March 24, 2007

Duke-Rutgers: Bale-ing Them Out

If this keeps up we'll barely break double digits -- it's 6-2 Rutgers more than 7 minutes in, and both teams are shooting ice cold. It's equal parts bad shooting and good defense. Bales already has two blocks (she made 'em look easy) and the Harding-Essence Carson matchup is a defensive case study.

I'm finding Rutgers freshman Epiphanny Prince especially impressive. The last two times I saw Epiphanny play, were the Duke debacle earlier this year and her first high school game AFTER breaking the single-game scoring record . She wasn't particularly impressive in either (though she did drop a cool 40-some points on a whisper of an opponent in the high school game), so her hustle and court sense is a sight to see. She's got two rebounds and two points, which amounts to a third of the Scarlet Knights' scoring.

March 18, 2007

Harvard-Maryland: They Make It Rain

Maryland's Marissa Coleman has put up her signature fadeaway J succesfully twice down the court, while Langhorne has decided to show the Crimson who's boss inside. Two and-one plays have already gone her way, and she's leading the Terps with 8 points.

Maryland's so much faster than this Harvard team that if they could just get in step and pick up the pace, I see them running right off with this game, underdog enthusiasm be damned.

March 12, 2007

Dallas and Dayton Regionals

By far, the Dayton Regional is the most difficult.

The No. 4 seed in Dayton, Ohio State, was considered a No. 1 seed just a few weeks ago. The No. 5 seed, Middle Tennessee State has won 26 games in a row.

The No. 1 seed is Tennessee, followed by Maryland and then Oklahoma.

Maryland, the defending champs, will have to get through possible matchups with Ole Miss, Oklahoma and then OSU or Tennessee if they want to get back to the Final Four...and they can do it.

Dayton has four teams who at some point this season were seriously being considered for a one seed.

Continue reading "Dallas and Dayton Regionals" »

Fresno Regional

Connecticut lands the No. 1 seed in the Fresno Regional.

You want my upset pick of the entire tournament? How about North Carolina State, the four seed, over UConn in the Sweet 16.

Stanford is the region's two seed and they will also have a shot at the Final Four and will come out of their side of the region by defeating an LSU team in turmoil after losing their head coach to inappropriate actions.

In what might be the best game of the region, Old Dominion, who has made 16 consecutive NCAA trips, as the No. 7 seed matches with the No. 10 seed Florida State out of the ACC. FSU is a solid team and will be able to play with ODU. Look for a 10 seed upset in this one.

Greensboro Regional

Your No. 1 seed: Duke. And they meet Holy Cross in the opening round.

Duke's toughest test in this bracket will be the No. 2 seed Vanderbilt who ran the table and won the SEC Tournament, defeating LSU in the final.

If Bowling Green can get by Oklahoma State in the first round than the second round matchup with Vandy could be very interesting. Bowling Green could be a sleeper in this tournament. They can NOT defeat Duke though.

Arizona State garnered the No. 3 seed in this region and will be able to challenge either Bowling Green or Vandy come Sweet 16 time.

The other big team in this region is the Big East champs, Rutgers, the No. 4 seed. Rutgers, again, will have lots of trouble against Duke. They need to remember that the Blue Devils are not Connecticut. They are better.

February 28, 2007

Baylor at Oklahoma: Dual Champs?

Sorry, Oklahoma.

Looks like Texas A&M defeated the Longhorns and Oklahoma will have to settle for Co-Big 12 champs...that's if they win tonight, of course.

How are they doing? Not so bad, actually, thanks for asking.

At the 10 minute mark, the score is 26-14 Oklahoma. Baylor's Bernice Mosby lost a contact--the most action she's been involved in all night thus far. And the Bears simply have no answer for Courtney Paris.

Then again, who does?

Baylor at Oklahoma: WNBA Draft

With the first pick in the 2007 WNBA draft, the Phoenix Mercury selects...

OK, so I couldn't coax the name out of Mercury head coach Paul Westhead--in attendance this evening scouting for that top pick--but I did find out that the Mercury are in need of a center and barring a move via free agency, will take a long look at Duke's Alison Bales come April 4.

Baylor at Oklahoma: OU's Dreamette

The name on the back of her jersey still strikes fear in the hearts of NBA centers everywhere.

She's 6-foot-4, she resembles Courtney Paris, she's a freshman, the backup center, but it's that name that really gets noticed.

She may be native to Los Angeles but she spent a lot of time in Houston as a girl. If you haven't figure it out yet--and I'd be surprised if you haven't--she's none other than Abi Olajuwon, daughter of one of the NBA's 50 greatest players, Hakeem The Dream.

Baylor at Oklahoma: Ayipioeeay!

Annie, go get your gun because we're gonna have ourselves a hootin and hollerin good ole time here in the Sooner State.

You're doing fine when you are in Oklahoma, so the famous musical with the same name says, and I believe it. After stepping off the plane--oh my, was it a long long day of traveling--I was tired, but the beautiful 82-degree breezy weather rejuvenated body and mind.

"Plen'y of air and plen'y of room,
Plen'y of room to swing a rope!
Plen'y of heart and plen'y of hope."

And it's all true, even the rope part. Should you have the desire to swing a rope, Oklahoma has more than enough room to complete the task.

Continue reading "Baylor at Oklahoma: Ayipioeeay!" »

February 26, 2007

UConn at Rutgers: RU Serious?

With 6:42 remaining in the first half, Rutgers decided to leave the building.

The score was 21-16 in favor of the Scarlet Knights. Apparently, they thought that would hold up.

Your halftime score is 31-21 UConn; yes, that's the same 21 points.

Leading the way for the Knights--and the only reason the score is this close--was Essence Carson who was lights out early. She finished the half with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting.

For UConn, Mel Thomas hit dagger after dagger in the form of 3-pointers to bury the Knights, as she finished the half with 13 points, including a perfect 3-for-3 from deep.

Continue reading "UConn at Rutgers: RU Serious?" »

UConn at Rutgers: Block Party

After 10 minutes of play

The team's young centers, Rutgers' Kia Vaughn and UConn's Tina Charles are both playing extremely solid at the onset.

Both centers have two blocks, with Vaughn's last swat coming at the tail end of a Husky fast break, sending the crowd into uproarious jubilation.

And for her effort, Rutgers has the early lead, 14-12.

UConn at Rutgers: Wait Til Next Year

While Connecticut may be ranked No. 3 and Rutgers No. 21, it isn't this year that fans of these teams should be excited about.

A quick scan of the rosters shows that, incredibly, neither team possesses a single senior.

In fact, each team's leading scorers, Epiphanny Prince for Rutgers and Tina Charles for UConn, are freshmen.

UConn starts two juniors (Charde Houston, Mel Thomas), two sophomores (Renee Montgomery, Kalana Greene) and a freshman (Charles).

Continue reading "UConn at Rutgers: Wait Til Next Year" »

UConn at Rutgers: Streaking To The RAC

New Years was not a celebratory time for the Rutgers women's basketball team.

Somehow the ball dropping, confetti streaming and noisemakers blaring didn't provide the same euphoric effect for a team that started the season 5-5 after running the table in the Big East just one year prior.

To start the season they dropped their opening contest at then-No. 9 Georgia, nothing to fret about until their next game when it was an away game at Pepperdine that dropped them to 0-2.

Two wins over lowly Florida and Penn State later and the problems for the Scarlet Knights escalated. Then-No. 5 (and soon to be unstoppable) Duke invaded the RAC and stormed their way to a pretty convincing 40-point victory. Dejected, Rutgers would lose its next game at DePaul, as well.

Continue reading "UConn at Rutgers: Streaking To The RAC" »

February 08, 2007

Duke at UNC: The Little Things

The first 10 minutes of the second half saw UNC scrap and claw and do the little things to get back into the game.

Little was the biggest of the bunch. UNC's Camille Little that is.

Now with 15 points, she has pretty much brought the Tar Heels back all by herself. She's scored nine second half points thus far and the score is tied at 45.

Duke at UNC: Get Rowdy

Roy Williams is on hand to see the Tar Heels down at halftime, 34-29.

The story of the first half was the crowd and the intensity of this game.

We've had a few near altercations among players and the crowd has been none too pleased with some of the ref's decisions.

The crowd and the players seem more on edge tonight and that can obviously be chalked up to the meaning of this game and what is at stake.

UNC came out firing early, but both teams have shot poorly, with Duke coming in at 37.5 percent and UNC at only 32.1 percent.

Continue reading "Duke at UNC: Get Rowdy" »

Duke at UNC: Sign of the Night

With just minutes to go until tip, I give to you the sign of the night.

One fan sitting in the students section is holding up a sign that reads, "I thought we played the women's team last night!"

Referring, of course, to North Carolina's win over Duke last night at Cameron Indoor.

Duke at UNC: The Hatfields and the McCoys

Or maybe you romantics prefer the Capulets and the Montague's?

Either way, this is college basketball's greatest rivalry. The men met last night with North Carolina pulling out the win at Duke. Here in sold out Carmichael Auditorium in Chapel Hill, the Duke women want to repay the favor.

It really doesn't get any better than this, the nation's best offense meets the nation's best defense. Something has got to give.

The story of the day is matchups.

Continue reading "Duke at UNC: The Hatfields and the McCoys" »

February 01, 2007

LSU at Georgia: A New Ball Game

With 8:26 to go in the game and the score 40-38 LSU, Georgia's Tasha Humphrey hit a huge three from the top of the key to lift Georgia to their first lead of the game.

The Lady Bulldogs have stormed back into this game with the help of Humphrey and reserve freshman forward Angel Robinson, who scored six points in a row for the Dawgs at one point.

Humphrey already has a double-double, with 13 points and 10 boards.

For LSU, Fowles has nine points and an abysmal shooting night--3-for-10 from the field--to go along with 14 rebounds. Quianna Chaney is leading the Tigers in scoring with 17 points thus far.

LSU at Georgia: At The Half

Quianna Chaney is the player of the half for LSU, scoring 14 points on 5-for-9 shooting and three long-range bombs.

Center Sylvia Fowles had a rough first half. She managed to grab 11 boards, but went 1-for-6 from the field and only scored five points.

For the Lady Bulldogs, All-American candidate Tasha Humphrey led the way, scoring 10 points and grabbing seven boards.

Both teams shot the ball poorly--26 percent for Georgia and 25 percent for LSU. Georgia went down by as much as eight early, but got it together and at halftime, trail the Tigers, 26-21.

LSU at Georgia: Chaney From Deep

With 7:24 remaining, the score is LSU 19-11.

Quianna Chaney has been the star for the Tigers thus far, scoring 10 of her team's 19 points on 3-for-7 shooting including three 3-pointers.

The Tigers just look like the more athletic bunch in the early going.

Sylvia Fowles looks eerily similar--in female form of course--to another former LSU center. Maybe it's time to start calling her Shaqira? OK maybe not....The 6-foot-6 center easily is the most intimidating presence on the court. Too bad, she's just 1-6 thus far, although she has already recorded 10 rebounds.

LSU at Georgia: Like Cats and Dogs

When it comes to the SEC and women's college basketball, Tennessee is tops.

But if not the Lady Vols, the Southeastern conference's best teams are easily Louisiana State and Georgia. The No. 14 Lady Bulldogs and the No. 7 Lady Tigers meet tonight at the Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga., and you can expect it to be quite a game.

Without further ado, here is how they stack up...

Continue reading "LSU at Georgia: Like Cats and Dogs" »

January 28, 2007

UNC at Maryland: In the Books

Maryland cut it as close as one, but one just wouldn't cut it.

The Terps were trumped in their own arena, after cutting a 20-point Carolina lead to one with three minutes remaining. The comeback effort just took too much out of them, and UNC had too tight a grip on its lead, showing a composure in the final minutes that eluded Maryland all night. Carolina gets a leg up on Maryland, now, with this 84-71 win.

UNC at Maryland: Gutting it Out

I don't know anyone who expected the Terps to be trailing by double digits virtually ALL of the second half, but that's what we have here -- 19 Maryland turnovers to Carolina's 9 and a Tar Heel lead that has stretched as wide as 20.

For the sake of their sellout and their season, Maryland refuses to go quietly -- if the Tar Heels get sloppy and let the Terps get back into their offense (by letting Shay Doron reel off 7 straight points, for example) they could find themselves shell-shocked. But if Carolina can keep Langhorne and Toliver in check and keep taking advantage of every Terp mistake, they may run away with this one.

UNC at Maryland: Technically Ugly

Here's the debate on press row: was Maryland coach Brenda Frese's technical foul with 29 seconds left in the first half intentional? Is she trying to rally her crowd, her troops, and reel in what is becoming a slap-happy game swinging in Carolina's favor?

My vote is no. It wasn't the time, place or purpose for a motivational tech, which Frese certainly knows. The Terps themselves know their situation -- their turnovers are positively KILLING them, and they haven't played sharp enough for us to even see UNC's full-court press. If you can cause 14 turnovers in the first half in a halfcourt set, why would UNC coach Sylvia Hatchell wear her team out running? And why would Frese arguably kill the momentum Kristi Toliver's signature three at the one minute mark had bought her team. Most of us saw Toliver get fouled, but she maintained posession, and Frese's fit was an outburst of frustration, which only set her team back two Ivory Latta free throws more going into halftime.

UNC at Maryland: A Shell of an Intro

Flame throwers? Glow sticks? Spotlights? Rockstar introductios? Welcome to the new era of women’s basketball, where we can brag, boast and ball like the big boys.

Everything from Maryland's entrance video to their player introductions came with enough razzle-dazzle to rival any men's college team I've ever seen -- and right up there with some pro franchises. More power to 'em, I suppose, if it make the sport look big time, sell-outs like tonight might become commonplace. As if the traffic getting in to College Park wasn't enough of an indication that this Maryladn team, at least, has arrived.

As for the aciton on the floor, it's 6-6 at the first media time out and already clear that tonight's game is going to be a slugfest. At least one player has hit the floor under the basket without a whistle, and they're scrapping for steals all over mid court. For two high-octane offenses, this could be a bruising, low-scoring night.

UNC at Maryland: A Shell of an Intro

Flame throwers? Glow sticks? Spotlights? Rockstar introductios? Welcome to the new era of women’s basketball, where we can brag, boast and ball like the big boys.

Everything from Maryland's entrance video to their player introductions came with enough razzle-dazzle to rival any men's college team I've ever seen -- and right up there with some pro franchises. More power to 'em, I suppose, if it make the sport look big time, sell-outs like tonight might become commonplace. As if the traffic getting in to College Park wasn't enough of an indication that this Maryladn team, at least, has arrived.

As for the aciton on the floor, it's 6-6 at the first media time out and already clear that tonight's game is going to be a slugfest. At least one player has hit the floor under the basket without a whistle, and they're scrapping for steals all over mid court. For two high-octane offenses, this could be a bruising, low-scoring night.

UNC at Maryland: By the Numbers

So with ten minutes to go, consider this -- tonight's sold out Comcast Center crowd will get to watch:

Eight Naismith Award candidates

Six Wade Trophy candidates

Six Wooden Award candidates

Six players with 14 All-ACC awards on their resumes

One 22-game win streak (UNC's)

One national title defender (Maryland)

For anyone in the building who saw Tennessee-Duke a week ago, we can only hope this game lives up to the same promise.

January 22, 2007

Tennessee-Duke: Waner and Westhead

Those watching on television are witnessing the workout the Dukies are putting to the Lady Vols in the first half.

Tennessee was losing 19-0 before they could bat an eyelash! Duke has a halftime lead of 38-27, small considering Tennessee couldn't buy a bucket off the vaunted Duke defense.

Duke sophomore guard Abby Waner was unconscious scoring 21 points on 8-for-9 shooting including 5-for-5 from three-point land. In fact, the only shot she missed was a lay up near the end of the half.

Sitting next to me on press row: Coach Paul Westhead.

Lady Vol Town

During my two hour drive from Nashville--where the airport is--to Knoxville--where the University of Tennessee is--I saw many Tennessee bumper stickers.

This isn't exactly news, but I'd like to point out that at least seven out of every 10 bumper stickers was specifically rooting for the "Lady Vols" and not the Volunteers as a whole.

Don't get me wrong, they love Philip Fulmer and the football team, but Pat Summitt's squad gets more than their share of the love.

And they will be loving them pretty hard tonight at Thompson-Boling Arena where the No. 4 Lady Vols will play host to the nation's number one team, the Duke Blue Devils.

Continue reading "Lady Vol Town" »

January 21, 2007

First Half and a Nap

Well, after one half of basketball here at Madison Square Garden, the "showcase" game, like I called it earlier, has turned into what the thousands of fans who left after the men's game thought it would turn into: A boring display of UConn's superior athletes.

Connecticut has played poorly during the first half despite taking a 37-24 lead into the break. This has been a half which you could just tell coach Geno Auriemma wouldn't take lightly during his halftime speech.

In fact, I'd say the third and fourth graders on the court right now playing a practice game are drawing more applause than I heard the entire first half.

Continue reading "First Half and a Nap" »

Mel From Deep

With 8:00 to go in the opening half of tonight's UConn-St. John's women's basketball game it has been all UConn--shocker--so far.

The star of the opening portion has been UConn's Mel Thomas. Thomas has 15 points already with five made three pointers.

Her shot has been pure thus far and has helped the Huskies who have been struggling shooting otherwise.

Notes From a Pressbox

A real pressbox! Like I am on the Internet, extremely close to the playing surface.

Two interesting storylines to note:

Kia Wright of St. John's was actually a member of the Huskies for a short period of time. She was a senior at UConn before deciding to transfer to St. John's before she even played a minute.

The senior is only four points away from joining the 1,000 point plateau and will most probably reach that mark during this afternoon's game.

Continue reading "Notes From a Pressbox" »

A First Time For Everything

Today marks the first time that I have covered a game from the legendary Madison Square Garden. It also marks the first game the UConn women have ever played in the World's Most Famous Arena.

St. John's University is hosting a day-night doubleheader with the Red Storm men taking on Syracuse in the opening contest followed by the women's matchup of St. John's-Connecticut.

You know you are growing in the mind's eye of the nation when the "showcase" game of the day is the women's basketball game and not the men's.

In either case, Geno Auriemma and his Huskies want to show New York City who the most talented team to take the court today really is. And if the choices are Syracuse and both St. John's teams, my money is on Connecticut.

Shoot, if the Knicks were here today, I'd still take UConn.

January 18, 2007

Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful

We should be right in the thick of the Big 12 season, watching opposing defenses bounce off Courtney Paris like toy soliders, but Mother Nature has other plans. Three big games in the past week have had to be rescheduled because of ice storms and "inclement weather" in the Midwest. What Ms. Nature in her infinite wisdom may not have considered, however, is whether this will this give teams more time to prepare or just force overflow from an already brimming schedule?

Continue reading "Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful" »

January 13, 2007

Inspired Basketball

OK, so I said I wouldn't be back until the end of the game. I lied. I couldn't stay away. So sue me. On second thought, don't, I can't afford it.

Duke and Maryland both came out on fire, but it was the Blue Devils who ran away with the first half.

Using smart basketball, good shot selection and suffocating defense, the Devils were able to shut down the top shooting team in the country and a take lead into the half, 41-30.

Maryland's Kristi Toliver--last year's hero--had a miserable shooting half, going 0-for-8 from the field, including five missed threes.

Duke's Lindsey Harding was the early star. She combined with 6-foot-7 Alison Bales for the majority of Blue Devil scoring, totaling 24 points between them.

For Maryland, it was Crystal Langhorne who led the way--in fact, Langhorne was the only bright spot for the Terps--scoring 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting.

Continue reading "Inspired Basketball" »

Friggin Internet

Here I am, sitting in the Duke University, Cameron Indoor media room, and the wireless connection available is not working.

So, there will be no live blogging from this game...BUT. Yes, but, we love buts, don't lie.

There will be a before and after. Welcome to the before.

I have to praise Duke on Cameron, this is my first trip to the storied field house and I must say I am impressed. From the outside it doesn't resemble a basketball stadium at all.

Im sweating already by the way.

Continue reading "Friggin Internet" »

December 10, 2006

Temple Breaks The Ice

For about 18 minutes Temple couldn't buy a bucket. During the final two, senior guard Fatima Maddox decided to break the ice.

In a two minute span with Maryland up 28-18, Maddox hit a three, sophomore Shenita Landry had a nice inside take, then a Hairston steal gave Maddox another three-point opportunity followed by a Maddox steal and fast-break layup to close the half, 30-28 Maryland.

Continue reading "Temple Breaks The Ice" »

No. 1 Maryland at Temple

Hello from beautiful Temple University's Liacouras Center--that doesn't have Internet available on court so I will have to blog pregame and at halftime.

Getting set to see a battle, and by battle I mean No. 1 Maryland playing unranked Temple, you decide how much of a battle that will be. But I will tell you all about it after the game.

Speaking of battles, being in Philly reminds me of the 76ers situation with Allen Iverson. Iverson wants out and Philly wants him gone. Apparently he wasn't the Answer his nickname suggested. If the Sixers think they couldn't win with A.I., I'm wondering do they think they can win without him?

But I digress, I am here for some good old fashioned women's basketball...

Continue reading "No. 1 Maryland at Temple" »

December 04, 2006

Duke at Rutgers: With a Whimper

Ajavon just took a seat with her fifth foul, with Duke up 79-40 at the two-minute mark.

All that's left for Rutgers now is to try and tidy up the final score and then head to the showers for plenty of soul searching. The Scarlet Knights aren't typically sharpshooters, but something about Duke all but elimnated their offense. Tennessee proved last night that you don't win with only one player scoring in double digits.

Maybe the little girl in the row behind me said it best: "C'mon, we know they're not going to win this game."

And that was with five minutes remaining. Ouch.

Duke at Rutgers: Seeing Red

Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer is not happy. Nor should she be with her team's messy play in the first half. The Scarlet Knights are without any discernable offensive rhythm, and if it wasn't for the fireball that is Matee Ajavon, they might not have any offense at all. Kia Vaughn looks tough against Alison Bales, but she hasn't been able to convert her efforts under the basket into points on the board.

Continue reading "Duke at Rutgers: Seeing Red" »

Duke at Rutgers: Currie, Cappie Who?

The first question of tonights' matchup between No. 5 Duke and No. 18 Rutgers tonight isn't how they'll do. It's how they'll do without. Without Monique Currie and Cappie Pondexter, the Duke and Rutgers stars respectively who both returned for a fifth year to bring a title back to their schools. Both were unsuccessful, but you have to wonder if their eyes aren't on the RAC tonight, wondering that with just one more chance, what might have been...

December 03, 2006

Tennessee-UNC: Final Thoughts

From the locker room, press room and postgame:

Continue reading "Tennessee-UNC: Final Thoughts" »

Tennessee at UNC: Warm Up The Bus

Alex Miller put the game on ice for the Tar Heels with a long-range three as the shot clock ran down, and though Candace got to pad her stats with two final free throws, the Heels have it, 70-57 at the final buzzer.

Tennessee at UNC: CP in Need

Parker's got 24 points, but not one of her teammates is scoring in double digits. Parker just picked up her fourth foul with a block against Latta, putting the Lady Vols in serious trouble. With the Heels killing Tennessee on the glass and an ice-cold night from outside shooter Sidney Spencer, Summitt has to get her troops rallied for a late run, or this could mean be an early end to their perfect 6-0 season.

Tennessee at UNC: Altitude Adjustment

The first points of the second half just went to Parker right over Latta. Parker's 6-foot-4 frame over Latta's 5-6. No contest, but the Heels still lead 30-27. The Vols' offense will have to tighten up considerably and look for options other than Parker with a dash of Alexis Hornbuckle on the outside if they want to regain a meaningful lead. If Carolina can keep their intensity and accuracy up, they may be untouchable.

Tennessee at UNC: Solo Artist

Believe the hype: it's all Candace Parker, all the time on the Tennessee offense. Unfortunately for the Lady Vols, it took almost seven minutes for anyone but Parker to put any Tennessee points on the board. Hornbuckle finally converted a free throw at the 13-minute mark, but it's obvious that mighty as CP3 might be, she can't outrun the Tar Heels with her entire team on her back. Which doesn't mean she isn't going to try.

46-38 UNC with just over 11 minutes remaining...

Tennessee at UNC: Anson The Great

Speaking of coaches in the house, the biggest standing ovation of the night so far just went to UNC women's soccer coach Anson Dorrance, whose team won the national title game just a few hours ago. Dorrance's record is one of the few in college sports that can rival Pat Summitts. Summitt, incidentally, is reported to have made an appearance at this afternoon's College Cup.

Continue reading "Tennessee at UNC: Anson The Great" »

Tennessee at UNC: Technically Speaking

As if the glares out of Summitt and Hatchell weren't enough already, Ivory Latta and Tennessee freshman point guard Cait McMahan got themselves tangled up at halfcourt off the ball, resulting in a double technical that the crowd met with boos. McMahan and Latta shook hands amicably as they stepped back onto the court, but UNC isn't giving up an ounce of control. The Vols are looking to Parker, who's had a turnover and a miss under the basket, while Rashada McCants put the Heels up 30-21 with a silky smooth three from the baseline.

Tennessee at UNC: And It's On.

We're in a fight here. Where Parker and Latta were all smiles before the game, there's steel in their eyes now. The Vols jumped out to an early 9-4 lead, and they looked a half step faster than the Heels, breaking up passes and capitalizing on every UNC miss. But with one big three from Latta to tie it at, UNC got back in the game. Now it's the Heels that are capitalizing on a suddenly scattered Tennessee offense and Summitt is starting to holler...

Tennessee at UNC: Roy, Spotted

He's trying his best to be inconspicuous in jeans, sneakers and a Carolina blue sweater, but Roy Williams is here to support the Tar Heel women. Wonder if he'll have any advice for them at halftime...

Tennessee at UNC: UT on Tobacco Road

It's a miserable day in Chapel Hill, dreary and cold, but from the inside of Carmichael Auditorium you would have no idea. There are scalpers outside and fans in the stands more than an hour before the game. The teams seem pretty hyped, too. Ivory Latta just stepped out onto the floor and took a good look around as if surveying her turf, then bounded out onto the court to join warmups. Had she been in the back hallway she might not have been so pleased -- the Lady Vols came into the building laughing and singing, with Candace Parker laying down a few rhymes for anyone who would listen. Game faces, ladies, the biggest game of the early season is only an hour from tip-off.

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