I just witnessed what might prove to be the most exciting game yet in determining contenders for the Final Four, and it was enough to convince anyone that women's basketball deserves at least as much attention as men's. I'm normally an NCAA tournament agnostic—I don't pay much attention to it and don't really care—until my alma mater, Stanford University, gets involved. Then, I become a devoted disciple for a few hours on a few evenings, and I enjoy every second. Strike that last bit. I mean, I enjoy every tenth of a second.
Tonight, the Stanford Cardinal (I get a lot of static about that mascot, and I'm as clueless as most alumni) edged the Xavier Musketeers after trading the lead back and forth all night long. It was a buzzer-beating lay-up by Jeanette Pohlen, following a full-court drive, that gave Stanford the two-point advantage. And while the close-scoring game was already suspenseful, the moment of victory was delayed for confirmation of the clock stop. Interestingly, had an earlier time-out not been adjusted to reflect a more accurate stoppage, the winning bucket would not have counted.
Hats off to Coach VanDerveer and Coach McGuff for coaching the double-X chromosome set that doesn't garner them near the attention as they'd get for coaching their male counterpart teams. Hats off to Stanford's supportive fans. Their number-one seed team has only lost a single game all season, and it was to the UConn Huskies, whom they will undoubtedly face again in the championship game.