GREENSBORO, N.C. - She would much rather be playing today against Old Dominion, but Connecticut senior guard Mel Thomas knows she can't.
Thomas suffered a season-ending knee injury in January at Syracuse, costing her the final portion of her Huskies career.
But Thomas continues to find ways to contribute, from her constant clapping on the bench to writing a diary for the Hartford Courant. In her online diary, Thomas is documenting UConn's road to Tampa for the Final Four.
In her most recent entry, Thomas offered her thoughts on freshman star Maya Moore's moves prior to a recent practice.
"Maya provided the entertainment by showing us her middle school cheerleading moves," Thomas wrote. "If you think Maya's good at basketball, wait until you see this. She said that she had to choose between her two talents in eighth grade because the seasons overlapped. I think she made the wrong decision. She had such a bright future in cheerleading."
To read more of Thomas' insider reports, go to courant.com/diary.
OLD DYNASTY VS. NEW DYNASTY
Once upon a time, Old Dominion ruled women's college basketball, led by one of the sport's all-time greats in Nancy Lieberman.
The Lady Monarchs won back-to-back AIAW national titles in 1979 and '80, with Lieberman as the nation's top player. Old Dominion won an NCAA title in 1985, but over the last quarter-century, the Lady Monarchs have fallen off the national radar while Tennessee and Connecticut have dominated the sport.
Old Dominion has an opportunity to remind fans of its former greatness with a victory today over top-ranked Connecticut. The schools have played only seven times - Old Dominion's only win came in 1999 - and in their most recent meeting, Connecticut rolled to an 86-43 win at the Paradise Jam on Nov. 23 in the Virgin Islands.
CAROLINA ON THEIR MIND
A year ago, Rutgers advanced to the Final Four for the second time in school history by knocking off No. 1-ranked Duke, which had beaten the Scarlet Knights by 40 points earlier in the season, and then Arizona State in the Elite Eight.
Rutgers returned to the site of last year's triumphs on Saturday, practicing at the Greensboro Coliseum in preparation for today's game against George Washington.
"I remember looking at our highlight tape and we were so excited when we beat Duke," Rutgers coach
C. Vivian Stringer said.
Can the Knights pull off another surprise this season in Greensboro? Stringer hopes so, but if not, she is glad to be back for other reasons.
"I want some food, some real good food," she said. "Good food and beds that have down pillows."