Can Brittney Griner and the Baylor Bears Really Beat the UConn Huskies?
Do the Baylor Lady Bears really have a chance to change the course of history by defeating Tina Charles, Maya Moore and the rest of the record-setting UConn Huskies?
In a word, yes.
In more words, yes, but the chances are very, very small.
Baylor freshman phenom Brittney Griner is, without a doubt, the next big thing in women's college basketball.
If she stays on her current development path, there is an excellent chance that Baylor wins at least one national championship before Griner is done.
There have been no shortage of articles over the last two days pumping up Baylor's chances to defeat UConn. Most of them focus on Griner's brilliance, on the defensive end in particular, as the reason for being so rosy regarding Baylor's odds.
The simple fact of the matter is that this is all wishful thinking.
I fully understand that there are many, especially in the media, who are tired of writing the same storyline for the past two years—UConn wins!
There is very little chance that women's basketball becomes "popular."
Most men simply don't want to watch it. These same men love to write about Griner and the "revolutionary" change that she's bringing to the game. They are also the same men who write that UConn's sustained excellence is bad for the sport.
Both positions are idiotic. No other word for it.
Confining this to the game tonight, casual observers are conveniently forgetting exactly how good UConn is.
UConn's center, Tina Charles, is the best post player in the country. That statement factors in Griner. Tina Charles, the national player of the year, is faster, stronger and much more experienced than Griner.
If Charles is neutralized by Griner—definitely possible—the Huskies still have the best player on their team to rely on.
Maya Moore, brilliant all season long, has elevated her game to Cheryl Miller-type levels. It is just crazy watching her play. Can Griner contain both of them? Of course not.
Let's play with scenarios here—how about Charles and Moore both get into foul trouble. Would UConn be in huge trouble?
No, they wouldn't.
Caroline Doty would be a star for almost any other team in the country—she's the Huskies fourth option.
Kalana Greene would be a superstar for almost any other team in the country—she's the third option.
Kelly Faris is the best passer on the team, not to mention the possessor of a deadly long range shot, but she barely gets to play. She's on coach Geno Auriemma's famous "freshman hook." A single mistake from her, and she's grabbing pine.
Oh yeah, can't forget about the coach. Geno will have a plan to deal with the unique challenges Griner presents. He always does.
To put a bow on this, the game is between UConn and Baylor, not Brittney Griner versus Tina Charles. UConn is the much better team. It really isn't close, not yet anyway.
We're now just a few hours away from tip-off of a game that, by the time the final whistle sounds, will be another 20-plus point blowout by the most dominant team in sports.
That's my prediction, anyway.
In all likelihood, you'll need to wait another year for a new storyline.
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