Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hello, Mrs. Upset

Hello, Mrs. Upset, we’ve been expecting you.

The upsets keep on coming in the women’s bracket and I, for one, couldn’t be happier. Following the first round of upsets, the second round provided some other notable top 25 teams going down.

Purdue took out North Carolina, a three-seed in the tourney and ranked 11 overall. Rutgers romped over two-seed Auburn (and I stupidly thought this game would be a good one.)

But the big news, of course, was sixth ranked Duke, the one-seed in the Berkeley bracket, losing to Michigan State. Duke looked soft against Michigan State, working far around the perimeter, unable to get to the basket. It was all compounded by the fact that the Dookies didn’t make a single shot for the last seven and a-half minutes of action. Ladies, you cannot win when you do not score. It is an immutable law of physics. Or something.

It also means that Maryland is the only ACC team remaining, the practical upshot of which is that my pal, henceforth known here as U.Conn Fan, is ecstatic. EX-Static.

It also sets up some great games in the Sweet 16.

Baylor sneaked by the South Dakota State Jackrabbits on a last half-second shot by Kelli Griffin to win. Seriously, the clocked showed 0.5 when she let the shot go. Coach Kim Mulkey, who had been hospitalized with the gleets (kidney stones; also a shameless Deadwood reference) the day before the game, was on the sidelines for this one. Now they get to take on Louisville and the Cardinals' silent assassin, Angel McCoughtry, who had 28 points and 8 boards in their win over LSU. This game figures to be epic.

Meanwhile, Pitt takes on Oklahoma and Ben Roethlisberger’s sister, Carlee. Pitt struggled against the running Catholics of Gonzaga, but they can play with anybody (well, anybody but U.Conn) and it’s possible Coach B and Shavonte Zellous have a little magic left in them. They’ll have to fight both the Sooners and a hostile crowd in Oklahoma City if they want to make Courtney Paris reimburse the university for her tuition. (

Meanwhile somebody woke up Rutgers. Come on, guys, didn’t I tell you not to wake the sleeping giants of Piscataway? Now coach C. Vivian Stringer has Kia Vaughn playing like she did a few years ago when they made a run to the finals and got Don Imus canned for calling them ... nevermind.

Meanwhile, in the Trenton bracket, the Connecticut Huskies keep rolling and the best reason to watch them is to see if they can complete the perfect season. If not, sir Geno himself has said that the story of the 2009 season will be the Huskies losing. I tend to agree with King Auriemma that, in women’s hoops circles, a U.Conn loss would be right up there with the New England Patriots finishing 18-1.

Of a side note, yesterday, two days after Tennessee’s first first-round loss, The Summitt had her team practicing. I expect that she will continue to do so right through the end of the school year or as along as she’s allowed to under NCAA guidelines. Don’t think for a minute that’s not what she spent Monday doing - looking into just what the legal limits are for how hard she can ride these girls. They’d be better off in Marine Corp. boot camp right now.

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