There should be no confusion, simply watch the replay.
Watch Candace Parker grab a rebound, turn and put up a shot with the clock plummeting down to triple zeros. Watch that clock carefully. It goes really fast doesn't it? So how come it seems like an eternity before it goes from 0.02 to 0.00?
Rutgers was robbed. They should have become the first school to defeat two No. 1-ranked programs consecutively. They should own wins over the two most storied programs in the history of women's basketball.
It's like, which one of these things doesn't belong? Except, they do belong. But for different reasons.
While it still might be too early to accurately predict the Final Four that will take place in Tampa, Fla., on April 6, that doesn't mean we can't try.
And while teams like Connecticut, Tennessee, North Carolina and Maryland seem to be getting a lot of hype, there is another team that deserves respect, but will beat you in a very different way then those others.
No. 5 Rutgers is a national title contender. They are the defending runners-up and they aren't fast, they don't shoot great percentages, they don't have a go-to superstar. What do they have? They have the ability to turn those other teams mentioned into brick-laying, turnover machines.
No. 1 Connecticut can not afford to lose any more leadership to injury.
First, the Huskies lose junior guard and contributor Kalana Greene for the season to a torn ACL, and now, the same injury has taken senior guard and the Huskies' best outside shooting threat Mel Thomas.
This one hurts, especially for Thomas as she is a senior and can no longer red shirt the season because UConn has played more than 30 percent of its games. Greene will be able to earn eligibility back for this season despite playing in eight contests.
Rutgers got a bit of unfortunate news before their Wednesday night contest against Princeton.
The Scarlet Knights defeated the Tigers, 53-48, without the services of senior Big East Defensive Player of the Year Essence Carson, who is out indefinitely with a foot injury and was donning crutches and a protective boot on her right foot.
Carson has been hindered by this injury almost all season, said coach C. Vivian Stringer after Carson shot 2-for-10 from the field and just didn't play well in a win over No. 11 Cal on Monday.
The Associated Press and Coaches Polls have been released, meaning another week of musical chairs among the Top 10 and bottom portion of the Top 25.
With all the nation's elite squads beating up on each other in big preseason battles, and all the bottom-Top-25 teams proving they don't belong ranked at all, there has certainly been a lot of turnover in the early season.
As always, I have some bones to pick with the voters. And the Maryland Terrapins should too.
If you thought the first weekend of action in the 2007-08 season was good, you ain't seen nothing yet. With the WNIT heating up and the ESPNU Basketball Invitational down in Tampa on Thursday, the action is non-stop.
From Downtown will be heading down to the Sunshine State for the two-game invitational - not a tournament - that features No. 10 Duke at host South Florida in the first matchup and an amazing No. 1 vs. No. 9 neutral site battle between the Lady Vols of Tennessee and Courtney Paris and Oklahoma.
Rutgers is on a 4-0 run over the past six minutes and change. There have been numerous airballs during that time and two that hit the side of the backboard. Both teams either lost their shooting touch or forgot that they are aiming for the orange circular part of the basket.
With 2:09 to go the score is Rutgers 49-45. This is still anyone's game and with UConn, they aren't close to out of it. But the way they are playing, turning the ball over before even getting a shot off on many possessions, they need to step it up if they want to overcome the Knights.
After 10 minutes of Internet problems, I am finally up and running...for now.
And after 10 minutes of game action, it's Rutgers who holds the advantage. And they look like the more active and fresh team. UConn looks a little sluggish in the early going.
Pacing Connecticut is Renee Montgomery who has nine points on three jumpers and a trey. Mel Thomas just hit a big three to bring UConn to within one at 21-20, and then Ketia Swanier hit a jumper to take back the lead.
So, to recap. UConn started quick, Rutgers took over, UConn just grabbed the lead back. So far, this is a good one, if Rutgers keeps up this intensity all game than we will have a close one on our hands.
It's the Big East final here at the Hartford Civic Center in brutally cold Hartford, Ct.
Hopefully the action in the arena will heat up the temperature outside--coming in at a robust 14 degrees.
Like North Carolina in the ACC, Connecticut will be attempting to win its third consecutive Big East Tournament title. They finished the regular season a perfect 16-0 and have breezed through the tournament thus far, securing easy 20 and 26-point victories.
Rutgers hasn't had it quite as easy as the No. 2 seed, but the Scarlet Knights have advanced, winning both games by the score of 63-55.
Kia Vaughn has a double double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, Matee Ajavon has 20 points also and Rutgers is holding on to a 59-54 lead with two minutes remaining in the game.
Marquette's Krystal Ellis started ridiculously hot, only to cool like the polar ice caps. She's since picked it up and has 20 now. The problem for the Golden Eagles is they don't really have anyone else who can score for them.
Keeping this blog going until the end of the game, with 37.5 seconds left and the score 61-55, it looks like it will be another Geno vs. the State of New Jersey when the Knights meet the Huskies in tomorrow's Big East final.
This one is over, with Rutgers taking it, 63-55. Next stop, an away game on a neutral court against the Huskies. Figure that one out.
Make that 19 straight games in double figures for Marquette's Krystal Ellis. The sophomore has 11 early points, two boards and an assist to pace the Eagles, as they lead the Knights 19-14 with 11:55 left in the first.
Kia Vaughn is pacing Rutgers with 10 early points and three rebounds.
Rutgers is the No. 2 seed, Marquette the No. 3 seed, let's pray that this one is better than the first.
The Scarlet Knights are 20-8, but went 12-4 in conference during the season. They beat the 10 seed to get here in DePaul, 63-55.
For Marquette, 25-5 on the year and also 12-4 in conference, it took a 10-point victory over the six seed, Pitt.
The winner gets the Huskies. Case in point, there are no winners.
The last time Rutgers played Connecticut was in Piscataway where the Huskies used them as mops, wiping the floor with them, 70-44. Marquette's last rendevouz with UConn fared far better, losing a close game at home, 52-48. Of course, you must take into consideration that tomorrow's final will be a UConn home game.
Let me first say that UConn backup junior point guard Ketia Swanier is one excellent player. She's fast, she can dribble and she can stop on a dime. That said, I really just wanted to use that title.
Louisville starter Yuliya Tokova from the Ukraine has one mother Russia of a tatoo on her right shoulder blade. I can't make out what it is, but I'm working on it. Either way, it's big. And it's all I can think to talk about since the score is now 65-32 with no sign of getting any closer.
Said Connecticut after they brushed away the Louisville-colored fly on their shoulder.
Your halftime score is 38-20, and I don't think Geno thinks that they have hit their stride yet. Maybe it's the exasperated look on his face, or when he yelled, "Could be get it inside to Tina [Charles] one time!"
To which a pass inside to Charles and a Charles lay up ensued. He may be boisterous, but he sure can coach.
Leading the way for Louisville at the half is Brandie Radde--who? that could be part of their problem--with seven points. Btw, I was just kidding, Raddie is a starter who plays almost 22 minutes a game and average six points a contest. She's already surpassed that mark.
Of course, that is not a good thing when your 22.3 point a game scorer has played only four minutes and scored zero points.
The sophomore 5'10" guard from South Carolina is having her way with the Cardinals defense right now.
At one point she scored half her team's points. She stil has a good percentage of them. It's 31-17 with just over three minutes left in the half and Greene has 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
Charde Houston is the glass cleaner, coming up with eight big rebounds already, to go along with four points. And Renee Montgomery hit a long three that touched nothing but net.
I guess you could say the dogs are having their day. And the Louisville is going to the birds.
But I'll tell you, as mascots go, the Louisville Cardinal looks FAR more intimidating than the sickly thin looking Husky. So, I guess they've got that going for them. They certainly don't have the score right now.
Louisville's leader and Big East Player of the Year Angel McCoughtry is riding the pine with two early fouls. That's not a good sign for a team's whose second leading scorer registers at 10.8 a game, nearly 12 points less than McCoughtry.
Kalana Greene continues her hot start for the Huskies. She's got 12 points already and with 7:00 to play in the first half, the score is 22-13 UConn.
All alliteration aside--I know I just did it again--Tonight's semifinal action in the 2007 Big East Tournament will be huge.
The first game of the night pits 26-6 Louisville, the five seed, versus everybody's tournament favorite, the big dogs, Connecticut (28-2).
The second game is a matchup between the No. 2 Rutgers and No. 3 Marquette, more on that later.
Each remaining team boasts one player who took home some postseason Big East hardware. Rutgers' junior Essence Carson was named Defensive Player of the Year. Connecticut's 6-foot-4 woman-child center Tina Charles was tabbed Freshman of the Year. Terri Mitchell, coach of Marquette, won the Coach of the Year award in her 11th season at the helm. And finally, the Big East Player of the Year award goes to Louisville's Angel McCoughtry, a sophomore forward from Baltimore.