The NCAA basketball season has come to an end. Associates and employees of World Financial Group, a proud sponsor of Pac-10 athletics, had a fantastic time watching these teams on the hardwood. When the end came, two teams from the Pac-10 were left standing – Oregon State’s men’s basketball team played in the finals of the inaugural College Basketball Invitational and Stanford’s women’s basketball team made it to the “Final Four” of the Women’s NCAA tournament.
The Oregon State Beavers made it to the finals of the 2009 CBI. Their opponent in the best-of-three championship series was the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Miners. As recapped earlier, OSU won game one, while UTEP took game two. A deciding game three was required. And everyone knows that “deciding” games of any kind make for the best games around.
The Beavers were going to make sure that would happen. Guard Rickey Claitt scored 28 points, including five baskets from beyond the 3 point arc. His fellow guard Lathen Wallace scored 14 and center Roeland Schaftenaar had 12 points on their way to their 81-73 win. This marks Oregon State’s first ever men’s basketball postseason title. All of us WFG were excited about Oregon State’s win.
The Stanford Cardinals made it into the “Final Four” by a resounding victory over Iowa State. However, their next opponent was top seed (and undefeated) Connecticut. And, like the proverbial juggernaut, the Huskies could not be stopped. Despite the efforts of Cardinal center Jayne Appel with 26 points, Stanford fell to Connecticut 83-64. But there were two bright spots in addition to Jayne for the Cardinals – Forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike had Stanford’s only double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds and forward Kayla Pedersen scored 10 points.
World Financial Group thanks the Pac-10 and its fine student athletes for an exciting season of college basketball.