Foe knows the drill
The season so far: DePaul is 26-7 and has won 13 of its past 14 games, including a run to its second consecutive Big East tournament title. The Blue Demons were the league’s regular-season co-champions, tying Seton Hall with a 15-3 conference record. They beat the Pirates 78-68 in the Big East title game to extend their win streak to seven games.
The featured players: Senior guard Brittany Hrynko was named the Big East player of the year and is a finalist for the Dawn Staley Award, given to the nation’s top guard. She leads the league in scoring at 19.6 points per game, and her 670 career assists are three short of the DePaul record. Sophomore guard Jessica January is a former Richfield High School star who has started all 33 games and averages 11.9 points.
Tournament history: The Blue Demons will make their 13th NCAA appearance in a row and their 20th overall. They are among eight programs that have made the tournament in each of the past 13 years, joining Connecticut, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Georgia, Duke, Stanford and Oklahoma.
Tournament results: In three of the past four seasons, DePaul has won its first-round game. It is 12-19 in the NCAA tournament and has gotten as far as the Sweet Sixteen in 2006, 2011 and 2014.
Against the Gophers: The programs have met only once, and that was practically in ancient times. The Gophers beat DePaul 82-64 on Nov. 26, 1982 in the Dial Classic in Minneapolis.
Also in the ‘Notre Dame’ pod ...
(1) Notre Dame
The football team may have fallen on hard times, but women’s basketball has been the pride of the Irish in recent years. Notre Dame (31-2) earned its 20th consecutive NCAA tournament berth and captured a No. 1 seed for the fourth year in a row. Ranked No. 2 in both national polls, the Fighting Irish have gone 10-1 against ranked opponents and won the ACC regular-season and tournament titles. Guard Jewell Loyd, the ACC player of the year and espnW’s national player of the year, averages 20.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists. Notre Dame won the NCAA championship in 2001 and has been to the Final Four six times, including each of the past four seasons.
The Lady Griz (24-8) are a frequent presence at the NCAA tournament, too, making their 21st appearance after missing out on an invitation last season. They earned their place by winning the Big Sky Conference tournament, adding that crown to their regular-season championship. Coach Robin Selvig, the Big Sky coach of the year, has 845 career victories, eighth most in Division I history. Senior guard Kellie Rubel was named co-MVP of the Big Sky Conference and averages 14 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists.