its credibility by inviting Louisville with its 14-17 record and 11th-place finish in the Big East. It's not like the Cardinals finished strong, either, as they dropped three of their last four and ended with a 37-point loss to Notre Dame. And the invitation didn't come because the WBI couldn't find anyone else. Louisville announced it was WBI-bound last week, three days before the rest of the field was unveiled. And worst of all, Louisville will open WBI with a home game.

- The WNIT may start off as a series of off-Broadway productions compared to the glitzy, nationally televised NCAA games, and a lot of people probably still don't even know the WBI exists. But history has shown teams that can make deep runs often find their fans turning the late-round contests into really big deals. Last year, Kansas drew a program-record 16,113 for its title-game loss to South Florida. And three years ago, eventual champion Wyoming drew three crowds in excess of 11,000 for the quarterfinals, semifinals and final, with 15,462 showing up for the championship game.

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