Saturday, March 29, 2003

Women's Sweet 16 Preview


Which team will earn the happy ending?

The Associated Press

So far, the women's NCAA Tournament has produced buzzer-beaters and broken bones, upsets and upstarts. Now it really gets interesting - 16 teams playing in the regional semifinals, each just two victories from a berth in the Final Four in Atlanta.

Story lines - and questions - abound.

• Can someone accomplish what never has been done: beat Tennessee in an NCAA Tournament game in Knoxville

• Does Amber Jacobs of Boston College have another game-winning shot in her repertoire?

• How long can Diana Taurasi keep carrying Connecticut?

• Will two broken bones in her face hinder LSU's quick, spunky point guard, Temeka Johnson?

The answers start coming today in the Mideast and Midwest. In the Mideast at Knoxville, Tennessee (30-4) plays Penn State (26-8) and Villanova (27-5) meets Colorado (24-7). The Midwest games at Albuquerque, N.M., have Duke (33-1) facing Georgia (21-9), and New Mexico (24-8) meeting Texas Tech (28-5).

On Sunday, Connecticut (33-1) plays Boston College (22-8), and Purdue (28-5) takes on Notre Dame (21-10) in the East Regional at Dayton, Ohio. And in the West at Stanford, it's LSU (29-3) vs. Louisiana Tech (31-2) and Minnesota (25-5), in the round of 16 for the first time, playing Texas (27-5).

"Watching doesn't even begin to compare to playing in it," Minnesota's Shannon Schonrock said.

EAST

The last four national champions are here: Purdue (1999), Connecticut (2000 and 2002) and Notre Dame (2001). Boston College has never been this far before, but the Eagles play in the Big East with UConn and Notre Dame.

MIDEAST

Penn State, Colorado and Villanova will be ready for a color other than orange and a song other than "Rocky Top" by the time this regional ends. Tennessee, a six-time national champion, is 42-0 in NCAA games at home.

MIDWEST

Sixth-seeded New Mexico drew more than 16,000 for each of its first two games, and fans will pack The Pit again for Texas Tech, the 1993 national champion. Duke's Alana Beard is still scoring and Georgia's already slim roster shrunk more when guard Sherrill Baker separated her shoulder against Rutgers.

WEST

Though they are established powers in the same state, LSU and Louisiana Tech are meeting for only the second time in 12 years. Tech has the nation's longest winning streak at 29 games. LSU is counting on Johnson's return.

Sixth-seeded Minnesota faces Texas, which has won 15 in a row. The Longhorns won the 1986 national championship.




REDS-INDIANS: SATURDAY'S GAME
Punchless Reds lose again

REDS OPEN GREAT AMERICAN BALL PARK
With a pitch, ballpark comes alive
PHOTO GALLERY
New uniforms for new ballpark
Indians 6, Reds 1
DAUGHERTY: Close wall far from Jr.'s mind
Lindner as optimistic as fans
First Bush to toss first pitch
Reds Notebook: New uniforms on display
Is it the perfect park? No, but it's among the best
Reds don't expect Bengals' grass problems
For Indians, new digs created a huge boost

OTHER BASEBALL
Baseball Notebook: Tigers cut Easley, will swallow $14M
Other Exhibition Games
Spring Training Standings

KENTUCKY BASKETBALL
Marquette shocks Kentucky, 83-69
UK needs Bogans against Marquette
With Bogans in limbo, UK turns to Fitch
Marquette conjures up glory days

NKU BASKETBALL
Fiery coach returns NKU to title game
NKU Notebook: Scoring chances few for Mobley

OTHER TOURNAMENTS
Updated NCAA scores and game coverage
Syracuse 79, Auburn 78
Oklahoma 65, Butler 54
Michigan State 60, Maryland 58
Texas 82, Connecticut 78
It's round two for Kansas-Arizona
Women's Sweet 16 Preview

LOCAL SPORTS
Mini-Marathon expects 12,000
Swarm kick off 1st arena season
Seven Four Seven heavy choice today at Turfway
Toledo 3, Cyclones 1
Sports on TV-Radio

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Spring Sports Previews
Ky. Girls Sweet 16 Games

NBA
NBA Games: Kobe scores 55 in Jordan's L.A. sendoff

WORLD FIGURE SKATING
Kwan wins short program at Worlds
Canadians win dance gold

TENNIS
Capriati reaches showdown with Serena

AUTO RACING
Stewart's car impounded