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Saturday, April 2, 2011
Teams ready to stop talking and start playing


INDIANAPOLIS -- The time for talk about the women's Final Four is almost over, as teams took the court Saturday for a last practice before Sunday's big games.

Top-seeded Stanford (33-2) plays No. 2 Texas A&M (31-5) at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN, followed by No. 1 Connecticut (36-1) vs. No. 2 Notre Dame (30-7) at 9:30 p.m. from Conseco Fieldhouse.

"This is a first time for us, in Texas A&M history, that we've made it to the Final Four, but we're trying to put the excitement to the side," Texas A&M senior guard Sydney Colson said. "We don't want to make it seem like we weren't expecting to be here … we knew it was a matter of time and it was really up to us working hard throughout the year and not giving up when adversity hit.

"And I'm really proud we did that."

The Aggies took a moment at the end of their open practice to pay tribute to the movie "Hoosiers," with coach Gary Blair getting on a ladder to measure the basketball rims.

The scene in the movie, which was filmed at nearby Hinkle Fieldhouse on the Butler campus, has the coach showing his players the rims are the same at the state championship game as in their home gym.

Blair was trying to symbolically do the same for his players, while invoking the theme that the underdogs win in the end in "Hoosiers."

Here's a quick look at what the players and coaches were saying Saturday:

• Texas A&M's Blair was his usual gregarious self, making the media laugh when he started talking about Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma.

What would Blair like from Connecticut?

"Geno's paycheck. His restaurants. His summer camps, his everything," Blair said, referencing Auriemma's lucrative ventures. "I'm just another pretty face up here. And Geno's got it all. And as Geno says, he's got Maya Moore."

• Stanford senior guard Jeanette Pohlen will compete in her fourth Final Four, but she's still looking to win the national championship.

"I guess maybe because this is our last chance, [feeling] a little bit more anxious, knowing that we're not going to have any games after this season, kind of puts a little bit into perspective," Pohlen said. "It's been a great career here, and I think leaving with a national championship would be kind of the icing on the cake."

• Notre Dame's fan contingent was loud and happy during the practice session, perhaps an indication of how the school's home-state advantage could play out. Senior forward Becca Bruszewski, a native of Valparaiso, Ind., hopes to see a lot of Irish supporters turn out to quell the UConn diehards.

"We hope it could be a home-court advantage, just in the essence of the fact we could have a lot of fans here. It's not a far trip," Bruszewski said of the two-hour drive from South Bend to Indianapolis. "We want to have as much support as possible; it helps when another team goes on a run or you're on a run yourself.

"… I ended my high school career here, so it's great to end my college career here."