Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ladies' NCAA basketball

Like the men, the women's NCAA Final Four is now set. Off they'll go to New Orleans where Cal will face Louisville, and Notre Dame will take on UConn in the semis. Considering the physical stature of some of these student-athletes, and festive atmosphere and nightlife this city is well known to offer, it is hoped none of them indeed add to the lore of the "Big Easy". Ahem.

Also like the men, a few major upsets have taken place along the way, plus too many of their nicknames are screwed up. What is it with Stanford and this Cardinal thing, as in singular? You'd think that particular institution, with such a glowing academic reputation, located in the heart of "silicon valley", and home of Yahoo, Google, Hewlitt-Packard, and so many other geniuses running around, would at least comprehend Grammar 101 and get their name right. Maybe not. It reminds me of the "Borg" of Star Trek fame. Regardless, in a huge upset, they themselves were assimilated by the Georgia Lady Bulldogs in the regional semis. And hey, in real life, how many women do you know that would be proud to be called bulldogs? Besides, that could easily lead to another not-so-good name for adult female canines -- but it probably wouldn't be appropriate here.

Per usual, Geno Auriemma's UConn Lady Huskies have breezed into the Final Four. Nothing wrong with lady huskies. Seems to me there's been a few of them that were the lead dogs on Iditarod winning sled teams. These girls are highly coached and disciplined, smart, mentally tough as nails, and never seem to run out of gas. Geno's 2-legged variety of Huskies are much the same way.

But next they have to face their recent nemesis. The ladies' version of the Fighting Irish. Yours truly has yet to figure out how that school came up with that particular name, considering the original Notre Dame in a cathedral in Paris, but perhaps the "Fighting French" moniker left something to be desired. At any rate, I've known a few women of Irish heritage, and getting them riled up is usually a very bad idea.

Nevertheless, Geno has to go up against little miss Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame once again. She's sat on his tuffet 3 times already this year. Once in Storrs, the home of UConn, once in South Bend, and again in Hartford, Conn, all but a home court advantage to UConn in the Big East tournament. Will the 4th time in New Orleans be the charm for Auriemma or will it be another case of Genocide?

Louisville has been the surprise of the tournament. They did the unthinkable by knocking off #1 overall seed Baylor. At least they call themselves the Cardinals, as in plural, unlike those so-called brainy Palo Alto folks mentioned above. Then they beat Tennessee to make the Final Four. It appeared the Lady Vols were bewitched by the style of play they confronted. Perhaps this is what happens when a school hires a warlock, oops, Warlick as their coach to replace the legend of Pat Summitt.

Though no doubt very talented, the Louisville women play a very physical game. They're not above doing whatever it takes to get the job done. Even their head coach Jeff Walz fondly referred to his players as the "ugly ducklings" in the wake of the victory over UTenn.

Indeed, though she shall remain nameless, in my opinion Louisville has one player on its team that isn't so good looking. I'm not saying she's ugly but...

Looking at that girl's face could turn Medusa into stone.

She could glance at falling bird poop and make it stop -- in mid air.

She almost makes ME look good. Almost.

No matter. The Louisville ladies join their male counterparts in the Final Four. Quite an accomplishment for a single school in the same year.

As mentioned above, next up they'll face the Golden Bears of California in the semis. Wait a minute. Golden Bears?  Cal named it's teams after Jack Nicklaus? I thought he was from Ohio.

This sure gets confusing sometimes.

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