http://thecabin.net/interact/opinion/columns/2012-03-11/mccollums-column-appetizers-wnit-montana-spring-football#.T15HTnm69uYMcCollum's Column: Appetizers From WNIT to Montana to spring football
By David McCollum
With several basketball ingredients, here is a fresh batch of “David’s Appetizers,” assorted musings and observations from the sports scene:
Going into Saturday afternoon, the following teams had automatic berths in the WNIT: Central Arkansas (Southland), American (Patriot), Cal Poly (Big West), Davidson (Southern), Eastern Illinois (OVC), Fairfied (Metro Atlantic), Harvard (Ivy), Oral Roberts (Sumit) and Stetson (Atlantic Sun).
It will be late Monday night before the Sugar Bears learn their pairing, likely sometime between 9 and 11 p.m. There is no television special. The pairings will be announced on the WNIT website.
It would be interesting if the Sugar Bears are matched against ORU, which will be a member of the Southland next season. As far as a regional matchup, the University of Memphis could be another possibility.
However, on one person’s bracketology that had SLC member McNeese State, originally projected for the WNIT, playing at Brigham Young.
Depending on pairings and logistics, UCA could even host a game.
All WNIT games will be played on campus sites.
So, it’s anybody’s guess depending how the final field is set.
CLEANING THINGS UP
Nicholls State had clinched a berth in the SLC women’s field before the last playing date. However, the Colonels dropped from a No. 5 seed to an No 8 seed because they had inadvertently played an ineligible player in a win over UTA.
In the latest women’s basketball RPI, UCA is 88. Arkansas-Little Rock, the tourney champion of the Sun Belt, is 95. Of Sun Belt teams, only Middle Tennessee State has a lower RPI than UCA even though the Sun Belt as a conference is ranked much higher overall. Of the teams that the Sugar Bears played with higher RPIs, they were 3-2 (two wins over McNeese and UT Martin and losses to Georgia Tech and Texas Tech.
For the media types who play with potential brackets, SLC tourney champ McNeese State, which defeated Stephen F. Austin 60-56 for the championship, is tabbed as a No. 14 seed and speculated to be sent to Norfolk, Va., for the first round of the women’s tournament against projected third seed Miami. Louisville and Dayton are speculated to be the other part of that sub-regional.FAMILIAR SITE
Upon a late-night viewing of the Big Sky tourney championship, the site looked familiar, particularly that big Grizzly Bear at midcourt.It was the University of Montana’s basketball arena, where the postgame news conference was held after the Grizzlies’ victory over UCA in the NCAA FCS second round.
In the basketball game, the Grizzlies defeated Boise State for the championship. Montana has power inside, its big men can shoot from outside and their guards are quick. Depending on the matchup, they could be a tough drawer for a higher seed in the NCAA tournament.And after watching the atmosphere in that gymnasium and that basketball celebration, Montana fans are just as passionate about basketball as football.
It’s hard to believe it’s football time again. UCA began spring drills Saturday afternoon.
It will be the usual spring of teaching for the Bears, but some of the frontline position battles will continue beyond into fall camp and possibly the early games.
At some positions, particularly wide receiver and defensive end, the depth chart will gain a different perspective in August, when some recruits arrive who will be placed on the fast track. The addition of running back Jackie Hinton and defensive lineman Larry Duvall, who will be held out of spring because of offseason surgeries, could also change the dynamic at the end of the summer.