Last year, I asked for a more interesting March Madness from both the men and women. The guys? Delivered in spades. Sure Duke won, but only after not being in a Final Four for several years and being considered the weakest of the one seeds. And then there was Butler, coming so tantalizingly close to the greatest March Madness buzzer beater ever. I can’t remember the last year I had so much fun watching every round of the tournament.
The girls? Well, after a few early round upsets, there were no huge surprises. The Big XII, the toughest women’s basketball conference top to bottom (the week before the tourney 7 of the 12 teams were in the top 25) got two teams into the Final Four for the first time — though neither of those teams was number one seed Nebraska (they were, for the record 4 seed Baylor and my girls, 3 seed Oklahoma–woo!). But really, this entire tournament, if not the entire season, was leading up to the inevitable championship game: one loss Stanford against undefeated UConn, the only team to beat the Cardinal this year.
Though Stanford made it interesting by holding UConn to only 12 first half points, the Huskies ultimately triumphed in their second straight wire-to-wire undefeated season. It was also the only time in the 78 game winning streak that UConn has won by less than 10 points; they will begin the 2010-2011 season needing only 11 wins to break UCLA’s record of 88 straight college basketball wins (set by their men’s team back in the heyday of the Wooden era). Joe Biden thinks this is a — well you know:
And finally what you’ve all been waiting for: the Final Ladies… Bracket Brawl results! As explained last week, Duke’s winning of their semifinal against West Virginia means that Lady Bee survives The Blonde Bomber’s furious late round comeback to win the Bracket Brawl title. She gets a celebratory picture, too!