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!