Sunday, March 12,2000 • Savannah Morning News - 7B
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
NCAA committee job brings prestige, criticism
By Chuck Schoffner ference learns, four of whom finished
The Associated Press .500 or below in the league.
"That's not a job I would want,',',,
Come Sunday afternoon, it will all Iowa State coach Bill lenneHy saicC
be over. "Those people work so hard, it's a dif-
After three days of exhaustive dis- ficult job and every year, somebody is
cussion and number-crunching at a ticked off. No one is going lo say yp,y,,
downtown Indianapolis hotel, 64 did a great job. The only questions are..'
teams will have been selected for the how come this team didn't get in or
NCAA* women's basketball tourna- how come they were seeded so and so,,
ment, each sitting oh so neatly on its "No matter what you say, it's a very
line in the bracket difficult thing to do, to try to explajrj t.
Then Bernadette McGlade will in a 30-second answer what has.,
stand up and address the other mem- taken a whole year to do."
bers of the selection committee, who As for those No. 1 seeds this year,'.
arrived at the hotel Thursday and top-ranked Connecticut and No'. 2 .
never left. "Any more questions?" Tennessee appear to have two of
she'll ask. "Is everybody satisfied?" them locked up. Georgia a n d ;
When the committee gives its Louisiana Tech seem to be next irY
assent, the pairings go in the books, line, with Penn State and Notre Dartii
another trying task out of the way. also possibilities.
If only that were the end of it For Each of the contenders has draw- '-
McGlade, who chairs the committee, backs. Georgia beat. Tennessee by 27'
the hard work will just be starting. in mid-January but lost in the semifi- '
She's the one who has to go before nals of the Southeastern Conference,
the nation to explain — and some- tournament. Louisiana Tech plays in i
times defend — what her committee a lower-rated league — the Sun BeltJ-
. has just done. Chairing the women's — and hasn't been challenged since.V
basketball committee is one of the . losing to Connecticut hy 27 .'..,
most prestigious jobs within the • Penri State won the Big Ten regular;.',
NCAA, but it also can be a lightning season championship, then lost to.,
rod for criticism. When a coach or ah Purdue in the tournament finals.
athletic director has a gripe, they usu- Notre Dame lost only to Connecticut
ally go first to the leader. - in Big East play but was beaten by v
"It really is a privilege," said Rutgers in the conference tourn#i v
McGlade, who is in her second year of ment semifinals. . ...',,,
chairing the committee. "It's an Th e Associated Press What's a committee to do? ,, H ,/
honor to be thought of by your peers the room on Sunday, she always dis- my responsibility to field those. "It's a.combination of everything'
like that. That's probably the most cussed the questions that might be "My couple of years were pretty that's important in a team's success,",,
special part of the honor. But it takes asked about the bracket. easy because the committee did a McGlade said. "Not only the overall,
a lot of determination. . Ponsetto said she never minded pretty darn good job. I had very few wpn-lpss record, but the conference^
"And," she added, "you have to other members talking about the daggers to deal with." record, the, level of their conference/
Scott BroAn/The Associated Press
have a pretty tough skin." selections—she just wanted to make Ponsetto had to explain in 1998 in the RPI ratings, the type of non-
Old Dominion's Okeisha Howard (5) drives under North Carolina-Wilmington's Coaches don't hide their displea- sure the group spoke with one voice. why Connecticut, which had been in conference competition thejj i
Jeri fynn Coker in the CAA tournament final on Saturday. sure when they're upset about some- "It wasn't a private party, I can tell line for a No, 1 seed, was dropped to a engaged in. •
thing, whether it's their seeding, the you that," she said. "It was fine with No. 2 after Nykesha Sales ruptured "We look at all those factors. Cer-
regional to which they've been me for anybody to comment. But if her Achilles' tendon. Last year, tainly the wins and losses against
No. 14 Old Dominion assigned or perhaps being left out. of
the tournament altogether.
Yet McGlade, an assistant commis-
sioner for the Atlantic Coast Confer-
there was a particular situation or a
high level of volatility, I felt like it was
McGlade had to detail why .the com- common opponents is significant ALL
mittee took eight Southeastern Con- of that information comes into p l a y ' '
ence, said she never felt like she was
under siege after last year's pairings
were revealed. . SEMINAR
"Overall, I feel we did a very good
The Associated Press 26 games while reaching the 30-victo- job," she said. "All of the feedback on
. . • . « . ry mark for the first time in the pro- the bracket when it was announced
RICHMOND, Va. —The (ears start- gram's 28-year history. was for the most part very positive.
ed as tile final seconds ticked away on The top 16 teams ended up advanc- Saturday. March 11
Wendy Larry's NCAA-record ninth Mid-Eastern Athletic Association ing in the bracket so that either says
11 am • From the Ocean
consecutive tournament champi- Hampton 66, Norfolk St. 6 4 ' we did a realty great job or that the
onship, but they had almost nothing home court is realty an advantage." to the Table
to do with the final score. RICHMOND, Va. — With the game The top four seeds in each of the Capt. Spuci
"This is going to be a tough one to on the line, Hampton freshman four regions play at home in the first
talk about," the Lady MonarcKs LaShondra Dixon showed the nerve two rounds. Because of that, picking, Woodward & Capt.
coach said, he"r voice still choked with of a veteran. those teams has become one of die Dominic
emotion 30 minutes after No. 1$ Old . Dixon hit the game-winner with 12 committee's stickiest jobs.
Dominion won the CAA title with a seconds left to lead Hampton to the There's, not much difference in
92-49 victory against North Carolina- Mid-Eastern Athletic Association title ability between a team that's seeded 12 pm Fun & Easy
Wilmington on Saturday. with a 66-64 victory over Norfolk fourth and one that's seeded fifth. But BottoiH Fishiric)
Benjamin was killed in a car acci- State on Saturday. • ' : :/•• there's a huge difference in the tour-
dent on Feb. 16, Sharron Francis and The fifth-seeded Lady Pirates (16- nament because the No. 4 seed stays for Whiting
Nicoie Bellinghausen lost family 14), now headed to the NCAA tourna- home and the No. 5 seed travels. If Paul Christian
members within the ensuing two ment, won three straight games over everyone played on a neutral court,
weeks and star center Lucienne higher-seeded teams and gave coach like in the men's tournament, those
Berthieu was injured and hasn't suit- Patricia Bibbs her 300th career victo- numbers would not be so meaning- Keepihg & Rigtjincj
ed up for the last eight games. ry in the tide game. ful. Live & Dead
But the eight Lady Monarchs Dixon, a feisty 5-foot-5 guard, fin- "Because the parity is just getting
remaining kept Carry's team flawless ished with 23 points. so strong in women's basketball, it Baits' Gordon
in nine years of CAA tournament continues yearly to make that more Rogers & Capt.
play, and did it in vintage Old Domin- Southwestern Athletic Conference difficult," McGladesaid. "It's a small-
ion style to boot. . Alcorn St. 83, Grambllng St, 58 er margin of information or statistics
The Lady Monarchs (27-4) took that separates teams when you talk Artificial Reefs
control with one of their trademark BILOXI, Miss. -^- Daisha Reed about a four seed playing on the off the Georgia
defense-driven first-half runs to take scored 17 points and Alcorn State home Court and a five seed going on
control against the Lady Seahawks held the highest-scoring team in the theroad. Coast — Fish
(18-12), using a 27-2 run to turn a 13- nation 31 points below its average, "Or an eight seed versus a seven BoWls of
10 deficit into a 37-15 lead that ended beating Grambling State 83-58. seed. I find that a more tedious
the suspense early. The Lady Braves (22-8), seeded process than picking the number the Atlantic Capt.
Then, it was on to their 102nd con- second in the tournament, earned ones because the parity is definitely Mark Covington
secutive victory against CAA compe- their first trip to the NCAA tourna- there."
tition, and an NCAA record with the ment with the victory and ended the Jean Lenti Ponsetto, who chaired
ninth tournament title in a row. Texas' Lady Tigers' streak of four straight the committee before McGlade took & Tarpon" Capt.
women won eight straight Southwest SWAC tournament champions over, said that before members left Matt Starling
Conference championships between
Fly Fishing in
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Montana 66, CS Northridgt 53
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