Saturday, March 03, 2007

Red Upsets Blue.

Today in Greensboro, the BasketCases had the privilege of witnessing one of the most emotional and thrilling upsets in women's basketball, as Kay Yow's NC State Wolfpack defeated Duke, 70-65. There are no longer any undefeated teams in women's D-I basketball. But it was much more than that . . . It was watching a team inspired by its coach's incredible courage rise to a level that few thought they would attain this season. Not long ago, the Wolfpack defeated the Tar Heels when Carolina was ranked second in the country, and today they knocked off the unanimous top ranked team in the nation. They had to come from behind and play a good part of the game without their 6' 7" senior post, Gillian Goring, who was in foul trouble much of the second half, and fouled out with a little over two minutes left. But it didn't matter, because the whole team stepped up and never gave up, and now have given Coach Yow a shot at tomorrow's ACC title.

In the second semi-final, however, the Red team, unfortunately, did not prevail over the Blue. While Maryland showed an intensity, focus and toughness that they hadn't shown consistently throughout ACC conference play, they nevertheless fell short in a tightly contested battle against the Tar Heels, losing 72-78. Speaking of toughness . . . very late in the game, Shay Doron crashed face first into the Carolina bench. But despite the very obvious damage to her face that could be seen clear across the court, Shay returned a few minutes later and gave everything she could to try to pull out the win. She truly is the heart and soul of the Terps. Even though Maryland won't be playing tomorrow, the BasketCases think that the team's play here in Greensboro showed that they are ready to do some damage in the NCAA Tournament.

Before we sign off from Greensboro, the BasketCases would like to share an observation about the intra-state dynamics surrounding the ACC Tournament. Although Duke and Maryland are rivals, as are Carolina and Maryland, nothing matches the hatred that the fans of those two North Carolina schools appear to have for each other. Which means that when Duke was playing NC State today, everyone in the arena, including Tar Heel fans, was rooting for the Wolfpack. And it also means that when Maryland played Carolina, all the Duke fans were rooting for the Terps. (One Duke fan sitting near us put on a shirt that said "Anybody but Carolina" before the Maryland-UNC game.) In fact, it sometimes seemed to be the Dukies who were the most vocal in their disdain for Ivory Latta and her on-court antics and drama.

While it was, of course, disappointing to see Maryland lose, seeing Kay Yow's team gut out that win today was unforgettable.

Photo Credit: DC BasketCases (the scene on court after NC State upsets Duke)


At 11:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't imagine Maryland without Shay. Although we're gonna have two McD and plethora of great guards coming in next year. No one can replace her and her great leadership on and off the court. No one. I'm gonna miss her badly.

FWIW I'll enjoy every minute we have left of her in terps uniform. And I hope that would be 6x40 = 240 minutes.

At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From tv it looks like Toliver's elbow/forearm landed on Shay's face as they fell and then slid into the bench. Shay's nose looks real crooked - hope it isn't broken!

At 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw Shay's father after the game and asked if she was okay, and he said "Well, it seems she has broken her nose again." So it sounds like it might not be the first time?! That girl is tough as nails. I can't imagine watching MD play without her. She will be missed.


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