A-10, ACC, CAA and Big East. A MLK Weekend Filled With Hoops.

Mark SaltzContributor IJanuary 26, 2010

ST. LOUIS - APRIL 05:   Maya Moore #23 of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates a point on April 5, 2009 during the Womens Final Four Semifinals at the Scottrade Center on April 5, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri. Connecticut defeated the Stanford Cardinal 83-64.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Actually the hoops weekend began on Friday night with some high school action.  I visited Cavalier gym in Central Garage, Virginia to take in the King William Cavaliers and King and Queen Royal Tigers boys' game. 

When I arrived the away team was behind 21-3.  The Tigers chipped away and got it as close as 22-15.  Then it got away.

However, I never saw a team on the wrong side of whipping hustle as hard.  Diving on the floor, snaking in to grab rebounds.  Most teams down by double digits would forsake such effort. 

Not King and Queen.

They may have been on the wrong side of the outcome on the scoreboard.  But not in terms of heart and desire.

Saturday I ventured for the first time to the University of Richmond for a basketball game.  Now this is a bit alarming and it rattled me a bit over the course of the weekend.

I lived in Richmond, less than five miles away, for four years.  During that time I was not coaxed into attending a Spiders home basketball, or away, game. 

Anyway the inspiration for my attendance on this day was to see TT Carey, a player who tore up the King and Queen team, and many others in the state of Virginia during his high school days. 

TT currently plays for the LaSalle Explorers.  He started.  Scored four the first four points for LaSalle then sat out until the final five minutes. 

Upon arriving I found my seat in section 8 Row C.  How often can anyone get a ticket to a basketball game that close to the action. Three rows away.  

My section also happened to be where the Spiderettes, Richmond Cheerleaders, chose to stretch.  This was a truly awful experience.  I wanted to make them go somewhere else and conduct their business.  Gross.

The game also featured the dancing exploits of BB McCoy.  He walked on the floor in the guise of a facility staff member.  Then music would play and he would entertain the audience with his excellent dance moves.

His performance make me regret not bringing my camera.  I haven't seen time out entertain like it all season.  Don't believe me.  Youtube it. 

Did you?

Not yet?

Okay, I'll wait. 

Tick Tock.

Got it.  Told you.

Sunday I ventured to Williamsburg for the Virginia Commonwealth and William and Mary Women's game.  The Tribe fell behind early to the visiting Rams.  Behind the steady hand of D'andra Moss and Courtney Hurt VCU staved off a feisty W and M squad.

Interesting fact:  VCU was once called Richmond extension of William and Mary.  So was William and Mary playing William and Mary? 

Monday was the highlight of the weekend.  UConn and Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium. 

Whether you are a Duke fan or not.  Cameron is one of the great sport venues in the United States.  Having been to Wrigley, I have trouble deciding which is more amazing. 

Maya Moore, Tina Charles and the UConn Huskies brought their 56 game winning streak into Durham to take on the seventh ranked Blue Devils.  The Crazies were in full effect and ESPN was in the house.

This season I've had the honor of attending a lot of college basketball games.  Some good, some, well, not.  None of them are near the level of this contest.

The talent level at BCS schools is greater than any other.  The work ethic is better.  The intensity felt like March.  The entertainment was truly inspired.

Duke fought tough in the first half.  They got a steal from Jasmine Thomas to start the second to get Duke within 8.  For a moment I believed this could be the night Connecticut's winning streak ends.

Maya Moore, after scoring six points and commiting two fouls in the first half, went off.  She had help from the likes of Caroline Doty and at the second media timeout of the second half the Huskies had a 21 point lead. 

Just like that. 

Once the ball gets rolling.  It heads downhill and nobody can get in the way. 

Final score

UConn 81 Duke 48

Maya Moore is truly an fascinating athlete.  During pregame warm-ups she was going full speed.  In pregame. 

She was talking, and motivating her teammates in all their warm-up activities.  A fantastic leader.  And as far as physical athletic appearance, no other female player is even close.

The only other player I can compare her to is Lebron James.  Both are built like bowling balls with finese. 

The in-game entertainment was fantastic.  At the first media timeout of the game the Duke Blue Devil mascot came out with a surf board and a group on Duke students.  The students would lay down and roll as the Devil surfed across them. 

Youtube it.

Come on. 

Would you be under the surfboard.  I would.  Just give me the chance.

Halftime brought out the Bouncing Bulldog jump rope team.  Of course I thought this is going to be lame.  But I was wrong. 

You know what to do. 

Do it already.

Would you try that.  I wouldn't.  Don't even think of asking.  I have grown fond of not breaking my neck.

A long weekend of hoops that ended with me arriving home at midnight.  My alarm set for six o'clock in the morning.  I'm much too old for this late night road trip stuff.  Only time will tell if I learned anything.

I pray I did. 


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