Monday, April 05, 2010

April Madness

I spent hours of my weekend watching parts of four Final Four basketball games, so I may as well waste more time noting this fact. Although Butler is a great story, and the Butler v. Duke is the David and Goliath that has the media salivating--if only they had a week to drive it into the ground!--I must admit I enjoy watching the women's games more.

It's partly because their game is a purer style of basketball. But men's college hoops has become a tryout league for the NBA. You have a great freshman season, you're drafted. The same sort of sense of entitlement and egotism you see in the pros is infecting college. The stakes aren't as great for the women yet--the WNBA doesn't pay nearly as much, and fewer college players are likely to have pro careers. So they are playing for the now, and it shows.

The greatest players of any era show you what you've never seen before. LeBron James is doing that now in the NBA. But the Connecticut women are showing it in their NCAA tournament--they've won 74 (or something like that) games in a row, and until Sunday had defeated their opponents by 40 to 50 points. Sunday, the Oklahoma team gave them a real if brief scare at the start of the second half, but UConn took control in pretty short order. They play Stanford for the championship Tuesday, and that's the game I'm most looking forward to watching.

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