SBN Links: Lady Vols Face UK In SEC Finals, Nikki Caldwell Makes More UCLA History & BEast Bias

There might be certain forward-thinking Tennessee Lady Vols fans who see UCLA coach Nikki Caldwell as part of their post-Pat Summitt future, whenever that may be.

Not that Summitt is exactly showing any signs of slowing down.

The Lady Vols Make It Look Easy and Beat Georgia 82-58 - Rocky Top Talk
If the goal is to play your best basketball during the postseason, then no coach in the country can be any happier than Pat Summitt. After an injury-plagued year with a considerable 'wandering-in-the-desert' phase, Tennessee appears to finally be gelling. The team that started the season relying on Meighan Simmons for an offensive spark is now leaning first on their outstanding defensive efforts.

That the SEC Coach of the Year has maintained her sanity through this year might be a feat unto itself. That she has done that while helping Meighan Simmons settle down and improve her decision making (seemingly by finding her more minutes at the 2) and gotten this team to peak with Angie Bjorklund playing her way back in game shape is really quite amazing - talent alone doesn't win games.

But across the country at UCLA, SBN's Bruins Nation describes how Summitt product Nikki Caldwell is putting the finishing touches on a record-shattering coaching job at UCLA.

UCLA Makes History Once Again In Final Game At Pauley, 66-48 over WSU - Bruins Nation
With the victory today, UCLA improves to 26-3, 16-2 on the season. I feel like every couple of weeks I am writing about more history that Nikki Caldwell has broken (and I will try and compile all of them at the end of the season). Today, Nikki broke 2 more records. With a 26-3 record, Nikki has set the record for most wins ever during the regular season, and the 16 conference wins sets a new record for most conference wins ever. The UCLA season record for wins is 29, which Nikki is chasing and has a good chance to match or break pending how post-season play goes, and hopefully, I'll be writing about it not so long from now.

Bear in mind, UCLA is not a good offensive team at all - they have held steady as the second-worst three point shooting team in the Pac-10 for much of the season and their offense can really struggle to generate points at times.

And yet Caldwell has gotten them to buy into among the most sophisticated defensive schemes in the nation to achieve a #9 ranking. Not bad.

As she will almost certainly continue to break records this season, I'll stop there for now - that should be enough to feed Lady Vols fans' excitement about present and future.

Meanwhile, one Lady Vols fan - aurabass at RockyTopTalk - is not so happy with Big East bias in Charlie Creme's bracketology.

Anatomy of an NCAA WCBB Bracketology Prejudice - Rocky Top Talk
The votes in the rankings tend to effect the Charlie Creme Bracketology and lest we forget that Bracketology is done in Bristol and it ain't Bristol Tennessee.

The Big East schedule is a very weak schedule - No home and home with the best teams facing each other on the road and at home. Instead a team my go through their schedule playing the 7 best teams at home and the worst teams on the road - what an incredible advantage. No way this situation is fair to teams in a league where they play home and away vs the best teams in their league. Do you see it any other way?

Although I find the observation that "it ain't Bristol Tennessee particularly humorous, the bigger point worth contemplating: much of these rankings are determined by wins, losses, point spreads and (far worse) "reputation" almost without any regard for strength of performance, schedule, or success-inhibiting circumstances (e.g. injury, development of younger players that improve over time). Aside from UConn's dominance over the past few years, if all that mattered was wins, there would be no need for a tournament - we could just find the winningest teams from the biggest conference, have a championship between the top two, be like college football and call it a day.

However, to the point of whether there's another way to see it, how about the Wall Street Journal's Darren Everson's perspective on the Sublime Absurdity of the Big East?

Big East Grind Takes Toll in March - WSJ.com
The Big East already stretches from Rhode Island to Wisconsin to Florida and is poised to gobble up even more territory in 2012 when it adds Texas Christian as its 17th team.

We admit it: We enjoy the spectacle and the nightly carnage. But we're starting to wonder if the Big East has gone too far. The Big East season is a grind unlike any in the sport. And it might be doing the conference's members a disservice.

Since growing to 16 teams in the 2005-06 season, the Big East hasn't won a national title, nor have any of its teams played in the championship game.

Of course, there's no concern with Big East teams playing in championship games and even winning them in women's basketball - that UConn team is sort of good. But there is a very clear disadvantage to the way the Big East is currently structured as well.

The next step: someone needs to look at non-UConn Big East women's basketball success in the NCAA women's tournament to determine if there's a similar Sublime Absurdity effect on the women's side that either disconfirms or reinforces the Big East Bracketology Bias Theory.

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