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Commissioner set to celebrate Pac-12’s 1st title since 1992

Outgoing Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott is proud to be in San Antonio to celebrate the conference’s first NCAA women’s basketball championship since 1992. With Stanford facing Arizona on Sunday night for the national title, the forum is guaranteed its first champion since Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer, and the Cardinal won it all in 1992.

“I think this is a very gratifying moment for our league that’s seen the rise of Pac-12 women’s basketball over the last decade,” Scott said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Last year would have been a special year as we had an exceptional team in Oregon. The conference has grown very deep.”

Scott credits the conference’s growth, which has had six different schools reach the Final Four since 2013, to the increased television coverage with the Pac-12 Network for success. He said the league had five games on TV during the year without streaming before creating the network.


“Now we’ve had over 100 games on the networks yearly since 2012,” Scott said. “That’s an investment and prioritization. Our coaches wouldn’t hesitate to tell you that national exposure and recognition are significant for recruiting. No league has more television coverage than the Pac-12.”

VanDerveer agrees. She said the league had great teams before the network, but many people didn’t see them. That resulted in lesser seedings in the NCAA Tournament. “The rest of the country has been able to see our teams and our players and our games,” VanDerveer said. “And I think that’s a credit to Larry Scott in the PAC 12, which we’re we’re excited to have been on television.”


Stanford dealt with the impact of COVID on the basketball season more than any women’s team that played this season, which will finally end after Sunday night’s national championship game.

Sophomore forward Asthten Prechtel has many things she wants to do first outside of the restrictions required to complete the season during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The main thing is I’ll be able to go home for a little bit, which would be nice to see my family,” Prechtel said. Santa Clara County established COVID-19 health and safety protocols in late November prohibiting practices and competitions. So the Cardinal hit the road and spent nearly ten weeks away from campus. Freshman forward Cameron Brink said she feels that’s been an advantage for Stanford in the bubble in San Antonio.

“We kind of knew what being stuck in a hotel was like for weeks on end,” Brink said.

Still, it’s been a very long season with plenty of isolation and restrictions.

“I just want to give my parents a big ole hug and can’t wait to hold my family, and I get emotional thinking about it,” Brink said. “But it’s just been so long, I miss my family.”


Arizona coach Adia Barnes gets great advice from Tara VanDerveer, with the veteran Stanford coach working to support women, women’s basketball, and the Pac-12.

Barnes followed one tip, though the follow-through will have to wait until this offseason.

“She’s also talked me into getting a Peloton bike. Obviously, I don’t use it as much as her, but I’m trying,” Barnes said. “That’s the goal in the offseason.”

Not only has Barnes been busy coaching her Wildcats into their first national championship game berth, but she also gave birth to her second child, a daughter, last September.

AP Basketball Writer Doug Feinberg contributed to this report.

More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

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Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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