A ‘Goliath’ Finish in the NCAA Women’s Championship is Expected
Although the men’s NCAA title game might be causing some people out there to shake their heads with amazement, the name UCONN being in the women’s NCAA title game is not exactly a shocker. In fact, Connecticut is like one of those looping videos that you can find on Twitter ‘Vine’ – the Huskies have been down this path before, they’ve won this path many times before, so basically the only thing that may come as a surprise to some is the fact that the mighty Notre Dame is gone. Yup, UCONN took them out 83-65, as Louisville took out California so that they could meet up with the Huskies on Tuesday.
UCONN and Louisville have seen each other before, but their meeting was probably not filed into the cabinet marked ‘good days’ for the Louisville Cardinals. Their Big East match-up wasn’t long ago, and Louisville had to walk away with a severe limp after UCONN shut them down, 72-58. But as many have reported, the Louisville Coach has already decided that his plan for meeting up with UCONN in this title match is simply, amnesia. He and his team are heading into this game with a clean slate as far as he’s concerned, choosing not to remember any time that the red-haired bird was ripped apart by an angry, overzealous Husky.
Now, of course, Louisville already has a lot to be proud of, knocking off California (the second seed) in a close race that ended, 64-57. They can also be proud that both their men and their women have the chance of winning dual NCAA trophies this year and causing everyone in the world to take a look at these Cardinals with just a little more sincerity.
No one is debating that the Cardinals are a good team; they certainly show a confidence and determination they never showed before. (Knocking off a name like Baylor will usually give you that swagger.) Yes, they are the lowest-seeded team to ever reach this apex, but just think what it would feel like to have their glorious, ignored bird attack those perennial favorites – the Huskies – and rip the dog’s eyes out. This is not an over-statement considering the fact that the UCONN Huskies have never (and I mean never) lost a championship round.
The Huskies showed their power once again when they knocked off Notre Dame last night. In fact, this is a team that literally looks like they are the ‘A-Team’ – the team that only Gibbs would work with on NCIS – or the only people who would ever get off the island of ‘Lost’ – you get the picture. Watching the Big East match-up between UCONN and Louisville will remind many of Sampson versus Goliath; however, the odds makers are already saying that with this game, Goliath will come away the winner no matter what Louisville attempts.
Tomorrow night the Huskies will go after their eighth national championship, which if won would have them tied with Tennessee for the most wins in basketball history. When it comes to the teams already defeated, it is true that if anyone was going to beat UCONN it would have definitely been Notre Dame, who simply didn’t show the muscle they supposedly have. In history, it has only been Tennessee and the fighting Irish who have ever shown UCONN what it’s like to cry…a lot. In fact, UCONN lost the previous two national semifinals to Notre Dame, not to mention three games this season.
Although accolades go to UCONN, the sad part about the Notre Dame loss was the fact that guard, Skylar Diggins, will have this memory for her ‘retirement,’ playing her last college game before heading out. It figures that the Huskies would choose her last year to offer payback for the losses they took at the hands of the Irish.
UCONN was humble after the win. (No, really.) Everyone knows that UCONN must be humble or their coach will simply bench them. This is a team that is constantly told to act like ladies on and off the field – playing their hearts out, but keeping their records clean and making sure that the only headlines they receive are positive. The Huskies basically said that the reason Notre Dame has beaten them in the past seven out of the last eight times they’ve met is because their team excels. UCONN said that they had to be better for one night and one night only…and they did just that.
Perhaps it would bode better for Louisville if the Huskies were a pomp and circumstance team – you know, those big heads and huge egos that basically already believe they’ve won the game so they don’t even try to beat Sampson. However, UCONN has no such view of the championship. They know loss, and they know they only have to be good for one more night, until next season rolls around.
What Louisville needs to do is follow the same routine that UCONN followed when they played Notre Dame. They need to build up their lead before halftime; they also need to concentrate on playing a heck of a defensive strategy. The Huskies always work to build up that halftime lead to throw their opponents off-balance, which is what they did with Notre Dame, going into the locker room with a 10-point lead. Then, they came back out and made sure that their defense was primed and ready to go, not allowing Notre Dame to get within five in the second half. It may have been a surprise for Notre Dame fans to see the school’s thirty-game winning streak come to an end, but for a UCONN fan it was the taste of pure and blissful revenge.
Can the Cardinals vanquish the ultimate ‘angry dogs’ and take their place on top? Well…I have to go with the odds makers on this one: The Huskies will once again be champs, and Sampson will simply have to wait another day for their ‘Cinderella’ season to come true.
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Until Next Time, Everybody,