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Published: Sunday, 3/18/2007

The Falcons pulled it off

The Falcons won an NCAA tournament game for the first time since 1989. The Falcons won an NCAA tournament game for the first time since 1989.
CARLOS OSORIO / AP Enlarge

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- You know what was cool about Bowling Green's win today?

Other than the big comeback, the clutch 3's, the calm performance in the face of immense, national-television audience pressure?

The Falcons worked the entire year to win that game. Everything they did starting last March was to get a tournament victory.

They scheduled numerous NCAA tournament teams in the non-conference so they would get a seed that would give them a chance.

Ali Mann came up big when she was needed -- like she always does. Ali Mann came up big when she was needed -- like she always does.
CARLOS OSORIO / AP Enlarge

It's taken them two years to learn how to defend bigger girls in the post, but they have learned how to minimize the damage down there.

Kate Achter has built up such endurance in her three years here that she can play 40 minutes and not miss a beat.

It was nice to set all the records, but everything they did was to get to this point. I blogged about this last week, but mid-majors everywhere follow the same formula. And the Falcons pulled it off.

Vanderbilt appeared to be quite jittery in its first-round game today. The Commodores did not look like what I thought a No. 2 seed should.

But Vandy can hit the three and has some skilled, big post players. They won the SEC tournament, for gosh sakes.

One thing's for sure, BGSU will be playing relaxed. After the game, Achter said the win was "a big relief. A lot of pressure is off us. It s smooth sailing from here."

The Falcons are the underdog again. There's nowhere they'd rather be.



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