The Maryland women's basketball team
got the tournament victories they deserved... and earned.
I've just seen one of the finest college
basketball games I have ever witnessed. No, it wasn't UCLA/Florida,
it wasn't the George Mason game the other night, it wasn't Michigan State.
It was the University of Maryland women's team, and I never had a
doubt for a minute that they'd win it all.
You have to go back to last fall, when
the women were ranked #13 preseason, higher than the men's team was ranked
at any time during the year. And while the men's team bounced up
and down, into and out of the rankings, the Maryland women ground out their
season, steadily working up and up through the rankings until they finished
the season #3, having beaten practically everyone of importance.
They then bulldozed the tournament from
their #2 seed. After watching them take apart North Carolina the
other night, I had no doubt but that they would take down Duke tonight.
And they did just that, though they made it exciting. Down
13 points at one point, one old codger in the bar I watched the game at
pronounced the game "over." I humored him, and sure enough,
the Maryland team dragged themselves back into the game with tough play
and amazing shots, including one with ten seconds left to tie it at 70
and take it to overtime. In overtime, they gradually shut Duke out,
and won it the way they intended to win it: clean and straight. Bad
officiating turned out to be nothing more than a nuisance.
I watched the Maryland men's team win
the championship in 2002, against all predictions, and this was a lot the
same. I wish the men's team this year was that good... after getting
a #1 seed in the NIT, they lost to "powerhouse" Manhattan College,
who themselves were demolished by "powerhouse" Rutgers the following
I was never that much of a sports guy
in high school. But sports has never been so good. Or so red.