Of course many reading this blog already know this basic information, but for those who are not avid fans, here is the scoop, and along with a bit of my personal commentary! So it comes down to an interesting lineup for the women’s basketball final four, with the only two #1 seed teams being [drum roll please] — Connecticut and Stanford! The other 2 teams are #2 seeds — Notre Dame, and a newcomer to the event – Texas A&M. Connecticut will play Notre Dame, a team that is a long-time rival in the Big East Conference. The Notre Dame coach is Muffet McGraw, and for me, it is worth keeping a close eye on the telecast for glimpses of this really wonderful coach in action. Connecticut has played Notre Dame many times in conference play (3 times this past season), and so Notre Dame is coming to this contest fully geared up to finally prevail over their conference rival! They could do it and they have given UConn a serious challenge in each of their games. But if the UConn women continue to perform like they did last night against Duke, it will be a big mountain for Notre Dame to climb.
On the other side of the bracket Stanford will be playing Texas A&M, who beat the really good Baylor team last night by a large margin. It will be a game well worth watching, which I am sure about 90% of my friends in the Bay Area will be doing! But if you happen not to know this little tidbit, Coach Tara Vanderveer has just been named National Coach of the Year by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association! Congratulations to this truly wonderful woman!
I am not qualified to speak to the outlook for a final contest between Notre Dame and either Stanford or Texas A&M, but yes, I do acknowledge that this is a possibility (for those who are having trouble following this, such matchups would mean a UConn loss to Notre Dame)!! But in anticipation that UConn could be meeting either Stanford or Texas A&M in the final game, I will share my thoughts on these potential contests!
First, Stanford is the only team to defeat UConn twice in the past 2 plus years … once at the start of the the longest-ever winning streak in all of college basketball, and then at the end, to break that streak! So it is a “huge deal” for both teams to anticipate this [probable] contest. But let’s not dismiss Texas A&M .. they pretty much crushed Baylor last night, and Baylor was the #1 seed in their bracket. The Baylor coach, Kim Mulkey, is just about as colorful a coach as Geno, but yes I will say it, better looking!
So if you can, tune in to the games — this coming Sunday and Tuesday!