AN EARLY CHRISTMAS PRESENT: TENNESSEE VS. STANFORD

PALO ALTO, Calif. - The best of the West will go up against the best in the South Saturday in what has the potential to be an absolute classic at The Farm.

Two of college basketball's best players, two of college basketball's best coaches, and two of the most storied programs of all college sports will meet when No. 1 Tennessee (10-0) goes up against No. 4 Stanford (9-1) at 7:30 p.m. PST.

There will be 10 players on the court come tip-off, but most of the eyes at Maples Pavillion, and on couches around the county, will be on Candace and Candice.

Most everybody by now knows Candace Parker. The 6-foot-4 guard, forward and center on Tennessee, which many consider to be the best women's college basketball player ever.

It would have been understandable if Parker took it easy after winning a national championship or looked ahead to a lucrative career in the WNBA, but instead Parker seems as focused as ever, averaging 22.3 ppg and 9.2 rpg.

Parker has gone up against the Cardnial a couple times in her college career, and it hasn't been pretty Stanford fans. Not only has Stanford not win, but in the last two meeting Parkers has combined for 46 points and 21 rebounds.

Candice Wiggins, Stanford's star senior guard, had been plenty impressive herself this year. Wiggins, who has played with Parker in international competitions with USA basketball, is doing more than holding her own, averaging 17.8 ppg and 4.0 rpg.

In what seemed to be a warning to Tennessee, last Sunday against No. 10 Baylor Wiggins scored 35 points, had four steals, four rebounds, three assists and two blocks. In other words, she had a game that would have even made Parker proud.

Although Candace and Candice will be getting the most air time, the two hall of famers will be on the bench.

It's not too often in any sport when a coach with 957 career wins goes up against a coach with 698 career wins. But that is sitsuation with Pat Summit (she has 957) faces Tara VanDerveer (if only Stanford didn't lose to UCONN and VanDerveer could have had a chance to pick up N0. 700 against Tennessee).

Summit has dominated the rivalry, winning the last 11 meetings.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)