Making Assumptions

By Jeff Lippman - April 06, 2008

The entire nation assumes Tuesday national championship game will pit UConn and Tennessee. It's going to be Pat vs. Geno. Maya Moore vs. Candace Parker.

Wait a second...don't they have the semifinals still to play?

As great as the Huskies and Lady Vols are, and as much as they do deserve to meet in the national title game, and as much as that would be the culmination of a great season of women's college basketball, the LSU Lady Tigers would like to think that they have fate and luck on their side.

First of all, Candace Parker is hurt. I don't care how tough she is, she's not playing at 100 percent with that dislocated shoulder wrapped in a sling under her uniform.

She looked fine shooting in practice, and even shot layups with her injured left arm, but she's still not the same Candace that LSU played two times already this season...and beat once in Knoxville.

The Lady Tigers also have experience on their side. And I'm not even talking about Final Four experience, where they've been to the last five. The Lady Vols have Final Four experience, too. They won it all last season. But what LSU has is life experience.

"Coach [Sue] Gunter leaving, Hurricane Katrina, coach [Pokey] Chatman leaving, coach [Bob] Starkey being the head coach for a short period of time, then coach Van [Chancellor] in here," LSU senior point guard Erica White explained. "It's a lot of different things, but that's how life is. You're going to go through things and you just have to be able to adapt. I think that's what my teammates and I have been able to do."

That's a lot of hardship for one team to go through, especially a team that has been able to rise above each time and still reach college basketball's ultimate plateau five straight times.

But when Chancellor called his team the most "up-tightest team he's ever seen," the Lady Tigers busted out a side that the coach had never seen before. They got loose, they had a good time. They taught the 64-year-old four-time WNBA championship coach and Olympic gold medal winner some dance moves.

"You're not supposed to tell everything that goes on down there," Chancellor said when Sylvia Fowles let the dancing cat out of the bag.

Does that sound like a team who is worried about Tennessee? They know the Lady Vols. They know what they must do to win. Now they must simply go out and execute.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 10:29 AM on April 06, 2008

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