Fans weigh in before final four finale – news – the columbus dispatch – columbus, oh middle georgia state university tuition

Her home white no. 1 jersey was displayed on a board atop a table as her mother, tracy thompson, took a break during what turned out to be quite a busy weekend for the family.

Notre dame upset undefeated uconn 91-89 in overtime in the women’s final four late friday, sending the fighting irish to sunday’s NCAA championship game against mississippi state, which beat louisville 73-63, also in overtime, in the earlier semifinal.

Tracy thompson said it’s been difficult for her daughter, a 22-year-old point guard who transferred from stanford, not to be able to play since she tore the ACL in her right knee during a dec. 31 game against wake forest. But she said her daughter’s teammates have embraced her and look to her for wisdom and experience.

In the arena district and at the convention center, notre dame’s opponent, mississippi state, was well-represented saturday. Very well. Maroon and white seemed to be the dominant colors downtown.Arena district

Among them were mom lindsey gentry and her daughters cayden, 11, and keelie, 8. Her girls were holding orange-and-purple basketballs for the team to sign. Cayden, a young basketball player herself, said the bulldogs, with just one loss this season, "inspire me to do better."

The family came up from starkville, the home of mississippi state, for the weekend. Gentry said she wouldn’t be surprised if more fans were traveling up from mississippi on saturday to take in the championship game on easter sunday.

A bulldogs win would be mississippi state’s first championship in any team sport and a huge deal back in starkville. Gentry, 41, who 20 years ago played basketball at columbus state university in georgia, said the women’s game has grown tremendously.

UConn’s 11 division I national championships are one big reason. But huskies fans lisa pasternak and liz jones of massachusetts, while disappointed with friday’s loss, realize their team can’t win it every year.Convention center

While final four weekend has been big for fans of the four participants, families from columbus and other parts of ohio came downtown to soak up the atmosphere. That included pat mcgarry, his wife, jan, and their 11-year-old daughter, addie, all from athens.

McGarry said the family is going to sunday’s final. They had no rooting interest for any team coming in, but addie is becoming a bulldogs fan. And they met up with katie smith, the former ohio state university star and now head coach of the WNBA’s new york liberty, for a meet-and-greet at the convention center. Smith is from logan in hocking county, jan mcgarry’s hometown.

Before heading over to the convention center, smith did a quick TV interview on the plaza in front of nationwide arena. Afterward, she mentioned how the weekend was also one big celebration for columbus. On saturday night, smith and her former columbus quest teammates were to receive overdue championship rings for the title they won in the 1997-1998 season of the now-defunct american basketball league.Arena district

Sunday night, another title is on the line. On saturday, a mother and daughter from tupelo, mississippi, were finishing lunch at the three-legged mare in the arena district. They were still energized from the big win the night before. They were not interested in being interviewed on the record. They didn’t want a fan story to take away from a team story.