Shop Fantasy Central Golf Guide Email Travel Subscribe SI About Us College Basketball Men's

  w. college bb
player stats
team stats
baseball S
pro football S
col. football S
pro basketball S
m. college bb S
hockey S
golf plus S
tennis S
soccer S
motor sports
olympic sports
women's sports
more sports

 Sportsman of the Year
 Heisman Trophy
 Swimsuit 2001

 Fantasy Central
 Inside Game
 Multimedia Central
 Your Turn
 Message Boards
 Email Newsletters
 Golf Guide
 Work in Sports GROUP
 Sports Illustrated
 Life of Reilly
 SI Women
 SI for Kids
 Press Room
 TBS/TNT Sports
 CNN Languages

 SI Customer Service
 SI Media Kits
 Get into College
 Sports Memorabilia

Women's basketball at its best

Click here for more on this story

Posted: Friday March 10, 2000 01:11 PM


Sylvia Hatchell coached North Carolina to a national championship in 1994. The Tar Heels finished the 1998-99 regular season 24-6 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. North Carolina is currently 18-12. Check out Hatchell's diary every other week on

Chapel Hill, North Carolina
March 9, 2000

Well, it's tournament time and that's a fun time of the year, especially for the players. I always feel like we move to a different level when tournament time comes. We love the ACC tournament and the NCAA tournament -- you win you move on, you lose you go home. It's extremely competitive and very exciting. It's just women's basketball at its best.

We feel like we had a good ACC tournament last weekend in Greensboro. We had a tough draw, starting with Clemson, a team we've played in the finals the last few years, and Virginia, which won the ACC regular season. We had close wins over those two teams to reach the final, where we lost to Duke by three. We felt like we gave it our all and barely came up on the short end of the stick.

We certainly weren't happy losing to Duke in the finals, but three weeks ago I was just praying for a winning season. Now, with an 18-12 record, we feel like we're definitely in the NCAA tournament. This team is playing as well as any team I've ever had, including the 1994 championship team. That's exciting for the coaches and the players.

The players are all having a lot of fun right now, loving basketball and enjoying practice. In my 25 years of coaching, I've had some great teams that, by this point in the season, just wanted to get it over with. They were close to being burned out or had reached the point when they were thinking, "Oh, not another practice." That is not the case with this team. They can't wait for the next chance to play.

I feel like we're peaking right now and hopefully our best basketball is ahead of us. We're having good practices, short but intense, and doing a lot of scrimmaging. After this afternoon's practice, the players will get the weekend off from basketball (their spring break starts on Friday) and I'm going to go watch some of the ACC men's basketball tournament in Charlotte and then go out recruiting. After Sunday evening, when we find out who we're going to play, we'll get back to work and be able to focus getting ready for our opponent and for our next opportunity to play.

-- Coach Hatchell

Related information
Previous editions from North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell
Visit Multimedia Central for the latest audio and video
Search our site Watch CNN/SI 24 hours a day

Sports Illustrated and CNN have combined to form a 24 hour sports news and information channel. To receive CNN/SI at your home call your cable operator or DirecTV.

CNNSI Copyright © 2000
CNN/Sports Illustrated
An AOL Time Warner Company.
All Rights Reserved.

Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.