November 17, 2011
Am I the only one who has been totally locked into the feast of college basketball this week on TV? Wait, I think “Feast Week” is next week on the ESPN Networks… but you know what I mean.
Of course I’m not alone. This outstanding article penned by pal Pat Forde reminds me of one of my favorite songs (I heart Wings. Actually, I heart all things Paul McCartney.) My Dad and I always jokingly sing the chorus to each other when we’re trying to find some room in our hearts for something or someone.
If you missed Coach Mike Krzyzweski’s record-setting victory, the emotional post-game moment with Bobby Knight (thorough explanation of their history together here, from Seth Davis) or the unbelievable showcases of talent that were Florida vs. Ohio State or Kentucky vs. Kansas last night, I hope you at least caught some of the highlights of the most magical moments on Sportscenter.
And now, I sing to you… “Somebody’s knocking on the door… Somebody’s ringing the bell…”
That somebody is Women’s College Basketball.
The ESPN Networks have an incredible lineup of nonconference games before the final tick of the clocks in 2011, the first two of which were shown last night as part of the College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. Both games featured two teams ranked in the top ten of this week’s ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll.
Defending national champion Texas A&M opened the slate with a 76-58 win over Louisville on ESPNU – but the Cardinals were without three players, including injured senior Monique Reid and suspended sophomore Shoni Schimmel. Louisville is one of several teams with tremendous potential to shake up the national scene.
The same can be said for Miami, who took on Tennessee in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic on ESPN2. The Lady Vols beat the Hurricanes, 92-76, in front of a sizable group of WNBA head coaches and scouts. What brought out the brass? Sheer, incomparable talent. Between seniors Shenise Johnson and Riquna Williams of Miami and Shekinna Stricklin and Glory Johnson of Tennessee, there were some plays that made my jaw drop and got me clapping. And that’s just from the players who are potential first round picks for the 2012 WNBA Draft (swishappeal.com with a thorough breakdown of what scouts are watching) - younger stars were doing their share of shining as well.
This Sunday, November 20th, at 2 PM ET, ESPN3 will feature (3)Tennessee at Virginia (a shameless plug is galaxies away from the point of this post, but I should note that I’ll calling that game with analyst Christy Winters Scott).
Somebody’s knocking on the door. Somebody’s ringing the bell.
Do me (and yourself) a favor. Open the door, let ‘em in.