Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Tennessee Are National Champions - Again

University of Tennessee Lady Volunteers' Alexis Hornbuckle (R) celebrates with teammate Candace Parker (L) after they defeated Rutgers University Scarlet Knights in the NCAA women's championship basketball game in Cleveland, Ohio April 3, 2007. REUTERS/Ron Kuntz (UNITED STATES)

Ho Hum. I mean it. Really boring game. Lots of defense, lots of bad shooting, the taller team won. Tennessee had 8 million offensive rebounds, well, that's how it seemed (OK, only 23); since they missed 38 shots, there were rebounds to be had. So often the final is anticlimactic (as the men's final was last night) compared to the excitement of the earlier rounds. Despite all the shouting by the ESPN announcers (isn't it time for Mike Patrick to retire?) there wasn't much excitement on the floor. Candace Parker was named the MVP and she shot 5 for 15 from the floor. Ouch.

Congratulation to Pat Summit on her 7th national title. Only three more to tie John Wooden. She'll have Candace Parker for two more years. Why did the ESPN crew keep giving credence to the ridiculous rumor that Parker would leave school for the WNBA? Don't they realize that the WNBA limits salaries? As a rookie Parker would get paid $43,000 a year. What's that to jump at?

One reason many women elect to remain in college is that WNBA salaries are puny by pro athlete standards: $43,200 for rookies such as Parker and Fowles. The No. 1 NBA draft pick, by comparison, can expect to earn $3.6 million during his first season.

And congratulations to C. Vivian Stringer for taking her very young Rutgers team to the final. Kia Vaughn (only a sophmore) had a fine game, finishing with 20 points on 9 for 15 shooting, with 10 rebounds (7 offensive). She didn't get much help from her teammates. Epiphany Prince didn't take a shot. Prince, Carson and Ajavon combined for 18 points; against LSU the three totaled 38 points. But they're a young team, and this experience should prove invaluable next year.

Box Score

USAToady: Tennessee trumps Rutgers, nabs first title since 1998

WABC (NY): Rutgers fall short in championship game

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