The Oklahoma-Stanford game went pretty much like I thought it would, with the Sooners making a great run to almost pull off the upset.
The Baylor-UConn end result was what I thought it would be, but I didn’t count on the Bears making things so exciting early in the second half with that run.
1. Stanford has had some close calls lately. Will they be able to hang with UConn, or were their last two games just due to nerves?
2. Why was Baylor still playing zone defense late in the second half when they were down 44-61?
3. Why isn’t Baylor better at rebounding and boxing out?
– Former Duke guard Abby Waner tweeted: “Nneka just used ‘exhilarated’ and ‘reciprocate’ in her post game interview. I love this girl. An English majors dream.”
I like athetic scholars too.
– Baylor mascot “Bruiser” won the mascot challenge, beating out the mascots of the other Final Four teams.
Random observations and/or opinions:
– It was nice to see Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer smiling in a post-game interview. We don’t get to see that smile enough.
– It was interesting to see Connecticut Coach Geno Auriemma get so upset and mad at his team when Baylor made their run. We don’t get to see that very often.
– Nnamkadi Ogwumike is ridiculous – especially with her NCAA record 38 points tonight. A sophomore? Good grief.
– Maya Moore is also ridiculous. I look forward to the Ogwumike-Moore matchup in Tuesday’s final game.
– Baylor did pretty damned well for a team full of newcomers. No one picked them to make the Final Four, but they did. The Bears will be pretty scary for the next several years.
– As halftime began, Baylor Coach Kim Mulkey was asked how she thought her team was handling the pressure. She said candidly, but not disparagingly, “like a bunch of freshmen would.” She is realistic, and she understands the situation. Many of her players were still in high school less than a year ago. They’ve got some growing to do both on the off the court.
Super frosh Brittney Griner, who was limited to 13 points, six rebounds and five blocks tonight, provided the best example of this during tonight’s game. She was frustrated late in the first half, and asked Mulkey to be taken out. Mulkey told her she needed her, and she wasn’t coming out. What a great lesson. Griner is already her team’s go-to player, so this won’t be the last game where she can’t come off. She is best learning how to work through frustration, or other issues, as soon as possible.
Finally, it was very good of ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel to pen this piece on Baylor senior Morghan Medlock. The Los Angeles native and graduate of Narbonne High School left USC in 2008 and transferred to Baylor. A half year later, her mother was dead and Mulkey rallied the team around Medlock.
It’s been nice to see Medlock have a good senior year.