Tale of Two Titles

6 Apr

For those of you who don’t watch/like/pay attention to women’s college basketball, it may be time to turn over a new leaf. Don’t stop reading: by and large, I have been one of that crowd. But when you witness the massacre of the sport that was the men’s championship game (53-41, UConn) compared to the much-more-watchable women’s championship game (76-70, Texas A&M), you should at least be questioning your priorities as a fan. Wonder what you’re missing out on?

First, let’s recall the Butler-UConn game – that is, if you haven’t already subconsciously blocked out the traumatic memory of it. The halftime score was 22-19. Seriously? Understand, while I enjoy the razzle-dazzle of consecutive swishes, I can appreciate a solid defensive game. But I’m sorry – no defense can claim sole responsibility for its opponent shooting 18.8 percent from the floor. That’s like going to the gym and making 1 out of 10 shots, but then accidentally banking in that three that you threw in as a prayer. Totally different circumstances, of course, but as far as numbers … It’s just difficult to be that inefficient when shooting a basketball is what you do. And I say that being an avid admirer of Butler and Coach Stevens!

UConn, for its part, was not stellar either, shooting only 34.5 percent from the field and making just one 3-point attempt out of 11. As for the game in general, it was just ugly. I seriously enjoy basketball, and – I’ll be honest – I stopped watching after halftime. I left the TV on but muted it while I did my homework.

Obviously, all this is not to say that I recommend letting go of all allegation to the men’s game. Quite the contrary. Rather than limit your repertoire of basketball knowledge, you can expand it by watching the women’s game. My dad is a guy’s guy to his core (notice how his daughter spends a great amount of time talking about sports …) and he thinks that if people would actually watch women’s basketball, they’d probably like it. If you like basketball – the fundamentals, a cleaner version of the game – you will probably like this other side of the sport.

After all, in the women’s championship game, Notre Dame shot 46.2 percent from the field, while Texas A&M hit the mark on a blazing 54.7 percent of their attempts. There were six players in double figures, between the two teams. Close to half of the game’s baskets came on assists, which speak to offensive fluidity and proficiency. The game came down to the wire, decided only in the final minute. It was a good game.

Wish you would have watched it? Hey, there’s always next season.

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