One breath-taking and elegant. One grinding and bruising. Two different styles on display and, contrary to some continuously un-infromed bloviators, people were paying attention: Women’s hoops (Tennessee-Maryland & Dayton-Connecticut), ‘Pardon the Interruption’ lead cable sports nets for Monday March 30, 2015
In the Dayton v. UConn game, the Flyers reminded everyone that there is no anointing of champions – it is an honored to be earned. For 20 minutes, women’s basketball fans and prognosticators looked with amazement as Dayton matched the Huskies shot for shot and speed for speed. Then UConn changed the pace in the second half and then (eventually) put some distance between their pesky A-10 opponent to notch a win and earn a trip to Tampa Bay. From Jeff Jacobs
…before there could be Tennessee for the first time in eight years, before there could be the rivalry that once was considered irresistible, there were the irrepressible Flyers hitting 7 of 10 three-pointers in the first half.
Before we could wade deeper and deeper in the furor over Indiana’s “religious freedom bill,” a furor that spread into our state Monday when Gov. Malloy signed an executive order banning state-paid travel to Indiana and adding it would be “a wise choice” to move the 2016 women’s Final Four, well, there was the matter of that school located about 40 miles from the Indiana border.
“I can’t say enough great things about the kids from Dayton,” Auriemma said. “That’s one of the best teams we’ve played in the last five years.”
Tennessee and Maryland went at each other like two heavyweights. Not a lot of finesse involved, just a lot punch/counter-punch. One would pull away, then the other would claw back. Then, in the last few minutes, the Terps scored, Tennessee went cold, and so Maryland moves into their second Final Four in a row.
Using a vastly different blueprint from a year ago, Maryland is back in the Final Four.
The Terrapins earned a berth in the national semifinal last season by relying heavily on the all-around play of All-American senior Alyssa Thomas.
There are no such standouts on this team, so the Terrapins have featured a more balanced attack. Four different players have led them in scoring during their four NCAA tournament victories.
Hmmm… I guess Mechelle didn’t get my memo: In Tampa, it’s UConn’s title to lose
There will be no long-awaited rematch of UConn and Tennessee in the Women’s Final Four. But the more recent incarnation of women’s hoops’ preeminent grudge match — UConn versus Notre Dame — could be on the horizon.
For the third time since the NCAA tournament began for women in 1982, all four No. 1 seeds advanced to the Final Four: UConn, Notre Dame, South Carolina and Maryland.