KNOXVILLE — Jimmy Delaney tells a good story about Tennessee's last NCAA women's basketball tournament trip to Oklahoma City. The Lady Vols' assistant athletic director for marketing and sales found the spare shoulder sleeve that enabled star player Candace Parker to return from a shoulder injury during the 2008 Midwest Regional final.
Delaney found it by rummaging through a dirty laundry bag in the undercarriage of the VIP bus. He took off on the run with it, bursting into the team's locker room as if he were holding a winning lottery ticket. Parker scored 26 points and the Lady Vols continued toward their second consecutive national championship with a 53-45 victory over Texas A&M.
The good memory is worth sharing as No. 2 seed Tennessee (26-7) returns to face No. 6 Oklahoma (20-14) in the semifinals of the Oklahoma City regional. Tipoff is at 4:30 p.m. EDT Sunday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.