Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Guru’s WBB Report: Top-Ranked Connecticut Rips Through Marquette 73-39 for 19th Big East Title

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — The newest championship hats donned by top-ranked and number one seeded Connecticut after blasting through second-seeded Marquette 73-39 for the Huskies’ 19th Big East title Monday Night at the Mohegan Sun Arena were surprisingly anything but old hats to Hall of Fame coach Geno Auriemma.

The differential was fourth largest in the history of the tournament.

Even though the whole three-day experience was a business-as-usual set of wipeouts having also demolished St. John’s 66-41 in the quarterfinals and suffocating Villanova 84-39 in the semifinals.

The grand finale was the same in this arena as it had been seven previous seasons running a combined perfect regular and tournament record in the American Athletic Conference.

But though the numbers produced by UConn (24-1, 18-0 Big East regular season) over Marquette (19-6, 14-4) on the virtual statistics pages in this pandemic world were enduring, the Huskies’ celebration was in a far different setting than any before it, but it was enough to tug the heartstrings of Auriemma.

Adhering to COVID-19 protocols, the confetti drop after the game ended was smaller, the cheering downsized from a packed arena of 10,000 fans to a limit of about 100 family and friends per the deal worked out between the Big East and the Mohegan Tribe that runs the casino-entertainment complex.

But the joy on the court was akin to a team making a first-time achievement.

“We’ve won a lot of these, I don’t know how many, I’m sure someone will bring it up, I don’t remember quite a spontaneous and joyful celebration like these kids had,” Auriemma said. “It’s great to be young. These young kids, they’ve come in, and really reinvigorated everyone associated with our program. They are just unique kids and I’m really happy for them.

“My life doesn’t change that much, you know, winning another championship, but my life was changed tonight because I got a chance to see the way they celebrated. That was worth waiting six months for.”

When the 64-team NCAA field is announced Monday night (7 p.m. on ESPN) for a tournament that will play the entire event in proximity or inside San Antonio in Texas, not just the Women’s Final Four, UConn, who’s only blemish was a loss in a hastily-arranged match at nationally-ranked Arkansas, will undoubtedly be the overall No. 1 seed among the four listed across the top line of the bracket.

Marquette went into Monday night’s Big East title round being hopeful of at least being competitive, having a week ago Monday in the second season meeting, this one at the Huskies’ Gampel Pavilion on campus in Storrs, finish within 10 points.

“Let’s hope Marquette can hang in,” Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman texted your Guru at the outset, the closest we got to each other per the media being housed way up in the luxury box with post-game press conferences being conducted at our seats via zoom software.

It quickly turned out that her remark was one word too long, the Guru decision desk not needing the mail ballots to see if the looming result could be reversed.

After the 10 minutes of the opening quarter had passed, the area team here was up 29-10 and once more the local media in these parts were pleased to have another deadline-friendly performance by the Huskies.

“I thought they were absolutely relentless on the defensive end,” said Marquette coach Megan Duffy, who has had her share of UConn battles in the old Big East as a star at Notre Dame and member of the staff at Saint John’s before moving with Kim Barnes Arico to Michigan and eventually landing with the Golden Eagles after Carolyn Kieger was picked to fill the vacancy at Penn State.

“We watched it for the first two games of the tournament, just how they turned up their pressure and intensity,” Duffy said.

“And we knew in some ways it was going to happen, but we obviously didn’t do a great job handling it. I would say I was pretty shocked with just how our team came out. We’ve been a hard-nosed, tough, relentless group all year. When you get down that big in the first quarter to UConn, it’s uphill, really uphill the rest of the way.

“I think we gained some confidence about a week ago when we played them in Storrs. And I thought we were really good defensively. We kind of made it an ugly game at times. But part of our growth as a team was, with still some young players, is when you get to the tournament in March it’s a whole different level.  That third game in three days, they turned it up and we didn’t have a lot of answers with it.”

As the previous night when Villanova’s accomplished top star Maddie Segriest was held to a career-low three points, Selena Lott scored just two for Marquette, who’s only player in double digits was Camryn Taylor, scoring 11 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.

On the other side, with the suspense, at least, who would land the most valuable player honors, that went standout freshman Paige Bueckers, the number one blue chip prospect nationwide upon enrollment, who had a game-high 23 points, with six rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Overall, she was 10-for-15 from the field and 3-for-4 from beyond the arc.

“Our sense of urgency is really high right now,” Bueckers said. “And we know there’s little room for mistakes going into March and the NCAA tournament now. I think that’s been our key focus and it’s worked well so far.”

Recalling the celebration, Bueckers said, “It was fun. It was really fun. That’s just the kind of team we are. We’re all about having fun. You see it on the court as well, but off the court it’s a whole different level.

“And, obviously winning that championship was a whole lot of fun so we just kind of showed it and wanted to get everybody involved. I think we threw confetti on every single one of the people on our team, staff included. So, no, we just want to enjoy the moment ass much as we can, especially in times like these.” 

Connecticut from deep as a team was 9-for-18, while Marquette was 2-for-9.

Christyn Williams had 16 points and Nika Muhl was 4-for-6 overall and 3-for-5 from beyond the arc for an overall total of 11 points.

“For (Williams) to come out here and then for three days do an amazing job on the three best players she’s faced this weekend, and still play it at a real high level on the offensive end — as much as Paige was the MVP, I thought Christyn could just as easily been as well.”

Olivia Nelson-Ododa blocked four shots, while Tennessee transfer Evina Westbrook had six points, five rebounds, three steals, and four assists, while freshman reserve Aaliyah Edwards had six points, eight rebounds, and three stesals.

Ododa and Williams made the all-tournament team behind Bueckers’ award, while the squad also got Siegrist, Marquette’s Lauren Van Kleunen, and Creighton’s Temi Carda.

Auriemma, who grew up in suburban Philadelphia, spoke of returning to collecting trophies out of the Big East.

“My first year at UConn, that was the goal, to make the Big East tournament, back when you better not finish eighth or ninth or you were not going to make the tournament,” he said. “And to go from that to then not being in the league, to being back in the league, and it felt pretty amazing.

“And the three days of competition, the way we played defensively, I was just really — I’ve never been more proud of any team.”

He called the growth of his squad over the past four or five months, “refreshing to watch.”

In the case of Bueckers, Auriemma was asked of her prospects as a freshman for national player of the year, which is as rarity.

“She’s a great teammate because she’s a great human being,” Auriemma said.

“Should she be player of the year? Well, I’m sure people are going to vote for lots of different players, I guess. I would say, name one player that’s done as much for their team as Paige has done for our team. Let’s put it this way. Name one player that’s taken a team this young to where we are today. Who’s done more than her?

“And if you can give me a better argument, then I’d say I’ll vote for them, too But I don’t think you can,” he continued.

“But I’m not going to wear a T-shirt that says, `Paige for national player of the year.’ And I’m not going to carry a sign around with it. And I’m not going to call people and tell them to vote for her. I’ve never done that for anybody and I’m going to start today. 

“But some people won’t vote for her because she plays at Connecticut. And she’s got to deal with that, too. And that’s okay.. You don’t vote on some awards, like who wins the championship. So she gets my vote.”

Auriemma revealed several weeks ago there was serious debate within the conference whether it was worth having the tournament.

“But once they decided, we said, `Well, our goal is to win the tournament.’”

As for teams that got knocked off along the way here this weekend, Auriemma called, DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall, and Villanova all NCAA tournament worthy participants.

Marquette and DePaul, which just fell out of the rankings, Monday, for the first time this year after a recent slide, have, perhaps, the best shot.

Asked about her pleading her case for an at-large NCAA bid, Duffy said, “I would say we’re a great team that had a really rough night tonight against the No. 1 team in the country. I love our team. I love our balance. I thought we ran a little bit out of gas tonight. I love us in the tournament. And I love any seed they want to give us because we’ll be ready.”

However, as Auriemma noted, everyone is in unchartered waters set up by the year-long mitigating effects of the coronavirus.

“We’re getting ready to do something that’s never been done before. We’re getting ready to get in a plane, fly to one site and be in the same hotel as 21 other teams,” he said. “And then we’re going to have to compete and try to win six games and that’s never been done before.

“I love the fact that our team looks like it’s ready to play basketball. Today’s March 8th. And we don’t play until March 21st. It’s a long time. It’s a long time.

“As I said, once we get down there, it will be an environment — this was only three, four days,” Auriemma continued. “And we’re going down there with, we’re going down there five days before we even play a game. The quarantine. The whole thing, all the protocols. So we’re going into an area that’s never been occupied before, as are the other 63 teams that are going to be down there.

“So I have no idea what’s going to happen. I usually have a pretty good idea what’s coming up in the NCAA tournament, but this year is unlike any other year. I like my team. I like what I see. But this year has taught me one thing if it’s taught me anything and that is don’t look too far ahead.”

Elsewhere Monday: No. 6 Baylor, which will be the top seed in a few days in the Big 12 tournament, hosted No. 17 West Virginia, which will be the No. 2 seed, in a makeup game postponed due to weather and the Lady Bears easily prevailed 96-73.

In the West Coast Conference semifinals, No. 16 Gonzaga, the top seed, eliminated Santa Cruz 72-62, while second-seeded BYU, which has a win over Gonzaga, ousted San Francisco 85-55 to set up Tuesdays title game.

The American Athletic Conference in its new home in Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, got under way with Cincinnati beating Memphis State 78-67 while Wichita State beat Tulsa, 76-64.

In the Summit League semifinals, South Dakota beat North Dakota State 81-55, while Omaha, which upset then-No. 21 South Dakota State on Saturday, advanced with a 69-55 win over W. Illinois.

In the Horizon League semifinals, Wright State beat Cleveland State 73-62 while IUPUI beat Milwaukee 56-46.

Looking Ahead: Temple gets under way Tuesday in the AAC as the fifth-seed playing fourth-seeded Tulane at noon in the AAC.
In the other three games, top-seeded South Florida, ranked 20th, meets Wichita State at 3 p.m., second-seeded UCF meets Cincinnati at 7 p.m., and third-seeded Houston meets East Carolina at 10 p.m., all games on ESPN+.

Im the West Coast Conference,the championship between No. 16 Gonzaga and BYU is at 4 p.m. on ESPNU

In the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Rider gets started playing Monmouth at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN+, while Siena plays Niagara at noon, also on on ESPN+

In the Horizon League final, it’s IUPUI against Wright State at noon on ESPNU.

In the Big Ten in the first  round, Wisconsin meets Illinois at 5 p.m. on the Big Tern Network.

Local Prospects: Net Rating and Natl Tourney Scene

11 Rutgers Begins as third seed in Big Ten later this week — NCAA lock
32 Bucknell 9-0 Must win Patriot League title game Sunday — possible WNIT with loss
73 Delaware - No. 1 seed CAA — Win conference for NCAA — possible WNIT with loss
76 Villanova — Outside NCAA Bubble — Lock WNIT
89 Penn State — You tell son to get own apt — Opens Wed in B10
117 Drexel — Win CAA for NCAA, Elsewhere Just outside WNIT Bubble
146 Temple — Needs to win AAC for NCAA
171 St. Joseph’s — Needs to win Atlantic 10
193. La Salle — Needs to win Atlantic 10
296. Rider — Needs to win MAAC

And that’s the report.

 


      

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the summary. One correction - Santa Cruz was not playing. It was Santa Clara who lost to Gonzaga.

10:44 AM  
Blogger dalia abdallah said...


.نحن نهدف في ارخص شركة نقل اثاث بخميس مشيط إلى تقديم أفضل خدمة ممكنة في جميع جوانب نقل الأثاث، سواء من حيث التكلفة ، أو تنفيذ العمل نفسه أو الاعتناء لتغليف وحماية أثاثك، نحن نقدم خدمات إضافية هي فك وإعادة تركيب الأثاث، وخدمات التغليف والتخزين وفك ونقل المكيفات. .
شركات نقل عفش في خميس مشيط

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2:21 PM  
Blogger dalia abdallah said...


افضل شركة نقل اثاث بخميس مشيط
يعد الانتقال إلى منزل أو مكان عمل جديد أمرًا مثيرًا دائمًا ، ولكنه قد يعني أيضًا الكثير من التوتر والعمل ويتطلب التخطيط الجيد لإنجاز المهمة. نحن خدمة نقل احترافية في خميس مشيط تقدم خدمة كاملة يمكن أن تعفيك من بعض المهام الثقيلة والأكثر استهلاكا للوقت.
الانتقال عمل شاق يتطلب لياقة بدنية قوية ومعرفة برفع الأثقال بطريقة آمنة. يمكن لأي شخص غير معتاد على ذلك أن يؤذي نفسه أو يرفع الأشياء ، خاصة عند الانتقال من أو إلى المباني التي بها الكثير من السلالم. عادة ما يتعين على شخص غير معتاد على هذا العمل أن يعمل لعدة ساعات أكثر من موظفينا المعتادين على التخطيط والتعبئة والتحميل يوميًا. حجتان قويتان لتوظيف محترف بدلاً من محاولة نقل الأثاث بنفسك.

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2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


سواء كنت بحاجة إلى فك وتجميع أثاث جديد أو أثاث موجود ، فلدينا جميع الأدوات المناسبة لهذه المهمة.
يتمتع فريق الخبراء لدينا بالخبرة للتعامل مع أي نوع من الأثاث بأكثر الطرق أمانًا.
يمكننا تفكيك أثاثك ونقله إلى وجهة جديدة ثم إعادة تجميعه في منزله الجديد، لا توجد أجزاء مفقودة ، ولا تلف ، ولا ضياع للوقت.
تفكيك الأثاث إلى أجزاء مسطحة يتيح نقله بأسرع الطرق وأكثرها فعالية، مما يقلل بشكل كبير من تكلفة النقل.
يمكننا نقل أثاثك من أصغر شقة أو أكبر منزل سكني، من مكتب صغير أو مبنى تجاري كبير، نحن متخصصون في التحركات الحاسمة في الوقت والفعالة من حيث التكلفة.


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ارخص شركة نقل اثاث بخميس مشيط

مكاتب نقل عفش بابها

اسعار نقل اثاث بابها

2:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


يتطلب تحميل وتفريغ شاحنة نقل الأثاث بعض التفكير والتخطيط، يمكن أن يتسبب الحمل غير الصحيح وغير المدروس في حدوث تلف وخسائر غير ضرورية في الأثاث عند التفريغ، في .. نتبع تقنيات احترافية بسيطة وفعالة لتحميل وتفريغ شاحنات نقل الأثاث ، قام أخصائيو التحميل والتفريغ لدينا بتلخيصها فيما يلي:
نبدأ التحميل بأشياء كبيرة مسطحة مثل رؤوس الأسرة والمراتب والأثاث القابل للطي وسطح طاولة الطعام، هذه العناصر يتم تحميله ووضعها على جانب الشاحنة وتقييدها بالأحزمة بشكل آمن، مع استخدام البطانيات أو شرائح الورق لحماية الأسطح المصقولة من الخدوش.

شركة نقل عفش بجازان

شركة نقل اثاث بجازان

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2:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


تحميل شاحنة الأثاث بالتخطيط والعناية المناسبين سوف يسهل كثيرًا من مهمة التفريغ، هناك بعض الأشياء التي يجب مراعاتها أثناء تفريغ شاحنة نقل الأثاث وهي:
الحذر الشديد عند فتح البوابات الخلفية للشاحنة لأن حركة العناصر داخل الشاحنة طوال الطريق يمكن أن يؤدي إلى تكدسها عند البوابات مما قد يؤدي إلى سقوطها.
يجب توقيف شاحنة الأثاث بالقرب من مدخل المنزل قدر الإمكان والتأكد من عدم وجود عوائق في الطريق تؤدي إلى خر التعثر.
يتم إخلاء الطريق المؤدي إلى المنزل وفتح البوابات الرئيسية.
نقل كل صندوق مباشرة إلى مكانه حسب التوجيهات المدونة عليه .

شركة نقل عفش بمحايل عسير

شركة نقل عفش من خميس مشيط الى الرياض

شركة نقل عفش من ابها الى الرياض

شركة نقل عفش من جازان الى الرياض

2:03 AM  

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