Lauren Greif's NCAA Tournament Blog
March 24, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. - This is my second NCAA Tournament and it's been a little different because we're at Stanford instead of across the country. We got to drive instead of fly here, so that was great. Being close to home is going to help us a lot. Since we're so close to Berkeley, a lot of our fans and family got the chance to come watch us play, which is exciting. My family came down from Oregon and are sporting the 'Oh Good Greif' shirts to support me like they did at the Pac-10 Tournament. We're playing at Stanford but not against Stanford, so it's good for us. We know the gym. We've had success here, especially last year at Maples when we upset Stanford, so we're happy to be here. Last year, we had to go across country and we didn't know the courts. Before each game, each team gets 45 minutes to warm-up on the court. That's a lot different than having played on the court multiple times like we have here so that should help us a lot.
Practicing last week in Berkeley was a little bit different than the rest of the season. We talked about how with this game, we're only promised 40 more minutes of basketball. It makes it so we have to take each possession of each game like it could be our last. Last year, we were going in hoping to win, and this year we have higher hopes to move forward, but we're not looking past anyone. I'm just going to do my regular routine before practices and routine and hope it works out the same.
After the short drive over from Berkeley on Thursday night, we had fun at the hotel. We were just hanging out as a team, like we always do on the road. We watched some of the men's tournament games, which was fun. March is such an exciting time for men's and women's basketball. It's especially fun to watch as a basketball player. Even though I don't bet on it, I had a lot of fun filling out my bracket. I picked UNC to win it all on the men's side, so we'll see what happens. It feels like a normal road trip even though we're on Spring Break. I have no problem giving up my Spring Break to play in March Madness!
The game against San Diego was great. We had a fantastic time playing together. We came out hard, and we made history. Our post game was tremendous. Ash (Ashley Walker) and Nei (Devanei Hampton) and Rama played great minutes. We came in and just put them away. We made open shots.
The atmosphere was everything I thought it would be. We had Cal fans and we had Stanford fans cheering for us, which we appreciate. It was fun. Last year, my family wasn't able to make it across country to Pittsburgh, but they're here this weekend. It's memorable having them watch me play here. My brother was on the news after I made my shot so that's just exciting stuff. After I made my three-point shot, he was popping his shirt that says, 'L.G. for three!' So he got to show off. I think he got more camera time than me! But that's ok. Coming out to see everyone after the game, it's really great.
Today against George Washington, we have another chance to show the country and fans that don't always get to see us what we're made of. They're a great team. They have great pressure guards. We just have to come out and take care of the ball and do all the little things to get the win.
I think between the first day and now we have the same kind of intensity. We have our practice, we do media, and we go back to the hotel, so we're still in the same spot. We would just rather go out and play right now. That's what we're looking forward to, playing again.