Texas A&M point guard Jordan Jones rattles off the names of teams that make up the Sweet 16 like she is handing out assists.
Jones has been busy of late directing the Aggies (26-8) to the Sweet 16 and their matchup with upset-minded DePaul (29-6), but away from the gym, she’s as much a college basketball fan as anyone.
“Since the tournament started, if we weren’t practicing or I didn’t have homework, all I’ve been doing is watching Bracketology, watching ESPN, NIT, boys, women,” Jones said. “You name it, I’ve been watching it. Just because studying the game and learning the game is very fun. Seeing the atmosphere when other teams play and how other teams don’t want to lose, it just gives you that energy that lets you know that it’s a dog fight.”
Jones named 12 of the 16 remaining teams in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament, ironically forgetting one, BYU, that was in the Aggies’ bracket and another, LSU, a Southeastern Conference team. She also forgot Penn State and Stanford, for the record.
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If the Aggies get past DePaul today in Lincoln, Neb., No. 1 Connecticut likely awaits.
A&M coach Gary Blair encourages his players to watch other games, both men’s and women’s, to help them learn more about basketball.
“Our kids do a pretty good job because I’m talking to them every day about what I saw on TV the night before, or I will read them something that was in the paper,” Blair said.
Guard Courtney Walker said a lot of the players have been keeping up with the men’s and women’s tournaments.
“We’ve had it on constantly on ESPN2,” Walker said. “All the games are on there. We have to keep up with it because it’s our tournament.”