A few have mentioned Northern Colorado's NCAA invite on other threads, but I've been following the program since Kamie took over, and I don't know if everyone is aware of just how impressive her tenure as the Bear's HC has been. Transition years are usually tough, and during her first season at the helm, the Bears opened at 10-11, before turning things around and winning 12 of their final 14. They made it all the way to the conference tourney championship, nabbed a WNIT bid, and made the quarterfinals where they lost a close contest to UCLA. That was the program's deepest post-season run ever. Northern Colorado has only had four 20-win seasons in their entire history and three of those have come under Kamie. In fact, she's won 22 or more games in three of her four seasons as the Bear's HC. Last year the Bears received their first ever mention in the ARV category of the national polls, and made their first appearance in the top 25 mid-major poll. This season they made it back into the ARV category of the polls, made the top 10 of the mid-major poll for the first time, eventually reaching #3. They beat their first ever top 25 program (then #20 Depaul), their first SEC team (LSU), and went 3-1 vs. teams that made the NCAA field. In fact, NCAA #5 seed Depaul just took down OU last night, and LSU is a 6 seed. Their conference season culminated with their first Big Sky Tournament title, and the program's first ever NCAA tourney appearance. Their RPI rose to 37 going into the Big Sky Tournament, then 33 entering the championship contest, and finally 32 entering NCAA post-season play. That is almost unheard of considering their conference (no other program inside the top 100), and roster. For me, what's most impressive isn't what they've done, but how they've done it, and who they've done it with. They lost one of their top players, and starting 6'3 post in late January, when she left the program. She had been averaging over 28 mins, 13.2 points and 5.1 rbs per contest. I was pretty certain their season would take a nose-dive at that point, given their lack of an inside game. They had one other player at 6'3, but she is slighter of build, and even with the increase in playing time the final 15 games of the year, still only averaged 16.2 mins, 4.2 points and 2.5 rbs per contest. There was one other active player at 6'1, and the remaining seven on the roster range from 5'6 to 5'9. The Bears did lose their first contest after the departure, but then won their next 13, resulting in both regular season and conference tourney championships (both program firsts). How they made that adjustment, and pulled that off considering some of their opponents, is a testament to Kamie's coaching ability. 8 of those 13 consecutive wins were single-digit results, with six games won by 6 of fewer points. They just find a way to win...great game management, and end-of-game coaching in particular, and tremendous player development. When you think about a team without a single top recruit rising all the way to #32 in the RPI, and this after losing their only true presence in the paint...it's no wonder Kanie was fielding questions about her future at the conclusion of the Big Sky Tournament. The Bears top scorer, and conference POY, had an ESPN grade of 40 coming out of HS - the last person on the Hoopgurlz top 100 ranking was graded at 93. There probably isn't anyone on the Bear's roster that would have cracked the top 500 on any recruit ranking list! Yet here they were beating teams like Depaul and LSU. I don't think there's any question that Kamie will end up as HC at a top program sooner rather than later, but I do wonder if she might not stay at NC for one more season. Technically this was the senior season for her first recruiting class, and the Bears are losing two great players (#2 scorer and all-conference guard, and a dynamic defender and conference Defensive POY). But because of an injury their conference Player of the Year and top scorer will be back for one more season. And they have a transfer that had to sit out this season, and return a handful of other key contributors. When asked about her future she gave all the right answers...she loves her job, is happy where she's at etc. The loss to Michigan yesterday is unfortunate, but I kind of figured their lack of height would catch up with them during NCAA play. Though by all rights the Bears should have been ranked a few spots higher on the seed line. In one sense a 10 seed is an amazing achievement for a conference that has seldom seen anything other than a 15 or 16 seed in the tourney (the only other time a Big Sky team broke into top 10 seed territory was 21 years ago). But the Bears were 32 in the RPI, five spots higher than Michigan at 37. Yet the Wolverines were seeded 7th and the Bears 10th. Overall,just really happy to see one of my all time favorite Longhorns doing so well!.