Calling All Tigers

By Jeff Lippman - March 31, 2008

I really don't understand why nobody else thought LSU would make it five straight. I certainly did.

Out of all the women's analysts working for the world wide leader, not one picked the Tigers to come out of the New Orleans Regional alive.

Why? They're a No. 2 seed, so it's not a stretch there. Is North Carolina that much better? They were playing in Louisiana, for gumbo sakes!

Anyway, bottom line, LSU made the run-and-gun Tar Heels look mired ankle-deep in quicksand.

This one was offense vs. defense and defense - as it always does - won out. The Tigers held North Carolina to 50 points on 34 percent shooting as the Tar Heels just couldn't shake 'em. Previous to this game, Carolina's low scoring total on the season was 71. Wow.

Sylvia Fowles was what she always is. In a word, incredible. Fowles scored 21 points, grabbed 12 boards and blocked five shots before fouling out late in the game. But it was already put away at that point.

Quianna Chaney added 13 for LSU and although Erica White didn't have another big scoring outburst, she did finish with eight points and grab eight rebounds in the winning effort.

Were it not for LaToya Pringle's 21 points and 11 rebounds, Carolina wouldn't have been in this game. The senior carried the Tar Heels in the second half.

What an accomplishment for LSU. Five straight national semifinals. Van Chancellor, Hall of Famer, had accomplished pretty much everything one could accomplish as a women's basketball coach. Olympic gold medals, WNBA championships, a long career at Ole Miss. And now he can say he's coached a team to the Final Four.

Chancellor was giddy like 10-year-old unwrapping a large package shaped mysteriously like a bicycle on his birthday while doing the postgame interview. Nobody is happier in the state of Louisiana than him.

The Tigers have been through a lot since their Final Four streak began. Hell, they've been through a lot since the beginning of last season. During that time they lost their coach, made the Final Four under the tutelage of acting head coach Bob Starkey, hired Chancellor and now, here they stand atop the regional pedestal once again.

And LSU fans travel. You can bet the St. Pete Times Forum will be bathed in its fair share of purple and gold come Semifinal Sunday.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 09:58 PM on March 31, 2008

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