Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Real Sports Racket

Basketball makes the most noise this time of year, of course, but it's far from the only game on the schedule. We have pulled up to a table of sports feasting that could even keep the heartiest appetites satisfied. What am I talking about? Right now we have men's and women's basketball (men fresh off the tourney with two teams moving on...women launching their tourney, more on all that below), men's and women's track & field, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's golf, baseball, softball--really, they're all active right now with games, meets, tournaments, and more. So while hoop-heads go into fits this time of year, don't forget all those other collegiate student-athletes trying to make a racket (or run, etc.) in their respective sports. You can always keep up with ALL the Big South sports via or through the sites of the member schools (links in the right column).

I'm trying to give some equal time, but let's face it, no one can hear me over the hoops hysteria--known far and wide as March Madness (a registered trademark of the NCAA...seriously).

The men's tournament ended with Winthrop taking control in the final against UNC Asheville and earning the automatic NCAA berth for the Eagles, while the Bulldogs know they will be NIT-bound. Neither squad knows its destination or opponent yet, but that info will come soon enough...

Congrats to Winthrop senior Michael Jenkins, who played an impressive game in the final on the way to earning Championship MVP honors and the team win. Jenkins (Big South all-time leader in games played) led an All-Tournament team that included teammate and fellow senior Chris Gaynor (Big South all-time leader in steals), Andy Buechert --also from Winthrop (who did an admirable job defending against the much larger Kenny George in the paint), and Asheville's K.J. Garland and Bryan Smithson.

All of which brings us full circle, because I'm back to writing this from Asheville...SHOUT may have disappeared for a few days, but the Big South Conference has been going full speed: finishing one tournament, preparing to launch another, conducting the Winter Meetings for the member institutions, and all on top of doing all those things that keep the Conference moving (remember all those other sports?)!

The Women's Championship begins tomorrow...the All-Conference honors were announced at the banquet tonight. Awards were shared all around, but Liberty certainly got plenty of hardware to take home: Regular Season Champions, Coach of the Year (Carey Green), and Player of the Year (Megan Frazee). All that and they don't even play tomorrow--they earned a bye into the semifinals. For your gateway to tourney stories, game and interview video, the full list of honors for the women and the men, and the championship pages with brackets and schedules, you can get to all that and more from one central point---The Advance Auto Parts 2008 Basketball Championships Media Center. Give it a click, give it a look--all the game articles and plenty of details for the die-hards.

I'm out--have a good night--enjoy the games!!!!!!

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