Monday, April 5, 2010

Day Before Jitters

Well now, the Internet is all abuzz about the Stanford/UConn national title women’s basketball game Tuesday, as well it should be. It will be hard for Stanford to beat them, but C and R have really enjoyed how much attention the local papers have showered on the Stanford Women’s Team. It helps they are doing so well (and no local men’s team remain in the men’s Final Four). We guess everyone loves a winner (except UConn-and we are soooo tired of Geno saying, “everyone views us as the bad guy and are rooting for us to lose,” heck yeah, with your pompous attitude we sure are, whether our team was playing you or not—sorry, C and R are in a bit of a foul mood because, on one hand, we made it to the National Championship game, and on the other, we are playing a really talented team, such mixed feelings)

One thing we will say is we do respect the heck out of Maya Moore after watching that Baylor/UConn game. She really did deserve all the National Awards she won (yet, strangely, they gave the Naismith award to teammate Tina Charles). She is the best in college ball today. Tina Charles is a great post player, but her skill set is that of a post player. Maya Moore is a complete all-around player. She can give you guard skills, forward skills, shooting skills and rebounding skills, plus defense.  It is going to be a tough road for Stanford (so tough, that for once, C and R don’t have any advice for Stanford Head Coach Tara VanDerveer, we think we will just let her coach this one… although, when we last beat UConn two years ago, we didn’t beat them so much as outscore them and outlast them. We would have to score every time down the floor to have any chance to beat them. Are you listening, guards?).

Going back for a second to the first Final Four game, the one where Stanford let Oklahoma back in it and needed all of Nneka Ogwumike’s 38 points to win, yes that one, did you see when they cut to Chiney Ogwumike? That is Nneka’s sister, who will be a Stanford freshman next year and is the number one women’s basketball recruit in the country. Every time they showed her she was standing and serious looking, like she was saying, give me a uniform and I’ll show you how it’s done. And when Nneka got boxed out to the ground, she looked like she wanted to step down there and box that girl right back. (Our NOF noticed as well and said Chiney showed the “Eye of the Tiger!” We both can’t wait until next year to add her to the mix).

Chiney chose to play Saturday in the Women’s Basketball Coach’s Association All-Star Game on the same Alamo Dome court as big sis. She scored 24 points, and got to stick around to see Stanford’s as well. She said she likes to scout opponents and then give Nneka (sometimes unwanted) advice. Let’s hope she can find some UConn weakness to exploit and pass it on to Nneka. That and she likes to munch on nachos. So do C and R.

In fact, C and R are going to a sports bar (ggod nachos AND pizza) because so many people in the Bay Area, while pretty sure UConn will win, want to share all Stanford has accomplished this year with everyone else. And they would love to witness a miracle, too. We do too, but they better be quiet when the game is on. If anyone so much as whispers during game time, R will have that look Chiney had at the Alamo Dome.

Oh, congrats to the Cal Women’s Basketball Team for winning the WNIT. The Women's National Invitation Tournament is a second tier tournament for D1 teams that did not make the NCAA tournament. The WNIT offers teams an opportunity to get more practices in, to experience playoff-atmosphere games, and to play in front of passionate fans. This year 64 teams were invited to the single elimination tournament and Cal, lead by Alexis Gray Lawson, was the last one standing. Think of the great experience all those Cal freshmen got and how Lexi got to end her season on such a positive note. The reason C and R bring this up is C. Vivian Stringer said she wouldn’t be caught dead playing in the WNIT if her Rutgers team didn’t make the NCAA tournament, intimating the WNIT was small time rinky-dink, effectively insulting the 64 teams that did participate. (Her team did make the NCAA and lost in the first round to Iowa, poetic justice, no?)

Oh, the NCAA, in its infinite basketball wisdom, won’t let bloggers get press credentials to blog about the Final Four games. Yes, why receive free publicity and reach out to many women’s basketball fans? Why, that would only spread interest in the women’s game.  See, they have this crazy rule that the person applying for a credential must have a website that gets 1 million visitors per month (mom, keep hitting the back button and Google us again, say, 999,999 more times, please). Some of the bias is outdated and based on old print media models (which is funny because the print model is dying quickly, replaced by... the internet and bloggers). The NY Times website gets the required 1 million unique visitors per month, yet pay little attention to women’s basketball, whereas a site like swish appeal is ALL about women’s basketball. Women’s basketball sites do not generally get the attention male sports get, so they won’t get the one million number (yet). Chicken or the egg, anyone? Still, why would a business pass up free publicity to the very fans you are trying to attract?

See ya at the.. game, TV, bar, floor, radio, internet, however you are watching the game. May your team do well, but may Stanford do better.

More Stanford Stuff (but no blogging) at the original C and R's Stanford Women's Basketball Blog

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