As a No. 6 seed, the LSU Lady Tigers don’t exactly go into the NCAA tournament as a Cinderella.
But they’ve brought along some new slippers all the same.
LSU players traded in the pink shoes they wore their past eight games for gold ones that they will debut in Sunday’s NCAA first-round game against No. 11 seed Green Bay in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center (6:30 p.m. on ESPN2).
The Lady Tigers broke out the pink shoes Feb. 10 for their Pink Game against Georgia and wore them until they lost, again against Georgia in the Southeastern Conference tournament.
“We wore down those pink shoes pretty good,” said Theresa Plaisance, who with teammate Jeanne Kenney each lifted a foot over the interview table to show off their new kicks.
“They’re the same brand” as the pink shoes, Kenney said, “just a different color. So if you’re superstitious, it goes a long way.”
LSU coach Nikki Caldwell shook her head when asked about the new shoes — then admitted she will be debuting a new pair for Sunday’s game herself.
Cal Poly coaches and players will wear orange ribbons Sunday in memory of Cal State Fullerton women’s basketball assistant coach Monica Quan.
Quan and her fiancé, Keith Lawrence, were found shot to death Feb. 3 in their car near their apartment in Irvine, Calif.
Authorities believe they were killed by Christopher Dorner, the former Los Angeles policeman who was suspected in the deaths of four people before his remains were found inside a burned-out mountain cabin north of Los Angeles on Feb. 14.
For most coaches, a mid-major like Green Bay is a stepping stone to a BCS-level job.
Kevin Borseth took that step in 2007, leaving Green Bay after nine successful seasons to go to Michigan.
But after five seasons in Ann Arbor, including Michigan’s first NCAA tournament appearance in his tenure last season, Borseth returned to Green Bay when former coach Matt Bollant left for Illinois.
“Things on the BCS level ... I felt it was all about your job, not about your life,” he said. “I thought, from my perspective, that living was important, and I get a better chance to live my life at Green Bay than on the higher stage.”
Of Cal Poly’s 17 players, 16 are from California. The only import is Maddison Allen, an injured forward from Brisbane, Australia.
The Mustangs are playing a game east of the Mississippi River for the first time since a trip to Illinois in November 2010. Their only two games this season outside the Pacific time zone were Nov. 9 at Oklahoma State and Jan. 24 at Hawaii.
“Never bet against a coach whose name is Faith, because anything can happen.”
— Cal Poly coach Faith Mimnaugh on her team being a huge underdog to Penn State on Sunday
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