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UND NOTEBOOK: Texas A&M coach takes Brewster to eat at 'Fargo's'

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The Hall of Fame coach went out of his way to spend time with UND coach Travis Brewster this weekend as the teams prepare to meet tonight in a first-round NCAA Division I women’s basketball tournament game at Reed Arena.

On Friday night, Blair took Brewster out for some Texas barbecue.

Blair’s barbecue joint of choice?

A place called “Fargo’s.”

How ironic.

“I fattened him up for the kill,” joked Blair.

Underrated Dakotas

North Dakota is the newcomer to this weekend’s tournament.

But Blair, who is in his 28th season of coaching women’s basketball, is aware of the talent pool UND draws from in its recruiting.

“North Dakota and South Dakota are the two most underrated basketball states in the country,” said Blair.

Why the turnaround?

At UND’s media conference Saturday, North Dakota coach Travis Brewster and players were asked why the program had a major turnaround from last season when UND won only 11 games, six of those in the Big Sky Conference.

“What’s different about this team is its mental approach to the game,” said Brewster. “I’ve noticed in practice a greater attention to detail. They’re a hard-working group and they’re tight knit.

“They talk basketball off the floor. And I think our assistant coaches did a great job this year making changes to our game plan and I think our players did a good job of grasping the concepts as well.”

Notes and quotes

This is the third straight season A&M is hosting games in the first two rounds of tournament. The three-game event drew 12,592 fans in 2012 and 13,111 fans last year. ... UND sophomore Mia Loyd on the excitement of the NCAA selection show: “Seeing our team’s name on the screen was an amazing feeling. You look every year and the fact that our name was there was an incredible feeling. I got goose bumps thinking that we are going to be in the NCAA tournament.” ... James Madison plays Gonzaga in today’s first game. UND has some Division I history with Gonzaga. Gonzaga beat UND 83-45 at The Betty in 2011. In 2010, Gonzaga beat UND 85-46 in Spokane, Wash.

Wayne Nelson
Nelson is the sports editor of the Herald
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