NCAA Women's Tournament: March 2008 Archives

When Tennessee capped Sunday's NCAA Women's Tournament coverage with a win, it solidified what could be the strongest (and most uninteresting) final-eight field ever.

The last eight teams include each No. 1 seed and every No. 2 seed. No Cinderellas.

While a tournament like this will certainly produce a worthy champion, it won't draw the Joe Public general interest like the men's tournament does.

A Davidson-Kansas showdown captures everyone's attention. Something similar would have been nice for the women's game.

By Brad Engel

The day after Tennessee's first-round NCAA Tournament win over Oral Roberts, Lady Volunteers coach Pat Summitt brought three players to the team's press conference.

Why senior Shannon Bobbitt, senior Alberta Auguste and redshirt junior Alex Fuller? To call them out, or in nicer terms, to put them on the spot.

"There are times when you know you have certain people that need to step up," Summitt said, "and these three have done that for us this year."

But then Summitt kind of, sort of -- let's face it, she did -- continued with remarks about their weaknesses.

Bobbitt didn't break Oral Roberts' zone defense as well as she should have. Fuller shot only 2 of 11 from the field. And Auguste didn't bring as much defensive pressure and board play as Summitt would have liked.

In the name of accountability, Summitt raised the stakes for her players. Who should she call out next, following the Lady Volunteers second-round win over Purdue on Tuesday?

summitt camargo.jpgIf this were the NCAA men's tournament, people would be having a field day.

Oral Roberts' star player, 6-foot guard Mariana Camargo, suffered a possible ACL injury after slipping and falling on a sign used by Tennessee's cheerleaders.

It happened in the first minute of Sunday's first-round matchup between the top-seeded Lady Volunteers and the No. 16 Golden Eagles at Purdue's Mackey Arena.

Just like that, the underdogs had to play without their leading scorer (13.3 points per game, 5.1 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.4 steals) and the upset bid was all but officially over.

"Not to jinx anybody, but losing Mariana is like losing Candace (Parker) -- on a different level, on a different planet, a different league," said Oral Roberts coach Jerry Finkbeiner on Sunday after The Sun went to press. "But Mariana is really the heart and soul of our team, and so we were dealt a big blow."

Finkbeiner felt Camargo -- a four-time member of the Brazil selection team -- was the one player who could match up physically with the Lady Vols.

Coach Pat Summitt told Finkbeiner after her team's 94-55 win that she knew exactly what Camargo meant to his program.

Then, in another classy act by the game's all-time winningest coach, Summitt greeted Camargo on the Golden Eagles sideline and shared a few words with her.

Any choice words for the Lady Vols' cheerleaders or the accident in general?

April 2008: Monthly Archives



Brad Engel

Brad Engel is the longest-tenured member of The Sun sports staff and has won several national and state awards in his coverage of preps as well as the Chicago Bears, Chicago Fire and general sports.

Patrick Mooney

Patrick Mooney covered politics, prep sports and professional baseball for several print and online media outlets before joining The Sun in August 2007. He concentrates on prep sports, writing features, profiles and breaking recruiting news.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the NCAA Women's Tournament category from March 2008.

NCAA Women's Tournament: April 2008 is the next archive.

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