Tag Archives: Women’s NCAA Tournament

Thoughts on the history-making night at Diddle

Ball State’s Kelly Packard took time for a group hug with her assistant coaches before she went to shake hands with legendary Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt.

Packard will begin to prepare for second-round opponent Iowa State. Preparing for a second-round opponent is something Summitt has never missed out on. The Lady Vols were 21-0 all-time in NCAA tournament first-round games going into the game with Ball State on Sunday night.

Then Rocky Top came tumbling down.

Packard, the first-year coach at Ball State, recorded her 26th career win and the school’s first NCAA Tournament win with a 71-55 victory over the two-time defending national champions.

“I wanted us to play with class,” Packard said. “I wanted us to play with character and I wanted us to finish, no matter the outcome, the same way these young ladies have represented themselves and Ball State University the entire season.”

The close-to-4,000 people at Diddle Saturday night probably planned on seeing another Tennessee first round victory. Instead of seeing the Lady Vols win their 22nd first round game in school history, they saw Tennessee lose their first.

I’m not sure if the likes of Ball State guard Kiley Jarrett and forward Emily Maggert were just too worn out to show the joy on their face, but they sat in the post-game press conference poised and calm, answering questions while on a few occasions flashing grins.

“It’s just unbelievable,” Jarrett said. “Tennessee is a great team. I’d be lying to you if I told you it was going to be a 16-point victory. They’re a great team, and I’m not going to take anything away from them.”

Ball State did a great job creating offense from their defense. The Cardinals scored 17 points off of 16 Tennessee turnovers.

With two minutes to go, the large Tennessee contingency that had decorated Diddle Arena with Rocky Top orange began to head for the exits.

Ball State may have already fit themselves for Cinderella’s slipper in the NCAA women’s tournament. The little school in Muncie, Ind., took down one of the giants in women’s college basketball Sunday night. Ball State’s 146,00 living alumni were smiling tonight.

And one of the more famous alums, David Letterman, had a lot more than 10 reasons to smile.

What’s also interesting is the game was played on Western’s floor, the same floor where Western’s men’s basketball team played many games this season with many of the same characteristics that Ball State played with: heart, determination, togetherness.

It makes you wonder if there’s something in the air.

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NCAA Tournament perspective from Bowling Green

While David has been doing a great job reporting from Portland, Ore., and giving you all updates from what’s going on there, I thought I’d take a little time while I sit here and watch more first round action on what’s going on in the home office here in Bowling Green.

Today was really the first day that things slowed down for us at the Herald. Much of this week, we were focused on putting together a quality special section that came out on Thursday, and then last night was a late night thanks to the Toppers making the trip to the West Coast.

I encourage you to stop by chherald.com for a photo gallery from last night’s game.

Things are going to get crazy around Bowling Green in the next day or two. The Toppers obviously play tomorrow night, and then on Sunday the first round of the NCAA Women’s tournament begins at Diddle Arena. Tennessee is playing, which means there’s sure to be plenty of orange around town and one or two rounds of “Rocky Top” before it’s all said and done.

I’ll try to update again tomorrow from Diddle at the women’s press conferences.

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Unofficial guide to Bowling Green for the Women’s NCAA Tourney

Well, congratulations if you’ve decided to make the trip to Bowling Green. Those of you making the trip from Ames, please include a Saucy Southerner from Hickory Park when packing. I haven’t had one of those in years.

Should be a great weekend for basketball. Both Iowa State and Tennessee have great fans, and being a Kansas City native and having experienced numerous Big 12 and Big 8 tournaments downtown, I know that the Cyclone faithful will do their best to bring their Hilton Magic to the South.

Anyway, as for your trip to Bowling Green: First off, a disclaimer that there are more chain restaurants here than probably any other place in America. In fact, Bowling Green has the largest number of restaurants per-capita in the United States.

Scottsville road is the main drag. Most of the restaurants and hotels are on Scottsville, and there will plenty of traffic come early evening this weekend.

On Scottsville, there are a few suggestions for good eats. Double Dogs is a local joint with plenty of televisions, cold beer and good food. It should be a pretty good place to watch the tourney games. Rafferty’s is also on Scottsville. It’s a little pricier, but has good steaks, chicken, salads, and the basics.

There’s also a Buffalo Wild Wings, O’Charley’s and Applebees along Scottsville.

You’ll notice around campus that there’s not much in the way of food. Down on College Street, there’s a decent pizza place called Froggy’s. I also suggest Mariah’s in the downtown square.

If your team advances and you’re sticking around for the second-round game on Tuesday, you’ll probably run out of tourist-like things to do in Bowling Green fairly quickly. There’s the Corvette museum and Lost River Cave, but I would suggest you make the hour drive to Nashville. It’s an easy drive, and the downtown is pretty cool if you haven’t been. And don’t worry, even if you go during the day, there will still be live music in the honky-tonks (my personal favorite is Tootsie’s) on Second and Broadway. I also recommend the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Once you get into town, feel free to e-mail us with questions or comments at sports@chherald.com.

-Andrew Robinson

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