I refuse to make a big deal out of the ending of the Tennessee vs. Connecticut regular season matchup. Everyone else is doing that for me in the media. It still would be cool to see them in the finals, and they are now one step closer with their respective victories over Notre Dame and ODU.
The stars played big in both games. Connecticut freshman phenom had 25 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 steals, 2 assists and only 2 turnovers in her 40 minutes. Not to be out done, graduating Tennessee junior Candace Parker notched a career high tying 34 points, 13 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 steals, 3 assists and three turnovers in 36 minutes. I didn't get to see the Huskies play, but Tennessee needed every bit of that play from Parker as they trailed by two going into the half. Apparently Pat Summit served up her signature, icy, blue stare in the locker room at half time and the Lady Vols came out with a mission for the second half. According the the ESPN2 announcers, Pat Summit (despite her protest of UCONN recruiting practices) voted for Geno for Coach of the Year.
Connecticut faces last years championship game runner up Rutgers in the Elite 8 next round due to be played tommorow at 21:00 (9 pm) EDT. Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer gave an excellent demonstration of how to drip sarcasm like acid during her press conference by thanking the NCAA for always making sure that Rutgers has the opportunity to face the "de-facto" NCAA champions each season early in the tournament.
Tennessee takes on Texas A&M at 19:00 (7 pm) EDT tomorrow as well.
On a side note, former Houston Comets and Olympic head coach Van Chancellor has advanced his LSU team to the Elite Eight in his first year in the NCAA since leaving the WNBA. Guess he wasn't that bad a coach after all, folks. They just never got someone to take ownership that third scorer spot when Cynthia Cooper retired and moved Sheryl and Tina up to options #1 and #2. The consolation is that I bet Van is going to make more money now than he did in the W.