Saturday, March 25, 2017

NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament 2017 and UConn

If you haven't seen women's collegiate basketball in a long time, or a dynasty team in any sport, take a look at UConn and the Women's 2017 NCAA tournament. It is amazing and an utter joy to watch (except for the last 2 minutes which suffer from the inordinate fouls making time slow to a crawl, which long has been one of our major problems leading to our not watching basketball).* The pace could not be faster (they never stop running and they run really fast), the athleticism could not be awing, and the pinpoint passing is mind-bongling as is the shooting. Making the viewing even better is the demonstrable sportswomanship before, during, and after the game, along with the knowledgeable, informative, and entertaining commentary. This is great viewer sport made for television. UConn has the second longest winning streak in all of sport history, and their coach is considered the greatest (men's or women's) coach in basketball at any level. Finally, again, if it's been a while since you've seen women play basketball, the rules have changed and they now are allowed to cross the center line.

     * Our Department of Sports and Commentary (SAC) long ago proposed a solution to the "last few minutes problem" that plagues basketball. After a player is fouled, not only does the player get to shoot whatever foul shots are appropriate, the player's team gets possession of the ball. While this would eliminate intentional fouls, it would have the added benefit of eliminating fouls as a tactical device that doesn't belong in sports. Rules should be rules, and breaking the rules should carry a penalty. That is what makes golf so great and perhaps alone in the sports world as the one sport where the rules are considered so sacrosanct that players call penalties on themselves and never use the breaking of a rule to gain a tactic advantage.

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