Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Meanwhile, in women's hoops ...

Time now to check in with women's college basketball, where we find UConn -- what a shock! -- winning its 90th consecutive game for the second time in the Geno Auriemma regime. And just to show what a difficult thing that's been for the Huskies to achieve, they got No. 90 in the usual hard-fought fashion.

Which is to say, the Huskies squeaked past No. 20 South Florida 102-37.

Let's repeat that: They beat another ranked school by 65 points.

Much has been made of UConn's comic dominance of women's buckets, and whether it's good or bad for the game. The Blob is of two minds on this.

Mind No. 1 says it's been good in the sense that other programs have had to raise their games to at least nominally keep up. Which is why, minus UConn, the women's game is as competitive as it's ever been.

Mind No. 2 says when UConn is still beating those other programs by 65 points, it can't possibly be helping the women's game get its improved product in front of the public.

This is because as good as the women have become, the nation isn't going to watch as long as UConn remains on such an absurdly different level. Why watch the women's tournament in March, after all, when the outcome is already a foregone conclusion? All anyone's going to do is check in periodically to see if anything's changed.

Hey, let's check out the women. Oh, look, UConn is still beating everybody like they're in grade school. Well, nothin' to see here. Peace out.

There's no question about it: The best thing that could happen for women's basketball is for someone besides UConn to win the national title. Even better would be for the Huskies to unaccountably have a down year -- say, I don't know, 22-6 or something. That way other programs could emerge, and the nation would discover just how many other programs are out there, and how much improved they have made the product generally.

Strength, after all, is in the numbers. And not just the number 90.

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