Dogging the Huskies

March 9, 2010

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My apologies to the Connecticut Women’s Basketball team and their fans, but the entire content of this article will likely be offensive to you …

A dynasty is alive and kicking in NCAA Women’s hoops. It is worse than Duke of the 90’s, The New York Yankees, the Patriots and well … it even makes me more sick than Notre Dame Football.

The UCONN Lady Huskies

This just in … they are pretty damn good. Jedi Mind tricks do not work on the great recruiter Geno Auriemma …

About now I am waiting for all of you to chime in and say “Goodman, you are a Husker fan, and the Lady Huskers are undefeated this year so far and ranked #3 in the country so of course you are to dog the Huskies.”

True all these items are …

My question is this … is Geno the Hut a good coach or just able to work with SUPERIOR talent year in and year out?

I can make a bunch of comparisons here. Coaches that can recruit but really are not that good of coaches in my opinion include:

Mack Brown – CLEARLY the #1 on this list
Roy Williams – This year prove a lot to me
Rick Barnes – is there a Texas theme developing on this list? YES!
Les Miles – wow, he misses Pelini
Rich Rodriguez … nice job there Michigan
Charlie Weis … well … I guess the golden domers did figure that one out.

I think GENO is in fact a good coach. He has a lot of ladies that go on to not just careers in the WNBA, but are in fact some of the best in the league. Many of these players are three and four year starters at Connecticut … and they do indeed improve their games a LOT by the time they get drafted.

UConn will likely win it all again this year. They have utterly destroyed just about every single team they have played all year. But this is not necessarily a good thing for Women’s Basketball in general. The sport is gaining popularity. The is definitely MORE parity than I can remember in a long long time. Heck the Big XII conference has SEVEN count em, SEVEN teams in the top 25 alone.

I for one will be rooting for everyone else. It will be more publicity than ever in the tournament this year if the Lady Huskies get knocked off. There is truly not a dominant team in the Men’s side of things this year, so the Lady Huskies are front and center. It would be one of the better things that could happen for ESPN coverage if the do get beat. Here on Monday when they have set the record for consecutive wins, it has been on all day long

It is on television all day long, because fans love a winner. Especially the home team fans. But ….

EVERYONE roots for the underdog …

My new favorite team this year is now whoever is playing the Lady Huskies.

The other tournament

March 26, 2009

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Unbeknownst to many people, there are two NCAA basketball tournaments underway. Everyone knows about the men’s tournament, of course. There is also a women’s NCAA tournament underway.

The women’s tourney has had some interesting games already. #2 seed Baylor had to go to overtime in the first round again #15 seed Texas San Antonio and escaped with a two point win against #9 seed South Dakota State in the second round. #1 seed Duke was beaten by #9 seed Michigan State in the second round. Texas A&M had 20, yes 20, steals in a win against Minnesota. #7 seed Rutgers clobbered #2 seed Auburn in the second round, although it’s difficult to list a C. Vivian Stringer win as an upset, ever.

Perhaps the biggest shock of the tournament was the early exit of two time defending champion Tennessee. Tennessee was a very young team, with a “low” #5 seed as a result. However, Tennessee had never lost a first or second round NCAA game, so their opening round loss to #12 Tennessee was a stunner.

My alma mater, Iowa State, is in the Sweet 16. The #4 seed Cyclones won handily in the first round, tying a tournament record with 16 three pointers in a rout against East Tennessee State. Oddly, South Dakota State also tied the tournament record in their win against TCU. The Cyclones road in the tournament has been smoothed a bit by upsets. In round two, they faced #12 seed Ball State (instead of #5 seed Tennessee). Ball State hung around for quite a while, but Iowa State pulled away in the end. In the next round, the Cyclones will face #9 seed Michigan State instead of #1 seed Duke. Can this be a Final Four run for Iowa State? I sure hope so.

I have been to at least four NCAA women’s tournaments (my memory is getting hazy with age – was there a fifth tournament?) – three times to first/second round game and once to third/fourth round games. The tickets are much cheaper than men’s tickets and much easier to get. Some of the cities that get the women’s games would never have a chance at men’s tournament games.

I really enjoy the atmosphere of the tournament. The game on the floor is good, too. The women’s game is a lot more true to the fundamentals instead of the highlight show that the men’s games can turn into.

My best moment from an NCAA tourney was when I had to sell some unused tickets (I bought extras anticipating that some friends would be able to join me). I sold for below face value and was honest about the fact that the seats were not very close to midcourt. The couple that bought the tickets was actually happy with the location. Their son was a band director (or something similar) and the seats gave them a great view of him.

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