Breanna Stewart in a sense returned home today. Yes, it’s a two hour ride from Albany to Syracuse, but Stewey’s High School Career ended at the Time Union Center with a State Title. Saturday in the Sweet 16 game against Texas, she was a ONE woman wrecking crew. Started 2 of 7..Her last 18 minutes played, 9-9 including a pair of threes. A season best 31 and with her UConn Teammates, absolutely throttled Texas by 51. It’s bad enough the Longhorns gave up 52 in the first half, UConn started the 2nd half 18-4 and it was bye-bye and buy bonds as they say…And how about Moriah Jefferson ? The Engine went off for a career high 25 on 10-12 shooting. Now 20/26 in the NCAA’s and 7/10 from deep. IN fact, all 5 starters ended in double figures, which we all know is bad news for any opponent. Especially the “Core Four.” When they produce as they did today, find a team that will beat them….Quite Frankly, you can’t.
So now the Huskies play a Dayton team that is averaging 86 points in the tournament against Iowa St, Kentucky and now Louisville. BUT playing UConn as we all know is an entirely different beast. On both ends of the floor. Jim Jabir said it best to Holly Rowe, they’re playing with house money. But that may not even be enough to play with the Huskies. UConn looks as if they are on a mission. It would take something pretty special for someone to knock them off.
So now we’re down to 8 teams…3 of the 4 regionals are 1 v 2 games. Only the Albany Regional is not. Tomorrow, South Carolina and Florida State in Greensboro. Gamecocks find ways to win close games. But North Carolina had to know Tiffany Mitchel wasn’t giving up the ball…right ?? I like USC in a game decided by 10pts or less. Then in OKC, Notre Dame and Baylor meet again in the Elite 8. Last season, the Irish had the home court advantage and got a few breaks. They have no such advantage this time. But if Jewell Loyd gets the help she’s gotten in this tournament, the Irish win. And out west, I’m not sure how well Gonzaga is going to sleep the next few weeks after squandering a 17pt lead in 5 minutes in losing in OT to Tennessee. The Lady Vols gutted their way into Monday’s Final to play a Maryland Team that hasn’t lost since ND beat them December 3rd. The winner likely plays UConn in Tampa next Sunday Night.
By the way, as I write this, the Kentucky Men just beat Notre Dame in an epic Regional Final in Cleveland. March is an amazing month for College Basketball….btw: their last loss ? Last season’s National Championship Game….to UConn…just sayin’ See you on the radio tomorrow night at 6:30p