Monday, March 23, 2009

Oh, How the Mighty Have Fallen

Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier! Or, more precisely, the Tennessee Lady Volunteers were bounced from the NCAA tournament last in the first round. Up is down, black is white, cats and dogs sleeping together. I’m talking about complete anarchy here.

Ball State’s victory over the mighty Vols is a wonderful thing for women’s hoops in general. It is monumental because it marks the beginning of real depth of field in the women’s game. Finally. We may look back on this game as the moment when the women’s game went "mad," too.

For the record, I don’t hate Tennessee and I have a genuine soft spot for her high holiness, Pat Summitt. A few years ago, while vacationing, I met a journalist from Nashville who covered
sports for one of the local papers and relayed that Summitt was actually a very lovely person. She always found time to give him an interview when he called, often having him meet her while she was having her hair done or getting a mani-pedi, saying, "Tom, I don’t have much time today, but if you meet me at the manicurists, I can give you 30 uninterrupted minutes." I think that’s pretty cool. Besides, I don’t know of any other coach who would don a cheerleader's outfit and sing "Rockytop" at a men’s game, as she did during the 2007-2008 season:

The good news for the women is that 2008's first round featured more upsets than I ever recall: Mississippi State took out Texas, Gonzaga took down Xavier, San Diego State bested DePaul, and Baylor had to go to OT to get past Texas-San Antonio. Still, none is bigger that Ball State over Tennessee.

Cinderella finally showed up at the women’s dance. It’s about time, sweetie.

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