NCAA women: California enjoys respect but wants more

2013-03-23T00:00:00Z NCAA women: California enjoys respect but wants moreThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 23, 2013 12:00 am  • 

LUBBOCK, Texas - Cal players think it's cool that President Barack Obama's bracket has the Golden Bears in the Final Four.

And that's about as far as the Bears are going to take it. They are preparing to face 15th-seeded Fresno State today and perhaps regain their stride following a hiccup in the Pac-12 tournament two weeks ago that broke a 16-game win streak. Players say Obama's pick won't be a distraction for the second-seeded Bears.

For the record, Obama has chosen Baylor to beat Notre Dame in the final.

"Our focus is completely on tomorrow's game and all week long we worked on just getting better at the little stuff," senior center Talia Caldwell said. "Just perfecting things we have done all year, so it's nothing completely different."

This is the second time Cal and Fresno State have played in the first round of the tournament. The Golden Bears won 70-47 in 2009.

Sooners, Bruins could stage rematch in Round 2

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Oklahoma is trying not to get ahead of itself.

The Sooners are well aware of what team they could play if they take care of their first-round business today.

"It would really be cool to get a rematch with them," point guard Morgan Hook said of the possibility of meeting UCLA on Monday night.

First, the sixth-seeded Sooners take on Mid-American Conference tournament champion Central Michigan. Then the third-seeded Bruins meet Atlantic Sun tournament winner Stetson in the other first-round game.

If form holds, there could easily be a redo of UCLA's 86-80 win in Norman, Okla., on Nov. 14.

UCLA would need to get past Stetson today.

The Hatters say they didn't travel all the way to frosty Ohio just to turn around and head back home.

"The pressure's on them," coach Lynn Bria said of the Bruins. "They're supposed to win this game, according to the seed."

Colorado's Roberson keeps things in perspective

BOULDER, Colo. - Redshirt freshman Arielle Roberson is living out her very own silver linings playbook.

Shortly after arriving at the University of Colorado last season, she tore her left labrum, requiring season-ending surgery, something she now says made her both a better player and a better person.

"It changed my perspective on things," Roberson said. "Playing is a huge opportunity, it's a blessing. … I think it opened my eyes to a lot more, just in life, to being grateful for every little thing that you get to do."

That first week after her operation she mostly stayed in bed, homesick and crying herself to sleep. Luckily, her older brother Andre is a star forward on the Colorado men's basketball team. He was there for her, bringing dinner by her dorm, helping out with her homework, anything to keep her spirits up.

"He made sure he texted me, he called me, checked up on me like a nice, protective big brother," Roberson said with a wide smile Friday.

1 more chance for Diggins

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Skylar Diggins enters her final NCAA tournament with a sense of calmness after losses in the championship game the past two seasons.

"I'm really coming in with a light mood, approaching practice wanting to have fun and enjoy this moment, because it's my last go around. But the sense of urgency is greater," Diggins said Friday.

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