|THE SHOW WILL BE THURSDAY NIGHT !!!|
Doris Burke and Dave O'Brien will be calling the Saturday action at the KFC YUM! Center and have promised to be on the show and live at Chili's during the broadcast. This is a great opportunity to get their insights into the women's tournament and ask questions.
The show starts at 7 p.m. and they do not take reservations for the show, so get down there early and take advantage of the chance to ask two of the top broadcasters in the women's basketball realm their opinions.
Join them...and Paulie too...at Chili's Thursday!
WHO WILL CHALLENGE U CONN?
When it comes to deciphering and analyzing the 2017 NCAA WBB Brackets...there is one tenet that would be a good one to follow. Unless you're an over-the-top, blinded by the light, fanatical supporter of you team...put UConn in the final game and then, figure out the other 62 match-ups and if anyone stands a ghost of a chance in beating them. Nothing is guaranteed, we get that...but UConn is pretty close to being a 1/9 odds or better sure thing.
Today, we'll look at Bridgeport and Lexington... not as vacation destinations...but as two of the four regions for this year's women's March Madness destinations. It's said getting there is half the fun...so let's see who has the hot hand and who just might be a flash in the pan. I'll give you who I think will win these four regions and we'll take a look at Oklahoma City and Stockton tomorrow. Don't forget to enter The Cardinal Couple Women's NCAA Pick'Em Tournament!
First round games in this region offer a few interesting match-ups. Syracuse as an #8 seed is a bit disrespectful, in my opinion, and should have no trouble getting by an Iowa St. squad that finished 18-12 and 9-9 in conference. The Cyclones finished fairly strong but will run out of wind against "Q" three-point barrage. The winner gets the unenviable task of facing UConn in Storrs...who will romp Albany in the opening round. It'll be "two and through for Q".
Texas A&M gets #12 seed Penn to open. Penn did win the Ivy League, which got them in the dance..but they haven't seen the likes of Danni Williams and Khaalia Hillsman and A&M advances...no #12 ove #5 upset here. The Aggies will most likely face a UCLA squad that gets Boise St. Jordin Canada and Monique Billings should lead the home-standing Bruins to an easy win in the opener but will have their hands full with Gary Blair's College station crew.
West Virginia opens against Elon in what may be a closer game than many expect. The Mountaineers came on strong by winning the Big 12 and knocking off Oklahoma, Texas and Baylor. Elon should prove to be less challenging. They'll likely draw off against host Maryland in the second round...who inexplicably got a #3 seed. They'll take it out on Bucknell to open and set up a WVU vs. Maryland second round...a fierce rivalry exists between those two...especially in football. Temple and Oregon comes to Durham to face each other in the #7 vs. #10 opener...Temple probably the third best team in the AAC behind UConn and USF. The Owls lost to USF in the AAC semis and I can see them losing against to an Oregon squad that went 20-13 in the tough PAC 12 and beat Washington in the conference dance before losing to strong Stanford.
Duke will handle Hampton without much difficulty and get the Ducks in the second round. The Blue Devils are dangerous with Lexie Brown, Rebecca Greenwell and Oderah Chidom...I see them advancing past Oregon to face Maryland in Bridgeport. These former ACC foes will be playing this one to face UConn...who should get by Syracuse and Texas A&M to reach the Bridgeport final. I advanced Maryland here but this one could really go either way. Regardless, one would be wise to write UConn in as the Final Four representative form the Bridgeport Region. Yes, the Huskies they'll be tested by Syracuse and A&M...but should move ahead....basically in their backyard the whole time. Connecticut is the pick to advance. (all those words just for that obvious pick?)
Cinderella Team: Texas A&M will give UConn all they want. It won't be enough, though.
Notre Dame headlines the sixteen teams that will hope for a trip to Lexington. They'll open in South Bend against Robert Morris. The Colonials won the Northeast Tournament over Bryant...the third time in four years they've done that. They have no shot against the Irish, though. Notre Dame will get the winner of Green Bay vs. Purdue. I haven't been a big fan of Big 10 hoops this year but I can see Purdue, with Ashley Morissette and Andreona Keys...plus a win over Ohio St. in the Big 10 Tournament getting the win. Exciting for Louisville Assumption product Nora Kiesler getting the chance to dance.
Speaking of Ohio State, they head to Lexington as a #5 seed to face Western Kentucky. The dangerous Kelsey Mitchell against the balanced, CUSA winner with Michelle Clark-Heard guiding them. The heart says go with the Toppers, but logically...the Buckeye should advance. If they do, they'll get the winner of Kentucky and Belmont. Glad that head Belmont coach and former UofL assistant Can Newbauer gets the chance to dance again...he's been a super coach down in Nashville...but I see the Cats advancing to the second round. NC State and Auburn head to Texas to give us a ACC vs. SEC match-up. I'm high on this NC State squad and think they'll move on to get the winner of Texas and Central Arkansas. I think the Wolfpack can and will beat Texas. Stanford hosts at home and should romp New Mexico St. They'll face either Drake or Kansas St. Drake is for real this year and I predict the #10 seeded Bulldogs, who blew through the MVC and have won 22 games in a row, will down the Wildcats.
Lexington will have no Wildcats in the Lexington Region. They're will be Buckeyes, Longhorns, Irish and the Cardinal. Notre Dame will advance to face NC State and the regional final will be an ACC rematch between Notre Dame and NC State. We'll recommend that Notre Dame represents the Lexington Region in Dallas
Cinderella team: Drake has the incredible Lizzy Wendell...who will be fun to watch. I'd love to see what she could do against Stanford.
CARDINAL COUPLE PICK 'EM
Yes, the madness is upon us.
You can enter the Cardinal Couple Pick 'Em and win a $25 gift card to either Panera or Cracker Barrel if you're picks are the best or second best.
Leave your picks in the comments section or e-mail them directly to us and the bracket chairman Sonja at:
Speaking of Madam Chairman...here's her picks!
UConn, Syracuse, Texas A&M, UCLA, West Virginia, Maryland, Temple, Duke
Baylor, LSU, Dayton, Louisville, Oklahoma, Washington, DePaul, Miss. State.
Notre Dame, Green Bay, WKU, Kentucky, NC State, Texas, Drake, Stanford,
South Carolina, Mich. St., Quinnipiac, Miami, USF, FSU, Toldeo, Oregon St.,
UConn, Texas A&M, Maryland, Duke, Baylor, Louisville, Washington, DePaul
Notre Dame, WKU, NC State, Stanford, South Carolina, Miami, USF, Oregon St.
UConn, Duke, Baylor, Washington, Notre Dame, Stanford, Miami, Oregon St.
UConn, Baylor, Notre Dame, Oregon St.