Monday, March 30, 2009

Return to Raleigh!

The BasketCases are headed back to the RBC Center (the latest Comcast South) in Raleigh today for the 7PM Elite Eight Regional Final match between the Terps and the Cardinals. Happily, Petey was able to get away from work and will be joining us for the trip. And doesn't he look swell in his new Maryland hoodie? (Petey says many thanks to Rebounder Marni for the outfit!)

There's a great deal of emotion surrounding tonight's game, and not only because a trip to the Final Four is at stake. As Camille Powell reports in today's Washington Post, both Maryland and Louisville are led by two senior stars, Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver, and Angel McCoughtry and Candyce Bingham, respectively. Unfortunately, two of these extremely talented seniors will have their illustrious college careers end tonight, while the other two head west to St. Louis to play again. There's more about the "stars colliding" in USA Today here, more about Kristi and Marissa here (the NY Times!), and more about Angel here and here.

And it looks like the BasketCases weren't the only ones distressed at such a tiny crowd (under 3,000) at the RBC Center for the regional semi-final games on Saturday. Mike Wise of the Washington Post didn't like it either, and has some advice for the NCAA about attendance here.

Finally, the media of course can't resist pointing out that Coach B will be squaring off against her former Associate Head Coach, Jeff Walz, tonight (we couldn't either). No doubt there's a lot of emotion there as well. But as Coach B told the Associated Press, "when the ball tips, it's Maryland vs. Louisville. It doesn't have anything to do with the two coaches. It's all about two teams."

And what great teams they are.

Go Terps! Beat the Cards!

Photo Credit: Traveling Panda Photos, Inc.


At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Charles said...

The NCAA does a horrible job promoting women's sports. But this lack of promotion affects many other sports, including men's soccer.

The Maryland men played in the College Cup in Dallas last December. The crowds were very sparse.

You were hard pressed to find any advertising in Dallas. I think I saw one banner in the entire city promoting the College Cup.

I think it does a huge disservice to the student athletes, coaches, and fans.

At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Charles said...

Louisville making it to the Final Four is NOT IN THE CARDS (pun intended).

At 10:55 AM, Blogger posting-up said...

The Mike Wise column about "neutrality" was really interesting, and I agree with him about putting the tournament in places where fans will turn out! It's a much more compelling argument to those watching on TV to see a jam-packed arena with 10,000+ screaming fans, than the paltry showing in places like Raleigh.

Also, I have an axe to grind about the amount of $$ the NCAA is spending on those "neutral" floors for the Regionals. WHO CARES if the Cal logo is at mid-court?! I have a hunch the NCAA could find better ways to spend the money -- on scholarships, maybe? Or tutors for the men so they can actually graduate with an education?!

/rant/ I'll go back to psyching up for the Terps game tonight!

At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a best of 3 series, only 16 teams in the tournament, and an NBA home & home approach to improve attendance?

I am thinking of attending tonight's game (I have tickets), but haven't decided about whether to drive (due to other commitments); either way, I will be cheering the Terps on (& hoping they advance).

At 4:12 PM, Blogger posting-up said...

Hey, Anonymous... there's PLENTY of talent to support a full 64 teams in the tourney. And, why on Earth would you limit that kind of opportunity for the other "lower level" schools? The level of play improves noticeably year over year (someone out there help me -- how long did it take the men to reach parity? 15 years, I think...?); the Dance gives all those kids from the 48 schools you would eliminate something to strive for.

The solution is giving Home Court to the top-seeded schools, and spending some money on marketing rather than "neutral" flooring!

At 10:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just too sad tonight


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