espnW: LSU

And Now This Election Day Message From Les Miles

November, 4, 2014

Happy Election Day! If you’re not sure if you should go out and vote today, please read this very important message on your civic duty from LSU football coach Les. And he’s not just talking to Italian or Irish people, either!

Doesn’t this just make you feel proud to be an American? Thanks, Coach!

See something entertaining on social media that you think deserves to be shared? Let me know on Twitter, @darcymaine_espn.

Lloimincia Hall: 5 fast facts

April, 18, 2014
Lloimincia Hall AP Photo/Kyle OkitaLSU's Lloimincia Hall looks to become the first gymnast since 2005 to score a perfect 10 on beam at the NCAA championships.

She became a viral sensation earlier this month with her dynamic floor routine, and now LSU junior Lloimincia Hall is one of the most recognizable faces entering the NCAA gymnastics championships this weekend in Birmingham, Ala. Here are five fast facts about the tumbling star:

1. The 21-year old junior is the three-time reigning SEC floor exercise champion. Her routine at the NCAA regionals earned her third perfect 10 of the season and helped lift the Tigers into the NCAA championships. Hall holds the LSU record for most career perfect scores on the floor with five.

2. A Dallas native, Hall previously trained with Texas Dreams, which is run by former world champion Kim Zmeskal Burdette and her husband. The club has trained many past and present members of the U.S. national team, including Kennedy Baker, who has signed to compete with Florida next season, and Peyton Ernst.

3. Due in part to Hall's 10 on the floor at regionals, LSU tied Florida for the highest point total (198.375) of the season. The Tigers are ranked No. 3 (behind Florida and Oklahoma) in the nation entering the final weekend of competition.

4. Hall has 29 career titles at LSU, including 24 on the floor, which is third-best in school history. She also has two all-around titles, two on the vault and one on beam.

5. The 4-foot-11 sensation is majoring in sport administration and has twice made the SEC academic honor roll. She was recognized in 2013 as a National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women Scholastic All-American, an honor that requires a year-long or cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Bonus: If you're still clamoring for unique routines or moves to look out for this weekend, check out UCLA's Danusia Francis and her side-aerial dismount from the balance beam. The sophomore is the only known gymnast, at any level, performing the trick in competition.

Titles time, anyone?

March, 28, 2014
Rick Pitino, Jeff WalzAndy Lyons/Getty ImagesLouisville basketball coaches Rick Pitino and Jeff Walz both led their teams to the national championship game in 2013.

We're down to 12 teams in the men's bracket and 16 teams in the women's bracket, and four schools -- Connecticut, Tennessee, Kentucky and Louisville -- still have both their men's and women's teams alive and well amid the March Madness. There have been only 10 times in the history of the NCAA tournaments that both men's and women's programs from the same school have advanced all the way to the Final Four in the same year. Here we look back at those schools and how they fared:

Louisville, 2013: Both Cardinals teams made it all the way to the championship game. The men won the national championship with an 82-76 win over Michigan, but the women lost to Connecticut 93-60.

Connecticut, 2011: The men won their third national title in program history by holding off Butler 53-41 in the final, but the women were ousted in the semifinals by then-Big East rival and national runner-up Notre Dame 72-63.

Connecticut, 2009: The women won their sixth national title with a 76-54 rout over Louisville in the final. The men, however, fell to Michigan State 82-73 in the semifinals.

LSU, 2006: Neither team advanced to the final. The men fell to runner-up UCLA 59-45 and the women were ousted by runner-up Duke 64-45.

Michigan State, 2005: The women made it to the final but fell short, losing to Baylor 84-62. The men lost in the semifinals to eventual champion North Carolina, 87-71.

Connecticut, 2004: Connecticut became the only school to celebrate men's and women's basketball national championships in the same year. Led by Most Outstanding Player Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon, the men beat Georgia Tech 82-73 in the final. Led by Diana Taurasi, the women topped rival Tennessee 70-61 to claim their third consecutive national championship.

Texas, 2003: Neither Longhorns squad advanced to the final and both lost to the eventual national champion. The men fell to Syracuse and Carmelo Anthony 94-84 in the semis, and the women were edged by Connecticut 71-69.

Oklahoma, 2002: The women advanced to the national championship game, but fell to UConn 82-70. The men were ousted in the semifinals by national runner-up Indiana, 73-64.

Duke, 1999: Both teams came up one win short of a national title. The men fell to Connecticut 77-74 in the national championship game, and the women lost to Purdue, 62-45, in the final.

Georgia, 1983: Both programs' runs came to an end in the national semifinals. The men lost 67-60 to Jim Valvano's NC State, the eventual national champions. The women fell to eventual champion USC and Cheryl Miller, 87-51.

Familiar storyline for LSU

March, 30, 2013
Nikki Caldwell
AP Photo/Bill FeigNikki Caldwell is looking to lead LSU to its ninth Elite Eight.
LSU looks to extend its storybook run at the women’s NCAA tournament tonight in Spokane against Cal. The story may seem more like a sequel to the Lady Tigers, who advanced to the Final Four the last time they played in the regionals in Washington State. As a No. 4 seed in 2004, LSU survived the first two rounds in Baton Rouge before cutting down the nets in Seattle. This year, as a No. 6 seed, LSU was left standing in Baton Rouge before heading to Spokane. Time will tell if they can write another happy ending.