Tuesday, March 03, 2009
UConn 69, Rutgers 59
Only one other team, Notre Dame, kept it as close as ten points against the Huskies during the regular season. & that's a compliment to both the Scarlet Knights & the Irish. There isn't a team in the Women's Top 25 UConn can't beat, maybe few the Huskies can't beat easily. Unranked Rutgers lost by 19 to UConn in their previous meeting. They're one of only two teams all year to hold UConn under 70 points. Rutgers allowed 70 or more points only twice. How is Rutgers playing now? Good enough I think to have a chance against every Big East team except UConn. But they should have finished the regular season with 20 or more wins. The NCAA selection committee wants Rutgers in the tournament. Rutgers is a Big East marquee team. C. Vivian Stringer, along with UConn's Gino Auriemma & ND's Muffet McGraw is one of a handful of celebrity coaches in the women's game (compared to dozens in the men's college game), familiar characters who make for good sideline TV. Losing to UConn by ten points is no tragedy. But it will help their case mightily if they look good in the Big East Tournament. Also good that there aren't many unranked, non-major conference teams with gaudy records, & most of those will get automatic invites. It's hard to argue against inviting Rutgers given their #18 power ranking out of 340 Div. 1 schools.