Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Women's Sports Week: North Carolina-Purdue

Hey, it's Women's History Month...and here I haven't done anything about women's sports. And I seriously do have several posts saved up, so here goes. Hopefully one each day until Saturday.

You already know about the re-match possibilities for the men's NCAA tournament: OSU-Georgetown, Florida-UCLA, and Florida-Georgetown would all be re-runs of last year's tournament games. But the NCAA women's tournament features a great re-run of its own. North Carolina-Purdue last year was the best women's game I have ever seen. It finished 70-68 North Carolina (see a game recap at http://www.usatoday.com/sports/scores106/106085/NCAAW700743.htm) on an Ivory Latta lay-up with about 3 seconds left on the clock. This year's North Carolina-Purdue matchup kicks off Tuesday 9 PM EST on ESPN and is sure to be a good one.

Reasons I like Purdue in this game:

Revenge Factor. I always think the team that last lost has an advantage.
The Nerdyness yet Trendyness of Purdue itself. Start with the Boilermakers name. Make it Boil, indeed. Then add the black and gold colors, which for some reason I've really come to like over the years. Finish with a series of interesting people such as Drew Brees, Gene Keady, Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson.
Two seniors (see below), who helped put the team on their shoulders after the team changed coaches this year. It's impressive that they did better than last year with a new coach.

Wait, we haven't had a chance to objectify anyone on the Purdue roster yet! Phew, almost forgot:

Although ladies, really, it's ok to dress up for press conferences, just a little:

Reasons I like North Carolina in this game:

Ivory Latta. When you first see her, you'll think there's no way she should even be on the floor. She's so short and frail-looking. The Allen Iverson comparisons are spot-on for that. But her game is more than that. She has a great ability to relentlessly pester bigger guards and force turnovers. She made a play last year in the game where the Purdue guard tried to knock her down after she made a steal, and she somehow kept her footing and still scored. And she ended the game by scoring the winning layup. I really envy (and appreciate) her energy. Here's a funny picture of her:
Ivory Latta
Actually, I think she's biologically incapable of taking an unfunny picture:
Me & my girl Ivory Latta...the girls point guard...we are tight now
I think it'd make for a neat storyline if she can make it to the Final Four in Cleveland; her and Lebron James are good friends and are actually the same age. (Wow, think about that; surprising, isn't it?).

Ramses the Ram. If you haven't heard, the student who played the mascot died recently from being hit by a car. It's very sad. I'm sure some of the ladies on the team knew the mascot. And I do think that it is an inspiration of some sort. Here's ol' Ramses in better days:
team plus ramses

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