The Devil And The Awkward Turtle

By Jeff Lippman - January 14, 2007


Mark Feb. 8th down on your calendar. That is a very big day in women's college hoops.

The newest AP poll will be coming out on Monday, and after No. 3 Duke lambasted the defending champs, No. 1 Maryland, I think they should leapfrog No. 2 North Carolina for their tremendous 81-62 effort at Cameron Indoor Saturday.

Let the Devils have their day, because if they truly belong at the No. 1 spot--and for now, I believe they do--than they will be able to put their money where their mouth is on that date that you've now circled on your daily inspirational thoughts calendar.

Because that is the day Duke makes the short trip up the Durham Expressway to that rival school in Chapel Hill.

Of course, if the Tar Heels are named the No. 1 team in the country, it could be extremely short lived because No. 7 UConn is coming to town Monday night. If the Heels can pass that test, the Duke matchup could be the pièce de résistance of what has already been a sensational season in women's college basketball.

Now that we've covered where I believe Duke belongs in the rankings, let's talk about the Terps.

Sure, the lady ballers from College Park were embarrassed in Durham. Sure, Shay Doron and Crystal Langhorne were so frustrated after the game that they had painful expressions on their face during post-game interviews.

But Brenda Frese and company are still the champs. They are the same bunch of young women who overcame two regular season Duke losses last year only to dominante the Dukies when it mattered most, tourney time.

The Duke mascot sported a piece of tape across his large blue tiny-horned forehead, "Talk about an awkward turtle!!" it said. And the Cameron Crazies kept chanting, "Awkward turtles!" all while performing a creative, incredibly in sync hand motion that I took to be a vertigo-inflicted terrapin.

While you have to love the Duke faithful's enthusiasm, Maryland will have at least one more home game to exact its revenge on the Devils, not to mention Duke must face the Terps and North Carolina back-to-back to end their regular season.

The AP rankings should fall something like this: No. 1 Duke, No. 2 North Carolina, No. 3 Maryland. And some sort of variation of these three teams should be expected for the duration of the season.

Duke should enjoy their victory because this could be the most elation they feel all seaon, or, it could be the beginning of a magical journey to NCAA tournament glory.

On the fast track to Cleveland and the Final Four, whoever is left standing after the dust clears, it's going to be one heck of a ride.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 05:26 PM on January 14, 2007
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