Monday, April 02, 2007

Pat Summitt's Lady Vols Beat North Carolina

"Oh, ye of little faith" would be a more apt title for this entry, as that was me last night, but I'm learning you've got to title these entries well if you want search engines to find them....

First off, anyone who is a new fan of Pat Summitt, winningest coach in the College basketball game: Pat Summitt Biography. It goes from her childhood to 1997 in detail - the time covered in her two books. After that info is more of a year to year, accomplishments nature...

Anyway, last night the Lady Vols were down by 12 with 8 minutes to go, and I just turned off the TV. I simply didn't think they had the mental toughness to come back against the Tar Heels. But, they did.

Unfortunately, how they came back was by free throws - during those last 8 minutes they went to the line twice as much as the Tar Heels did. Articles about the game reference this. However, if you read The Summitt (hardly a biased source, of course) the Tar Heels had been fouling the Vols all game and were finally starting to get called for it. And there are several pics uploaded showing players hanging off Parker in what are obviously fouls.

That of course, begs the question, why did the refs let the Tar Heels get away with murder in the first half, but start calling those same kinds of plays fouls during the last 8 minutes?

The Summitt has the answer - the Tar Heels were simply too tired at the end of the game to keep up with the Vols (even though they'd gone on a 20-something run just before that to build that 12 point lead).

But, everyone, even on other boards, is saying the Tar Heels made bad shots at the end, and of course Ivory Latta threw up two three-point shots that missed in the last minute - instead of giving the ball to their designated 3-point shooter who had been inserted for just that purpose. But Latta never looked for a teammate - she was going for her shot each time. Had they gone in she'd've been a heroine...

Latta did do her trademark "flex pose" around the 8 minute mark, after one of her 3 point shots - wasn't T-ed up for it though. I really dislike it and though I'm sorry for Sylvia Hatchell, I'm glad Latta lost!

The Lady Vols now face Rutgers, who also play a very physical style of defense ala the Lady Vols... Rutgers has also beaten UConn, LSU and Duke (albeit by 1 point), and C Viv and Pat Summitt are great friends. If Pat has to lose she'd obviously want C Viv to get her first NCAA title out of it instead... but here's hoping the refs will let them play - all game long - and that the Lady Vols can pull it out. Much as I'd like to see a few poor sports on the Summitt have to shut their yaps, it's silly to let that influence my opinion about the team itself - whom I want to win!

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