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#26
I wouldn't say ND was the underdog when they lost to A&M.

And I don't think that Notre Dame was a *huge* underdog in 2014 when they entered the title game undefeated and had looked awfully impressive throughout the season. The loss of Achonwa in the Elite 8 game was definitely a blow, though.
The only year ND wasn't the underdog was against A&M. That would be the season that would haunt me if I was Muffet. I remember watching the FF thinking it was gonna be a rematch between Stanford and UConn. The outcomes were very exciting, and I don't think there was really a clear favorite in the matchup.
 

nwhoopfan

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#27
Teams like UCONN, Mississippi State, Oregon and Baylor all have the size and rebounders to slow Turner/Shepard inside. Louisville just doesn't. Not sure Stanford does. Hoping most make the regional finals and we get some classic games with Final Four berths on the line.
Not sure how Smith and Dodson are smaller or less capable of defending/rebounding than Hebard and Sabally. Stanford's duo just outrebounded Oregon's duo 20-9 on Sunday.
 

TheFarmFan

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#28
I think that ND is dangerous because Turner is starting to Oregon doesn't seem as dangerous to me because I don't think Graves is elite at adjustments on the fly. The two best samples I have are against Stanford and ND last year, so maybe he is but not at an elite level yet. Also, Sabally is very foul prone and Hebard can be neutralized a little bit with a decent shot blocker.
Totally agree. When Oregon loses, it's usually to teams with savvy coaches and enough players that can execute solidly on defense. It's why they've lost to OSU and Stanford every year that Ionescu and Hebard have been in Eugene - Rueck and Tara are very good at halftime adjustments. Also, Oregon is kind of turnover prone - pressing teams can fluster them into bad passes and sloppy ball handling. That said, they're probably the only rival to Notre Dame in terms of most complete 1-5 lineup - they have an extremely good player in every position, with almost no bench behind them.
 

TheFarmFan

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#29
The only year ND wasn't the underdog was against A&M. That would be the season that would haunt me if I was Muffet. I remember watching the FF thinking it was gonna be a rematch between Stanford and UConn. The outcomes were very exciting, and I don't think there was really a clear favorite in the matchup.
That season haunts me as a Cardinal fan. Notre Dame had just upset UConn and the door seemed wide open to finally get a third championship. It honestly feels like "the one that got away."
 

bballnut90

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#30
The only year ND wasn't the underdog was against A&M. That would be the season that would haunt me if I was Muffet. I remember watching the FF thinking it was gonna be a rematch between Stanford and UConn. The outcomes were very exciting, and I don't think there was really a clear favorite in the matchup.
ND missed out on what would be their best title opportunity for years, but ND was a big Cinderella to get there in the first place. They knocked off a very good 34-2 Tennessee team in the regionals (Muffet was 0-20 head to head against Pat until that point and lost earlier in the year to UT), and they beat a goliath in UCONN to get to the title game. No one thought they'd beat UCONN, they lost to them 3x that year, UCONN was 36-1 and Maya Moore was a senior. Pretty sure this was the only time a team has beat both UCONN and Tennessee in the NCAA tournament. With or without a title, that was a heck of an accomplishment for her relatively unheralded squad.

The year that should haunt Muffet with "what if" is 2017. They were the #2 team behind UCONN entering the tournament and most expected a UCONN-ND title game. ND lost Turner in the 2nd round and had no height inside. In the Elite 8 they blew a 16 point 2nd half lead against Stanford, losing by one. One could argue they likely win that game with a healthy Turner, or that they should've won even without.

Fast forward to the semis and they would've faced South Carolina where ND would have been favored if healthy. Even without Turner, most would've expected ND to be a slight underdog at worst. Then they would have played Mississippi State for the title game where again ND would be a big favorite. 2017 was the first time they would've had a path to the title without facing the likes of Griner/Stewart/Moore or an undefeated team. That was a huge missed opportunity in hindsight.
 

bballnut90

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#32
That season haunts me as a Cardinal fan. Notre Dame had just upset UConn and the door seemed wide open to finally get a third championship. It honestly feels like "the one that got away."
Stanford has had more "ones that got away" than a lot of schools besides maybe Tennessee and Connecticut. Main ones that come to mind are:

1997-they were a 1 loss team and lost a brutal overtime game to Old Dominion. Winner faced 28-10 Tennessee for the title. Stanford beat Tennessee by 17 earlier in the year and had a LOADED roster back then with the likes of POY Kate Starbird, Kristin Folkl and Vanessa Nygaard. I think they beat Tennessee in a title game.

2010-UCONN played what may have been the worst half of basketball in program history but Stanford blew a great opportunity. They missed many good looks, particularly Jayne Appel who had the worst game of her career and no one on the team could throw it in the ocean.

2011-this one might be the worst...they were so loaded that year with the Ogwumikes, Pederson and Pac 10 POY Pohlen. Pohlen had an awful first half and Stanford ultimately lost a golden opportunity to play Notre Dame, a team they would've been heavily favored against.
 

TheFarmFan

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#33
Stanford has had more "ones that got away" than a lot of schools besides maybe Tennessee and Connecticut. Main ones that come to mind are:

1997-they were a 1 loss team and lost a brutal overtime game to Old Dominion. Winner faced 28-10 Tennessee for the title. Stanford beat Tennessee by 17 earlier in the year and had a LOADED roster back then with the likes of POY Kate Starbird, Kristin Folkl and Vanessa Nygaard. I think they beat Tennessee in a title game.

2010-UCONN played what may have been the worst half of basketball in program history but Stanford blew a great opportunity. They missed many good looks, particularly Jayne Appel who had the worst game of her career and no one on the team could throw it in the ocean.

2011-this one might be the worst...they were so loaded that year with the Ogwumikes, Pederson and Pac 10 POY Pohlen. Pohlen had an awful first half and Stanford ultimately lost a golden opportunity to play Notre Dame, a team they would've been heavily favored against.
Yes, all three are bad, but in 2010 Appel was playing on a sprained ankle that they didn’t reveal until after the game to prevent scouting advantage. She was literally hobbling up and down the floor by midway through the second half. It sucked, but it felt inevitable once it became clear our star player was walking wounded.

2011 stings because there was no excuse and because we essentially choked it away at the end. How do you let a guard go coast to coast in 4 seconds at the buzzer for an easy layup when you’re up one? We had so much trouble handling the ball that Tara brought in benchwarmer Mel Murphy who had the most minutes in that game in any game the whole season just to ensure we could get the ball out of the half court. Terrible.
 
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#37
I wouldn't say ND was the underdog when they lost to A&M.

And I don't think that Notre Dame was a *huge* underdog in 2014 when they entered the title game undefeated and had looked awfully impressive throughout the season. The loss of Achonwa in the Elite 8 game was definitely a blow, though.
@Plebe: you just don't get it. Any time ND isn't Uconn they are an underdog. Oh those wanna bee's.
 
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#38
That was Maya's second championship. We had 12 at halftime and about 43 in the second half.

We beat Louisville and Angel in Maya's first championship the prior year (2009). Tina was the star in that game. We beat Stanford by 19 in the semis that year.
I think it was the regular season game. Maya was in foul trouble and Stanford was up at the half, BUT..there was another half to play. Maya couldn't be stopped!
 

CompSci87

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#39
Yes, all three are bad, but in 2010 Appel was playing on a sprained ankle that they didn’t reveal until after the game to prevent scouting advantage. She was literally hobbling up and down the floor by midway through the second half. It sucked, but it felt inevitable once it became clear our star player was walking wounded.

2011 stings because there was no excuse and because we essentially choked it away at the end. How do you let a guard go coast to coast in 4 seconds at the buzzer for an easy layup when you’re up one? We had so much trouble handling the ball that Tara brought in benchwarmer Mel Murphy who had the most minutes in that game in any game the whole season just to ensure we could get the ball out of the half court. Terrible.
I try not to blame the refs. But I blame the refs for 2011, in part. A&M got away with flopping and with fouling the heck out of Pohlen while she was trying to handle the ball, no calls. Meanwhile Murphy was fouled out on a couple of questionable charges and a ridiculous call while chasing a loose ball.

Yes, of course Stanford had a chance to win anyway, either by stopping that last second drive or avoiding any one other missed opportunity. Sigh.
 
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TheFarmFan

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#40
Yes, all three are bad, but in 2010 Appel was playing on a sprained ankle that they didn’t reveal until after the game to prevent scouting advantage. She was literally hobbling up and down the floor by midway through the second half. It sucked, but it felt inevitable once it became clear our star player was walking wounded.

2011 stings because there was no excuse and because we essentially choked it away at the end. How do you let a guard go coast to coast in 4 seconds at the buzzer for an easy layup when you’re up one? We had so much trouble handling the ball that Tara brought in benchwarmer Mel Murphy who had the most minutes in that game in any game the whole season just to ensure we could get the ball out of the half court. Terrible.
Incidentally, Stanford WBB just put out a nice 6-minute "Alumnae Reflection" video with Jayne Appel-Marinelli, for those interested. Among other things, she mentioned that she actually broke her ankle right before NCAA's started, so she was playing on a broken ankle for six games, which got progressively worse until the championship game. After the game, she said, "I remember walking with Tara from the locker room to the bus, and I just dropped, literally dropped, and started balling, and I was like, 'I don't want to take my jersey off!' And it was tough. I mean, when you've put in all this time, and then your body fails you. What can you do? Would I like to have a national championship in my belt? Hell yeah? But what can I do to control it at this point? And then to be drafted to San Antonio 5 days later. I was like, 'Damn, I gotta go right back to where my heart was just broken?' But San Antonio became my home. And maybe it was just all the stars aligning in that place. And I had an incredible career for seven years in San Antonio that I enjoyed. But yeah, I'll never forget that moment with Tara." What a fighter.
 
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#41
Totally agree. When Oregon loses, it's usually to teams with savvy coaches and enough players that can execute solidly on defense. It's why they've lost to OSU and Stanford every year that Ionescu and Hebard have been in Eugene - Rueck and Tara are very good at halftime adjustments. Also, Oregon is kind of turnover prone - pressing teams can fluster them into bad passes and sloppy ball handling. That said, they're probably the only rival to Notre Dame in terms of most complete 1-5 lineup - they have an extremely good player in every position, with almost no bench behind them.
While I have no quibbles with the first sentence, I do think there are some things that might be added to qualify the rest a bit. For instance, the loss to OSU last year was in Corvallis (and in overtime), this year in a game (also in Corvallis) in which Hebard went down in the first half and Oregon almost pulled things out by going small in the second. The loss to Stanford this year was just that, but it was certainly influenced by the fact that two starters had injuries, with one of them (Hebard) lacking the rest between games required for her knee to allow her even to approach her play prior to the injury. A third starter had been bedridden with the flu for the four days prior to the beginning of the Pac 12 Tournament, and the roster had been made even shorter by the absence of the player who had been first off the bench for the entire season--and all of this exacerbated by having to play 3 games in three days, with the second an overtime game the night before the final against Stanford. And yet, Oregon was in the game into the fourth quarter. In fact, in three of these losses (the exception is last year's loss to Stanford in Eugene) Oregon came back from an early deficit in the second half and had their chances to win, so one could argue that whatever halftime adjustments there were involved the Ducks, not the Cardinal or Beavers. Finally, Oregon actually averages the fewest turnovers of any team in Division 1 (10, I think), and also leads Division 1 in assist to turnover ratio (about 1.9 to 1). So, yes, savvy coaches and good defenses will always give the Ducks trouble, but I'd argue that the formula isn't always the whole story.

As for Notre Dame, from my point of view they are probably the worst matchup for Oregon among the top teams. Prior to her injury, Hebard might have been able to do a better job against Shepherd than she did last year (at least Duck fans would like to believe that), but now-- with the injury and Turner also playing well--I think she would have very tough going, to put it mildly. And Young would once again likely be a nightmare. If Notre Dame has a badish game and Oregon a good one then Oregon could pull out a win, but if both teams play close to their potential then I think Notre Dame will surely prevail. Everything is to me a bit fuzzier vs. the other top teams, and I can at least imagine a victory (and, of course, a loss).
 

DefenseBB

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#43
I don't think Iowa measures up to the Top 7, but I hope they get a chance to prove me wrong.
You realize some feel exactly the same way about MSU given how poor the SEC was this year. :rolleyes:
What is the difference between the 2 schools as both are living and dying by how their big player does. You want to argue that MSU has better defense-maybe but these two teams seem close to me.
 
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#44
You realize some feel exactly the same way about MSU given how poor the SEC was this year. :rolleyes:
SEC was still a good bit tougher than the AAC was, so if people feel that way because the SEC was poor, they should feel the same about UConn since the AAC was so weak. Gustafson vs. McCowan would be a fun matchup. They are two very different teams.
 

DefenseBB

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#45
SEC was still a good bit tougher than the AAC was, so if people feel that way because the SEC was poor, they should feel the same about UConn since the AAC was so weak. Gustafson vs. McCowan would be a fun matchup. They are two very different teams.
The AAC is atrocious which is why UConn played ND, Louisville, SC, Baylor, tOSU, OK and Cal. Unfortunately, the latter 3 also weren't so good this year. We did put a whooping on SC though as direct comparison. That's 7 decent named P5 schools. What was MSU's OOC? UVa, Texas, Marquette, Oregon, Washington and UVa and Washington were known to be bad for a while now so the UConn OOC crushes the Dawgs. This team has not been tested. Don't get me wrong, I do think their good, Just not "so much better than Iowa" they way our MSU fans think.
 
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#46
Totally agree. When Oregon loses, it's usually to teams with savvy coaches and enough players that can execute solidly on defense. It's why they've lost to OSU and Stanford every year that Ionescu and Hebard have been in Eugene - Rueck and Tara are very good at halftime adjustments. Also, Oregon is kind of turnover prone - pressing teams can fluster them into bad passes and sloppy ball handling. That said, they're probably the only rival to Notre Dame in terms of most complete 1-5 lineup - they have an extremely good player in every position, with almost no bench behind them.
Oregon averages fewer turnovers per game than any D1 team in the country.
 

IWearShoes

Mississippi State
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#47
You realize some feel exactly the same way about MSU given how poor the SEC was this year. :rolleyes:
What is the difference between the 2 schools as both are living and dying by how their big player does. You want to argue that MSU has better defense-maybe but these two teams seem close to me.
My comment wasn't about Mississippi State. It was about Iowa. There's probably a decent reason why MSU is likely to be a 1 seed or the 1st 2 seed and Iowa isn't in that discussion. Could be that...

MSU is a more complete team. They get 18 a game from their star and score 86, while Iowa is VERY dependent on Gustafson, who provides 28 of their 80 points a game.

Iowa is 11-6 away from home. Miss State is 16-1 (Oregon was the 1).

Iowa beats teams by 12 on average. Miss State by 28.

Massey also says MSU beats Iowa 3 outta 4 times by an expected 8 point margin.

I think it would be a war if they played, but would not fear that matchup nearly as much as any of the other possibilities among the Top 8.

MSU also went 18-1 vs that weak SEC this year winning by an average of 20 points. They were pretty dominant.
 
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#48
The AAC is atrocious which is why UConn played ND, Louisville, SC, Baylor, tOSU, OK and Cal. Unfortunately, the latter 3 also weren't so good this year. We did put a whooping on SC though as direct comparison. That's 7 decent named P5 schools. What was MSU's OOC? UVa, Texas, Marquette, Oregon, Washington and UVa and Washington were known to be bad for a while now so the UConn OOC crushes the Dawgs. This team has not been tested. Don't get me wrong, I do think their good, Just not "so much better than Iowa" they way our MSU fans think.
For what I have seen Iowa is a good ball club and they can give any team a good game if they play well. However, I believe if Iowa and any of top six play their A games, the top six team will win.
 

DefenseBB

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#49
My comment wasn't about Mississippi State. It was about Iowa. Yes, I know it was.
MSU also went 18-1 vs that weak SEC this year winning by an average of 20 points. They were pretty dominant.
I happen to like MSU but you can’t say they went 18-1 in the weakest of the P5 schools and then say they were dominant...they better be dominant. Just like any of us saying that about the AAC. We wouldn’t (this is not to say the SEC and AAC are comparable-they AREN’T)
While I love Massey, it’s not lIke it’s 100%. I think Vic is the better coach but when has McCown ever been the winner against a player as big with as much scoring prowess? I keep thinking how Aja would take her lunch.
I think it would be an interesting matchup and Iowa has earned every bit of that 2 seed as has MSU.
That’s my point.
As a UConn fan, I would be happy to either MSU or Iowa in our Region.
 

IWearShoes

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#50
I happen to like MSU but you can’t say they went 18-1 in the weakest of the P5 schools and then say they were dominant...they better be dominant. Just like any of us saying that about the AAC. We wouldn’t (this is not to say the SEC and AAC are comparable-they AREN’T)
While I love Massey, it’s not lIke it’s 100%. I think Vic is the better coach but when has McCown ever been the winner against a player as big with as much scoring prowess? I keep thinking how Aja would take her lunch.
I think it would be an interesting matchup and Iowa has earned every bit of that 2 seed as has MSU.
That’s my point.
As a UConn fan, I would be happy to either MSU or Iowa in our Region.
I think I made a very clear, fact based argument that Mississippi State's body of work is better than Iowa's this year. You seem to think the teams are about equal. I disagree.

I would be interested to know how many of your fellow UConn fans would choose to play Iowa over Mississippi State in a tourney game.

And it's probably worth mentioning that dominating a down SEC is still pretty impressive. The SEC's 6th, 7th & 8th best teams are on the tourney bubble, not its' 2nd best team.
 
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