The wild winds of April (at least that’s how it was last night in these parts) nearly blew in a couple more #2 seeds … but in the end the #1’s prevailed on a nerve-wracking night of hard-nosed basketball.
What a gutsy performance by Candace Parker (as well as Jenny Moshak and the Lady Vol’s athletic training staff)! The rest of the team did a great job of keeping it close ’til Candace could get back in … and Alexis Hornbuckle hit a clutch three-pointer to close the door on Texas. So Tennessee moves on to meet LSU on Saturday in Tampa. (Hopefully with a healthy Parker to go up against Sylvia Fowles in the paint!)
Aside from being a quality professional, Jenny Moshak sounds like a really quality person, judging from this piece about championing diversity and fighting homophobia … and other phobias … in her everyday work at Tennessee. Too, here’s a great piece about Moshak’s work with Parker when Candace first got to Tennessee … when the super freshman ended up missing her entire first season. Sounds like it’s been quite an odyssey! (All you Foothills Physical Therapy folks will find this especially interesting!)
In the late game Rutgers sprinted to an early … and LARGE … lead (they were up by as many as 14 points … and Coach Geno Auriemma was looking worried). The Scarlet Knights were uncharacteristically aggressive on offense, and pretty much shut down freshman phenom Maya Moore in the first half. Connecticut made a run at the end of the half … and continued that trajectory into the second frame. Maya Moore hit a clutch three-pointer from the top of the key that put UConn ahead for good, and ultimately they pulled out the win in a nail-biter that left fans definitely frazzled! The Huskies will face Candice Wiggins and her Stanford compatriots on Saturday night in Tampa, having made it to the Final Four for the first time (I believe) since Diana Taurasi graduated! (Please let me know if I’m wrong on that, folks!) Geno seemed positively verklempft at the end of the game!
Here in JordanCornblog land, we’re now all set for the Final Four on both the men’s and the women’s sides … and can get some sleep before Saturday rolls around and it all starts up again! In the women’s bracket, Morgan/Murray is back in the lead, and Brigitte is close behind, followed by Jordy, Don, and Rachel. Sadly, as you’ll see on the “March Madness” page, more folks have lost their National Champion picks (sorry, all you Rutgers fans). How this’ll play out is anyone’s guess … but here’s how it stands this morning … [TABLE=31]