Down Time Gets Good

By Jeff Lippman - March 02, 2007

We're inbetween games here in Greensboro...

After it rained most of the day yesterday and was quite chilly, today is a delightful day. Bright sunshine and a breezy warm spring-like afternoon.

Inside the Coliseum, where all the fans have emptied out and the elementary schools kids have left for the day, I think it is interesting to note that after the first game today, the Coliseum crew of about six people removed the lettering that said "ACC" on the green part of both foul lanes, only to replace them with new letters reading the same thing.

I am not 100 percent sure, but I don't think they went through this process yesterday, but I did get here around this time yesterday, missing the opening game.

Coming up next will be No. 1 undefeated Duke against No. 8 Virginia.

Speaking with Lindy Brown, the Duke Sports Information Director, I got the sense that the Lady Devils aren't taking the Cavaliers lightly. Of course, that might just be political SID speech.

Virginia coach Debbie Ryan, who is sitting next to me as I type this, talked about how athletic her post players, led by Lyndra Littles are, but said that Duke has had a week to prepare for Littles and will defend her far better than in the first meeting between the two teams this year.

Former UVA legends Dena Evans (1989-93) and Jenny Boucek (1992-96) spoke to the team before the game to give them a pep talk to get ready for Duke. Boucek is currently the coach of the Sacremento Monarchs.

Evans, who helped the Cavs reach the Final Four three consecutive years, ranks third on the UVA all-time assists list with 528 for her career. She will be honored at halftime as part of the ACC Women's Basketball Legends program.

The thought of being a legend seemed odd to Evans, who commented on her image being used on all the Legend's game credentials.

Duke and UVA have taken the floor for a pre-game shootaround and both teams seem in excellent spirits. And why not, Virginia is playing with reckless abandon as they have nothing to lose and Duke is on top of the world as the nation's No. 1 team.

"We have nothing to lose," said Virginia coach Debbie Ryan as her team practiced on the floor, chattering and clapping and laughing all the time. "They really think they can win, it's hilarious."

Ryan said her team wasn't going to do anything out of the ordinary today just because it's lose and the season is over, she just said that everybody has got to come out and play hard. By the looks of things, Virginia is loose and ready for the Blue Devils.

I am fully expecting this matchup to be the highlight of the early tournament.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 01:39 PM on March 02, 2007

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