Monday, April 07, 2008

Women's Final Set

NYTimes: Candice Wiggins (11), the ebullient guard who was named national player of the year by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, delivered 25 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists for Stanford.
Photo: Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Stanford will play Tennessee for the national championship on Tuesday night. Ice v. Ace, that is, Candice Wiggins of Stanford, the Wade Trophy player of the year winner, v. Candace Parker of Tennessee, AP Player of the Year. And for the fourth year in a row, both coaches in the final are women. No male coach has gotten his team into the final since Geno did it last with Taurasi in 2004. (This isn't an issue in the men's game as men's basketball is still segregated by gender on the coaching side.)

Stanford did a great job on Connecticut (box score), in an exciting and watchable semi last night. (Except for the ever-annoying announcers, the self-important Doris Roberts and half-dead Mike Patrick. Anyone else, please, ESPN.) Connecticut didn't get much from its frontcourt (Hunter 0, McClaren 2, Charles 9, Houston 10) and that was that. Stanford played an outstanding game, got assists on over 75% of its baskets (28 baskets, 20 assists), outrebounded Connecticut 43-37, and shot lights out down the stretch. Wiggins had 25 points and 13 rebounds from the guard position.

The second game was a dreary affair of missed shots and free throws (box score). The end was exciting, but a great final 10 seconds didn't make up for the tediousness of the whole game. The leading scorers were Parker for Tennessee (who shot 6 for 27 from the floor) and Fowles for LSU (a blistering 10 for 24). Ugly.

I'll be rooting for Stanford to knock Tennessee off its perch as national champions.

Harvey Araton, NYTImes: At Peace With Memory of Father’s Fall

Harvey Araton, NYTimes: The Top 10 Reasons to Cover the Women’s Final Four

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