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THE PILOTS ARE DANCING! Congratulations 2020 WCC Champions!

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default THE PILOTS ARE DANCING! Congratulations 2020 WCC Champions!

Post by PilotNut on Tue Mar 10, 2020 3:37 pm

This is worthy of it's own thread...  The Pilots are headed to the NCAA tournament after beating USD in the WCC tourney final today in Vegas.  Well done, Pilots!

bouncebouncebouncebounce

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Post by Guest on Tue Mar 10, 2020 3:42 pm

Current front page for NCAA WBB:

THE PILOTS ARE DANCING! Congratulations 2020 WCC Champions! Annota10

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Post by Guest on Tue Mar 10, 2020 3:44 pm

So who does seeding projections for WBB? Being a #16 seed in Eugene would be a difficult assignment.

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Post by blacksheep on Tue Mar 10, 2020 3:49 pm

up7587 wrote:So who does seeding projections for WBB?  Being a #16 seed in Eugene would be a difficult assignment.

I watched the Ducks play while in Vegas on Friday and I agree. They are pretty good.
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Post by Rob's Jacket on Tue Mar 10, 2020 3:54 pm

ESPN's bracketology from this morning had the Portland/San Diego winner playing at Stanford as a 15 seed.

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Post by Guest on Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:00 pm

Rob's Jacket wrote:ESPN's bracketology from this morning had the Portland/San Diego winner playing at Stanford as a 15 seed.

Well, there won't be any fans in attendance there (banned due to coronavirus), reducing the home court advantage.

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Post by FloridaPilot on Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:16 pm

I’m shaking I am so excited! Watching the game, I was just pacing around with nervous energy. I never in my life thought I would see a Pilots team in the Tournament. Thank you ladies! So proud of them! Champions forever!

Everything else at this point is just icing on the cake.

If we had to sacrifice the men’s team, it was well worth it.

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Post by Guest on Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:29 pm

The ESPN bracketologist was at the game. He'll need to update his bracket, currently showing San Diego with the bid.
http://www.espn.com/womens-college-basketball/bracketology

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Post by Dean Murdoch on Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:40 pm

This is so cool. Loved seeing the reactions around campus as the team progressed through the tournament. Congrats, Pilots!!
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Post by DoubleDipper on Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:59 pm

Geezaldinho wrote:DAAANCIN’

Great job, ladies

Worst to first
Well, not exactly worst to first...

Coach Sorenson did a pretty good job with a young team (without her recruit Alex Fowler) last season finishing 8th (5-13), while USD tied USF for 9th with a 2-16 record.

However, UP was picked to come in 10th this season (USD was picked to finish 8th)...because the Pilots had a new coach with no D1 experience, I guess. Rolling Eyes

I can understand why USD's Cindy Fisher might have been picked as Coach of the Year and GU's Jill Townsend as Player of the Year, but I bet both Fisher and Townsend would give their awards to Meek and Fowler just for a chance to go dancin'. Basketball
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Post by Rob's Jacket on Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:14 pm

I can't stop smiling. This is just so damn cool.

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Post by DoubleDipper on Tue Mar 10, 2020 5:31 pm

Dean Murdoch wrote:This is so cool. Loved seeing the reactions around campus as the team progressed through the tournament. Congrats, Pilots!!
https://twitter.com/i/status/1237511682114482176
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Post by Sound Voltex on Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:31 pm

LAS VEGAS — You want motivation? How about being picked to finish last?

Portland freshman forward Alex Fowler admits she and her teammates were insulted.

“Yeah, definitely we were,” she said. “I don’t think there’s many teams that can say they were picked to finish dead last and then win the entire tournament. It’s just a great feeling for us.”

That was season-long fuel for the Pilots, who upended the bottom-dwelling expectations of rival coaches and captured the title in the University Credit Union West Coast Conference Tournament with a 64-63 overtime victory over San Diego in Tuesday’s championship game at Orleans Arena.

The Pilots (21-11) earned their first NCAA tournament bid since 1997 and won their first WCC tourney crown since ’94.

Fowler won Most Outstanding Player honors after posting 21 points and 10 rebounds in the championship game, and fellow Australian Haylee Andrews made the biggest plays for the second straight game.

After hitting the game-winning shot in the semifinal upset of top-seeded Gonzaga, the sophomore guard scored to tie the USD game with 4.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter, then converted a go-ahead drive to the basket with 58 seconds left in OT.

“Honestly, it’s a bit of pressure isn’t it? But it’s fun,” said Andrews, who had 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists, joining Fowler on the all-tournament team. “It’s nice to know my teammates and my coach trusts me, they trust me to make the right move or take the right shot.”

Asked if they’re going to begin expecting this on a regular basis, Andrews just smile. “After this weekend, yes.”

First-year coach Michael Meek, who came to Portland after an impressive run of success at nearby tiny George Fox University, said he wasn’t sure what to expect this season.

But athletic director Scott Leykam, who hired him, recalls the day last fall when Meek walked into his office with the news of the WCC preseason coaches poll.

“We were bummed,” Leykam said. “But we knew we were better. `Hey, maybe we can be .500 in league? Maybe we can beat a couple people?’ “

“You don’t want to be picked last,” Meek acknowledged, “but it’s fun being the underdog. Fun getting to have that chip and attitude towards things. Nothing was expected except what we expected from each other.”

Fowler’s parents, John and Holly, made the trip to Vegas from their home in Townsville, a city of 178,000 in North Queensland, Australia, to watch the tournament. They didn’t know what to expect this week, or even this season.

Said John, “We were just hoping Alexandra would settle into the university, settle into academics side . . .”

“And for her to get some court time,” Holly interrupted.

Some court time? Fowler was a first-team All-WCC pick and the WCC Newcomer of the Year, and she averaged 23 points and nine rebounds in the conference tournament.

The reality is there was no reason for WCC coaches to have much faith in the Pilots. They were 15-75 in league play the previous five seasons and had a new coach.

Meek saw something in his players that gave him hope early.

“There wasn’t a lot of belief from the outside but they believed in each other, they trusted each other, they loved each other, they cared for each other,” he said. “All the things that great teams do that are trying to reach championships.”

Then, when the team secured the No. 4 seed, Meek’s expectations grew, even though the Pilots would face three teams against whom they were a combined 0-6.

“I felt like this could be a thing that we could do,” he said. “I thought we could compete with anybody in the league. I knew it would be tough, and it was. We played three awesome teams.”

San Diego (20-11), hoping for its first NCAA bid in 12 years, forced the Pilots into 11 first-quarter turnovers, but the game remained tight throughout.

“Great game, disappointing loss,” said Toreros coach Cindy Fisher, who expects her team to get a WNIT bid. “Both teams left it all on the floor. Hat’s off to Portland. They’ve just played an excellent tournament.”

From Townsville to Portland: Fowler was named the event’s top player, but Andrews — who comes from the same Australian city — was just as impactful.

“They’ve both been phenomenal all year, just like our team. So many different players have stepped up,” Meek said. “Haylee is such a phenomenal leader, she’s a warrior. When the game is on the line, she is so cool and collected. She’s clearly one of the best players in the league and I think she showed that this tournament.”

No argument from Fisher, but she has been bowled over by Fowler.

“Alex Fowler is just a phenomenal post player. She is super-hard to guard,” Fisher said. “We did everything we could on her. She’s a competitor.”

Turnovers kept coming: Portland prevailed despite turning the ball over 24 times. Then again, the Toreros had 21 giveaways of their own.

“Quite funny,” Portland’s Andrews said, “because going into the first quarter we specifically said, `Don't turn the ball over.’ Credit to San Diego. They’re very good defensively — they’re long and very athletic and they really got after us and they really put us on our back foot.

“But once we got the nerves out and started to get going it was sailing from there.”

Fisher wasn’t surprised. “We’re both defensive teams, we’re both going to get after you,” she said. “We’re both going to rotate and trap and get hands . . . all of our games with them have been a little bit ugly like that with a lot of turnovers.”

A pretty good hire: Leykam said he sat in the stands at George Fox games last season, and came away impressed by the man he would eventually hire to coach the Pilots.

“He is somebody I had my eye on for a long time,” Leykam said. “He’s an amazing tactician. And the way he connected — every kid looked him in the eye.

“He will never take credit, but as an X’s and O’s guy, in a league like this, you look at how we did against teams the second or third time, we adjusted to them.”

All-tournament team: Besides Fowler and Andrews, the WCC all-tournament squad included Leticia Soares and Myah Pace of USD and Hannah Friend of Pepperdine.

https://wccsports.com/news/2020/3/10/womens-basketball-faraudo-portland-completes-title-run.aspx

Listening to Jason Swygard was just as nerve-wracking at my ESPN-less work desk (maybe because you can't "see" any action, plus it had a 30 second delay from live stats and don't wanna spoil yourself early) but it was worth it to hear "PILOTS ARE GOING DANCING" for the first (hopefully not the last) time in my life Smile
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Post by Geezaldinho on Tue Mar 10, 2020 8:20 pm

Rob's Jacket wrote:ESPN's bracketology from this morning had the Portland/San Diego winner playing at Stanford as a 15 seed.

So... no problem!
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Post by Geezaldinho on Tue Mar 10, 2020 8:47 pm

Canzano weighs in.

https://www.oregonlive.com/sports/2020/03/canzano-no-regrets-in-las-vegas-for-ncaa-tournament-bound-university-of-portland-pilots.html

Usually when he does, there’s a problem.

I think he’s wrong about Fowler not starting at Gonzaga. She starts anywhere in this league.
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Post by DoubleDipper on Tue Mar 10, 2020 9:09 pm

Geezaldinho wrote:Canzano weighs in.I think he’s wrong about Fowler not starting at Gonzaga. She starts anywhere in this league.
It was not Canzano, but Pete Newell, Jr. who made the comment about no UP players starting at GU.  I've known Pete for a long, long time...take no notice of anything he says.

Put more credibility in the players shouting, "Mike... Mike... Mike!"
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Post by PilotDrummer on Wed Mar 11, 2020 7:06 am

That....that was fun.
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Post by FloridaPilot on Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:49 pm

Figures that we finally make the tournament and then this happens... https://twitter.com/NCAA/status/1237838583630721027

NCAA wrote:The NCAA continues to assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with public health officials and our COVID-19 advisory panel. Based on their advice and my discussions with the NCAA Board of Governors, I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance. While I understand how disappointing this is for all fans of our sports, my decision is based on the current understanding of how COVID-19 is progressing in the United States. This decision is in the best interest of public health, including that of coaches, administrators, fans and, most importantly, our student-athletes. We recognize the opportunity to compete in an NCAA national championship is an experience of a lifetime for the students and their families. Today, we will move forward and conduct championships consistent with the current information and will continue to monitor and make adjustments as needed.

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Post by DoubleDipper on Wed Mar 11, 2020 2:15 pm

Wide ranging economic ramifications for many, many facets of the travel industry...

Not sure what "limited family attendance" means, but Emmert's statement would appear to rule out the important conferences that coaches attend at the Final Four as a means of hiring and getting hired...perhaps the ban will be lifted by the beginning of April.

Disappointing to say the least, but I'm guessing it will have little impact on UP's WCC Tournament Championship team...
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Post by FloridaPilot on Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:51 pm

Tournament's cancelled. But, we still get to raise a banner in Chiles next year!

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Post by Guest on Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:59 pm

Hey, finished the season by winning the last game! No other WCC team can say that.

Too bad they miss the experience, but gives them incentive to get there again.

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Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:40 pm

Disneyland is closed starting Saturday until the end of March.
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Post by Guest on Thu Mar 12, 2020 2:42 pm

With no March Madness to watch now, at least NASCAR will still be on TV.
nascar-to-run-atlanta-homestead-without-spectators

What about WrestleMania?

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Post by Geezaldinho on Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:05 pm

The  ncaa has cancelled all winter and Spring championships. Sports is over for the year.


Last edited by Geezaldinho on Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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