ASU-BGSU: Guess Who...

By Jessica Garrison - March 24, 2007

Fact is, most people probably think that today's first game is little more than a fight for the chance to lose to Duke in the Regional Final on Monday night, but don't tell that to Arizona State's Aubree Johnson. In yesterday's oreview press conference she said with confidence, "We have the potential to make the Final Four."

Johnson was referring specifically to the growth the ASU program has seen under coach Charli Turner-Thorne, a noticeable shift from middle-of-the-Pac-10 to perennial Sweet 16 contender. But her statement brings to light the solid possibility that either of these teams would fly into the Regional Final under the radar to face the winner of this afternoon's heavy hitter matchup.

This morning's underdog role falls to Bowling Green, the first MAC team to ever reach a Final Four and the most wide-eyed of the teams filing in to the Coliseum basement this morning. Even the band and cheerleaders had that "lucky to be here" shine about them. Before this season, the Falcons had only won one NCAA tournament game in school history, so any extension to their two-game NCAA winning streak this season would be icing on the cake.

Taking a cue from the "loosen up and live" attitude that got so many teams so far last year, BGSU coach Curt Miller made clear that the Falcons will leave winners no matter the score.

"We are living in the moment and trying to enjoy every second that we have left with a very, very special senior class," he said Friday.

Don't mistake BGSU's greenness for inexperience or vulnerability. Miller starts four seniors and one junior. Senior forward Ali Mann leads the team with 15.5 points per game and her performance against Vanderbilt in the second round catapulted the Falcons into this history-making position.

Arizona State is making school history as well, with a record 30 wins on the season, but they're establishing themselves as the comeback kids of the tournament. In both the first and second rounds against UC Riverside and Louisville.

Posted by Jessica Garrison at 11:04 AM on March 24, 2007

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