Tuesday, April 8, 2008

March Madness 2008 - Volunteers' Defense Defends Women's National College Basketball Championship

April 9 - Never has the cliche about a good defense beating a good offense applied more than in last night's NCAA Women's Basketball Championship game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Stanford Cardinal, won by Tennessee, 64-48.

Coming into the final, Stanford had cruised through five tournament games, including comfortable wins over #1 seeds Maryland and Connecticut, with an efficient offense averaging about 90 points a game, led by star Candice Wiggins' 27 point average.

Tennessee, on the other hand, barely survived their last two games, defensive struggles with Texas A&M and LSU. A shoulder injury to national player of the year Candace Parker hampered their offense.

Set in the unusual and motivating role of underdog, Tennessee coach Pat Summitt devised and her players executed the best defensive game plan I've seen in women's basketball.

Summitt took advantage the athleticism of her team and of two quirks of women's college basketball rules - the shorter 30 second shot clock (men have 35) and the rule that allows the offense to take as much time as they need to cross halfcourt (men get 10 seconds). She ordered a game-long zone press by Tennessee, which either forced a turnover (Stanford committed 28 all tolled), left the Cardinal with about 15 seconds to devise and take a shot once they crossed halfcourt, and/or exhausted Stanford star Candice Wiggins if she tried to dribble through the press.

Stanford never found an answer--their few attempts to throw over the press sailed out of bounds or were intercepted by the lanky and quick Volunteer defenders. Too often Stanford bunched four players in the backcourt trying to break the press--eliminating any chance at throwing over the press for an easy basket.

The result was a 37-28 halftime lead for Tennessee and a befuddled Stanford coach who admitted to ESPN interviewer Rebecca Lobo that she had "no idea" what to tell her jittery team.

Stanford made a one-minute run to start the second half, closing to within 37-33, but another spate of turnovers and forced Stanford shots broke the game open again. With still five minutes to go you could tell that Stanford just wanted the game to be over. With one minute to go and a 12-point lead, Tennessee was still pressing full court.

In the post-game interview, Parker related that the team had set a goal to hold the high scoring Cardinal "below 50". A ridiculous goal it would seem, but one they accomplished with a point to spare. Like the proverbial wounded bear, the Vols' lashed out with their clawlike defense and ate the Cardinal foolish enough to approach.

9:31 - Wiggins misses layup.

Foul on Stanford. Foul shot missed.

Appel makes a layup. 58-46

Hornbuckle makes two free throws. 60-46

Third shot by Stanford draws a foul. 1:55 left. Appel makes free throw. And another. 60-48

More free throws for Hornbuckle. Baugh back from locker room with ice on knee. 62-48

Missed three. Parker rebounds. Gets fouled. Misses first shot. Makes second. 63-48

Another turnover. Summitt empties bench as does Stanford. Check that for Vols. Parker and Bobbitt still playing. Now Parker comes out. 64-48

Time out to get all starters out. That's the final. 64-48, Tennessee. Dominating defensive performance.

9:24 - Another steal. Tennessee with ball and 12 point lead with minutes left. Misses but gets rebound. Parker makes. 58-44

Good pass, but shot misses. Tennessee with rebound.

Shot clock violation on TN. 3:29 left.

9:18 - Baugh drives and scores. 55-44. She goes down in pain. Being helped off.

Air ball by Wiggins.

Hornbuckle misses.

Weak pass by Stanford. Parker steals easily.

Parker shoots and draws foul. Makes first shot. 56-44. Timeout at 5:46.

9:07 - Tennessee miss. Rebounded by Stanford.

Air ball by Stanford. Shot clock violation.

Drive by Auguste. 52-40

Appel scores. 52-42

Tennessee turnover. 10 minutes left. Anosike back in.

Wiggins drives. Well defended.

Appel misses. Parker shoot, gets fouled. Makes first free throw. 53-42. Misses second.

Stanford miss. Appel rebounds and draws foul. Misses first. Fourth straight miss. Another miss.

Miss by Anosike. Miss by Stanford.

Charge on Auguste. 8 minutes left. 4th foul on Auguste.

Appel makes lefty hook. 53-44

Tennessee misses. Stanford rebounds and walks. TV timeout at 7:26 left.

8:58 - Appel misses both free throws.

Steal and layup for Wiggins. 46-37. Weak pass by Parker

Baugh makes 17-footer. 48-37

Another Stanford turnover. #18

Near steal by Wiggins. OB to Tennessee. 9 on shot clock.

Stanford steal after rebound.

Hones drives and scores. 48-39

Bobbitt misses 3.

Appel fouled on move to right. Makes first free throw. 48-40. Misses but Harden rebounds. Foul on Baugh.

3-second violation. Turnover 19.

Baugh rebounds and scores. 50-40

Wiggins misses hard shot over defender. Foul on Stanford. 3rd on Appel.

Tennessee miss. Tipped out by Stanford. Next miss goes to Stanford.

Stanford flings it OB for 20th turnover. Timeout.

8:47 - Second half starts. Pederson draws first blood for Stanford with layup. Adds two free throws. 37-33 Tennessee.

Auguste hits jumper. 39-33

Bobbitt misses 3.

Appel misses.

Tennessee turnover by Parker.

Steal by Tennessee. Bobbitt falls. Traveling.

Reach in foul by Parker. Her second.

Offensive foul on Wiggins.

Anosike rebounds Hornbuckle miss. 41-33

Press gets a steal and layup for Tennessee. 43-33

Foul on Anosike. Her third. Will come out. Best player so far for UT.

Wiggins cut and layup. 43-35

Tie up goes to Tennessee. Parker misses after lob pass.

Scores the next time. Foul on Appel. 45-35. Free throw good. 46-35

Drive by Appel. Foul on Auguste. Timeout at 15:47 left.

8:21 - Tennessee miss. Grab rebound but can't control.

Wiggins hits a 3. 30-24.

Anosike drive and layup. 32-24.

Foul on Anosike. Appel makes free throw. 32-25. Misses second.

Auguste fouled on a shot. Misses first. Makes second. 33-25.

Bad shot. Missed.

Bobbitt fouled on drive. Makes one. 34-25. Now 35-25.

Pass against press goes out of bounds.

Bobbit misses.

Pretty move by Wiggins. 35-27.

Anosike left alone. Makes 37-27

Another steal for Anosike. 6th of first half. Takes it from Wiggins. Wiggins fouls. 19 seconds left. Anosike at line. Misses.

Harmon hits a buzzer beater. 37-29. Halftime.

Stanford coach Van DerVeer tells Rebecca Lobo that she has "no idea" how her team can handle Tennessee's defensive pressure.

8:10 - Parker on the bench. Wiggins gets held. Not a shooting foul. Another Stanford turnover.

Another offensive rebound for Tennessee.

Layup for Anosike. 25-15.

Five second violation for 9th Stanford turnover.

Offensive foul could have been a flop. 10th turnover. Make it 12.

Travel on Anosike. Finally Stanford forces a turnover.

Appel scores on a drive. 25-17.

Parker back in. Fouled on turnaround shot. Makes first free throw. And the second. 27-17.

Wiggins scores on drive against the UT press. 27-19

Parker drops a pass. Stanford ball.

Bobbitt makes third 3-ball. 30-19

Pederson puts back. 30-21

Timeout with 3:06 left.

8 ish - Despite opening 3 by Wiggins, overall a bad start for Stanford as Tennessee's defensive pressure makes the Vols the favorite after 9 minutes of play as they lead 17-10. Auguste is chasing Wiggins and the other Vols are harassing whomever else brings up the ball, resulting in several turnovers and easy baskets for Tennessee. Seven turnovers for Stanford already.

3-pointer by Hones pulls Stanford to within 4. Good post pass and kickout.

Offensive rebound by Auguste and layup. 19-13.

Back blockout. Another rebound and putback. 21-13.

Drive by Harmon. 21-15.

Turnover and missed layup by Stanford.

Parker passes instead of taking a 10' jumper. Eventual foul by Stanford.

Awkward shot missed by Tennessee. Fast break by Stanford broken up.

TV timeout.

Kansas Wins National Championship in Overtime 75-68; Lack of One More Free Throw in Regulation Dooms Memphis

April 8 - March Madness for the men ended as usual in April and in true mad form as Kansas beat Memphis 75-68 in overtime to take the 2008 national championship. With just over two minutes to go the game seemed to belong to Memphis as they held a 60-51 lead, but an bad inbounds pass by Antonio Anderson and subsequent 3-pointer by Final Four MVP Mario Chalmers cut the lead to 60-56. Shortly thereafter, Memphis stars Chris Douglas-Robers (CDR) and Derrick Rose facilitated Kansas' comeback by missing four free throws, any one of which would have given the Tigers an insurmountable four-point lead, instead of three at the time when Chalmers sank another 3-pointer, this one to tie the game at 63 and send it to overtime. Memphis was outmanned in the extra session, having lost center Joey Dorsey to fouls with just over a minute to go in regulation. They fouled, but Chalmers coolly sank all his free throws to ice the win. The Kansas championship comes 20 years after their last triumph in 1988. Coach Bill Self's pregame remarks seemed eerily clairvoyant, as he told his guys to work through the inevitable rough spots (what could be rougher than down nine with two minutes to play) and celebrate just two-and-a-half hours later.

10:44 - One timeout left for each team. Chalmers fouled. 1 and 1. Makes first. 72-68. Second hits only net. 73-68.

CDR misses. Melee for rebound. Tie up goes to KU. 30 seconds left. Memphis must foul.

KU player slips out of bounds. Turnover to Memphis.

CDR misses three. KU at foul line. 13 seconds left. First one falls. 74-68. And second. Rose misses three. Game over! KU wins 75-68!

10:39 - Memphis inbounds. Foul on KU. 2:24 left. Douglas-Roberts at line. Makes first. 69-64. And second. 69-65.

Chalmers misses buzzer bomb. OB to Memphis. Roses misses 3. Tipped back out. CDR misses 3.

Outlet to Rush. Makes second layup try. 71-65.

Douglas-Roberts hits 3. 71-68.

10: 35 - 4:21 left. Dozier misses. KU rebounds. Lob to Arthur for dunk. 67-63 KU.

Miss by Anderson. KU rebounds. Jackson lays it in. 69-63, KU. Timeout Memphis. 2:29 left.

10:32 - Chalmers 3 makes it officially a barnburner. Memphis hampered by loss of Dorsey and by free throw woes.

Memphis wins tip. Steal leads to layup by Rush. KU by 2.

10:29 - Rose at line. Spins off. Four in a row missed by Memphis. Got one. 63-60. Chalmers drains 3. Tie game! On to overtime.

10:25 - 19 on shot clock. Tough shot missed by Douglas-Roberts. KU gets rebound but misses drive at other end.

Douglas-Roberts fouled. Misses first. Still 62-60. 16.8 left. Misses both. Dozier rebounds. Another foul. 10.8 left. Timeout.

10:19 - KU time out with 1:54 left. KU steals inbounds pass and hits 3. 60-56.

Douglas-Roberts at the line. Makes first. And second. 62-56.

Dorsey fouls out. 1:23 left. Bad foul near sideline. Chalmers shooting. Makes first. And second. 62-58.

Foul on Chalmers. Douglas-Roberts to line. 4 of 4 so far. Misses front end.

Fall away jumper falls. 62-60. Timeout Memphis. 44 seconds left.

10:13 - Rose has 18 points. 15 in second half. Rose's 3 is adjusted back to 2 points. Lead drops to 7 at 56-49.

Good drive by Rush, but he misses. Rebound to KU. Foul on Memphis. Dorsey's fourth foul. Arthur shoots and makes one. 3:36 left. Makes both 56-51.

Late shot by Rose misses. Dozier rebounds. Another clock. Taggert scores. 58-51. Memphis gets it back. 2:15 left. KU fouls. Sixth team foul. Rush fouls Dozier. Now 1 and 1. Dorsey in for Taggert. Dozier makes first free throw. 59-51. 67% shooter. Makes second. Memphis leads by nine.

Big make by Arthur cuts lead to seven at 60-53. More fouls likely.

10:02 - Turnover leads to short Rose jumper. Memphis by 4. Rose has 12.

Long three by Kansas is off. Rebound tipped out by Jayhawks.

Foul on Douglas-Roberts. 3rd on him. He sits. 6:19 left. No shots.

Exchange of turnovers. Lob to Dorsey too long.

Rose missed 3 at buzzer. Dozier rebounds. In to Rose who makes layup while being fouled. Memphis leads 53-47 with 5+ minutes left. Rose free throw next. Good. Memphis up 7.

Nice drive by Jayhawks. 54-49.

3 seconds on shot clock for Memphis. Rose banks in impossible 3 at buzzer. 57-49. Shot of the game. Timeout inside of 4 minutes.

9:59 - 8:00 left. Memphis up 2. DVR starts recording "The Daily Show". I have to stop it. Commercial when I get back.

9:51 p.m. - Memphis inbounds under own basket. Turnover under defensive pressure. 20th total turnover in the game.

Chalmers hits a short jumper. KU by 3.

Good passing leads to Rose layup. KU by 1, 45-44.

Dorsey gets a rebound. Jayhawk foul before the shot. Kansas inside game keeping them in. Rush gets a layup. KU up 47-44.

Rose drives and feeds Dozier. Shot good and foul. Memphis can tie. Free throw missed. 47-46 KU.

Good D against Kaun shot. Rose drills a 3. Memphis up 49-47.

9:47 p.m. - Family life continues to get in the way of blogging as we've been brainstorming a word for our daughter to use for her English "definition" project. "Sound" it is. Now it's her job to write five paragraphs.

Back in San Antonio the Jayhawks cling to a 1-point lead 43-42. Both teams are going all out.

9:33 p.m. - Second half starts with Rose feeding Dorsey for a dunk. Rose then forces a turnover. Anderson drains a 3 to tie the score, 33 all!

Chalmers fouled while shooting. Two free throws. Makes both. Anderson scores a layup for Memphis. Gets fouled. Makes the free throw to give Memphis a 1-point lead.

Hook shot by Arthur gives lead back to KU. Great defense by Kansas on next series.

Rose feeds Dorsey for another dunk. Memphis by one.

Kaun fouled by Dorsey. Third foul on Dorsey. He comes out. Kansas up one. Time out.

9:12 p.m. - Got busy there sending photos to my sister. Live blogging is really getting in the way of my photoblogging, or is it vice versa. Kansas leads 33-28 at halftime. Memphis may have to make some free throws to win.

8:57 p.m. - Took a timeout there to talk to my sister on her birthday. The game has gone back and forth and is tied at 28 with 3:50 left in the first half.

8:17 p.m. - Kansas starters are 00 Darrell Arthur, 32 Darnell Jackson, 3 Russell Robinson, 15 Mario Chalmers and 25 Brandon Rush.

Memphis starters are 2 Robert Dozier, 3 Joey Dorsey, 14 Chris Douglas-Roberts, 5 Antonio Anderson and 23 Derrick Rose.

My daughter went upstairs. Perhaps one reason is that the teams with the pretty blue uniforms (UNC and UCLA) were eliminated. Plain old blue on blue compete in the final.

It's been a great athletic run for Kansas with their football team coming off a 1-loss season and Orange Bowl win.

The Tigers win the tap. Dorsey makes the first basket. He didn't score in the last game. Rose's first shot gets blocked out of bounds.

Rush misses a dunk after a steal but gets fouled. Makes one free throw. Memphis now leading 4-1. Now 6-3 after Dozier jumper.

The two teams have almost identical stats - scoring, defense, rebounding. Rose hits a baseline jumper and gets fouled. 8-3 Memphis. Sensational tournament by Rose. 21 ppg; almost 7 rebounds and 6 assists. Probably the best performance in the tournament.

April 7 - Live Blog of Men's Final - Memphis vs. Kansas. Tip off is scheduled for 8:21 p.m. EDT.

This game reminds me of one played twenty years ago between Oklahoma and Kansas. The Jayhawks, led by Danny Manning, were even more of an underdog againt Wayman Tisdale and the Sooners than this year's unit is against Memphis. Watching Kansas' coach Bill Self's refer to assistant coach Danny Manning in his pregame talk reinforces the reminder.

Greg Gumbel, Clark Kellogg and Seth Davis are the studio team. Kellogg picks Memphis. Either Davis didn't pick or I missed it. Having picked in error against the Tigers three games in a row, I'll pick Memphis too, as will my wife, who moved up to #30,000 in the Foxsports.com contest after having the right two teams in the final game. My ranking is slightly lower at 195,000. Back for the start of the game.

April 7 - Most heartbreaking of the three losses (two against my predictions and one against my wishes) was the LSU women's 47-46 loss to Tennessee in last night's Women's Final Four semifinal. The Lady Tigers took the lead 46-45 with 7 seconds left on two free throws by point guard Erica White, but lost when Tennessee guard Alexis Hornbuckle, scoreless to that point, put back a missed shot with 0.7 seconds left to give the Lady Volunteers the win and spot in the women's final vs. Stanford on Tuesday night.

Both teams fought valiantly in a 40-minute defensive struggle with Tennessee limited by a shoulder injury to their superstar Candace Parker, and LSU limited by anxiousness about losing their fifth straight Final Four game in five years of trying. LSU appeared to have broken the spell by taking their one of their few leads of the game with just seven seconds left, but a length-of-the-court dash by Parker, missed layup by Vol center Nikki Anosike and putback by Hornbuckle worked like a death curse from Harry Potter on the Tigers' hopes for one more game and a chance at the elusive national championship. Tennessee will have to pick up its offensive game to compete with a Stanford team that can do it all offensively. The Cardinal proved their mettle with a convincing 82-73 win over #1 Connecticut. Stanford star Candice (with an "i") Wiggins again led the way with 25 points and 13 rebounds, including an 8-9 performance from the foul line. Tennessee may have Pat Summitt and Candace Parker and the mojo of seven championships, but to me Stanford looks like the clearly superior team who should win by 10 points, particularly if they can just play to win a basketball game and not worry to much about what it means.

In Saturday's men's Final Four action, my confident predictions of victory for UCLA and North Carolina couldn't have been more wrong. First, Memphis, led by freshman point guard sensation Derrick Rose, dominated 40 minutes of play to beat the Bruins 78-63. UCLA couldn't cope with the Tigers' speed and athleticism. My report is mercifully brief, as I caught just a few minutes of this game on the radio en route to a New Orleans Zephyrs baseball game, and then saw the final score on the big screen at Zephyr Field. I learned that it is dangerous to pick against a team with a 37-1 record, no matter which conference they play in.

We saw more of Game Two in a dingy "sports bar" (one old TV) across the highway from Zephyr Field, but not the critical first 12 minutes in which Kansas shot out to a 40-12 lead over the North Carolina Tarheels. I have this game recorded and plan to watch to see what such a debacle looks like. Those on the scene reported that KU hit 12 of their first 16 shots including several three-pointers. UNC fought back more courageously than their fans or the media expected (veteran CBS analyst Billy Packer pronounced the game "over" at 40-12), actually drawing to within four points at 54-50 midway through the second half. The rally stalled there, however, and the Jayhawks pulled away to an 84-66 win. Now the Tarheels have stunk up the end of a game (last year vs. Georgetown) and the beginning of another. We'll see how many of their players come back for a third run.

Back on the subject of a new coach for the LSU men's team, it seems unlikely that (assuming Memphis beats Kansas) 1) Memphis coach John Calipari would want to leave his situation there and 2) LSU's administrators would be willing to meet his asking price as the coach of the current national champion team. However, LSU hired their new athletic director on Friday (a guy named Alleva (which sounds more like a pain reliever or a new Hyundai model) moves over from Duke), which might indicate their seriousness about upgrading the basketball program. Maybe Alleva can convince "Coach K" to make the move to Baton Rouge.

April 3 - Among several schools, LSU is looking for a new men's basketball coach, having fired John Brady in midseason and operated with an interim coach the rest of the way. A friend of mine speculated that the Tigers are going for a big hire, given that they haven't yet hired any of the hundreds of coaches and assistants that are no longer coaching this season.

He points out that only six teams are active at this point--the four in the NCAA Final Four and the two NIT finalists--Massachusetts and Ohio State. UMass coach Travis Ford has been widely speculated as the new LSU coach, but my friend thinks that Memphis coach John Calipari may be the real target. Certainly UNC coach Roy Williams and UCLA coach Ben Howland aren't coming to Baton Rouge, and likely not Kansas coach Bill Self either. I can't speculate about Thad Motta (sic?) at Ohio State. Calipari might welcome the move to a "power conference", but would have to accept going from an established power in basketball-crazy Memphis to a rebuilding project in football-crazy Baton Rouge.

I still think Ford is the more likely choice. He's a SEC guy, having played at Kentucky, and would probably welcome the move back to the south. The move would also position him to get the coveted Kentucky job some day, assuming Ford succeeds at LSU and Kentucky incumbent Billy Gillespie falters. An irony of such a hire would be that Ford's eventual departure for Kentucky could be a topic of speculation almost from the moment he got off the plane in Baton Rouge, much as Les Miles possible move to Michigan was an issue as soon as he was hired as LSU's football coach. Local fans and media would be primed for this story.

Of course, LSU may be telling the truth--their story throughout has been that they need to hire a new Athletic Director (incumbent Skip Bertman is retiring) and let that person lead the search for a new head basketball coach. The AD hire is expected this week or early next.

On The Road Again - Some less than optimal planning puts me in Zephyr Field in Metairie, LA for a Triple A baseball game between the New Orleans Zephyrs and the Nashville Sounds on Saturday, April 5--a direct conflict with the Final Four semifinals. I'm hoping my daughter will be willing to carry her nice, light MacBook and that there's a free wireless network in the ballpark. We considered switching the game tickets to Friday night, but the weather forecast is bleak (thunderstorms all afternoon and evening).

April 1 p.m. Update - In eerily similar games, multiple national championship winners Connecticut and Tennessee joined Stanford and LSU in the Women's Final Four next week in Tampa, FL.

The Volunteers beat Texas A&M 53-45 in a Midwest Regional final that the Aggies led 42-35 with about six minutes left. Tennessee superstar Candace Parker dislocated her left shoulder on two occasions and still scored almost half her team's points. Guard Alexis Hornbuckle hit a critical 3-point shot to push a two-point Tennessee lead out to five with just 48 seconds left.

In the East Regional final, 2007 Final Four lightning rod Rutgers led for thirty-plus minutes before succumbing to Connecticut 66-56. Huskies freshman All-American Maya Moore, scoring 22 points per game in the tournament, struggled throughout but sank a key 3-pointer late in the game. The Huskies clinched the win with dead-eye free throw shooting--the last 14 in a row.

April 1 - Stanford joined LSU in the Women's Final Four with a 98-87 West Regional final win over top-seeded Maryland in last night's second game. Although the outcome was similar--beating a #1-seed from the ACC--the style of play was anything but, as the Cardinals nearly outscored the entire LSU-UNC game by themselves. Pac-10 Player of the Year Candace Wiggins scored a phenomenal 41 points, just two games after tallying 44 in an earlier tournament win. Stanford will face the winner of the East Regional final between Connecticut and Rutgers in the national semifinal game on Sunday.

Live Blog of LSU-UNC Game

8:34 p.m. White fouled after inbounds play. Two shots. White makes first. 52-46. And the second. 6-6. 53-46.

Pringle misses, gets rebound. Fowles fouls out. 16 seconds left. 21 points and 11 rebounds for Fowles. Pringle makes two. 53-48.

Pringle fouls out. Williams to line with 13 seconds left. 21 points for Pringle too.

Williams misses first. Makes second. 54-48. UNC misses, gets rebound and is fouled. Thomas fouls out. 3.7 seconds left. Heels make both 54-50.

UNC foul. 1.9 seconds left. LeBlanc to shoot. Makes one. 55-50. And second. 56-50. Air ball ends it.

LSU Tigers win, 56-50 for fifth straight Final Four! They will meet winner of Tennessee-Texas A&M game. Go Aggies!

8:28 p.m. Chaney goes to the line. Off back iron.

McCants drains 3-ball. 48-44.

White fouled. 55 seconds left. Makes first. 49-44. And second 50-44. Nothing but net.

Next 3-ball missed by UNC. Fowles rebounds and is fouled. 0:40 left. Makes first 51-44. Off front iron. Pringle scores at 0:27. 51-46. UNC calls their last timeout.

8:20 p.m. LeBlanc makes one. 45-37. Biggest lead of game. And two, 46-37.

Breeland scores on in-bounds play. 46-39.

Shot clock violation. 2:33 left. UNC timeout.

UNC misses. LSU rebounds. Pass inside to Fowles. She travels. Not happy with the call.

LeBlanc steals. White fouled. 1 and 1 opportunity. Makes firsts. 47-39. Makes second. 48-39.

McCants of UNC scores 48-41. They foul Chaney at 1:10. 73% shooter. UNC calls time.

8:15 p.m. Fowles goes to the bench. Tigers have the ball.

LeBlanc hits a 3! 44-37. 4:12 left.

Bad pass. UNC turnover.

Larkins fouls LeBlanc. Two shots coming. Timeout with 3:46 left.

8:09 p.m. - Ball given to UNC after timeout. Heels miss shot and lose it OB.

3-ball missed by LeBlanc.

Pringle fouled after getting rebound. 1 and 1. Makes first 39-36. UNC gets the miss. Pringle gets another rebound. Back to the line. Makes first. 39-37. Misses second. LSU rebounds.

Fowles scores and is fouled. 41-37. Misses again. 0-5. Foul on Fowles at other end. Her fourth. Larkins misses front end.

Timeout LSU. 5:18 left. 41-37 Tigers.

8:00 p.m. - 10:33 left. Fowles fouled by Larkins. Goes to the line. Misses the first free throw. Larkins hurt on previous play. Misses both again. 0-4.

Foul on White. LSU rebounds Larkins miss. Chaney scores after offensive foul. 36-32.

DeGraffenreid fouled on the shot. Misses first shot. Makes second. 36-33.

Brick by Fowles. Boths teams shooting 36% or less. Pringle pulls Heels within one. 36-35.

Chaney hits 3-ball. 39-35. Turnover by UNC. TV timeout. 7:07 left.

7:44 p.m. - Fowles blocks Larkins' shot. Ball goes off Larkins and out. Fifth block for Sylvia. TV timeout at 16:01.

UNC steal. Fouled by LSU. Another timeout at 15:34.

Shot made by Pringle with a foul. Free throw missed. 30-25.

Williams makes a short shot from the middle. 32-25.

Offensive rebound Basket for Pringle and foul. Makes free throw 32-28.

Pringle scores again. 32-30.

Pass into Fowles. 34-30.

Pringle banks it in 34-32.

Turnover off White's foot.

Finally we have to hear "fever for the flavor of a Pringle." Ugh!

7:36 p.m. Back in action. UNC gets the first basket, but Ashley Thomas responds. 26-23 Tigers. Pringles gets her third foul 2 minutes in. Fowles rebounds her own miss. 28-23. Fowles blocks and ties up Larkins. Fowles fouled on the shot. Misses the first. And the second. Fowles makes a layup in transition. 30-23. UNC timeout. 16:25 left.

7:16 p.m. - Fowles scores on a short shot. Larkins responds. 24-21 LSU at halftime.

7:12 p.m. - Fowles misses a short one while surrounded by five Tarheels. Airball by UNC goes back to them, but they can't take advantage. Fowles next shot is blocked. Tie up goes to UNC. Tarheels getting sloppy with another turnover. 2 minutes left in first half.

Tigers shoot airball but ball goes out of bounds off UNC. Timeout with 1:51 left.

7:03 p.m. - The other Elite Eight matchups are between Stanford and Maryland tonite and between Connecticut and Rutgers and Tennessee and Texas A&M tomorrow night.

Larkins and Fowles trade baskets. 22-17. UNC gets the next score. 22-19 with 3:24 left. TV timeout.

6:55 p.m. - The Women's Final Four is in Tampa, FL. Another LSU turnover disguised as a shot as an entry pass bounces off the rim.

Breakaway layup gives UNC 13-11 lead. Great outlet pass.

Another LSU turnover, but a UNC air ball gives it back. LSU timeout with 10:05 left. Scoring at Tigers' preferred pace as LSU turnovers are matched by UNC misses.

Fowles scores a layup to tie the game at 13. Ashley Thomas hits a side jumper to give the Tigers the lead at again. UNC's Lucas responds to tie at 15.

3-ball from Chaney gives Tigers a 3-point lead. Long shot by Lucas bounces OB. 18-15, LSU.

Good entry pass leads to short jumper by Fowles. 20-15, LSU. Timeout with 6:19 left.

6:45 p.m. Sylvia Fowles puts back her own miss to give the Tigers an 11-9 lead.

Teams are playing much looser than in the LSU-Oklahoma State game, which featured 10% shooting by both teams for the first 10 minutes.

Two straight LSU turnovers (make it three) give UNC a chance to take the lead. Close in shot missed. Game tied at 11 at second timeout.

6:40 p.m. The women get a two-night spotlight as their Elite Eight matchups start with the South Regional final between LSU and North Carolina. The Tigers are going for their fifth straight Final Four appearance. The Tarheels are a little miffed about being sent to New Orleans as a #1 seed to play #2 LSU.

The Tigers get off to a quick 6-0 start, but UNC center Larkins responds with an old-fashioned 3-point play. TV time out with Tigers up 6-5.

March 31 - For the first time in NCAA men's basketball history, four #1 seeds (and four blue teams - though I'm not sure if this is a first) will meet in the Final Four. Memphis cruised to their spot with a convincing 85-67 win over Texas in the South Regional final. Tiger freshman point guard Derrick Rose played a near flawless game, missing just three of ten shots from the field; one of eight at the line, grabbing six rebounds and handing out nine assists while committing just two turnovers. The rest of the Tigers nearly matched Rose's pace, shooting 50% from the field and 83% from the foul line. Memphis next faces UCLA in a Final Four game on Saturday.

Kansas claimed the last spot by surviving Davidson's upset bid 59-57 in the Midwest Regional final when a last second 3-point attempt by the Wildcats' point guard Jason Richards missed short and left. The Jayhawk defense forced a late pass rather than shot from Davidson sharpshooter Stephen Curry. Neither team could get a comfortable lead in a game that was close throughout. Sasha Kaun and Mario Chambers led a balanced Kansas attack with 13 points each. As usual, Curry led Davidson with 25, but on 25 shots as Kansas kept the defensive pressure on him throughout. The Jayhawks will battle North Carolina in the other national semifinal game.

March 29 Late Update - North Carolina continued the domination of the blue with an 83-73 win over Louisville in the East Regional final. After the Tarheels jumped to a 44-32 halftime lead, the Cardinals fought back to tie the game at 59, but couldn't take the lead. Player of Year favorite Tyler Hansborough was too much with 28 points and 13 rebounds, as North Carolina avoided a replay of their regional final collapse vs. Georgetown last year. Blue teams Kansas and Memphis will be favored today over Davidson in red and Texas in burnt orange, respectively.

March 29 - UCLA continued the run of blowouts by #1 teams with an impressive 76-57 drubbing of Xavier in the West Regional final. Kevin Love, or as he's known in our family (and probably elsewhere) by his would-be rapper name K-Luv, led the way again with 19 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocked shots. The big freshman looks more than ready for the NBA, where I expect he'll play next year, unless UCLA fails to win the NCAA championship, and maybe not even that will keep him in school.

In the East Regional final, Louisville is shooting reasonably well, but can't keep North Carolina off the offensive backboard and trails 27-17. The Cardinals also gave up a length-of-the-court inbounds pass for a layup.

March 28 - 11 p.m. Update - Both Kansas and Memphis played like #1 seeds determined to strike fear into the hearts of all below them. The Jayhawks took a 41-22 halftime lead en route to a 72-57 win over Villanova. Their respective season's records (31-4 vs 22-12) gave a hint of what was to come. Memphis conducted a first-half clinic against Michigan State, taking a 50-20 lead on the way to a 92-74 final score. A telling stat was the Tigers' 22-6 first-half rebounding margin over the best rebounding team in the Big Ten. Kansas gets Davidson on Sunday, while Memphis and Texas should have a track meet.

Update - both games are decided by solid margins as Davidson beats Wisconsin 73-56 and Texas takes care of Stanford by a similar 82-62 score. The Wildcats could face more Wildcats if Villanova upsets Kansas.

Game One of the Midwest Regional is yielding a big surprise as Davidson leads Wisconsin by 18 with just 4:25 left. The game was tied at halftime, but sharpshooter Stephen Curry's 33 points have the Wildcats in good shape for an Elite Eight berth (Curry has outscored the entire Wisconsin team 20-15 in the second half). My modest advance from #158,000 to #145,000 in the Fox contest is at serious risk here, particularly since I had the Badgers advancing to the Final Four.

Davidson showed its commitment to the team by financing a road trip by 300 students from Charlotte to Detroit for the regional games.

Texas's guard play has them up 10 over Stanford, 63-53 with about 8 minutes left. Anything could happen, but the Longhorns have had the answers so far.

Lots more basketball left tonite as Kansas/Villanova and Memphis/Michigan State follow the early games.

March 27 - The regionals got underway tonight with North Carolina and Washington State playing in Charlotte. The defensive-minded Cougars succeeded in holding UNC (who scored 113 and 108 in their first two games) to 68 points, but only managed 47 of their own. The Heels advance to face Louisville, who broke out to a 16-point first-half lead, only to see Tennessee draw to within one with 16 minutes left before fading again and losing by 19, 79-60.

In the West Regional, Xavier beat West Virginia 79-75 in an overtime thriller decided by three straight Xavier 3-balls, the last one coming after a crosscourt inbounds pass with two seconds left on the shot clock. The last game of the night featured #1-seed UCLA and upstart Western Kentucky. Behind very strong play by Kevin Love and reserve James Keefe, the Bruins amassed a 21-point halftime lead, then held off a game Hilltopper second-half rally for a 88-78 win. The Bruins get the Musketeers in the West Regional final on Saturday.

March 26 - Not unexpected news from Fox Sports.com, where my March Madness entry stands at 195,000 out of about of 258,000 entries. My wife is doing much better for now at #58,000, but won't get any more points out of the West Regional, in which she had Connecticut and Duke playing for the Final Four spot. My Final Four teams--UNC, UCLA, Texas and Wisconsin--are all still alive.

March 24 - To help pull the storylines together and to update predictions, here are the Sweet Sixteen matchups.

East - UNC vs. Washington State; Louisville vs. Tennessee - the top four seeds advanced unscathed. I still like UNC and Louisville to reach the next round and UNC to advance to San Antonio. UNC/Washington State matchup is intriguing--upstoppable offense vs. impenetrable defense, evidenced by the Cougars holding Notre Dame to half its season scoring average.

Midwest - Kansas vs. Villanova; Wisconsin vs. Davidson - Two upsets would put a Cinderella in the Final Four, but I started with Kansas and Wisconsin in the regional final and I'll stick with that, with the Badgers making the Final Four. It will be hard not to root against my picks and for Davidson.

South - Memphis vs. Michigan State; Stanford vs. Texas - I predicted Pitt to upset Memphis. Michigan State was clearly better than Pitt, so I don't see any reason they can't beat Memphis. Stanford vs. Texas could reach the 90s. I'll stay with the Longhorns, though I wasn't too impressed with how they barely closed out Miami after dominating most of the game. Stanford showed great courage in overcoming a fabulous effort by Marquette, with center Brook Lopez's fallaway bankshot providing the narrow margin. Michigan State looks like a strong possibility for an Elite Eight upset.

West - UCLA vs. Western Kentucky; Xavier vs. West Virginia - The Bruins, led by veteran guard Darren Collison and amazing freshman center Kevin Love, should handle the upstart Hilltoppers. I picked the Mountaineers to make it this far, so I'll move them past Xavier into a defensive showdown with UCLA.

Player of the Tournament so far has to be Davidson sophomore guard Stephen Curry, who averaged 35 ppg in leading the Wildcats to upset wins over Gonzaga and Georgetown. UCLA freshman center Kevin Love reminds me of Bill Walton with his all-around game and savvy beyond his years.

March 23 - So far I've had the wrong upsets as Tennessee beat Butler in overtime while Davidson shocked Georgetown, recovering from a miserable first half. Texas almost coughed up a big lead to Miami, but prevailed in regulation. Other favorites--Memphis, UNC, Louisville won, albeit the Tigers by a close margin over Mississippi State.

March 22 - I was on the road for most of the day, but I did catch the end of West Virginia's satisfying upset of Duke, watched the end of the Stanford-Marquette game in our hotel room and saw the Pitt-Michigan State and UCLA-Texas A&M games after dinner.

March 21 - Day Two of Round One is underway. My board is taking on more water as one of my predicted upsets (St. Mary's over Miami) didn't happen while another unpredicted upset (WKU over Drake) did. I picked one upset as Davidson clipped Gonzaga by 6.

The later games were even tougher as Mississippi State got a comeback win over Oregon and St. Josephs lost to Oklahoma. In addition, Vandy got smoked by Siena and San Diego upset Connecticut. I expect a lot of folks missed these 13 over 4 upsets. Villanova finished off the night by beating Clemson. I did get the North Carolina, Georgetown and Memphis games right. Woo hoo!

March 20 - I was 12-4 on Day One--worst pick was Kent St. over UNLV--the game was never close as the Golden Flashes burnt out early. Kansas St. played much better than expected and dominated USC. Best pick was probably resisting the temptation to pick George Mason over Notre Dame. Temple over Michigan State was a popular upset pick, but I had that one as well.

Here are predictions for Rounds 1 and 2 of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament that will build the stand on which my new 50" HD TV will sit (unless it's wall-mounted) after I win the Fox Sports.com Bracket Challenge.

East Regional

North Carolina vs. Mt. St. Mary’s – second easiest pick on the board. Heels by a bunch against champs of the play-in game. Hakuna matata for the Tarheels, 113-74 over the Mount.

Indiana vs. Arkansas – evenly-matched game here, as expected for 8 vs. 9. Arkansas was playing well at season’s end and with a few days off should be able to handle the slumping Hoosiers, whose coaching situation is in disarray. Arkansas forward Sonny Weems makes his claim for top player in Round 1 with 31 points on 12-14 shooting (4-4 at line; 3 for 4 from 3-point range) in 86-72 Razorback win over Hoosiers.

Round 2 and Beyond: In a match of good vs. better, the Heels will tame the Razorbacks on their way to the championship game. Heels didn't stop at taming; they eviscerated Arkansas in 108-77 rout.

Notre Dame vs. George Mason – very intriguing 5 vs. 12 game. Irish bombed out vs. Winthrop last year. Patriots were darlings of ’06 tournament with some of that crew still on the team. I expect Irish to atone for last year and return Mason to sweeping steps and waiting for their prince to come. Irish cruise 68-50.

Washington St. vs. Winthrop – dangerous 4 vs. 13 game for the Cougars, who started fast but struggled in the strong Pac 10. Two 13 over 4 upsets in a row seems a lot to ask of Winthrop. I’ll go with Washington State. The Cougars dominate Winthrop, 71-40.

Round 2 and Beyond: Big East player of year Luke Harogody (sp?) will kept the Irish moving until they face UNC. The Irish stop here--erased 61-41 by Washington State.

Oklahoma vs. St. Joseph’s – my initial instinct was to pick Oklahoma, since I didn’t think St. Joe’s would make the tourney, but I’ll follow my heart instead and pick the Philly school in an 11 over 6 upset. Should have trusted my first thoughts. Sooners win 72-64.

Louisville vs. Boise State – a Rick Pitino-coached team ought to be able to win this game for sure. The Cardinals deliver the win, 79-60.

Round 2 and Beyond: City loyalty dissolves and talent prevails as Louisville beats St. Joe’s (and Butler) before falling to UNC in the East Regional final. The Cardinals embarrass Oklahoma 78-48 and get Tennessee next in a strong 2 vs. 3 matchup.

Butler vs. South Alabama – Butler was a great story all season. I expect their methodical and precise play to be good for at least one more win, especially vs. the Jaguars, a mid-major team of the likes they dominated all year. Both form and my pick held in this one as Butler won easily 81-61.

Tennessee vs. American – Vols get an easy one before facing the scheming Butler. Tennessee started slowly but got around to beating American 72-57, despite an off offensive game by star shooter Chris Lofton.

Round 2 and Beyond: Patient Butler beats suddenly cold-shooting Vols in first major upset of Round 2. But Louisville will avoid a second upset at their hands. Butler pushed Tennessee into overtime, but lost 76-71.

Midwest Regional

Kansas vs. Portland State – maybe the closest of the 1 vs. 16 games but still a comfortable win for the Jayhawks Jayhawks rule first half and hold to lead in second to win 85-61.

UNLV vs. Kent State – great long-range geographic and cultural matchup. Middle America vs. desert glitz. A “flip-a-coin” 8 vs. 9 game. The Runnin’ Rebels will stay in Vegas while Kent State advances. Hideous 10-point first half dooms Kent State in 71-58 loss.

Round 2 and Beyond: Kansas has enough to win battle of Middle America over Kent State and another over Vandy before bowing in Midwest final to Wisconsin. Kansas handled UNLV easily 75-56.

Clemson vs. Villanova – the second or third best team in the ACC vs. the seventh best team in the Big East. I’m thinkin’ Tigers. #12 will play #13 in the next round as Villanova overcame an 18-point first-half deficit to win 75-69.

Vanderbilt vs. Siena – Vandy should have too much talent for the veteran Siena team. Siena was too quick for Vandy and ran away with an 83-62 win. Guard Kenny Hasbrouck poured in 30 points on 9-14 shooting plus a perfect 10-10 from the line.

Round 2 and Beyond: Great 4 vs. 5 matchup will be won in OT by the Commodores as Clemson struggles with free throws. KU too much for Vandy in next round. Villanova handled Siena with surprising ease 84-72 as Siena's outside shooting went cold.

USC vs. Kansas State – prospectively the most entertaining match of Round 1 as USC freshman star O.J. Mayo (21 ppg) takes the court against Kansas State freshman star Michael Beasley (26 points and 12 rebounds per game). The Trojans looked good at the end of the season when they dismantled Stanford. I’ll go with them. USC couldn't maintain their late season form. K-State wins 80-67 behind 23 points and 11 rebounds from Michael Beasley.

Wisconsin vs. Cal St. Fullerton – Badgers met all challenges in winning Big 10 regular season (tied with Purdue) and tournament. They should handle CSF. The Titans hung around longer than expected but still fell 71-56.

Round 2 and Beyond: Patient and savvy Badgers frustrate Mayo to prevail; frustrate mighty Hoyas and Jayhawks to reach Final Four. Wisconsin keeps moving, 72-55 over Kansas State.

Gonzaga vs. Davidson – intriguing 7 vs. 10 match. Gonzaga should come out fired up after losing the WCC tournament, but my hunch is that Davidson, like Butler, has at least one more win left in them after a great regular and postseason so far. Guard Stephen Curry lit up the scoreboard for 40 (8-10 from 3-point range), leading Davidson to an 82-76 upset.

Georgetown vs. UMBC – two schools are about 40 miles apart by road and much further than that in basketball prowess. Hoyas by a lot. 66-47 may not be a lot of points, but it's a healthy margin for Georgetown.

Round 2 and Beyond: Talent and experience are more than enough to propel Georgetown past Davidson, but are not enough to beat Wisconsin. Enough to win the first half maybe, but Davidson turned its game around in the second half to win 74-70. Steven Curry came alive in the second half to score 30 points.

South Regional

Memphis vs. Texas-Arlington – Tigers should run ‘em off the court. That was pretty much the case as Memphis won 87-63.

Mississippi St. vs. Oregon – another 8 vs. 9 match that is tough to call. Mississippi State had a better season on paper, but I’m going with Oregon based on them playing in a very tough conference. Bulldog center Charles Rhodes ruled this one with 34 points and 9 rebounds as Mississippi State overcame a 10-point halftime deficit to win 76-69.

Round 2 and Beyond: Oregon lost a lot of games to teams as good as Memphis. They will lose one more. Memphis will win no more after this one, falling to Pitt Panthers. Memphis advanced to the Sweet Sixteen with a 77-74 win over Mississippi State, despite a doleful free throw shooting performance.

Michigan State vs. Temple – the gap between the two teams is too great to overcome with love for a Philly team. Spartans in a close one. Got this one right as Spartans led most of the way in 72-61 win.

Pitt vs. Oral Roberts – I fell in love with Pitt and point guard Levance Fields while watching the Big East tournament (and an early season win over Duke). Coach Jamie Dixon is a rising star. The Panthers should win this one handily. Panthers 47-24 halftime lead way too much for even God to rescue Oral Roberts from on way to 82-63 win.

Round 2 and Beyond: The Panthers can and will win this game with Michigan State. Otherwise, they won’t be able to deliver my predicted upset over Memphis in Round 3 before falling to Texas in South Regional final. No they won't. Cold-shooting Pitt fell to a good-looking Michigan State team 65-56.

Marquette vs. Kentucky – Kentucky played well vs. SEC schools and not as well vs. outsiders. Marquette is a good outsider and will win this one. Warriors held off Wildcats 74-66.

Stanford vs. Cornell – brainiest of the first round games, but the contest is basketball, so Cardinal should prevail easily. No problem for the Cardinal as they win 77-53.

Round 2 and Beyond: Tough call here, but I’ll go with Stanford, a winner from the tough Pac 10 in this one, and Texas from tough Big 12 in the next. Great game between Stanford and Marquette goes to Cardinal 82-81 in OT.

Miami (FL) vs. St. Mary’s – I’m thinking that the Hurricanes will struggle vs. a team that their players probably didn’t know existed until about a week ago. St. Mary’s in a 10 over 7 upset. Miami apparently knew enough about the Gaels to post a 78-64 win.

Texas vs. Austin Peay – No upset for the Colonels this year. Talented Longhorns led by point guard D.J. Augustin should win in a runaway. Easy win for the Longhorns, 74-54.

Round 2 and Beyond: Easy wins for the Longhorns on the way to Final Four match with UCLA. Texas got halfway to the Final Four with a 72-69 win over Miami that looked like it would be easier.

West Regional

UCLA vs. Mississippi Valley State – Only an extreme act of mercy by UCLA coach Howland could keep this final margin below 30. Bruins bearhug MVSU 70-29.

BYU vs. Texas A&M – Aggies did well in last season’s tourney, but are missing senior guard Acey Law. I’ll go with the Cougars. The Aggies prevail in a close one, 67-62.

Round 2 and Beyond: The Bruins roll on in a rematch of the 2007 Holiday Bowl, which will fade in memory compared to their first NCAA championship since 1995. With a 36-26 second half lead, the Aggies scared the Bruins, but Darren Collison and Kevin Love saved the day with 40 of the Bruins points in a 53-49 comeback win. (Note: Score was adjusted back to 51-49 as UCLA's dunk at the buzzer was ruled to have happened a split second too late. The scorekeeper misinterpreted the official's signal at the time.)

Drake vs. Western Kentucky – both teams had great seasons; Drake slightly better and slightly better in this contest too. The game of the tournament so far as the Hilltoppers blew a 16-point lead with 8 minutes to go as Drake forced overtime. But as time expired in overtime, Western Kentucky guard Ty Rogers hit a 26-foot three-point shot to win the game 101-99.

Connecticut vs. San Diego – whatever momentum San Diego generated at home in WCC tourney will be gone by the time the Huskies finish chewing them. Connecticut goes home after shocking 70-69 overtime loss to the Toreros of San Diego. Guard De'on Jackson made the game-winning shot with 1.2 seconds left (only his third and fourth points of the game) after San Diego's two top scorers had fouled out.

Round 2 and Beyond: Drake is in NCAA tourney for first time since 1971. Huskies compete almost every year. Experience will out in this contest. Huskies not quite good enough to stay with UCLA in next round. The Hilltoppers won the 2nd round Cinderella fight, 72-63 over San Diego.

Purdue vs. Baylor – After horrific murder story of 2003, Baylor’s return to the tournament is heartwarming, but will be spoiled by overachieving Boilermakers. Boilermakers amass 46-27 halftime lead and make Baylor's return to the NCAA tournament a short one by 90-79 final score.

Xavier vs. Georgia – Forgive me for listening to Dick Vitale, but this seems like a good candidate for a 14 over 3 upset. The Bulldogs found their bite in the SEC tournament. The Musketeers were flailing a bit at the end. Bulldogs hit the wall in second half as Xavier overcomes 9-point halftime deficit to win by 12, 73-61.

Round 2 and Beyond: The Bulldogs run at Best-in-Show will be stopped by Purdue. Boilermakers stop WVU as well before falling to UCLA in West Regional final. Whoops--Xavier keeps winning, 85-78 over Purdue. They get West Virginia, 73-67 winner over Duke, next. The winner will likely be the team that tries to keep UCLA out of the Final Four.

West Virginia vs. Arizona – another good 7 vs. 10 game. The Mountaineers always seem to bring their “A” game early in the tournament, while Arizona is spotty. I see spots this year for the Wildcats as WVU prevails. The Mountaineers looked good in a 75-65 win and should be ready for Duke on Saturday.

Duke vs. Belmont – Perhaps after this year, Coach K will abandon selling credit cards and trucks and concentrate on basketball. But the Devils will still beat Belmont. Almost not as Duke survives an upset bid, 71-70.

Round 2 and Beyond – Coach K re-evaluates priorities after Duke is put out by the Mountaineers, who fall valiantly to Purdue in next round.


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Anonymous said...

The LSU Tennessee game was a disappointment. Big Syl really let the Tigers down going 4-11 from the line and missing about 6 or 7 2 foot dinky layups/shots. Otherwise LSU would have defeated the Vols convincingly. At 6-6, if she could jump a foot off the floor after gathering up the pass, she would be unstoppable. Even with the 24 points, I wouldn't call it an All American 1st Team performance.


dadlak said...


My boss had the same analysis of the LSU Tennessee game--had Big Syl got her offensive act together in the first half, LSU might have enjoyed an easy win. She claimed to be ready for the challenge, but was obviously nervous on offense throughout most of the first half. The Oklahoma State game was similar, but OSU could do almost nothing on offense for 30 minutes making Fowles offensive problems a moot point.