Women's Hoops Blog

Inane commentary on a game that deserves far better

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I hate it when people say UConn are just too good: overall I'm with Helen-- I think we should celebrate off-the-charts excellence.

On the other hand-- I like UConn anyway, and I'm not a television producer. If I were a television producer, I'd be worried about the minute-by-minute lack of excitement created by consistent blowouts: a team that beats all its opponents by 20+ points (and could beat them by 35 if they wanted) is surely exciting to read about, and exciting to watch for the first ten minutes of each game, but won't make for gripping TV in the second half, unless they do Harlem Globetrotters-style tricks, which UConn obviously won't do (instead, Geno rightly gives minutes to Jacqui Fernandes).

Last night we saw UConn demolish DePaul on CPTV. The Blue Demons had a great crowd: the visiting Huskies had Tina and Maya, who combined for 33. Asked about the win-everything streak, Geno said, "I'm actually waiting for the loss. I told the team I don't care if we have one loss or 10 losses as long as it's not the last game of the year."

If you're CPTV, your audience consists of UConn fans. If you're a producer for another network, and you plan to show lots of UConn games, you've got a problem, one not specific to women's sports: if you watched Sports Night (and if not, why not?) you may remember the episode in which Peter Krause tries to find out (does he ever find out?) how to make televised blowouts interesting.

What you really want, if you are that producer, is a team that wins and wins and wins and gets national buzz, but does so unexpectedly, in some close games.

In other words, you want Nebraska, who had real trouble at Kansas last night, trailing by five in a low-scoring game before pulling ahead in the last two minutes.

"We really haven't had to win that way before," said coach Yori. Griffin had 17 and 13, but the Jayhawks' Carolyn Davis nearly matched up with 17a and 11.

Like everything else in the Big XII conference season, the game was on regional segments of FSN, great news if you live in that region: I actually tried to watch the denouement on my free Huskers Nsider account, but all I got was the postgame show from last week.