Sunday, April 01, 2007

Tennessee Will Play Tuesday Night

North Carolina's Camille Little, foreground, and Tennessee's Nicky Anosike wait for the ball to fall during the first half of the women's semifinal basketball game at the Final Four Sunday, April 1, 2007, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Tennessee over North Carolina in the second semi-final, 56-50.

Not a pretty game, beginning with terrible officiating by the usual suspect refs, Dee Kantner, Eric Brewton, and Mary Day. Only 14 fouls called on Tennessee the entire game, while two of North Carolina's starters fouled out. Tennessee took 26 fouls shots; North Carolina took 8. Nobody came to the arena to watch the striped shirts, but they had a big negative impact.

The first half was an emotional roller-coaster. Both teams were over-pumped and out of control. Missed shots, turnovers, clashes. Early in the first half Tennessee was 1 for 12 and North Carolina was 1 for 13 (or vice versa). Both Parker and Latta sat out due to foul trouble. I must say, it's hard to root for Candace Parker. She reminds me of Reggie Miller, all snideness and attitude. When Latta got her third foul, Parker celebrated on the bench by holding up three fingers and dancing. Not classy.

North Carolina stormed back in the second half behind Latta and McCants and great defense; but when they got up by 10 they tightened up and stopped shooting. Then they lost two starters to fouls. Tennessee scored 20 of the last 22 points of the game. Ouch.

I'll be rooting for Rutgers in the final just so I don't have to hear that damned song Rocky Top any more this season.

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