48 hours and change until UConn’s latest coronation
The NCAA Division I women’s basketball Final Four is taking place tonight in Dallas’ American Airlines Arena, home of the Dallas Mavericks and their crybaby owner, Mark Cuban, who complains more than either of the women, Barbara Corcoran and Lori Grenier, on Shark Tank.
Did I say Final Four? More like another coronation for the University of Connecticut.
While several teams have a realistic chance of winning the men’s national championship each and every year, the women’s game has no such parity.
There are 64 teams in the tournament, but really, 63 of them are playing for second place.
Connecticut enters tonight’s game vs. Mississippi State riding a 111-game winning streak. If it doesn’t reach 112, then Geno Auriemma ought to retire right then and there in Dallas.
The Huskies have made a farce of the women’s game with their dominance. Some of the regular season games UConn plays are grossly unfair. Auriemma has built up such a machine that the players on the end of his bench could beat most opponents’ starting fives.
ESPN has jammed UConn down the throats of America year after year after year, telling us there is some pressing need to watch the Huskies slaughter some overmatched team by 50 to 60 points.
Last year, UConn defeated Mississippi State 98-38 in the Sweet 16. That’s a SIXTY point margin for those who are mathematically challenged. Does anybody outside of Mississippi realistically expect the Bulldogs to put up much more of a fight tonight? If there are believers out there, I’m guessing they’re limited to Starkville, Columbus and other communities in east central Mississippi. Of course, I’m certain many in Oxford and Hattiesburg would love nothing more than to see State get slaughtered again.
Stanford and South Carolina play the first semifinal. Two fine women’s basketball teams, led by two fine ladies Tara Van Derveer has won over 1,000 games with the Cardinal. Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley was an All-American playing for Virginia, an Olympic gold medalist in 1996, and has been a very successful coach, first at Temple and now at South Carolina.
Yet Stanford and South Carolina are playing for the right to probably get beat badly by the Huskies Sunday. I would expect the game to be closer than the 38-point beatdown UConn laid on Oregon Monday in the East regional final, but if UConn doesn’t win by at least 15, I would be surprised.
I’ll give Auriemma this: he doesn’t shy away from the media, unlike Bill Belchick, Nick Saban and Gregg Popovich, all of whom would rather the media leave Earth and exist on Uranus if at all possible. Auriemma will speak his mind and not back down from his comments.
However, Auriemma has been known to say some stupid things, like claiming men’s basketball was “unwatchable” in comparison to the women’s game a few years ago.
I’ll agree with Geno on this point: most basketball is unwatchable. I am so glad Caitlyn is done with playing basketball, because high school games are so intolerable with officials who refuse to call blocking in the low post. College women’s games feature too many blowouts. And the NBA? Is that real basketball, or just a shooting contest?
Barring something unforeseen, UConn will leave Dallas with its 12th championship trophy. There will be another huge parade somewhere in Connecticut. And few outside the Constitution State will care.