For those not paying attention to Rutgers University sports beyond football and men's basketball, yesterday offered quite a bit of good news on a number of fronts.
Seemingly right on cue, C. Vivian Stringer and the women's basketball team have cemented their annual bid to the NCAA Tournament. Things were looking dicey for a while with all of their injuries, but a big road win over Marquette set the season back on track. After almost blowing it to those ghastly USF ruffians, yesterday's win over #18 WVU just about seals the deal. There's no way that a Rutgers (a traditional WBB power, mind you) team with 10+ BE wins, a possible top-four BET bye, and top 20 RPI/top 10 SOS rankings is getting left out.
The even better news on that front is that Stringer doesn't have any seniors this year. After two years of youth and depth issues, expectations should be high in 2012 for Rutgers once again looking like the Scarlet Knights of old next year and competing for a Big East title.
- Baseball's off to a hot start with a weekend sweep of Michigan down in Florida. Sophomore Tyler Gebler pitched a complete game in Friday's 8-2 rout. The sweep is doubly impressive considering that Rutgers was picked to finish sixth in the Big East this year, while Michigan was picked 2nd in the Big Ten and is considered good for a northern team.
- Men's lacrosse is the closest to a hot-button topic of this bunch. They've started with an easy schedule, but showed far more offensive firepower than expected through their first three games. It is worth noting that Jim Stagnitta shuffled his assistants after last year's season ending tailspin. Will it be enough to keep the critics at bay?
- Wrestling finished ninth in the final Coaches poll. Everything's on hold for the moment with the EIWA Tournament next weekend at Bucknell. Then comes the NCAA's in Philadelphia.