It’s bombs away from Chicagoland.
Who? The Blue Demons of DePaul.
When do they play in the first round? DePaul will play Minnesota on Friday, March 20 at 5 p.m. ET.
Where? Chicago, Illinois, a place I need to get to during conference tournament season.
Why? They won the Big East conference tournament.
I spent all night asking that in phenomenally profane terms DePaul shut down two of Seton Hall’s three scorers, and Megan Podkowa led four Blue Demons in double figures to a 78-68 win.
Surprise? Predicted to finish first in the conference, they tied Seton Hall for first, losing the first seed on tiebreakers.
Record: 26-7 (15-3 Big East)
Good wins: South Dakota State, maybe? DePaul played a lot of names, but couldn’t pull off wins.
Bad losses: At Villanova.
Who’s running this show? Doug Bruno, since 1988, a man who epitomizes DePaul basketball in every which way but a DIBS costume.
Extra, Extra! The Chicago-Sun Times.
Big East Player of the Year Brittany Hrynko headlines the Blue Demons, at 19.9 points, 5.2 assists, and 2.6 steals per game. The senior shares playmaking duties with junior guard Chanise Jenkins (who also averages 12.2 points). DePaul has four starters in double figures, and has moved past the torn ACL of senior guard Megan Rogowski with commendable speed.
DePaul loves the three. Loves, loves, loves the three. They put up almost 30 attempts per game, cashing in on 10 or 11 on average. (Sophomore forward Brandi Harvey-Carr is the only DePaul player to have not yet attempted a trey on the year.) They run fast and press hard, but are vulnerable on the boards.
And never, ever, ever underestimate Doug Bruno.