Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tournament Odds and Ends

With Stanford busy practicing for the Sacramento Regional Games, C and R thought they would take some much needed time off and let some other people talk about women’s basketball. Because, yes blogging is SO hard, dreaming up our opinions, with no facts or research to back it up, typing with two fingers , so, so very hard!

First up are (sigh) Cal fans who watched a lot of TV and were at the Berkeley Regional for the first and second rounds and saw Baylor in action. Now, Baylor is a curiosity because of Brittney Griner. She’s 6’8”, can dunk with two hands, is setting all kinda records for blocks, and broke an opponents nose because she was fouling her. She also is a freshman and can be maddeningly inconsistent on both ends of the floor. You never know which Brittney is going to show up.

Here D and C’s report:
The Baylor game was ugly: Georgetown shot 17%, Baylor shot 38%; Griner out 12 minutes in first half in foul trouble; Baylor's best freshman scoring threat (Shanay Washington) out with hip pointer in 1st half; Georgetown missed its first 14 shots, was down 19-2 at one point!  Griner did have 13 blocks in the 2nd half (NCAA record).  Jones impressed big-time playing post for Griner (on Georgetown’s 6-6 freshman Sidney Wilson).  Score was 31-19 at the half.

It was really fun to see Kim Mulkey (in fabulous skin-tight zebrah-pattern top, bell bottoms w/Texas-big belt/buckle, and super-sized hair), way out on the floor, gesticulating and yelling like crazy at the refs, who at times had to dodge her.  She crouched much of the game (in stiletto boots)…  You go, Kim!  The Baylor fans in the house loved her. The Cal fans behind us didn't get her at all!

Seeing Griner, even in this raw state, is worthwhile. Her mobility and height gave her the edge over GT's freshman 6-6er, but Griner needs to bulk up (she looks skinnier in person, though her frame is a V, with solid legs). She is impressive defensively - her full-paint coverage really alters the game.  She's hit a slump offensively, but passes and catches well, and runs the floor really well.  The refs seem pretty hard on her, and will need to figure out what to with her (ala Shaq).  The Baylor fans were behind her 100%.

On the other games:
Well, our bracket is utterly blown, but so much good came out of it!  Falling in love with San Diego State (we're Mountain West fans), especially senior guard Jene Morris (a Cal transfer out of San Francisco...?!), AND coach Beth Burns, graduate assistant to Tara at Ohio St!  UCLA kicked butt in Caldwell's first tournament win. Sorry to see them go down to Nebraska (Jasmine Dixon got in foul trouble and that was it).  BOTH of Stanford's potential Big 12 opponents are eliminated....Oh yeah, and "Yay Zags!"
Thanks, D and second C.

Other Stuff:
Speaking of Gonzaga, they beat Texas A&M, our one question mark we were supposed to have met in the Elite Eight. And we beat Gonzaga this year by 30 points!

It will be exciting to see Baylor against Tennessee. They met in the first game of the season, in Brittney Griner’s first college game, and she was not ready for prime time. Since then she has gone on to set the single season shot blocking record. Will be interesting, as we mentioned, to see which Brittney shows up. Wonder if she will glower at Pat Summit? 'Course, Pat would just glower right back.

Speaking of brackets, R is still winning in our local one… bragging has commenced immensely (C is in last place). But in the Women’s Talk Sports Bracket, if you played, make sure you go to their site and register your name so you can be eligible for prizes. (In that one, R is in the middle of the pack and C is waaaay down below). And if your screen name is Stanford A, currently tied for 9th in the whole NCAA contest, not just WTS, you are killin’ it. Drop us a line to say hi, and be sure to register, I hope they give you a special prize. (One clever fan said it must be Tara!)

And C was so happy her beloved Dayton won in the NCAA tournament for the first time... ever. Well, let’s amend that, they were in the NCAA tournament for the first time ever and won their first game against some sort of frog.  C is from Dayton, Ohio. She first learned to drive in the University of Dayton’s basketball parking lot so many years ago. Her first women’s college basketball game was seeing the Dayton Flyers play (Dayton is the birthplace of the Wright brothers, hence the name—the more trivia you know, the more you forget where your car keys are). To bad the Flyers ran into that buzz-kill, Tennessee. Apparently, no one thought Dayton would make it this year, either, as they gym played host to a bracket, yet the team was sent to Knoxville so Tennessee could have a home game against them.

And Ohio State. When not rooting for UD in basketball, our house cheered Ohio State in Football, because in the fall and winter, it was too darn cold to go outside and do anything else. Ohio State lost to Mississippi State in the second round, even though Ohio State was a number 2 seed and Miss. was a number 7 seed. Darn under-achieving Ohioans.

And how about the DIII basketball champs? None other than my old Alma Mater, Washington University in St. Louis. Although some DII schools looked at me for basketball and other sports (walk on-no scholarships), I decided to go to Washington University to study art. I played intramurals and was always hanging around the gym and one assistant coach was always trying to recruit me, but I thought, “It will take a lot of time and what will I do after college for basketball, being no opportunities for women in the US at the time.” Plus an art major took a lot of time. A lot of time. So I always said no. I could strangle my former 18-22 year old self. Well, congrats to the D III Bears who gave up their free time to dedicate themselves to basketball and won the championship.

One reader wrote in and said they are sick and tired of hearing about UConn. We are too, so we won’t tell you how they destroyed, just destroyed Temple in the second round.

With UCLA, the only other PAC-10 team, out of the tournament, we are now cheering for San Diego State, and Gonzaga, two West Coast teams. Well, if Gonzaga wins over Xavier, we won’t be cheering for them any more because that would be Stanford’s next opponent! Stanford plays Georgia at 6 PM and Zags are on at 8:30 on Saturday.

Oh, if you are heading to Arco Arena, NO BACKPACKS. Thought Maples was bad about the water bottles. No outside food, drink or backpacks. No exceptions, no how. Leave them at home. Trade up in seats at your own risk.

No comments:

Post a Comment