Friday, November 24, 2017
Sports

Connecticut-Louisville women's preview

RECOMMENDED READING


NEW ORLEANS — Geno Auriemma has never lost an NCAA Tournament championship game.

Of course, his Connecticut Huskies haven't had to face a team like Louisville, which is making an unprecedented run. A victory tonight would be UConn's eighth title, matching Tennessee for the most in women's basketball.

Auriemma didn't want to think about it: "Talking about things that haven't happened yet is never a good idea.''

History is on the Hall of Fame coach's side: UConn is 7-0 in finals, including 2009 against Louisville and 2004 in a game also played in New Orleans.

This trip to the Big Easy could begin a new dynasty for the Huskies, led by Breanna Stewart. The heralded freshman was named most outstanding player of the Bridgeport Region, then had a season-high 29 points in the semifinal victory over Notre Dame.

Auriemma said he couldn't remember a better game in such a setting.

Stewart has scored 82 points in the NCAA Tournament in just four games. The Syracuse, N.Y., native sat out the opening round rout of Idaho.

And the Huskies have had their way with the Cardinals, winning the past 12 meetings, including that 2009 title.

"I don't remember a thing, you try not to remember anything about those games," Louisville coach Jeff Walz deadpanned. "We're playing better basketball. The kids are confident, not much more to say.''

The Cardinals have rolled through the tournament behind freewheeling guard Shoni Schimmel.

"It's going to take the best game we've played to date," Walz said. "We are going to have to play better than we played against Baylor, Tennessee and Cal. We're going to have to play 40 minutes of pretty much perfect basketball."

That will start with Schimmel. Whether hitting 3-pointers from way behind the line or a behind-the-back bounce pass to her sister Jude, Schimmel has starred for the No. 5 seed.

"We're not done with what we've come out here to do and that's win a national championship," Schimmel said. "Why not go out with a bang?"

She developed her range in the family driveway, sometimes so late at night that her parents urged her to stop to avoid annoying the neighbors.

Louisville can become the lowest seed to win a women's championship. Villanova, a No. 8, was the lowest ever to win a men's title in 1985.

No matter who wins, the Big East, which will split apart after this season, will have a ninth championship.

"It's a special thing," Walz said. "Every time you turn on a Final Four there's Big East teams playing in it. This is the best league in women's basketball."

Honor: Baylor All-American Brittney Griner was named the Naismith player of the year, the seventh repeat winner.

Clemson: Audra Smith, who spent the past nine years as UAB's coach, was hired to take over the Tigers.

Comments
Round 3 playoff predictions

Round 3 playoff predictions

Region finalsClass 7ANo. 3 Plant (11-1) at No. 1 Lakeland (10-0)Rodney Page: Lakeland 23-21. Probably the best playoff matchup of the six area games remaining. The Panthers narrowly escaped last week and playing at perennial power Lakeland might be t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bulls-Knights: 4 final thoughts

Bulls-Knights: 4 final thoughts

Here's hoping your Thanksgiving Day is peaceful, pleasant and calorific. Here's hoping you also leave a little room to digest these final four USF-UCF thoughts before the "War on I-4" kicks off.1. The strength-versus-strength subplots in this game ar...
Updated: 22 minutes ago

Ugly injury sidelines Mississippi State QB

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald sustained a gruesome right ankle injury in the first quarter that forced him to leave Thursday’s game against Mississippi. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Fitzgerald was running the ball when ...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Sports in brief

SoccerStudy to look into soccer players and brain disease LONDON — A major study into whether soccer players are at risk of degenerative brain disease was commissioned Thursday amid concerns that the sport’s authorities in England haven’t done enough...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Captain’s Corner: Switching to bottom fishing for grouper, snapper

With water temperatures falling, offshore anglers soon will have less species to target. Migratory species such as cobia, kingfish and Spanish mackerel will be migrating south for the winter. Most offshore captains will switch to bottom fishing for g...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

By BOB PUTNAMCLEARWATER — The Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot has long been a fixture on Jon Mott’s sporting calendar. Not even a 103-degree fever Tuesday could keep him away from the event, in its 39th year. Mott, a record four-time 10k champion, added ...
Updated: 12 hours ago

Friday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballMissouri vs. St. John’s11 a.m.ESPNewsArkansas State at USFnoon820-AMVillanova vs. Northern IowanoonESPN2Wooden Legacy: St. Mary’s (Calif.) vs. Washington State1:30 p.m.ESPNewsTennessee vs. N.C. State2:30 p.m.ESPN2PK80: Portland...
Published: 11/23/17

Published: 11/23/17
Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

TAMPA — In the jubilant moments after a Bucs win, Dirk Koetter will sometimes ask for a game-used ball from his equipment staff, hold it high in the locker room and present it to the player who was most crucial to the victory.NFL players can ask for ...
Published: 11/23/17

Latest lineNBAFavorite Line O/U Underdog Portland 3½ (211) at BROOK New York 2 (207½) at ATL at BOS 8½ (208) Orlando at O.C. 8 (204) Detroit at MINN 4 (207½) Miami Toronto 1½ (216½) at IND at CLEVE OFF (OFF) Char. at DEN 6 (208½) Mem. N.O. 6 (229) at...
Published: 11/23/17