Teams brace for thin air to reach hoops summit

Associated Press + More

By PAT GRAHAM, Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — The rust-colored sign in the arena's loading dock serves as both a welcome and a warning for players when they step off the team bus.

The greeting part — "Pepsi Center Welcomes You ..." — hardly registers. But the other portion of the message is designed to catch your attention, maybe even making the pulse race a little bit more: "... to the Mile High City. Elevation 5,280 feet."

Purely a mind game, though. A ploy to plant elevation as a seed of doubt when visiting teams arrive.

Although this version of the women's Final Four really is up in the air, the higher altitude shouldn't bother Baylor, Stanford, Notre Dame or Connecticut on the court over the weekend.

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