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Dance Card: Quinnipiac, Northeast champions

The last shall be first, the first shall be last, and it's time to dance.

Who? The Bobcats of Quinnipiac.

What? According to their homepage, the mascot's name is Boomer, but they don't seem inclined to say why or how.

Where? Hamden, Connecticut, where you can visit the Eli Whitney Museum.

When? March 17th, in Hamden, Connecticut.

Why? They won the Northeast Conference tournament.

How? Quinnipiac forced 20 turnovers and 23.2% shooting from St. Francis University and controlled from start to finish in a 72-33 victory. Brittany McQuain had 14 points and 7 rebounds for the Bobcats.

Surprise? Predicted to finish first in the conference, they finished first and undefeated in the NEC, five games ahead of Sacred Heart.

RPI: 45

SOS: 275

Record: 30-2 (18-0 NEC)

Good wins: St. John's. At James Madison.

Bad losses: At Hartford, I guess.

Who's driving this thing? Tricia Fabbri, since 1994. She's their first full-time women's basketball coach.

Extra, Extra! The New Haven Register, maybe.

Senior guard Felicia Barron is the player to watch for this Quinnipiac squad. She leads the way with 13.6 points and 3.5 steals per game. Junior forward Brittany McQuain adds 11.3 points and 8.4 rebounds, though the Bobcats get outrebounded on average. What stands out is how well they take care of the ball- 14.5 turnovers per game, and second in the country to Kentucky in turnover margin.

Do not underestimate this team just because of their conference. They're prepared for a move up the ladder to the MAAC, and they're better than the NEC name makes you think.