Like the man at Las Vegas who perpetually feeds quarters into a machine, I went back online to give ESPN3 another chance. I heard that Oregon was going to be playing Connecticut, and I figured, there's nothing on TV - give the website one more shot.
And it worked! It could have been that the game was sponsored (somehow) by Xfinity, which is the Comcast cable service. We are Comcast subscribers at House Bowman, and let me tell you - their service leaves a lot to be desired. Maybe they figured that Comcast subscribers would get a boost in bandwidth if they watched this.
Note that by "worked" I mean that the game didn't break down into still snapshots. Rather, the game delivered mostly clear pictures, only occasionally fading to blurry (but still moving) fuzz. Unfortunately, this was Oregon vs. Connecticut and I told myself "if Connecticut goes up by twenty, I'm out of here". That didn't take very long at all and I was doing better things by the time that the 114-68 rout was over.
So what could I have been watching instead of that?
* Massachusetts beat Rutgers 64-63 at home. Only 278 fans saw the Minutewomen's first win of the year against the mighty Scarlet Knights of Rutgers, who were previously 3-0. How could such a thing happen? The box score looks fairly tight with neither team receiving a big advantage. UMass was up 64-53 with 4:27 to play and Rutgers scored the next ten points to pull to 64-63 with seven seconds left. Rutgers fouled to get the ball back and sophomore guard Rashida Timbilla missed the front end of a 1-and-1, giving Rutgers a change for a last shot - but UMass played good D in the last possession and stole the win.
* Michigan beat Pittsburgh 83-75 at home. The Wolverines are now up to 4-2 and had things pretty much under control. The big reason this is a game I'd like to see is the hope of catching sight of Marvadene "Bubbles" Anderson, a 6-foot-11 center playing as a redshirt freshman. She scored 12 points and five rebounds for the Panthers in the loss.
* New Jersey Tech beat Long Island 60-58 on the road. Go Highlanders! NJIT is the last remaining independent in Division I basketball - with the new NCAA rules stating that any school moving up to D-I has to be accepted by a conference first, and with the breakup of the Great West and the scattering of its pieces, NJIT is the last school without a conference (not that they're not trying to find one). I didn't think they'd win a game all year, but won in an excruciatingly slow match up with freshman guard Alana Dudley scoring the final points of the game with 0.2 seconds left in a driving lay-up.
* Colorado beat Iowa 90-87 at home. This game had 3,500 people show up to it, but many of them were undoubtedly not there to watch the Buffs women's team. Students were told that if they wanted to see the Colorado men's team take on #2 Kansas at December 7th, they'd have to watch this game to earn the rights for tickets.
Opinion about a policy like this is mixed. Some might complain that it makes women's basketball as something to be endured rather than something to be appreciated. I disagree. Yes, this game undoubtedly won't turn many of the men's basketball fans in attendance into women's basketball fans. But college is all about the exposure to new experiences, and I don't have much sympathy for the complainers - the students get exposed to a style of basketball they might not be used to, and no one's forcing them to see all of the women's basketball games to get tickets. Junior guard Samantha Logic led the Hawkeyes with 26 points on 9-for-19 shooting in a losing effort.