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Women's College BB: Hartford Courant -- An Irish Win, And A Wake Of Sorts

An Irish Win And A Wake Of Sorts http://www.courant.com/sports/uconn-women/hc-jacobs-column-0313-20130312,0,4040163.column by Jeff Jacobs

UConn's final possession may have been the worst in a big moment in the history of the program. Skylar Diggins stole the ball. Notre Dame stole UConn's heart. Again. Again. Again.

Yet it wasn't until the Notre Dame women gathered in a chorus line following their dramatic Big East tournament triumph and began dancing the jig to their band's playing of "Rakes of Mallow," that the thought crossed my mind.

This really was an Irish wake, or at least the basketball equivalent of it.


On a day when Notre Dame officially announced it was leaving for the ACC in July, on a night when the Big East brought down its curtain both on the women's tournament and the tournament run at the XL Center, the Huskies died one more excruciating basketball death at the hands of the Irish.

These are the headlines.

  • UConn failed to win either the Big East regular season or tournament title for the first time since 1993. Two decades, one, the other, or usually both titles an unreal streak.

  • UConn failed to hit a three-pointer for the first time since it won the national championship against Oklahoma in 2002. Eleven years, raining threes, with the best shooter in the nation in Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis Tuesday night an unreal streak of 403 games.

  • SNIP

    if anybody walks away from the past few years saying anyone other Skylar Diggins is the greatest opponent in UConn history, well, they're faking it. They're relying on the argument of pure greatness of a Candace Parker or a Holdsclaw or a Griner. Nobody has dug down deeper when it matters most against UConn than Diggins.

    One thing before we get into the last play, maybe the worst play in UConn women's history when it mattered. One thing before we bemoan how UConn had a lead at the end of the Final Four game in Denver and lost in overtime. One thing before we bemoan how the Huskies had a lead at Gampel Pavilion at the end in January and lost by one, and had a lead in South Bend at the end last week and lost in triple overtime. And this is the thing.

    As much as been said about her terrific leadership, clutch offensive play and sometimes wayward shot, Diggins is a tremendous defender. "A lot of players can't guard the dribble," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "She is able to pick up players in the backcourt and force turnovers. But her defense is excellent because she has so much pride. She does not want you to score on her."


    What was Kelly Faris thinking last night with 18.4 secs left? Her bad pass to Stewart was luckily saved by the freshman. It was a 1 handed catch like you see in the NFL. Then after Faris gets the ball again she drives towards the baseline and Achonwa cut it off. Instead of turning around, Faris makes an awkward pass to KML, who was heavily guarded by Jewel Lloyd and which caused her to be off balance after catching the pass. The KML made a bad pass that was easily intercepted by Diggins. You could see the domino effect of a bad play in real time during that period. Faris acted as if she thought there was 8 secs instead of 18.4 secs left in the game. Why didn't they try to pass the ball around the perimeter for a better shot? There was plenty of time for that. Worse, even if they missed the shot, they were guaranteed an overtime?

    My other comment on the game last night --where was Bria Hartley? She seems to fade in tough game situations and her play this year is a disappointment for UCONN. She needs to score the 3's when the other team shuts down KML. Though I have to congrat ND for doing a great defensive job on KML. She killed them in the first half last week and ND was determined not to let her repeat that scoring blitz.

    Overall, last night's game was another thriller and another growing spurt for women's basketball. ND is my alma mater and she will always be first in my heart, but as one who witnessed Title IX come in when I was in 7th grade, I respect UCONN and how Geno proved that women can play high caliber basketball that was interestingt to watch. UCONN is now where Tenn was when UCONN was an up-and-coming basketball power. Defeating UCONN is now proof that a team/program is a national contender.

    I remember when ND first joined the Big East and I would see how the ND Women's team at first was psyched out before the game against UCONN started. UCONN dominated the Irish til 2001 when Ruth Riley & Co. defeated them first at ND and then in the Final Four. Even after that UCONN regained their dominance until Diggins became a sophomore and her tough minded attitude helped her teammates learn to psych out UCONN and defeat the Huskies.

    Because I like the UCONN Huskies and can never root against my alma mater, my approach to their matchup is "you have to earn the win". Notre Dame finally figured out how to do that against the Huskies. Congrats to the Irish for a great season and one that was not expect by much of the women's basketball world.

    Are the "Fix the Debt" fetishers doing overtime trying to smear Paul Krguman?

    I watched Krugman's debate with Joe Scarborough on Monday night's Charlie Rose show and my first impression was that Scarborough's job was to do his best to smear and discredit Krugman and his support of more stimulus spending as opposed to deficit reduction.

    Now on Huff Post, I read Jeffrey Sachs op ed, Professor Krugman and Crude Keynesianism
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-sachs/professor-krugman-and-cru_b_2845773.html ,which continues the crude attacks on Krugman.

    Krugman is a prominent opponent of Peter Peterson's group, "Fix the Debt", which wants to shovel Social Security money into Wall Street so they can rob the elderly and disabled. They seem to be attacking Krugman because he has a lot of credibility with liberals and progressives who are doing a good job fighting them and winning the PR battle so far.

    What do you think?

    Women's BB: After Titanic Battle, #2 Notre Dame Irish muzzle #3 UCONN Huskies

    Notre Dame undefeated in Big East, claims conference title

    It was a titanic battle last night between 2 of women's college BB elite teams.
    My alma mater, Notre Dame prevailed in the end, but there were times that I thought UCONN would pull it out. But Diggins & Co. seem to have UCONN's number right now. We'll see if they can finally win the BE Tourney over UCONN this year.

    More stories on this great game:
    South Bend Tribune: Notre Dame women's basketball: Another notch in Diggins' belt http://www.southbendtribune.com/sports/notredame/sbt-notre-dame-womens-basketball-another-notch-in-diggins-belt-20130304,0,862560.column

    South Bend Tribune: Notre Dame women's basketball: Third OT's the charm http://www.southbendtribune.com/sports/notredame/sbt-notre-dame-womens-basketball-irish-top-huskies-in-three-overtimes-20130304,0,4292849.story

    Hartford Courant: UConn Doesn't Have What It Takes In Big Games http://www.courant.com/sports/uconn-women/hc-jacobs-column-0305-20130304,0,4629989.column

    Hartford Courant: Irish Have Huskies' Number Again, 96-87 (3 OT) http://www.courant.com/sports/uconn-women/hc-uconn-notre-dame-women-0305-20130304,0,458547.story

    Hartford Courant: Box Score -- UConn Women At Notre Dame http://www.courant.com/sports/uconn-women/hc-box-score-uconn-women-at-notre-dame-20130304,0,1784155.htmlstory

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