Thursday, April 14, 2011
Behind The Scoreboard
Lots of first for A&M
There is little need to go into a lengthy recap of the dueling duo which made it through the Final Four and took the floor for the last time in Houston to officially close out the NCAA season.
The Butler Bulldogs along with the Rams of Virginia Commonwealth University had been the poster children throughout the playoffs, surmounting almost impossible odds and discounting numerous naysayers. Butler had made its final statement once again and made it into the championship game for the second consecutive season. It had one more really formidable task – stop a team from picking up its third championship crown while achieving their first.
Well, to steal some words from Paul Revere’s Ride, you know the rest in the accounts you read and the game and reports which you saw on television. Brad Stevens and the tenacious Bulldogs would have to lick their wounds and wait for perhaps another season to attain NCAA basketball’s elusive “Golden Fleece.”
There was talk around the area that Butler didn’t delve far enough into its game plan to go against such a sage mentor as Jim Calhoun. The Bulldogs had used the distance shot as their bread and butter during their stellar road down the treacherous path to the final game. It simply failed them in the final push.
Also around the aftermath of the playoffs, many thought that the women’s game in the night following, although it drew a crowd less than 18,000, was a much more enjoyable game. It took a little time (especially from this corner) to realize that nary a one of the stalwarts ( Lady Huskies, Lady Volunteers, Lady Bears and Lady Cardinal) was in the title game. Inconceivable was the word that sprang to mind when the final game was set between the Texas A&M Lady Aggies and the Lady Irish of Notre Dame. Don’t get me wrong, yours truly loves anything Notre Damish; I just didn’t see this happening
Did you all know that A&M used to be an all-male military academy? The Lady Aggies logged a lot of firsts – first All-American in school history, first championship, first championship win for their coach (as a head coach). They turned back more than one threat from the diehard Lady Irish to win the crown.
This was the first time in the history of NCAA basketball that both championship teams (men and women) had been coached by sexagenarians – Jim Calhoun (68) of the UConn Huskies and Gary Blair (64) of the Aggies.
Is that striking a blow for us old folks or what?
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