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  1. #1
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    Louisville Sluggers in the WBB Final Four

    Yeah. I was half-heartily rooting for Baylor despite the obvious warts on that BiG XII WBB program. When Louisville got going, they did a number on Baylor early. What they did so effectively was something that any team could do, if the refs would let them, and that was go Thug. Add to that a ridiculous streak of threes and the game was done.

    Griner haters ate it up believing her deserving of a beating because "Griner is a dirty player". The Louisville women were beating her in tandem, and at times three players were taking shots at Griner. Where were the refs in this foul-fueled melee? As the announcers warned "they better get control of this game" as what they were seeing was disturbing and in contrast to the rules of the game. One L'Ville player in particular for good measure got a basketball on Griner's then pushed in her face jawing. Nice.

    What really disturbed me was if Iowa State would have played the L'ville Thugettes they would have had the same chance as Griner's team if Anna and Pop would have been mugged by this bunch. I gave L'Ville little chance of getting deep in the Tourney; I failed to take into account the ferocity LV players embraced thuggery and the neglect of the refs to let the threes be the difference. I fear if physical play is part of the game with Cal look for the Louisville Sluggers in the Championship game. Griner wins on congeniality compared to the Cardinals.


    Last edited by StClone; 04-04-2013 at 08:13 PM.

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    Re: Louisville Sluggers in the WBB Final Four

    Personally, I don't see Cal as having any chance of beating Louisville's zone. Cal is not an outside shooting team, but are pretty thuggy themselves. The Cal/Georgia game has to be one the ugliest games I have seen all year.



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    Re: Louisville Sluggers in the WBB Final Four

    Well, count me as picking Cal. They're going to give Louisville some problems of their own. They were seeded #2, and Louisville #5, for a reason.
    I know Louisville is hot, but Cal rebounds like no other women's team I've seen, and Clarendon is a great, great leader. I give Cal a big edge on the boards, and in the backcourt.
    Cal by 8.



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    Re: Louisville Sluggers in the WBB Final Four

    What I find interesting is that all year we were lead to believe that the Big 12 was the strongest conference. Yet, here we are at the Final Four, and the top 3 teams in the Big East conference are all there.

    Yes, Louisville played a very physical game, but it is not like Baylor had not seen that before, and even played that type of game themselves. What I thought Louisville did was to absolutely take away BG's offensive effectiveness. They guarded her so close, and with special techniques that did not allow her to step into her shots at all. Basically, they forced her to try and adjust her shots, and she was not able to do it. They had a defensive game plan that more than contained BG.

    Also, it's not like the refs did not call any fouls at all. Louisville was called for 22 fouls on their starters, 26 overall. Their starting lineup was only 3 fouls away from completely fouling out. Baylor made more free throws than Louisville attempted, so it is not like they really got short-changed. Louisville had a plan on defense.

    That, plus they were absolutely deadly from behind the 3 point line.


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    Re: Louisville Sluggers in the WBB Final Four

    Also, it's not like the refs did not call any fouls at all. Louisville was called for 22 fouls on their starters, 26 overall. Their starting lineup was only 3 fouls away from completely fouling out. Baylor made more free throws than Louisville attempted, so it is not like they really got short-changed. Louisville had a plan on defense.

    That, plus they were absolutely deadly from behind the 3 point line.
    ~~~~~~~~~

    Thanks for clarifying. I did not watch the game, so going by the OP comments alone I would have come away with a completely different impression.


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    Re: Louisville Sluggers in the WBB Final Four

    Quote Originally Posted by Dryburn View Post
    Yes, Louisville played a very physical game, but it is not like Baylor had not seen that before, and even played that type of game themselves. What I thought Louisville did was to absolutely take away BG's offensive effectiveness.
    Louisville did more hanging, banging, and swatting than I have seen in most any game-that is what took Griner out of her game. She was used to getting contested but they were draped on her, I actually think she was intimidated. The final was 82-81 pretty darn close. If not for those threes, if not for L'ville fouls (that actually slowed BU down rather than aided it with excess charity). And, the refs could have called many more fouls early in the game because that is what fueled L'Ville.



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    Re: Louisville Sluggers in the WBB Final Four

    Quote Originally Posted by Tornado man View Post
    Well, count me as picking Cal.
    Cal by 8.
    I think Cal will be the underdog. But I have come to dislike what I saw in Louisville. They play with attitude but it would be fun to see them humbled in a loss to Cal.


    Last edited by StClone; 04-04-2013 at 09:51 PM.

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    Re: Louisville Sluggers in the WBB Final Four

    Louisville kind of like Gary Blair's team? That happened to be the last team to beat Baylor in the tournament (and on the mainland). Probably not a total coincidence.



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    Re: Louisville Sluggers in the WBB Final Four

    Quote Originally Posted by Royalclone View Post
    Louisville kind of like Gary Blair's team? That happened to be the last team to beat Baylor in the tournament (and on the mainland). Probably not a total coincidence.
    Absolutely! And West Virginia, and Marian Washington's Kansas teams, et al.



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    Re: Louisville Sluggers in the WBB Final Four

    Quote Originally Posted by gizzsdad View Post
    Absolutely! And West Virginia, and Marian Washington's Kansas teams, et al.
    WV is very very physical, but I haven't ever seen dirty play by them. Louisville was clearly getting away with cheap shots. I think it had Baylor players stunned.

    When you have guards setting screens, who are getting away with repeated gut and chest punches with both arms/elbows, the game has gotten out of control.

    But, the real question is, if 3-4 people are surrounding Brittney, someone else is open. Mulkey should have sat Griner, and gone with a smaller line-up that could defend Louisville better, and also take away the strategic "zone" advantage that was the linch pen in Waltz defense. In this regard, I think Mulkey was outcoached by not responding well-enough to the game plan. Sometimes her teammates relied on her too heavily.

    If you all remember, when we played Baylor way tight last year in Waco, or two years ago, we were almost tied with Baylor, and Mulkey sat Griner, and when she sat her, they went on a run without her in the game, so the strategy would not have been a new one for her, and in her 48 hour afterward presser, she lemented that was one thing she should have considered.



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    Re: Louisville Sluggers in the WBB Final Four

    Quote Originally Posted by Tornado man View Post
    Well, count me as picking Cal. They're going to give Louisville some problems of their own. They were seeded #2, and Louisville #5, for a reason.
    I know Louisville is hot, but Cal rebounds like no other women's team I've seen, and Clarendon is a great, great leader. I give Cal a big edge on the boards, and in the backcourt.
    Cal by 8.
    I have a hard time with choosing someone to win this game. I have not been convinced at all that the Pac 12 was worth anything this year, and the games that I have watched Stanford, UCLA, and Cal play, I felt they were no where near the level of play of other leagues, namely, Big East, Big 12, or SEC.


    While Cal is in the final four, they got there by beating a 15 seed, a 10 seed(who beat a 7 seed), and six seed(LSU-4 or 5th best team in SEC), and Georgia, narrowly in overtime.

    None of their tourney games impressed me at all. Fresno St. hung in, South Florida had a chance to win, and LSU, well, is a mediocre team at best, especially with their injuries, and Georgia peaked when they played us, having only lost by 4 in overtime to CAL, while shooting only 23% from 3, and Cal played zone on Georgia most the game, and vice versa.

    Their best wins were against UCLA and Stanford and Colorado, and their best noncon win was a single digit close game against Kansas.

    So, for me, I have no clue how good they are, except the have a really good guard in Clarendon.



  12. #12
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    Re: Louisville Sluggers in the WBB Final Four

    Quote Originally Posted by twistedredbird View Post
    ...

    But, the real question is, if 3-4 people are surrounding Brittney, someone else is open. Mulkey should have sat Griner, and gone with a smaller line-up that could defend Louisville better, and also take away the strategic "zone" advantage that was the linch pen in Waltz defense. In this regard, I think Mulkey was outcoached by not responding well-enough to the game plan. Sometimes her teammates relied on her too heavily.

    ... in her 48 hour afterward presser, she lemented that was one thing she should have considered.
    Maybe you are referring to an interview by Jason Whitlock in which she said she had 2 regrets. 1. Not getting a technical early in the game to get the refs' attention when all the junk was going on. 2. Not taking Griner out.

    I agree that Baylor could have beaten Louisville without Griner. They have good enough players to match up with UL.

    It shows there may have been some dysfunction on the team. I think it was Destiny Williams in her postgame who commented that someone should have been open if 3 players were on Griner. I'm guessing that some of those other seniors knew they could handle UL and would have liked the chance to do it. You would think that one of the seniors or assistant coaches should have come up with a countermove, someone amidst all that experience -- but maybe no one felt they could tell Mulkey that.

    Their pattern of leaving Griner in until late in games throughout the season might also have been part of the problem. It wasn't natural to play without her in the lineup.

    Plus Mulkey was always trying to give Griner minutes to set this or that record. That could have clouded her decision making also.



  13. #13
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    Re: Louisville Sluggers in the WBB Final Four

    Quote Originally Posted by twistedredbird View Post
    I have a hard time with choosing someone to win this game. I have not been convinced at all that the Pac 12 was worth anything this year, and the games that I have watched Stanford, UCLA, and Cal play, I felt they were no where near the level of play of other leagues, namely, Big East, Big 12, or SEC.


    While Cal is in the final four, they got there by beating a 15 seed, a 10 seed(who beat a 7 seed), and six seed(LSU-4 or 5th best team in SEC), and Georgia, narrowly in overtime.

    ...
    Sagarin's RPI ranking of conferences also reinforces this:

    1 BIG 12
    2 BIG TEN
    3 SOUTHEASTERN
    4 BIG EAST
    5 ATLANTIC COAST
    6 PAC-12

    The Big East is 4th and the Pac12 6th. The 3 toughest conferences are not represented.

    Notre Dame and Connecticut are not surprising, although the fact that the Big East is 4th indicates they didn't have much competition in conference all season.

    Likewise for the top Pac12 teams. Cal certainly benefited from its path to the Final Four, and unfortunately we helped them by letting Georgia through.

    Maybe the long season takes a toll on top teams in the tough conferences. That might be part of it. They have to battle every game, and it gets both physically and mentally challenging to stay sharp.



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    Re: Louisville Sluggers in the WBB Final Four

    Quote Originally Posted by twistedredbird View Post
    ...
    While Cal is in the final four, they got there by beating a 15 seed, a 10 seed(who beat a 7 seed), and six seed(LSU-4 or 5th best team in SEC), and Georgia, narrowly in overtime.
    ...
    The other thing to note, which most of the national media opted to ignore this year, is the effect of the homecourt for the lower seeds. Cal benefited.

    LSU, a lower seed, won on its home court against Penn State, a top 3 seed. That opened up that bracket for Cal.

    Although we beat Gonzaga on their home court, it seemed like that win took a lot out of us. We were so keyed for that game, shot great, had to keep turning them back, so completely focused against the crowd, etc. We came out flat offensively against Georgia, and couldn't keep pace with their shooting.

    So I'd argue that Gonzaga's home court advantage ended up influencing the bracket as well.



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