Carolina women's basketball update

Updates on pre-season polls, Girls McDonalds A-A and 2003 NCAA tourney.

Ranked: The pre-season women's basketball polls are rolling out and despite a frustrating 00-01 campaign, the Heels are getting attention in the Top 25 in two of the polls released.

Carolina comes in at 19th in the Women's Basketball News Poll - one of four ACC teams in the poll. N.C. State gets the highest mark, coming in a pre-season sixth, followed by Duke at ninth and Clemson at 17th

Women's Basketball News also named senior guard Nikki Teasley to its Pre-season All-America second team. Duke's Alana Beard made the first team and Clemson's Chrissy Floyd and NC State's Carisse Moody are honorable mention selections.

Athlon Sports has the Heels 24th and goes so far to say, "North Carolina could be playing late into the coming campaign if coach Sylvia Hatchell can mesh her talented young players."

Three other ACC teams made the Athlon poll, Duke is fifth, N.C State 11th and Maryland comes in at 19th.

McDs: When the 2002 McDonald's All-American tips off in NYC next April, get ready for the girls.

For the first time, there will be a McDonald's All-American Women's Game. Long hailed as the most prestigious of the national prep basketball honors and all-star tournaments, the inclusion of a women's game is a tremendously positive step for women's basketball.

Carolina target LaTangela Atkinson from SC should be a strong candidate.

Gardin to Va Tech: Freedom (NC) forward Kerri Gardin recently verbally committed to Virginia Tech. Her coach indicated she chose Va. Tech over UNC, State and others. I don't think UNC was focusing on her, as by accounts, Atkinson is their top target at forward.

Regardless, Gardin is an excellent player on a perennially powerful Freedom squad and a 2nd team AP All-State selection. Shame to see local talent capable of playing in the ACC head out of state.

UNC has a commitment from Jessica Sell, a 6'0 G/F from West Virginia.

TV Time: The NCAA has changed their post-season tournament format date scheme starting in 2003.

The tournament will change to a Saturday-Monday and Sunday-Tuesday scheme so ESPN and ESPN2 can pick up more games. All the games will be available on an ESPN channel or their pay-per-view including the increasing popular digital cable packages.

The regionals will be played over four days instead of two, with two on Saturday, March 29, and Monday, March 31, and two on Sunday, March 30, and Tuesday, April 1. All regional games will be televised live on ESPN. The four regionals in 2003 will be at Dayton, Ohio (East), Knoxville, Tenn. (Mideast); Albuquerque, N.M. (Midwest); and Stanford, Calif. (West) but the Division I Women's Basketball Committee won't decide until next summer which regionals will be played on which dates. The 2003 women's Final Four will be played on Sunday, April 6, and Tuesday, April 8, at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

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