Candice Wiggins didn't cry when she exited the court for the last time in a Stanford jersey. After being taken out with 1:13 left in a 64-48 loss to Tennessee in the national title game Tuesday, the Stanford senior guard, an All-American and the heart and soul of the Cardinal, waved to the crowd, high-fived teammates, grabbed a water bottle, sat on the bench and shouted words of encouragement to the Stanford players still in the game.
"I guess it hasn't hit me yet," Wiggins said later in the Cardinal locker room.
That emotion seemed to be shared by her teammates. Thirty minutes after the game, Stanford players, most of whom had teary eyes, sat quietly, consoled each other and ate pizza. Wiggins, who scored 14 points, tried her best to keep things positive despite the heartbreak of the moment.
"I couldn't be any prouder," she said. "I wouldn't want to be on any other team in the country."
The NCAA received 631 media credential requests, the third-highest total for the women's Final Four, the most since 692 were requested in 2000 in Philadelphia.
On the mic
By day, Agnes Green is a physician. Tuesday night, she was the public address announcer for her seventh straight women's Final Four.
"I absolutely love it," she said.
Green, who lives in Belleair, works at the Bonati Institute in Hudson and once was the announcer for Georgia Tech home games. She got the gig by submitting what amounted to a job application to the NCAA. When she received a letter saying she had been chosen she was "ecstatic."
"That had always been my goal from Day 1," said Green, a former high school basketball player in Georgia.
Kathleen Pearce is the person ESPN's on-air talent loves to visit. As the network's makeup department head, she's the one who spruces them up before they hit the air.
"I'm the fun part of the day for them," Pearce said.
Times staff writer Greg Auman contributed to this report. Izzy Gould can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727)
Celebs in the house
Dick Vitale (ESPN analyst), C. Vivian Stringer (Rutgers coach), Myles Brand (NCAA executive director), Mike Slive (SEC commissioner) and Howie Schwab (ESPN's Stump the Schwab) all made appearances.
Did you come this close to trying to score tickets for Tuesday's women's final but worried about the traffic or what you thought might be outrageous ticket prices? ¶ It really wasn't that bad, and scalping is legal in Florida. ¶ There were some pretty decent deals on the streets surrounding the St. Pete Times Forum on tickets with an original face value of $81. ¶ Upper level tickets were going for $50, the lower level was offered at $200 and club seats were $250. ¶ At least nine scalpers strolled along Morgan Street an hour and a half before the game, some offering lower level seats at $85 and one willing to go below $50.
Sweet paint job
The floor certainly carried that fresh-paint smell. That's because it was specifically constructed and painted for this women's Final Four. Connor Hardwood Courts of Arlington Heights, Ill., has constructed courts for men's national champion Kansas, North Carolina and 14 NBA teams. It was designed by NCAA staffer Michelle Perry and Alecia Wigness of Sports Graphics in Indianapolis. The floor is offered to the two teams; if neither team purchases the floor then it is offered to colleges or high schools.