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The Women’s Beat with Bob Joyce – Now, we wait…

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The 1st American Conference Tournament is in the books, and the Top Ranked Huskies just keep cruising along into the Madness. But now, we’re in the midst of the 13 day wait between the end of the conference tournament and the opener of the NCAA Tournament, which for the Huskies won’t come till’ the evening of March 23rd..One of the last teams to get underway, especially if they’re the 8pm game as most of us expect.

Mohegan Sun Arena was a great venue for the event. Crowds were very good, especially the UConn games as you’d expect. The best game of the weekend was the Semi-Final Game between Louisville & USF. The Bulls were playing for their NCAA lives and just fell short. They didn’t make the plays late and Louisville did…

Then there is Louisville’s krptonite…UCONN. 17 straight wins against their departing conference foes and very few in the Jeff Walz era haven’t been close. Of course what Jeff has done since arriving to “the ville'” have been nothing short of extraordinary. But when you consider UConn has lost to just 4 teams since their 90 game win streak ended in December, 2010 is staggering. Stanford, Baylor, Notre Dame…..and the last ?? Remember St. John’s on Senior Day 2011 ?? It’s amazing how many programs, conference and non conference that UConn continues to dominate.

Breanna Stewart is showing the country why she is a more than viable candidate for National Player of the Year. 5 straight 20pt games heading into the NCAA Tournament where she was the MVP of the Final Four in New Orleans 11 months ago. And did you see her box score alone Monday ?? 20pts, 9 boards, 6 assists and let’s not forget 4 blocks….Them be Maya Moore like numbers in the box score…lol And let’s not forget the highlight reel block of Benijah Laney of Rutgers Saturday. It takes a special player to step it up when the games get bigger…Stewey has done that all season long.

Concerns heading into the tournament ?? Bench, bench, bench…Kia Stokes showed us a glimpse of how good she can be..and how inconsistent she is this weekend…But rebounding and blocks have been there most of the season. Brianna Banks plays hard and gives great energy on defense, but has committed way too many fouls lately…And Soniya Chong just doesn’t seem ready to play major minutes yet. And keep an eye on Moriah Jefferson. The point guard’s assist/turnovers have gone down lately. Perhaps it was unrealistic to expect the numbers she was putting up…But she does lead the team in FG %…Yes, you heard right..The player wearing #31 has led the team in FG % the last seven years…

Speaking of #31, Ms Dolson, she’s about to break the program record for games started at UConn. Stefanie continues to be the rock of this season’s team…16 boards and solid defense Monday despite the shooting woes against Louisville. She is more than ready to take her game to the next level (aka: the pros)  And Bria Hartley’s stock continues to go sky high as she’s playing the best basketball of her UConn Career. Just in time for her last NCAA Tournament.

Reminder we have two (2) Selection Shows coming up….The Men’s Show with Joe & Wayne Sunday from 6-8pm and I join Joe for the Women’s Show Monday from 7-9pm…Congrats to Shabazz Napier on his American POY Honor…Tough vote among 3 players..could have gone any way….Go Huskies :)

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