|NCAA women: Florida head coach has fond memory of Bowling Green (3-17-12)|
|Written by By JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Saturday, 17 March 2012 17:29|
Amanda Butler, Florida’s women’s head basketball coach, is hoping the Gators can make another fond memory in Bowling Green on Sunday.
Butler was the point-guard on Florida’s 1993 team which played an NCAA tournament game against Bowling Green in Anderson Arena. She helped the Gators post a 69-67 victory in Florida’s first NCAA appearance. The game was played 19 years ago on March 17.
On Sunday, Florida faces Ohio State in the NCAA tournament at the Stroh Center. Tipoff is at 12:15 p.m. The Baylor-UC Santa Barbara game follows the Florida-OSU contest. Sunday’s two winners play Tuesday at 7 p.m.
“It’s kind of neat to be back here,” Butler said on Saturday about returning to Bowling Green. “At this time of year you want to play in a place where girls’ and women’s basketball is important. I think Bowling Green is one of those places, so it makes it fun.”
Butler was the starter at point-guard for the Gators in 1993, but broke her hand in practice between the Southeastern Conference tournament and the NCAA appearance and had to come off the bench in the Bowling Green game.
Butler played only 13 minutes against Bowling Green, but had three assists and a 3-pointer as the Gators rallied in the second half for the win.
Butler likes her initial view of the Stroh Center.
“This place is beautiful,” Butler said. “Just driving past it last night and just walking through the halls to get to our locker room, it’s an amazing facility that Bowling Green, obviously, can be very proud of. It’s a little different than the venue I remember from a few years back.
“We have not talked too much about the historical significance. That was our first NCAA appearance. It was a squeak-out win over a very, very good Bowling Green team.” Butler added.
On the other hand, Ohio State head coach Jim Foster is still upset with the Buckeyes receiving a No. 8 seed for the tournament.
“Just curious, from a historical perspective in the history of the NCAA tournament; has there ever been a team that was 8-4 against the Top 25 RPI seeded eighth?” Foster said Saturday. “And if not, why a history-making decision.”
Greg Christopher, BG’s athletics director is the chairman of the NCAA selection committee for the women.
Foster said he had a “very long conversation’’ with Christopher on Saturday morning, but he would not comment directly on what he and Christopher discussed.
“I’ll keep that personal,” Foster said. “We will continue to have long conversations. We have agreed to meet and have another conversation.”
Foster is also not pleased that OSU’s Samantha Prahalis and Baylor’s Brittney Griner are not playing in a large media center.
“The people of Ohio have seen her (Prahalis) for four years,” Foster said. “I think it would be a wonderful opportunity to go into another environment and bring people that may not necessarily see the game.
“I’d like to see more thought in taking our best players and our best teams and not protecting them, but using them as attributes and assets,” he continued. “Quite frankly, I’d like to see Brittney Griner in Chicago this weekend. With all due respect to Bowling Green, it (Chicago) is the third-largest media center in the United States.
“Sell the game. Promote the game. Think the game. Having said that, I’ve really grown fond of the state of Ohio. I’m glad to be here.”
Tangy Williams, who played for Bowling Green against Florida in the 1993 NCAA game, is Ohio State’s director of operations for the women’s basketball. She also played 13 minutes in the NCAA game, scoring four points and adding five rebounds.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 17 March 2012 20:03|
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