How to Make A Grown Woman Cry. By now, loyal blog readers, you all know the outcome. While Connecticut got the win (by one possession) this afternoon, 68-65, the Mystics left no doubt in the minds of the BasketCases and the other 60-some fans who had made the trip to Mohegan that today at least, they were the team that played the hardest, played with the most heart and outperformed the Sun in nearly every aspect of the game . . . but the fouls, fouls and even more fouls called on the visiting Mystics tipped the scales decidedly in favor of the home team. 32 fouls (including one flagrant and Coach Richie's obligatory Technical) were called against the Mystics. The Sun players were whistled for 17 (plus one Tee). As one Mystics fan put it, it's hard to win when you're playing 8 on 5. So the Mystics' season ended in Uncasville. The BasketCases and all the equally crazy (and absolutely wonderful) fans who were here today (and those back home in D.C. of course) are sorry it's come to an end, but as the saying goes "there's no crying in basketball" . . . unless, of course, you happen to own the team.
Prior to the game, the Mystics' staff had obtained permission from the Sun for all the Mystics fans in attendance to gather on the court after the game for a group photo. As we were posing, GM Linda Hargrove came out of the locker room to thank us all for our support all season and particularly today for making the long trip north. Right after the photo-op, Sheila Johnson and COO Curtis Symonds joined the throng of sad but proud Mystics fans gathered on center court. As the fans burst into cheers, Sheila was so overcome with emotion that she burst into tears. She was clearly so proud of her team, and how hard they fought, not just today but all season. And she was clearly very very moved by the outpouring of support and gratitude that the fans were showing to her, to Curtis, and to the Mystics team. It was getting so emotional, that the BasketCases heard sniffling and spotted a few fans reaching for their Kleenex. A short while later, many of the players, having finished their media duties, came out of the locker room to greet the fans as well. They were gracious and grateful --- hugs and handshakes all around. So that's how it ended . . . there we all were, standing on the Sun's logo in the middle of the Sun's hardwood, saying our goodbyes until next season. It was a very special ending.
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Monday morning update: Washington Post reporter Jon Gallo finally went to an away game this year, but after reading his article, the BasketCases are wondering whether he was watching the same game that we were. Readers, it is Monday morning and we know that you have to get to work, so if you you're pressed for time, read the article in today's Washington Times (yikes, are we really sending our readers to that paper?!). As for Jon's article, here's the only part that the BasketCases think is worth reading:
"Fouls were a big factor in the game," Washington Coach Richie Adubato said. "The numbers were outrageous. We had the perfect defensive scheme, but if you get called for that many fouls, there's no way you can beat a team as good as Connecticut."