Monday, March 27, 2023
“Wait”, you say, “How can a mid-weekend report be on a Monday?”
Easy, this is an extended weekend for us, and it’s over after we watch the Virginia Tech women play against Ohio State late today in basketball and we go home the next day.
So this report is to catch you up on the action up to this point and to speculate on their advancing.
On the other side of the bracket are two powerhouses: South Carolina and Iowa. South Carolina are the reigning national champs. They haven’t lost a game – blah blah blah. Iowa has Caitln Clark. She doesn’t look like a basketball player. She’s six feet tall, skinny, with no emotion shown on her face – ever. Well, hardly ever! (Nod to G&S.)
Iowa took on Louisville last night with the pigtailed Van Lith. The news commentators talked about how much Van Lith likes to play, how hard she works, how her relatives are all here because she grew up and played high school basketball 135 miles from here. Blah, blah, blah.
Louisville jumped out to a quick lead. I don’t know what was going on with Iowa. Maybe, they were asleep. Then Caitlin came down the court with the ball. She stopped short of the 3 point line, about ten feet away from it, right in line with the top of the key. She was looking to pass. No one was open, so she buried a three pointer. From then on Louisville was playing catch up. Iowa was ahead much of the second half by twenty points. Speculation was running high that Clark might have a triple double and 30 points by the end of the game. It hung that way for quite a while. She got the triple and thirty. Then she went on to get 41 points. A triple double and 40 points had never been done in men’s or women’s D-1 basketball – ever. Clark was responsible for 79% or was it 81% of all the points scored by Iowa. That means she either made the basket or had the assist.
The other well known player on Louisville is named Robinson. In a previous game she shoved an opposing player out of bounds near the basket. it was intentional. There was no reason for it. There was no call. She did it again in this game. Seems to be her MO. Didn’t make any difference to Iowa.
The commentators were now talking about Clark. The cameras showed Van Lith getting more and more worked up. Clark? Nothing. The color announcers who had played the women’s game marveled at Clark’s ability to pass, to find the open player. Chess pass, bounce pass, ally op – She did what was necessary to get the ball to the player. And she did it in such a way that the other team had no chance to touch the ball. One pass to her center under the basket went to the player’s outside shoulder and it was a high pass where only that player could get it.
I know lots of folks are talking about South Carolina winning it all, but they haven’t met Iowa. I think Iowa can beat them and perhaps take the whole thing.
I would like to see Tech in the final game and have it against South Carolina, but Iowa? Whoa.
Ohio State beat UConn by employing a press. Surprisingly, Connecticut couldn’t see to handle it. On the other branch of the bracket was Miami and LSU. It was a low scoring game. Some say it was a defensive struggle. That wasn’t it. Both teams had their worst game. No one could make a basket. It wasn’t a struggle. It was a question of who could do nothing more. it wasn’t until the second half that one team managed a three pointer. Boink City.
I think the Hokies will get by OSU and then beat LSU easily. But then? South Carolina or Iowa? They will have to have their best game ever and few mistakes. It’s a tall task.
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