Lady Vols Best Of The Rest

By Jeff Lippman - January 29, 2007


The new Associated Press Top 25 poll has been released.

New to the poll for the first time since 1987-88 is James Madison. New to the Top 3 for the first time since last season is Tennessee.

The Lady Vols leap frog defending national champion Maryland after the Terps suffered a loss at the hands of No. 2 North Carolina.

Duke remains the No. 1 team in the land, and deservedly so after they defeated both the No. 3 and No. 4 teams this month in Tennessee and the Terps.

Candace Parker and the Lady Vols are still my last Final Four team--along with Maryland, Duke and Carolina--however, as I see it, looking at them ranked No. 3 behind Carolina and ahead of Maryland, I wonder...do they really belong?

The answer is no.

The Lady Vols have arguably the greatest coach in any collegiate sport and arguably the greatest player to ever wear the uniform of one of the greatest programs to ever hit the women's hardwood.

With that being said, UT excels at the women's game.

Duke, Maryland and North Carolina play a different brand of basketball. The ACC trio play a run and gun, up tempo, in-your-face style of basketball that reminds me very much of watching a men's basketball game.

Of course, Candace Parker is the woman who has dunked in many a collegiate game like the men, however, Tennessee as a team plays the women's game better than anyone. Those other schools on the east coast play on another level.

I'm not saying that Tennessee can't beat any of the ACC teams--although they have already lost to Duke and UNC on the year--I'm simply saying that all things being equal, the Lady Vols will have a lot of trouble running and defending the scoring machines of the ACC.

The Vols will be there at the end, Pat Summitt and Candace Parker will make sure of that, and they will have another shot at the ACC--multiple shots perhaps.

For now, though, although the Vols are 19-2 and sitting pretty at No. 3 in the nation, I'm still not sold on their membership in the Top 3 club.

For me, Duke, UNC and Maryland are still one, two, three.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 03:16 PM on January 29, 2007
Comments (4)

Comments

Jeff,
Before you start providing your in depth assessment of TN, you may want to really do your homework and note they are 17-2, not 17-1. You also state they can not run and score. What game were you watching when they stormed up and down the court to come back from 20 down against Duke. They not only have Candace, but the quickest PG in the league in Shannon Bobbitt. Alexis Hornbuckle can get up and down the court as quick as anyone. Ask Waner from Duke about why she only had 1 basket in the second half of that game. It's because of Nicky Annosike that can defend guards and she plays the center position. How about the UConn game? It was also TN that stormed out to a 18 pt. lead in that contest and it happened lightening fast. By the way, how many top 25 teams has MD played and beaten this year? TN is not a set 'em up/half court team. They are an up tempo, pressure defense, havoc wreaking team. I just wonder how many UT games have you seen this year based on your comments.

typo in my post...TN record is 19-2. The only record that counts is the one at the end of the year in Cleveland.

You are obviously a huge ACC fan! Obviously you are living under a rock in ACCland though, since you seem to be blinded to all of the other SUPER programs in Women's College Basketball! Contrary to your opinion, the top 3 ACC teams are not super-human, and I would not be suprised to see any or all 3 be knocked off by a "nobody" ACC team before the season is out. Funny how you say, "Duke, UNC and Maryland play a different brand of basketball" than everyone else... just as recently as 2 and 3 years ago that was being said of UConn and Lady Vols. I think anyone in the top 10 can beat ANY of the other top 10 on a given day. They are all the Elite! Home court advantage, tv broadcast, hormones, studies could all play into the final outcome for a game. Yes, Virgina, there is parody in Women's College Basketball.

The selection committee obviously thought like you last year and set up the ACC to go to/win the Final Four. Hopefully they will set up the brackets more fairly this year, and we'll see what shakes out in the Madness!

You don't have a clue!

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