Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A Breath of Fresh Air

As the BCs settled in to watch the National Championship game last night, that's the thought we had . . . what a breath of fresh air! How utterly refreshing that we weren't about to see another Tournament final featuring the Huskies or the Lady Vols, or any of the other usual suspects (not that we have anything against those teams).

We found it so refreshing that we were actually about to see a team playing in the championship game for the very first time in its school history; a team coached by someone who's been in the game for three decades; a gray-haired guy who's coached really well, for a really long time, but mostly under the media's radar. And it was also so refreshing that their opponent was a team that hadn't been to a championship game for a decade. And they too were coached by another big contributor to women's basketball, someone who spends a good part of her season in the shadows of two very big names in her own conference, Geno Auriemma and C. Vivian Stringer. Not to mention that there were great players on both teams who, frankly, we don't get to see often enough. But last night, we would get that chance.

So, yes, we were really excited when the game finally tipped off, and as things unfolded, the game did not disappoint. It was well-played by both teams, a back-and-forth nailbiter that came down to the wire, a great game to watch. (Nothing like that painful, embarrassing, 53-41 groaner the men's tourney "featured" Monday night.)

When the women's 40 minutes on the Big Stage of the Big Dance was finally over, the Aggies had won the Natty for their school, 76-70, led by their incredible senior, Danielle Adams. She showed herself to be a big-time player who played her best when everything was on the line. Danielle, a junior college transfer, scored 30 of her team's 76 points. What a way to end your college career!! And one of our favorite media-moments last night was when the camera panned to the Danielle Adams matriarchal-history-section of Conseco Fieldhouse: there was her joyful Mom, then there was equally joyful Grandma, and then down the row . . . there's Great Grandma! (BCs note to selves: keep kleenex handy when watching basketball.)

Congrats to the Aggies, to Adams, to all of her teammates, and to Coach Gary Blair and his staff. And congratulations also to Notre Dame, to Coach Muffet McGraw and her staff and players, including Skylar Diggins (only a sophomore! -- she'll be back) for a great season and a great Final Four. Both teams showed that they were worthy of playing for a championship. They didn't get there by fluke upsets; they got there because they were good.

So, to both teams, thanks for so much fun these past few days. It was a great Final Four for women's basketball. It was exciting, entertaining . . . and yes, it was also very refreshing!


At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Stewart said...

It just goes to show that women's basketball is not a joke, contrary to all the knuckleheads who post ignorant comments on stories covering the sport. The ladies on BOTH of these teams played hard and played as a unit in fundamentally sound basketball. This game was TONS better than the men's game and ANYONE who thinks women's basketball is a joke needs to watch a replay of last night's game. Congratulations to the Aggies!

At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful game! I even enjoyed seeing Michael Price!

At 10:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coach Blair said the game was good for women's basketball, and he's right.

ESPN SportsCenter gave the game top coverage last night.

Great game, great tournament!

At 1:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was great to see it in person!

At 1:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen Stewart!! I'm so tired of all the knuckleheads. I loved Coach Blair's down to earth comments about seeing new teams in the final!! Great game. Very exciting! Congrats to the Aggies.I also liked that this game showed the importance of defense!!

At 11:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All 3 games were great... A fantastic women's final four! Congrats to the Aggies!

At 6:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go Aggies! Great defense can go a long way! The final 4 was so great! Great basketball. I am sure some of our Terps were watching and were inspired by it. Young ladies living their dreams. Can't wait to see the Terps next year and to see their progression to the next level.


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